There are a lot of embedded content tools in the VLE but something we in the VLE Service want to do is help you explore other options on the net that we haven’t integrated yet. Something we have missed in the VLE since the removal of the Horizon Wimba audio tools is a quick way to add brief audio recordings to your module. One of the services we’ve been experimenting with is an audio site called Soundcloud.
Soundcloud offers an embeddable audio player and an on-screen audio recording applet. It also offers the possibility of allowing registered Soundcloud users to comment on your recordings.
Take a look at this demonstration on YouTube as we walk through the interface:
There’s also ample help on the soundcloud website to get you started.
Caveats: be aware that Soundcloud is not an embedded tool in the VLE – your audio will not be held by the University. Try the tool and see how it works – just be sensible and don’t bank all your audio there – this is the same common sense advice for all web based, non-University controlled multimedia services you might link to from the VLE – Google, YouTube, Flickr etc. Always keep a backup, be mindful of intellectual property considerations and don’t use it for commercially confident or personal, sensitive information. If it isn’t clear what this might be, just ask the helpdesk and they’ll put us in touch with you.
Built in privacy settings also provide a way to restrict who can see your files on the wider internet as well. If you need advice, log a call with the helpdesk. The VLE team can discuss use-case scenarios with you and advice on suitable settings.
Soundcloud makes recording and downloading audio easy too, you can configure file saving on the embedded audio applet so that you and your listeners can download the audio file for later listening. It’s easy to see how you might utilise Soundcloud for quick recording, especially if you are unfamiliar with more complicated desktop applications such as Audacity.
Have fun! With a free Soundcloud account you have 120 minutes of audio storage available, and deleting old, unwanted files will free up space if you need it.