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hardworkinghippy

Frenchies and French speakers, comments please.

Thanks to being spurned on (read forced !) by Mrs Nesbitt to do a blog, I've recently made one which is now on line.

Unfortunately we had a storm this week and the electricity was down for four days, but I hope to get posts in from other villagers as soon as they've finished clearing up fallen trees and smashed windows and they have time to contact us and the other seven folks with internet in the commune. Embarassed

The blog will be copied onto paper and distributed regularly as a magazine.

I've never done this sort of thing before, so if anyone has any comments to make about the layout, content, toys I can add etc. I'd be pleased to hear them.

I'm especially interested in using sound recording as a lot of the older folk can't read and write very well and as is usual in France folk don't like writing French because it's so bloomin' difficult. So I'd like to find out more about video or "radio" blogging and if it's possible to post sound from a mobile 'phone.

I'm doing the blog to force me to write better and to improve communications and encourage the use of the internet in the village.
gil

Allez, Bourrou !
wishus

Nice bit of France you live in HWH!

My family and I used to holiday near Perigord every year until very recently... now we tend to stay a bit further oop north in Poitou-Charente wher my sis has bought her house...(that reminds me, I've got to ask the French inhabitants a question for her, but I'll reserve that for a separate post).

Anyway, blogspot is pretty useable, and that's a good layout and mix of colours, I think.

I used to keep a blogspot (blogspot blogs are deemed 'proper' blogs by many in comparison to...), but now I keep a Livejournal, which I find so much handier to update and link up with friends than either blogspot or myspace (though myspace is good for the bulletins). On Livejournal, you could set up 'Bourrou' as a community to which anyone can post, and it will feed into the friends list of anyone who specifies it as a friend... actually, you can still keep the blogspot and do that because you could syndicate the site on Livejournal, so only one blog required and then LJers have a handy way of keeping up with latest entries too!

... just a thought.
Guest

Sound recording? I know that you can record direct onto many MP3 players. You can with mine and it's a cheapo 512mb model that I got from Champion for 40 euros.
hardworkinghippy

Wishus,

Yep, It's lovely here, I know I'm lucky.

We can all contribute in blogspot too - with passwords and all of us can post fromour own computers.

At the moment it's just me (You probably recognise the photos Embarassed ) I posted them to show people what was possible and how the layout would look because I'm a wee bit more advanced in my knowledge of the web, but soon I hope to help people to learn how to get photos on the web, how to sign in to the blog and change things themselves and we can be a team that can be a resource for the 157 people who live here.

At the moment, I've nobody else who wants to post - they're scared of wiping out the blog or having to deal with a lot of daft comments or spam etc. People here are not into computers, it's a very old-fashioned place.

...and yes, I have saved the template ! Wink
pricey

Looks good to me girl, the storm looks bad though you OK ? co you need any thing.

And I second that it is Manific where you live, you are very lucky, I am going to do a thread about our visit to France to see you and Simon etc.., but haven't had the time yet Embarassed I will get round to it I promise.
@Calli

Est ce quil faut contribuer en Francais, parce que je m'en souvien plus beaucoup?
Vous voulez vraiment les mots des etrangeres? Rolling Eyes
dougal

Re: Frenchies and French speakers, comments please.

hardworkinghippy wrote:
... I'm especially interested in using sound recording as a lot of the older folk can't read and write very well and as is usual in France folk don't like writing French because it's so bloomin' difficult. So I'd like to find out more about video or "radio" blogging and if it's possible to post sound from a mobile 'phone.

Walk before running. Very Happy


Record onto a cassette.
Edit - any way you like.
You may want to record introductory, linking or explanatory material as well.
Digitise it into the computer.
You might want to digitise the lot and do all the editing on the computer. You might only want to digitise bits of what you've got. You might want to split long sessions into small chapters. Your call.
Convert to mp3 (so its something like 1/10 of the size).
Upload the file(s) to somewhere.
Put a link in the blog to each uploaded file. Then the files can be downloaded and played on a computer or mp3 player (iPod or similar).

After that you can start getting fancy. And refine things.
Like mp4's are smaller still, but not every player can handle them...

Video would mean *much* bigger files.
For editing, upload and download.
Wouldn't it make sense to put video on YouTube and just link to them? (I'm thinking about the cost of bandwidth and (less so) storage.


If you want things to be played 'in page' then you need to think about encoding the stuff appropriately and making assumptions about what web browser capability the page reader has (what browser, what plug-in).
Apple's Quicktime (player) is a free download and will play mp3's (and loads of other formats)
Here are notes on how to construct a webpage including a Quicktime Player.

Here's someone advocating using Flash as a means of playing mp3's within a page... http://www.boutell.com/newfaq/creating/playlist.html


OK, now there are iPod add-ons that will allow you to use an iPod as a very good (like cd quality) recorder
eg http://xtrememac.com/audio/earphones_recorders/micromemo.php
however, these add-ons do cost more than many tape recorders...
Note that newer iPods, particularly the current "video" ones, have faster processors - which enables higher quality recording. BUT it still hasn't got the muscle to compress stuff to mp3... (which actually leaves it in an easier format for editing!)
You can indeed record on many cheapo mp3 players. However, both the quality of recording and the duration are likely to be rather limited. And you may not be able to connect a decent external microphone, or two.
The same applies to recording on a phone. (Don't think they generally provide editing facilities.) I don't know of any *phone* service that you can call that will take the sound file and process and direct it for you to a web page.
I'm sure that a Blackberry-type phone could upload a sound file, but have you such a phone? And a data transmission contract with your phone company? Is instant reaction and "time to press" that important?

Maybe now is the point to mention that getting a good quality recording, with subdued background or wind noise, no frightful echo, no rustles and thumps as the microphone is handled, moved or hit... and a fairly steady sound level... possibly with more than one person talking (like interviewer/interviewee)... look, getting a decent quality (never mind "broadcast quality") recording ain't totally simple. It needs some attention to detail.

As regards a program for getting your sound from tape into the computer and particularly for editing it ... Audacity. It's available for many platforms, and does what's needed. And its free.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audacity
madmonk

Blimey Irene good response there just as well you are running low on the drinks , lovely blog even with my limted French I understood a bit Laughing
dougal

Calli wrote:
Est ce quil faut contribuer en Francais, parce que je m'en souvien plus beaucoup?
Vous voulez vraiment les mots des etrangeres? Rolling Eyes

Vive Chauvin! Ou peut-etre, Chauvin vive aujourd'oui. Rolling Eyes

HWH - There might be others with better suggestions than mine, if you were to ask about audio blogging or podcasting in the IT section.
That is, if a non-french solution is acceptable...
pricey

Calli wrote:
Est ce quil faut contribuer en Francais, parce que je m'en souvien plus beaucoup?
Vous voulez vraiment les mots des etrangeres? Rolling Eyes


desculpe mas nao falo frances, eu falo portugues, ingles, e italiano,

So whats that about foreigners? Wink
Chez

Blogger has a facility where you can telephone in and leave an audio post, but looking at their website it has changed since I last experimented with it and they now refer you to something called gabcast - http://www.gabcast.com/ . It appears that it's free to phone from the US; perhaps there is a French equivalent?
tahir

Re: Frenchies and French speakers, comments please.

dougal wrote:
Record onto a cassette.
Edit - any way you like.


Shame I got rid of my recording MD player, that would have been an excellent tool for this.
hardworkinghippy

Thanks for your offer Pricey, we've still got half a tree on the chicken shed and the rotten tin roof on the goatshed lost two of its bits but otherwise we're fine.

Calli, even in English would be great - at the moment I feel as though I'm talking to myself. (I could translate comments...)

Quote:

Walk before running.


You know me too well Dougal! Thanks so much for all your info - I knew you'd know about things like that !

Chez - that would be perfect if it worked, I'll have a look.

Tahir, I'm going to buy a thing to do sound recording, carry photos and do everything (I'm assured that things like that do exist) then I can lend it out to folk.

When I'm ready, I'll ask in here about what I should buy.

Thank you so much for your input folks.
dougal

hardworkinghippy wrote:
... I'm going to buy a thing to do sound recording, carry photos and do everything (I'm assured that things like that do exist) then I can lend it out to folk.
When I'm ready, I'll ask in here about what I should buy.

Dougal's IMHO:
The more functions an individual device has, the more complicated it is to use - and thus the less easily used on a casual basis by untrained (and I gather potentially elderly), and distinctly non-technical people.
Much better to keep it simple.
A simple camera.
A simple tape recorder.
A decent microphone setup.
It sounds to me as though paying extra for rugged simplicity (if you are going to pay anything) would make more sense than paying extra for integrated features.

Honestly, a simple (old) shoebox-sized cassette recorder - that you or a friend probably already have (or can find on eBay) is likely to be perfectly adequate. And user-friendly.
Give it a decent external microphone, a thorough clean, a new tape and a fresh set of rechargeable batteries, and you are off and running.
Again IMHO, an *external* microphone will take out the mechanical noise of the recorder and allow a cheap old thing to give you pretty good results, certainly *way* better than phone call quality.
And the 'convenient' built-in microphone is a major limitation on the quality achievable with "dictation" recorders...

The "difficult" bit is just going to be the cable between the tape machine's sound out socket and your computer's sound in socket. Crack that (so that you can get it into Audacity) and the rest is pretty trivial. It should be just a matter of getting the right cable for your computer's sound input socket. That is probably the only "barrier to entry" to the podcasting arena.
Once you've got earphone-type (earphone-level) sound, from an earphone-type socket (3.5mm jack plug), from *any* device into the computer, then you could plug in *any_other* sound playback device with a similar socket (ie that can work with the same set of earphones) and grab sound from it.
Use what you've got - and go for it!
dougal

Audio blog techniques continued here
http://forum.downsizer.net/viewtopic.php?t=17332&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc
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