15 Jun 2012

JISC Mobile Reflections Update – Week Two

Posted by Carole Kirk

Our participants have now started their ‘mobile reflections’.   David has recorded ideas whilst in his car.  Jonathan recorded views from his home.  Laura recorded her reflections whilst watching archive film footage gathered as research data in her office.  Daliah has been using a flip camera, and finds its easy accessibility great for recording spontaneous thoughts on impulse.  Although she’s been mainly using it at home and in the dance studio, she did also record a walk to her local shops, whilst reflecting on her studio session that day.  She said, “I found the act of walking and talking very liberating; this combination of being outdoors and going somewhere with specific intention helping to ‘loosen’ my thoughts, and making me feel less precious about what I was saying”.  Rosie recorded her early thoughts on ideas for a research project, and is happy to share.  As I said to Rosie, I really do think there is information in the way we say things that doesn’t come across in writing. And the real interest for this project will be in seeing how the recordings makes sense to our participants when they review them a few weeks later, when they’ll be able to see how their thoughts developed over time.

iPhone headsetMeanwhile, I’ve been experimenting with the recording capabilities on my iPhone3GS – using video, but also using the onboard voice memo recorder.  I reckoned it may be simpler in some circumstances to record voice memos and then put them together as a sound track with still images.  Not everything requires live video footage, and resulting file sizes may be smaller.

Audio volume can be an issue i.e. I have to be very close to the phone to hear my voice.  So I tried using the microphone that comes with the iPhone headset, and this does seem to improve the sound quality (note – this will then switch off the iPhone speaker).  You do, however, have to be careful not to cover the microphone with your thumb or finger.

Voice memoI also wondered how long a voice memo file could be. Some research of the apple forums yielded the following insights:-

–       The length of the recording is limited mainly by space on the phone

–       If recordings get quite long (over 30 mins or so) do not close the voice memo application too quickly after you’ve stopped recording, as the app needs time to finish processing the file.

Transferring audio files from your iPhone to your PC

The only way I’ve managed to do this is by synching my phone with iTunes, going to the ‘Voice Memos’ at the bottom and opening it, and then using my right mouse button to select ‘copy’ for each voice memo file.  I then paste it into the appropriate file directory on my PC.  There may be a more elegant method, but it seems to work.