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Insert, Delete, Reinsert, Keep: My Audio Slideshow Process

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I began seriously thinking about creating an audio slideshow for my project several weeks ago. In late October, I sent a series of tweets to Jim Groom about it. I did some research on the web to try and find a free tool that would allow me to create a quality slideshow, and just wasn’t finding anything. Before he could respond, I thought to try iMovie.

Today, after several hours of work, I completed a 1:19 second audio slideshow in iMovie that will go live on my project site in the next few days.

My process over the past month went something like this:

1. Insert photos in iMovie (November).

2. Record audio during interviews with Andy using GarageBand (Early and Mid November).

3. Transcribe audio (Mid November).

4. Think about what I wanted to quote in writing and what I wanted to save for an audio slideshow (or two). Take notes on the location of the quote in the audio file for quick reference later. (Late November).

5. Begin locating that audio in GarageBand, which is what I used to record the interviews. Curse myself for shuffling my paper a few times in the interview, making for points where a great audio quote will have to be used in print instead because the background noise was impossible to edit out. Lesson learned! Export audio as an mp3 to desktop and open with Audacity because I have more experience with Audacity (last week).

6. In Audacity, begin cutting audio into shorter clips, export them as mp3s, to insert them into iMovie (this week).

7. Insert audio into iMovie with just images. Study for other finals, realize I’d be happier still working on the slideshow. Go to sleep (last night.)

8. Wake up, play slideshow, realize I’m not happy with it. Spend four hours working on it. Add text. Return to audio interview. Delete the quotes I have in iMovie. Listen to portions of the interview again and insert a new quote, along with reinserting the quotes I just deleted (hmm, a lot like my writing process). Add text slides. Realize iPhoto 11 has slideshow options with themes. Use it to create a portion for my iMovie slideshow, export it as a .m4v file, and import it to iMovie. Play the audio slideshow; it feels complete (today).

It was time-consuming, but it didn’t feel like a chore. I like creating; it was fun to work on, and if I have time after completing the articles (goal: tonight or tomorrow night at the latest), I plan to create a second one. Edit: I’m going to alter that idea a bit. I was playing around with plugins on the site and came up with something I think will be more interesting, more interactive and fun for me to experiment with using images and audio.

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