Friday, October 31, 2014

WEEK ELEVEN SUMMARY & OVERVIEW

SUMMARY:

For this week, we will:
  • Review and share our audio production assignments. 
  • Learn about the "Internet of Things"
  • Work on our audio-narrated slideshow projects
HOMEWORK:
  • Continue work on our fourth reporting assignment (SoundSlides project)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Audio-Narrated Slideshow Assignment

AUDIO-NARRATED SLIDESHOW ASSIGNMENT:
http://www.soundslides.com/
Create your own captioned 60-second audio-narrated photo slideshow using Soundslides or an equivalent program (such as Windows Movie Maker) that allows you to synchronize audio to pictures.  
(Note: Whatever program you use must support exporting and uploading to the Web. I am officially only supporting SoundSlides, so I may not be able to help you in depth if you select other programs).

If you have a digital camera or smartphone with camera, you can use it to take pictures that document an event or tell a story. This project can be completed on your home computer and should be about one minute in duration. The content of this project should be focused on the theme of your genre-specific team blog.

DUE DATE:
Please finish by Thursday, Nov. 13

ABOUT SOUNDSLIDES:
This program has a free trial version that you can use to complete this project. This is a free downloadable program that is used by several mainstream and independent news organizations, as well as by citizen bloggers.

HOW TO USE SOUNDSLIDES:

Watch this tutorial to learn the basics of how to use SoundSlides to complete your production.


Note that SoundSlides does not support audio editing! You must first record and edit your minute-long audio production and then mix it/encode it into an .mp3 file. Then, you can import that .mp3 file into the program.

For images, please make sure that your photos are in the .jpg format before importing into SoundSlides.

HOW TO TURN IN THE ASSIGNMENT:
After you have completed the assignment, you should upload it to a Web host service, such as Dropbox and then embed it in your Web site. Note: It is important when you start your production to choose the "small-blog embed" option. If you did not do this at the beginning, then you can modify your output size before you "Export" your project. This is important because modifying the output size will ensure that your final production is compatible with the dimensions of your blog.

To do this within SoundSlides, choose MODIFY from the top menu, then select OUTPUT SIZES. A pop up window will appear where you can select SMALL-BLOG EMBED. This will ensure that your export will result in a smaller slideshow for your blog.

I will be reviewing instructions for embedding your completed SoundSlides production on your blog in class. Note that you'll likely want to use an embed code tool to convert your hosted video to embeddable code.

EMBED LINK TOOL:
Here is the link to the embed tool that you will want to use to generate embed code for your blog.

Check out this blog post for more specific info on how to export and host your SoundSlides production on Dropbox:

EXAMPLES OF COMPLETED SOUNDSLIDES PRODUCTIONS:

Use Dropbox to Upload Your Completed SoundSlides Production to the Web

You can use Dropbox to store your completed SoundSlides production on the Web. Then, you'll be able to link to the production on your Wordpress blog or, if you are using another platform, you may be able to "embed" the completed production on your blog.

What is Dropbox? Video:



How to Host your SoundSlides Production on Dropbox:




INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Once you have completed your production, hit Export. In the exported files, click on the publish_to_web folder. These are the files that you will be moving over to the web via Dropbox.

2. Sign up for Dropbox. You do NOT need to download the Dropbox application. We will only use the web-based version of Dropbox for this production.

3. First, click on the "Public" folder. You MUST be inside the "Public" mode for this production to be seen by others. Then, once inside the "Public" folder, you will now create a new folder using the "New Folder" button. Name it publish_to_web. Inside this folder, you will be "moving" all the exported SoundSlides files from your local computer to Dropbox. It will be very important to match the file names and folder names exactly.

4. In Dropbox, click on the new publish_to_web folder you've created so that you are now "inside" the new publish_to_web folder on the web version of Dropbox.

5. You will now begin to upload the exported files over to Dropbox. To start, you will need to create one or more sub-folders inside publish_to_web to "match" those on your local computer (For example, you may see sub-folders called "custom" and "fullscreen"). To start, click on "New Folder" in Dropbox then create the same folder(s) you see (usually one or both of  "custom" and "fullscreen" as sub-folders). Make sure that the names match exactly the folder names on your exported SoundSlides production (e.g. "custom" and "fullscreen" -- all lowercase and no quotes). We'll come back to these folders in a bit, but first we must upload the other files that are outside those sub-folders.

6. To upload the files, we need to click on the "Upload" button in Dropbox. Next, select "Choose Files" to navigate your local computer's hard drive -- you need to navigate to the publish_to_web sub-folder on your local computer to find these files in your exported SoundSlides production. Once here, select all the files EXCEPT the sub-folders ("custom" and "fullscreen") to upload those contents. When complete, you'll see the files now hosted on Dropbox.

7. Next, we need to upload the files that are in both the "custom" and "fullscreen" sub-folders (which are currently empty on Dropbox). To start, click on the "custom" subfolder on Dropbox so that you are "inside" it. Now, select "Upload" to once again upload the contents of your local SoundSlides production to Dropbox. When you "Choose Files," make sure that you are only choosing the files that are inside the local computer's "custom" sub-folder in publish_to_web. Once done, go up a level on the Dropbox to return to the publish_to_web master folder and then select the "fullscreen" folder to repeat the process of transferring over the files.

8. Almost done! Now, all your files are hosted on Dropbox...but how do you get it on your blog? Make sure on Dropbox that you are in the publish_to_web folder, then put your cursor over the file "index.html" to highlight it -- and then select "Copy public link" from the top of the page.

9. Copy this URL and then put it in on your blog! For some non-Wordpress platforms, you can also create a playable media window that is embedded in your blog. For this option, use the embed tool provided by SoundSlides at this link. Grab the embed code and paste it into a new blog post -- make sure you are in HTML mode on your new post. Publish and you are done!

Example of finished Soundslides presentation

Here is an example of a finished Soundslides presentation:

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