Converting, Editing, and Sharing Audio Stories

Week 10 Plan

  1. Today:
    1. Quiz 2 on Audio
    2. Overview of SoundCloud (see bottom of this post)
    3. Audio Editing Work Time
    4. View Quiz Results at 9:40 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  2. For Wednesday:
    1. Read second half of Ch. 2 on Microblogging.
    2. Read Ch. 3 on Crowd-Powered Collaboration
    3. Come to class on Wednesday with a specific idea for how you could use crowd-powered collaborations in your future media job. Write down your response on a paper with your name. This should be a short paragraph or two. Submit your assignment upon arrival to class on Wednesday.
    4. In class, we will review online articles that provide tips on social media for journalists, PR, and advertising careers.
    5. After that, we will start to review Twitter.
  3.  For Friday:
    1. Review Blog Post #6 on Live-Tweeting.
    2. We complete an in-class assignment on live-tweeting a speech on YouTube.

Converting Audio

A lot of iPhones save the audio file as a “m4a” file.

A lot of Android phones save the audio file as a “3ga” file.

When you upload your audio file to SoundCloud, you may not need to convert your audio file to another format.

However, when you edit the file in Audacity, you will need to convert the file to a “wav” or “mp3” file. To do this, you can visit a popular audio conversion website: Zamzar (m4a to wav) or Zamzar (3ga to wav).

You can always Google for assistance, advice, or other questions. And, of course, you are free to ask me questions as well!

Editing Audio with Audacity

While you are free to edit your audio file in whatever audio-editing program that you want (e.g., Adobe Audition, Garage Band), most students use the free audio-editing program called Audacity. Audacity is installed on all of the student computer labs. It’s also free to download and use on your personal computer.

We will now jump over to Audacity and review the basic functions that you’ll need for this audio profile project.

Here’s a PowerPoint slide for reference as well: Audio-and-Audacity

Consider these audio editing suggestions.

  1. Decide how you want to organize your story before you begin editing; know what the beginning, middle, and end should be before you begin editing.
  2. The end should bring closure and finality to the interview topic. Don’t end with a statement that leads to more questions from the listener.
  3. Use the zoom feature extensively during your editing, it really helps get the cut to be as flawless as possible.
  4. There are two ways to edit audio: Build or destroy. To build while editing, take a blank audio track and then create an interview from the original. To destroy while editing, take the original interview and cut it down.
  5. While editing, write down the points in the track that you’re working on. That way when you go back and listen to it, you can listen for the cut/transition and move things around faster by referencing those breaks in your notes.
  6. Always save the original audio file separate from the file that you’re currently editing. Also consider saving “editions” of your audio file such that each audio editing session that you engage in is a unique file. That way, if you make a grievous error, then you can revert to the next most saved/updated/edited file.

Sharing Audio Stories with SoundCloud

In our unit on audio, you will use Soundcloud to share your audio files on your blog. Let’s register if you haven’t already.

To upload your audio file, sign-in to SoundCloud. Then go to “Upload.” Select your audio file to upload. When the file is done uploading, select the track. Then, go to “Share” and “Embed” and copy the code. On your WordPress blog, go to the “Text” view of your post. Paste the copied code. Your track should now be embedded on your blog post.

About The Author

I'm an associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Communication and Journalism Department at the University of Wyoming. In my ninth year at UW, I regularly teach multimedia production, web design, political communication, quantitative research methods, and media, science, and society.