Some months ago College Web Guy wrote a post about Soundslides. In the software’s own words, “Soundslides is a rapid production tool for still image and audio web presentations.” It isn’t kidding. This software is so easy to use, a caveman could use it!
This is a great tool that we have been using for the last year now except we put a twist on it. Because we wanted the videos to easily incorporate into our current structure, mainly the video player, we wanted a tool that did a little more than make Audio Slideshows. Soundslides has an optional plugin, Mac only, that can be purchased that will allow you to turn these flash files into Quicktime movie files. From here it’s easy enough to turn it into any video format that you would like.
A Video of Fall Shots around campus set to Vivaldi
Why is this beneficial? Well assuming that you do not need the caption or headlines, sorry this feature is supported in the video plug-in, then you can create a file that can be uploaded to any video player. That’s right you can upload a soundslide to YouTube or any other video sharing site that you like. Wofford uses Brightcove and this allows us to include the soundslides in the video player along with the rest of our videos. Although these are two slightly different mediums we have them both in the same service. Having your soundslides in this format and loaded to a service like YouTube or Brightcove also has one additional benefit, the embed script option. Although it is possible to embed a normal soundslide into a page, having your video posted to YouTube allows anyone to easily embed the video on their page. This is extra valuable for the marketing possibilities that it provides. Being on YouTube allows your soundslides to be available to the largest video audience on the Internet. Also you can track the views and where the video is embedded with very little effort.
Soundslides allows for the rapid deployment of these videos. We usually use music for the audio track. Wofford has ASCAP and BMI license to use a wide assortment of music, so it is best to make sure that you also have the same licensing to incorporate popular music. If you have an interview or audio from an event then you don’t need music. Assuming you have the pictures and audio picked out (this is definitely the hardest part of putting together a soundslide) then the whole creation process in Soundslides takes about ten minutes.
Now without licensed music, this includes most all music, there are some alteratives. You could purchase royalty free or stock music. Another more creative idea thanks to a post by Sam Jackson (Would you like 3.5 GB of amazing, free legal, excitingly new music? Yes? Click here.). This bit torrent collection of over 700 songs is from artists at South by Southwest music festival. Of course you will need to listen through all the music to find music to go with soundslides, but if you are like me listening to new music isn’t a problem. I’d recommend just downloading the music even if you don’t follow any of the rest of my advice.
A recent video using opened license music
Watch more Wofford Soundslides
Purchasing Soundslides professional software along with the Mac video plug-in will cost you less than $100 so there is absolutely no reason not to get the software a shot. Also according the the website they released a new version in January that allows for panning and zooming of photographs to provide a more visually appealing experience. I guess I know what one of the summer upgrades we will be performing will be.