I am a SPED teacher developing a method to use smartphones to do oral administrations for tests and a complete newbie to using Audacity or any other sound editing software. I am using Audacity 2.1.0 on Windows 7. Oral administration is for students with reading disabilities and is normally done in a separate room as a group out loud.
I want to be able to share an audio file of myself reading the questions on a test with my students to listen to while taking the test. I have the sharing method figured out, but when I record myself I get one long audio file that only has the progress slider to let the students move back and forth through the recording. I would like them to be able to skip from one question to the next like songs on a CD player and still only have the single link to follow to get to the recorded test. Is there a way in Audacity, using any common audio format, that I could do that? I figured out how to make multiple labels and export them as separate tracks, but unless I’m missing something that would require me to share a seperate MP3 for every question which would be more cumbersome than just giving them a printout with the time for each question and having them scroll.
I would like them to be able to skip from one question to the next like songs on a CD player and still only have the single link to follow to get to the recorded test. Is there a way in Audacity, using any common audio format, that I could do that?
I’ve never tried this but I’ve read that you can make “chapters” with an AAC audiobook format (and maybe there’s a way to do it with iTunes). But, you’d have to find the player-software that supports it.
It’s usually the player-software that’s the issue. That might not be a big hurdle for you, since you are not widely distributing the files and may be able to provide the player software to your “users”.
The only common-popular formats that support can do it are the “shiny disc” formats (CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays). CDs might be the best-easiest solution. CDs can have up to 99 tracks (and up to about 80 minutes).
I figured out how to make multiple labels and export them as separate tracks, but unless I’m missing something that would require me to share a separate MP3 for every question which would be more cumbersome than just giving them a printout with the time for each question and having them scroll.
You can make separate files and then “tag” each file with a track number and/or prefix the filename with a number. Then your player-software can automatically play the tracks in the correct sequence. When I copied a couple of CD-audiobooks to multiple MP3 files that’s how I handled the chapters. But, jumping-back to a previous track may be a little trickier.
I don’t know of an audio format which will do that. MP3 won’t. MP3 is originally the sound track for MPEG1 video. The video carried the chapters, not the sound.
You need a player. Distribute the questions as individual sound files and the music player such as iTunes or Windows Media plays them one at a time. You are creating an album. The song titles are QUESTION ONE…etc.
If design time is unlimited, create a movie whose title is THURSDAY TEST and whose video is QUESTION ONE…etc, and whose sound track is your voice. Skip chapters through the test.
Someone will post if there are other options. This has come up before and I don’t remember a definitive answer. I’m nearly positive there isn’t a simple, common sound format with chapters.
We don’t have the option to buy mp3 players and distribute them due to both the cost (not a major problem) and the logistics of managing the and securing the hardware (is a major concern). But the suggestion of making an mpeg1 movie is helpful. I will do a test file and see how the file size comes out. Is there a simple (preferably free) program that I could use to overlay text on a background and create the chapters?
Win7 has a painting program I believe is called, oddly enough, Paint. I’d be shocked if you couldn’t create a blue frame with white text in it.
You may have more trouble creating an MPEG1 movie (Traditionally, that’s called plain “MPEG.” MPEG2 is the broadcast format and officially has a “2” in the name.)
Can you do that in Windows Media? I’m not a Windows elf. Make sure it will allow you to create story chapters, not just a simple “My day at Rehoboth Beach.”
Drop us a note how you did it. Remember, this is a forum with users sharing tips, not a help desk.
Oh making the background is no trick at all. It’s turning a series of images into a a movie with chapters that I don’t know how to do.
For anyone else working on a similar project, I am using Edmodo to share the files. It’s made for educators and has a lot of handy communication tools for teachers and students.
AAC explicitly supports chapters. MP3 only does so with hacks, because chapters are not an official part of the MP3 standard.
You can try Chapter and Verse. You might have to start with multiple WAV files but you can use Export Multiple to export those from Audacity.