Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Creating Oral History Interview Videos on an iPod Touch

I’m working with an Oklahoma teacher who helped her students conduct multiple interviews last week and this weekend with U.S. military veterans for Veteran’s Day. She is exploring several project ideas for students using these recorded interviews, and I’m brainstorming with her to figure out how students could create oral history interview videos (like those on Celebrate Oklahoma Voices) using just iPod Touches. These are 3-5 minute videos using images (not actual ‘videos’) and audio narration. Her school has hundreds of iPod Touches, but doesn’t have laptops for all students, so iPod Touch media creation makes the most sense in her situation. In this post I’ll summarize some of my recommendations for her. If you have ideas/suggestions I could pass along or should consider, please chime in with comments.

'iPod touch' photo (c) 2009, MIKI Yoshihito - license:

The students conducted their veteran interviews using iRig microphones and the free Cinch app on their iPod Touches. Earlier the teacher created a single, shared account in Cinch and logged in each iPod Touch’s Cinch app so they were ready to go. Cinch web-posts audio into customizable “albums” to a single account, and provides mp3 download links for shared audio. It’s entirely free and unlike AudioBoo, there is NO LENGTH LIMIT to Cinch recordings. From a management standpoint, it seemed like an easier plan to immediately label and upload audio interviews rather than use an app like iTalk Recorder or Voice Memos since Cinch files can be readily shared online.

With the audio interviews conducted, the challenge now becomes helping students edit those interviews into short segments they want to include in a video (narrated slideshow) on an iPod Touch. For our Storychaser workshops in the past we’ve always used Audacity software and either PhotoStory3 (on Windows) or iMovie (on Macs.) The biggest challenge here, from what I can figure out, is editing an audio file on an iPod Touch and then making it available within the iPod (music) app on the iPod Touch WITHOUT syncing the Touches to a computer again. I’m not sure this is possible: If you know how, please let me know.

My suggested apps and workflow for this same process on an iPod Touch are as follows:

  1. Create a free Dropbox account to share files among students – save each veteran interview in mp3 format there (using a laptop computer: downloading mp3 files from cinch, then uploading to DropBox)
  2. Use the free app Hokusai to have students import their audio on an iPod Touch from DropBox, then edit just the part they want to keep/use, and add a short audio narration intro (they would need to write this first as a script, it would introduce the project and their veteran briefly) – export the final audio back to DropBox
  3. Add the edited audio files to iTunes on the computer which syncs to all the iPod Touches in a new playlist, and sync the touches (so the new audio playlist is available)
  4. Have students find and save 5 to 10 photos to use during their audio interview video. If they took photos during the interview, those can be used. Photos can be emailed to a free class Posterous blog, and photos copied on the student’s iPod touch from that website to their own photo roll.
  5. Use the free app Splice to import the photos for the video and import the audio, and create an exported/final video

My favorite app for creating narrated slideshows is SonicPics, but the free version (Sonic Pics Lite) is limited to just 3 photos. Splice seems like the best free app option at this stage.

Have other ideas or suggestions? Please let me know!

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2 responses to “Creating Oral History Interview Videos on an iPod Touch”

  1. Ryan Collins Avatar

    Could they use GarageBand on the Touches to record and edit?

    To put the recordings in Dropbox, you can set up an email address at I don’t know an easier way to get the audio on the decide for Splice though. 🙁

  2. Lawrence G. Miller Avatar

    A great project idea!