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January 8, 2015 / carlispina

Record and Share Audio Filed with Soundcloud

Soundcloud logoSoundcloud, a network for finding and sharing audio files, has many potential uses in libraries and classrooms. First, it can be used to locate a variety of types of sound files. From the Soundcloud homepage, you can search for any keyword to find tracks, people, playlists, and groups that include that keyword. Once you have run a search, you can further filter your results by tag, categories, or copyright status. This last option is perhaps most useful if you are interested in reusing the audio files as it allows you to find sounds that can be used commercially or even modified under a Creative Commons license.

Second, you can either record or upload your own audio files. These files can be made public or private and can be offered under a Creative Commons license if you would like. You can also decide whether or not users can share or comment on your audio files. The entire process is extremely user-friendly, though I learned the hard way that it can be a bad idea to record a lengthy audio file directly on Soundcloud since you risk losing it during processing. For these longer files, it is better to record them using a different tool and then upload them to Soundcloud.

Soundcloud screenshot

Soundcloud files can be shared, emailed or embedded on another website. They can also be played via one of the Soundcloud apps. Individual sound files can also be aggregated into playlists. In addition, users can follow other Soundcloud users to find everything that these users share on the service. All of these options make this a very versatile tool that can be used for everything from recording lectures to creating promotional content for your institution to starting your own podcast. I have also used it as part of a metacognition exercise that involved speaking aloud while working through a lesson to capture the internal thought process used while solving problems. With a free account users can record up to 3 hours of audio and gather some basic statistics, but paid accounts are available if you need more time or additional features. If you frequently use audio or if you are interested in incorporating more types of media into your teaching, Soundcloud can be a great option.

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