Oct 25, 2008

Telling Stories With Audio Slideshows

Michael Werner and I are giving a workshop today at the Society of Professional Journalists' Building at Better Journalist Conference in Eugene, Oregon.

For those of you who can't be here or those who did attend but want some resources to refer back to later, I've uploaded a quicktime movie file of our powerpoint presentation.

As we explained in the workshop, Soundslides (downloadable from the link) is a handy tool for compiling photos and audio (but not for editing photos or audio). You must prepare your photos (save as jpgs) and audio (save as mp3s) in other programs. Uploading them to Soundslides is the easy part.

Here are links to more info helpful in producing slideshows.

Check out the Audio Journalist's Toolkit for info on audio gear, editing software and handy guides to using Audacity. Here are sites where you can download free music and sounds: Freeplaymusic.com, CreativeCommons.org, CCmixter.org and the Free Sound Project. Be aware, however, that just because they're free to download, doesn't necessarily mean they are copyright free. If you're making a sideshow for journalistic or commercial uses especially, read the fine print.

Check out the Photojournalist's Toolkit for info on basic photo composition rules and Photoshop basics.

Here's a workflow map of how to use the Soundslides software. If you click on this, you'll open a larger version to print. Let me know if there are problems. I can email you a pdf.

After you finish compiling your slideshow, you'll want to "export" it. This is one of the fussy aspects of Soundslides. It doesn't export a neat, compact file. It creates a folder called "publish_to_web" and that entire folder is what you need to publish. If you're working with a web team, just hand them over the folder, they'll know what to do. If you want to email it or publish it to your own personal website or blog, follow these instructions on the Soundslides online manual under "exporting and publishing."

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