I’ve played with a number of ways of getting audio onto a blog: in the early days I used digital voice recorders, uploaded the recording into Audacity and then used a podcast host such as Jellycast to host it and share it for me. There is still a need for this approach: think lovingly editing a class magazine show and finally sharing the finished polished article. All that took a lot of time and organisation, however, and didn’t really meet the need to grab a bit of audio from a lesson plenary or a group discussion etc. Here immediacy is much more of a necessity and detailed editing is unnecessary. What you want is a quick way of recording then fast sharing. The very popular Audioboo.fm makes the recording and uploading process very simple, but I still need to go to the Audioboo website, grab the embed code and create a post on my blog if I want to share it (note: Audioboo autopublishes to Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Posterous). Not great if you’re on the go and away from a desktop. Now I’ve discovered ipadio (as in “radio”). It’s a website and iPhone app (also works on iPod touch) that grabs a recording, uploads it to the ipadio website and then completes the loop by autoposting to your blog. Brilliant, just what I’ve been looking for.
You can use ipadio from the desktop of your computer, but it really comes into its own with mobile devices – smartphones such as iPhone or Android devices, or simply an iPod touch, iPad or Android tablet. The crucial difference between using ipadio on a smartphone and on a mobile device such as an iPod is the phone allows you to broadcast live for the cost of a local phonecall.
Setting up the service is incredibly easy: I found the best way to do it is to download the app to your phone first, then use the login credentials it gives you to quickly create your account on the ipadio website. Once you’ve done this, simply work your way along the tabs setting up your channel (upload school crest, add link to website etc) and, most importantly, add the social media tools that you wish to use.
Once set up, try recording on your phone, and once it has uploaded to the ipadio website, check you blog to view the autopost in all its glory. Couldn’t be simpler. What’s more, if the standard embed doesn’t suit your taste, then there is a wide range of embeds available, including one with a Google map geolocating your recording.
This app has massive potential in education:
- Record and publish learning conversations;
- Publish those little performances that go on in your classroom every day;
- Read school newsletters in multiple languages for parents and carers that can’t read English;
- Live broadcast from school trips, sporting events etc. (needs a phone);
- And the list is endless…
The app isn’t quite perfect (although it comes close) and there are a few features I’d like to see in it:
- Head and shoulders at the top of the list would be the ability to handle multiple blogs on a phone or a mobile device. That way children across classes could share the iPods and choose to update their own class blogs;
- The ability to attach photos to recordings within the app would be fantastic i.e. take a picture of the choir singing their hearts out, as well as recording them;
- On the website I’d like to choose the default player style for blog posts. It just uses a standard embed at the moment, I’d like to choose the embed with the map when I’m on a school trip;
- I’d like to have an embeddable live player embedded in my blog in advance of a live broadcast so that I can direct my audience to my blog where they can click “listen” (maybe a widget in a sidebar with a green button that lights up when broadcasting);
Apparently, they are starting work on a new version of the app at the moment, so if you can think of any more ideas, they’d be delighted to hear from you.
As it stands, the ipadio app is by far the best and simplest way of getting audio from a mobile device onto a WordPress blog, it has the potential to be an absolute killer app for education that would be well worth paying for, what do you think? How would you use it in the classroom?
Here’s an example of a quick recording I made earlier, including the Google location map: