Preparing your audio and photos for Soundslides

As we discussed in class, preparing your audio is not just a matter of chopping time off of your audio story. You should be open to new possibilities: different pacing, different positioning of nat sound, even additional audio. You can’t edit the audio once it’s in Soundslides. Spend time planning out your slideshow. Get a sense of what photos will go with what sound, then edit down the sound. Soundslides will allow you a lot of flexibility with the photos re: length of time onscreen, adding new images, and so forth.

There are some technical considerations. Soundslides requires all audio to be in the MP3 format. So you will need to convert your .wav files. This is easy. Either take a moment to install the LAME audio encoder on Soundslides when you set up your project, or download and use Freestudio, which easily converts sound files. Freestudio will also convert video files into MP3 files — very useful if you’ve used your Kodak video camera as an on the fly audio recording device (the audio is actually pretty good). The installs for both Freestudio and the LAME encoder are very quick and very easy.

As for your photos, choose the photos you may want to use in advance and put them in a separate folder. You’ll be overwhelmed if you pull all your photos into Soundslides when you’re setting up a new project.

Once you’ve done the prep, you are ready to go. This Soundslides tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center couldn’t be more clear in taking you through the steps to produce a slideshow. When you are finished, use the slideshow converter to turn it into an MP4 file that you can put on a youtube account.

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About Lisa Phillips

I am an assistant professor of journalism at SUNY New Paltz and the author of Unrequited: Women and Romantic Obsession (HarperCollins, 2015) and Public Radio: Behind the Voices.
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