Audio and video can be created and shared in a variety of ways to assist in increasing access to your collections and to engage audiences. This guide offers advice and links in how to get started.
High quality audio and visual content can be created with little cost and technical expertise. It can be useful for exhibition guides, visitor feedback and evaluation, oral history interviews and especially within educational projects or exhibitions.
Audacity is a free downloadable audio editing computer package. It is useful for preparing audio for broadcast and the internet, and is reasonably straightforward to use. Follow these online tutorials to get started and understand the features.
Soundcloud and Audioboo are both websites that enable you to upload your audio and share it instantly with others. They both allow you to specify any copyright restrictions and are also available as mobile phone apps. You can view statistics on how many users you reach, and users can leave comments. They also allow you to embed your audio in other websites such as Twitter and Facebook.
There are several low budget camcorders on the market. If the video you are making is more for documentation and evaluation or as part of an education project and does not need to be high quality, Flipcams can record short snippets of video and are very easy to use.
If you are planning on creating a high quality film it is worth speaking to a local retailer or film-maker to find out exactly what you need first.
Most home computers come with simple video editing software, such as iMovie on Macs and Windows Movie Maker on PCs. The main requirement is that you have enough memory and space on your hard drive and a fast processor to cope with large files of video content.
When starting out on video projects it is important to keep it simple and take your time. Doing one thing really well rather than trying to make lots of videos at once is best. You may also choose to source existing archival footage or user generated content from visitors or education groups.
Another alternative is to create a simple slide show using photographs. This can also be done using iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. You can then add a voiceover, or create a Digital Story.
Some good examples of museum videos on YouTube are: