Love that iPod

I love my iPod!

Carry it with me everywhere - but there are only 6 songs in the 60 GB memory.
My iPod is my brain - and its chock-full-of-stories.

Thanks to a few gadgets - it is a sound-system and practice - friend that fits into my hand-bag - an indispensible resource for a storyteller.

More than three years ago my grandson steered me to the Belkin recorder for the iPod. To tell the truth I had never been interested in having the "music-player" until I saw this possibility. The recorder cost between $50-60. I bought mine at the Apple Store - but they also have a website.

The recorder is about the size of a regular lipstick tube - -

It fits into the slot at the bottom of the iPod. When you plug it in the "record" screen appears. The recordings are stored as "voice memos". When you synch your iPod to the computer the "voice memos" transfer - to be named and transferred to the "library."

I record stories to "practice" and then listen to them as I learn them or listen to a story in the library to refresh it if I have not told in some time.
I also record all my performances - for large and small gigs - by placing the recorder near-me. Later I use "Garage Band" to edit the recording into individual stories. Sometimes the recording is good enough to add to a CD.
Recently my son showed me this new $10 "toy" he found at Staples - a Speaker - to amplify the sound on his computer.
In a jiffy we tried it out on the iPod - it works perfectly!
Attach the speaker into the slot for the ear-buds.
It may be small but it is powerful - and it solved a problem for me.

When I am learning a story or "running" a program beforehand I
hate the inconvenience of being tied down by having the ear buds in or having to carry the iPod. The little speaker solves that - I can set it down and the sound carries across the room - or the car.

A few TIPS:
  • When preparing a program I use iTunes and my iPod as primary tools by sorting the stories for the program into "playlists" - listening to it - rearranging the sequence of the stories as needed or adding new stories by recording them, storing on the computer and then adding to the playlist. The revised playlists are then synched to my iPod.
  • Burn a playlist onto a CD for the car or other use -
  • If you record performances you have a source of a single story with a laugh track to use as an audition CD.
  • Recording all performances is a good way to follow how your stories change from telling to telling and to give you a sense of your energy and delivery in changing situations. I usually burn a CD of all versions of a story and then remove all but two from my iPod.
  • Record coaching sessions.
And if you are not a storyteller? Then what? Are these gadgets worth thinking about?
Try these ideas!
  • I recorded many conversations with my mother in the last few years of her life.
  • Anyone working with their family genealogy must be seeing the possibilities - wish I had had these resources to easily capture voices, bits of conversations, quick notes about locations, gravestones, newspaper clips. You now all the stuff that captures your history.
  • ideas and notes - especially when traveling - so much easier to record them later if you can play them -hands free or without the ear buds in.
  • "sound notes" - especially when traveling - I recorded the player piano tune in an old house in CA six years ago and I still enjoy listening to it -puts me right back into that parlor.
  • catch a recipe
  • better still catch a baby's first words.
Hope these ideas help you get even MORE from your iPod.


Sean said...

Okay, you taught me something. I have been using my Ipod for recording both with the Belkin recorder you mentioned as well as with my soundboard for voiceover and CD work. BUT- the little portable speaker thing from Staples. Genius. I am off to get me one of them. Great post. Thanks.

Tim said...

How close do you have the Belkin to you when recording? I found that it was great for voice memos, ie if I held it up to my mouth. But for live performances, if I was unamplified, and put the iPod on a chair or the floor next to me, I'd get a recording with very low levels. I've switched t0 the Zoom H2 for recording now. My iPod works for me to listen to podcasts and other storytellers. If I want to listen to myself, I have to transfer files from my H2 to my desktop computer to my iPod. The portable speaker.... that would be helpful for my H2.


Hi, Tim, When I record for myself the iPod is usually two to three feet away. I rarely hold it close to my mouth.
For a gig - if I am un-amplified I sit the iPod next to me. And the quality of the recording is a little dimmer but still OK for a record of the performance and to use for practice later.
Small gigs I use the Chatter Vox for amplification - and that gives a good recording on the iPod -
Other gigs - I use a head set or lavilier with a speaker and ofcourse that is the best.
When taping in the TV studio, as you know, we wire with laviliers on the storytellers. I sit on a stool so I place the iPod at my feet on the floor - and its a very good recording.
Re: listening to yourself. You can listen to yourself through Voice Memos before you transfer to the computer. I find for all listening on the iPod that the mini-speaker is a great sound booster - when you have the privacy for it.