I was reading Wesley Fryer’s Moving at the Speed of Creativity blog when I stumble across a fantastic new multimedia authoring tool. VoiceThread does for multimedia authoring what YouTube does for video and Flickr does for photography.
In its simplest form, it’s a slide show with narration. However, users can also incorporate screen captures, PowerPoint files, and video files. You can draw on the slide show and add text. The VoiceThread creations are hosted on their site, much like YouTube. Also like YouTube, your creations can be embedded into blog posts and websites.
VoiceThread provides a direct interface for Flickr and Facebook, as well as allowing users to upload their own files. In the case of Flickr and Facebook, the images are actually transferred from the service, and are hosted on VoiceThread’s servers. Therefore, if Flickr is blocked in your district (as it is in ours), you can still use the images in your creations.
Users have the ability to leave audio or text comments on other VoiceThreads. The potential for collaborative projects is amazing. For example, a VoiceThread could incorporate one photo or a work of art, and participants can leave audio commentary on their interpretations or feelings about the image. Of course, all comments can be monitored and edited, and commenting can be turned off as desired.
There is an introductory free account which allows you to create up to three VoiceThreads with some limitations on storage. The Pro account is only $30 per year, which is pretty cheap.
Here are a couple of my favorite VoiceThreads…
- Lego Base – in this one a boy describes his Lego creations from a single photograph. He is using his webcam and a microphone to leave the commentary.
- What Is A Voice Thread? – this is an introduction that shows most of the features.
- Konza Prairie – this is a short travelogue that Wesley Fryer created based on photos he took on a trip to the Konza Prairie. This was the first VoiceThread I encountered, which I found reading Wesley’s blog.
Of course, I had to give this a try. I created a VoiceThread about sound-activated high-speed photography. Here’s my first attempt…
[tags]VoiceThread, multimedia authoring, multimedia, digital storytelling, collaboration tools[/tags]