It’s Spring Break for me this week, and I’m working on FINALLY finishing the “Pocket Share Jesus” book I’ve been working on VERY infrequently since 2010. As I was proofreading the “Audio Interviews” chapter today, I realized several audio recordings were missing from the “Family Oral History” page of our “Learning Signs” family learning blog. In this post, I’ll share links to the family oral history interviews I found or recovered, by fixing links or publishing audio files, and a little about the stories around each one.
10 years ago, in 2013, I shared my first TEDx talk titled, “Becoming Your Family’s Digital Witness.” My opening story was about Fred McPherson of Itasca, Texas, and a priceless interview my parents had recorded back in October 2005 when they drove down to visit Fred from Manhattan, Kansas.
At the time I prepared for that TEDx talk, I shared a 90 second audio clip from that interview with Fred to Soundcloud. However, the full interview was never shared online, I had just “burned it to CD” and shared copies with family members.
When we moved from Oklahoma to North Carolina in August 2022, we had to leave a LOT of things behind, including multiple computers. Today when I looked at our “Family Oral History” webpage, I noticed that under Fred’s picture, it still said, “Link coming.” I was afraid maybe that audio file was on one of the hard drives I had to abandon in Oklahoma City, and that full-length oral history interview with Fred might be lost to history.
Thankfully, I still have an external USB hard drive with backups of many of my computer files dating back to the 2000s and 2010s. Buried deep in the “Multimedia – Other” – “Other Audio” folders, I found Fred’s interview!
When you choose to share a family oral history interview online, it’s important to consider where the file will be HOSTED and whether or not the continued availability / permanency of that media file is dependent on someone paying a monthly or annual hosting fee. In the case of the Storycorps website and audio recorded / shared with the free Storycorps app, hopefully those audio files will be shared forever. Some audio websites, like Audioboo / Audioboom (a long-time web 2.0 favorite of mine) have been discontinued, and audio not downloaded and saved / shared elsewhere has disappeared forever.
For these reasons, I’m now a big fan of posting audio interviews to YouTube, as videos which have a single “poster image.” Voice Record Pro for iOS (free) is my favorite app to use to convert an existing audio interview into a video file uploadable to YouTube.
To share Fred’s October 2005 audio interview on YouTube today, my workflow was to:
- Upload the mp3 audio file to Auphonic.com for normalization and to reduce background noise / buzz / hum.
- Air Drop the normalized audio file from my computer to my iPhone, opening it up in Voice Record Pro.
- Air Drop a photo I downloaded and cropped, which I wanted to use as a “poster image” in the video version of the audio podcast
- Added the image to the recorded audio file in Voice Record Pro, then exported as a MP4 video to the iPhone camera roll.
- Uploaded to YouTube.
- Link and embed the audio interview video on a new “Fred McPherson” child webpage on our Family Oral History page of our family learning blog.
In addition to finding and “digitally resurrecting” that interview with Fred, today I also:
- Fixed a broken podcast link on my May 2008 interview with my dad, “Implications of Transfer of Wealth for Schools and Communities (Interview with Tom Fryer)“
- Embedded the January 2016, 50 minute interview with my dad from on the “Tom Fryer” page of our family oral history / family learning blog.
- Added four videos to the “Angie Fryer” page of our family oral history / family learning blog:
- Added the following links under “Other Oral History Stuff” on our family oral history page
- My 2013 TEDxOU talk
- A link to my Family Oral History” media literacy unit on my updated media literacy lessons website
- A link to our son (Alex’s) 2015 Eagle Scout project website, in which he and other Boy Scouts conducted oral history interviews with local retirees in Oklahoma
- A link to a short video I created at that time with Alex and some of the scouts, sharing about their experiences conducting oral history interviews (StoryCorps style)
- The following text and links: “A number of videos created by teachers in the “Celebrate Oklahoma Voices” state centennial and oral history project are available in this YouTube playlist. More information about that project is available via Storychasers.org.
- My March 2020 webinar, “Family Oral History Projects.”
Yay Family Oral History!
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- Tethered iPhone Internet Access with iPhoneModem (Jailbreak required) - 2010
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- Show notes from Mom - 2007
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