This is going to be a biggie. Please have patience. (This also my first use of ScribeFire)
I've been meaning to do this for a while, as a follow up to the post I did back in October about web tools that I've used. The purpose of this post is to look at the computer based apps I use day to day or in putting together special projects. Unfortunately for you PC users I use a MAC so most of them are mac-based, however I'm sure there are PC versions of some things.
So here we go. To make it easier for me I'm just going to list in alphabetical order, as I go through the applications menu.
A great, FREE audio editor. You can record directly to it via your computer (use internal or external mic), voice music whatever you want. You can also import audio files from other sources such mp3 recorders etc. Once your sound file is in the editor you can cut, paste copy etc until you have the sound file you want. You can also import copyright free music from various websites (google podsafe audio and see what it comes up with. Now to export your file as mp3 (the most commonly used and recognised form of audio compression) you also have to download and add a Lame 3 encoder. You only have to do this once and instructions come with the download. Click here for features, here for screenshots and here for tutorials. If you use a variety of different computers there is also a portable version which you can download to your usb drive and use on any computer. Here is the mac version.
My aim is ensure that at least one suite of the new pcs in school has Audacity uploaded to enable the students to use it in school. Asked for it ages ago, but we only have one technician and then I've not been there.
Does what it says on the tin, records to record any audio on your mac. If your macine can play it, audio hijack can record it. With the pro version you can create podcasts containing music clips and skype / iChat recordings. You can record your vinyl or cassettes and have the recordings sent direct to iTunes. You can even record from multiple sources. As yet I have only used this once to record a skype chat with Joe Dale. The sound quality seemed fine. I think though that I would like to investigate the pro version further, I wonder whether it can't be used to record input from multiple microphones, then I could use it to record conversations with more than 2-3 voices and upload to garageband to edit.
Lets you produce labels, covers, case inserts for cds and dvds that look seriously professional. It can import track lists and track info onto your design. You can use pictures from iPhoto and it is LightScribe compatible. Used it to produce cover for the fundraising DVD I produced towards end of term, for the schools chosen charity, Spinal Injuries Scotland.
Griffin Final Vinyl
A piece of software that comes with Griffin's iMic. The iMic is a usb audio adapter that allows you to connect your mac or pc to any sound input device. Along with Final Vinyl this device allows you to convert your vinyl and cassettes into mp3 files. Compatible with GarageBand, iMovie and Final Cut Pro. This could be useful to back up some of the older cassette based resources we have in the department.
I love GarageBand. It is so easy to use and yet so powerful and great fun, and that's just the podcasting element to it. I've not even made a serious exploration of the music-making side. I've made podcasts, vodcasts, enhanced podcasts, imported from iMovie etc etc. Well what is it. Its a recording studio on your mac. If you are so inclined you can record your own music by linking real or software instruments (as I say I haven't gone into this yet). With the newest version,'08, there is the Magic GarageBand function which can help you get started. (Here's one
I did for a film I made about Huntly Cricket Club).
I really do enjoy being creative with this application. I like the recording process, the way it handles, how you can add images to reflect part of an audio recording (enhanced podcast) and I'm just beginning to discover all the effects and fun things to do with each track. What I love most of all are the included loops, sounds and melodies (all without copyright) contained in the package. I enjoy trying to find the right piece of music to fit the mood. All in all its my favourite toy. Tons better than audacity. Apparently the closest windows app would be mixcraft.
I can Animate
THE animation tool for Mac. Used mainly for stop motion animation (think Wallace and Gromit). You can capture from a digital video camera or a web cam. Clips can be exported to iMovie. You can create animations by drawing within the app and you can also make time lapse films. I've tried stop-motion and time lapse, both of which are time consuming but still fun. Before using I Can Animate I tried a couple of other similar apps (iStopMotion and Frame Thief)
Both of these were fine to use but I Can Animate just felt more instinctive (and I didn't have to pay for a full version..ha!)
Tell me what you think:
Swordfight (Frame Thief)
Murder Most Fowl (iStopMotion)
But my favourite is this one
Yanick Gets His Hair Done (I Can Animate)
I would like to use this in class but the time it requires I just don't have. It's something I'd like to get kids to look into doing at home to get them creating something to which they can add some French. I had thought about an animated pencil case.
When I first got my own pc one of the things I wanted to was transfer stuff from mini dv cassette to dvd. It seemed as if I had to download and mash up all kinds of different apps (either that or I was just daft and didn't understand what I was doing) and it just didn't come together. Then I got the PowerBook from school...
iDVD segues so seamlessly with all the other iLife applications that even one with my lack of nouse got it. Making a dvd is so easy with iDVD. It has some lovely themes, especially the new ones, which sing and dance and make everything look professional.
You can put together a dvd from scratch by choosing everything from themes down to the buttons, you can make a Magic iDVD where you just choose your theme and add your desired media or you can create a dvd direct from your digital video camera and the application does everything for you.
My one gripe with iDVD is that it seems to take an age to swap between themes and options. The new version is better and it now tells you how long your project will take to encode (a long process.) At the end of the burning you also have the option to burn another disc without having to encode it all again.
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