Simple Audio Choices
Suppose you want to record an audio message and place a link to the message on your web page. What are the steps?
Step 1. Record the audio.
You have three choices:
A. You can record the audio using a microphone, your computer, and some free audio recording software called Audacity. Audacity records in wav, mp3 or ogg file formats. We recommend mp3. The resulting audio file will be relatively small and high quality. wav is an uncompressed format, and resulting audio files will be much to large for practical downloading. Ogg is an open source format widely used in the Linux community, but cannot be played natively with the most popular media players, so should be avoided. Your end users will have the fewest problems if you choose mp3 format.
B. If you do not want to use a computer/microphone combination to record your audio file, you can check out a small digital voice recorder from Academic Technology. We use the Olympus WS-100, WS-300, or WS-311 models, and can recommend it to faculty members if they wish to purchase their own. Call ext. 2877 for checkout information. These Olympus models record in wma format (a compressed, windows media audio format). It is also a USB device that can plug directly into any USB port, which makes it simple to move the wma file from the device to your computer or directly upload it to your web site. If you want to convert the file to mp3 before placing it on your web site, use a WMA to MP3 converter. Call Academic Technology (ext. 2862) for advice, or bring your file to our offices for conversion.
C. If you need assistance recording the audio, and would like to ensure a higher quality recording, come to the faculty technology center in room LL-111 where we have a dedicated recording booth set up. The booth is equipped with a high quality condenser microphone, a mixer board, and SoundForge software for audio recording. Academic Technology technicians can help you every step of the way in making your recordings. SoundForge will export your recording in virtually any audio format. We recommend mp3.
Step 2. Upload your audio file to the web.
Depending on how you want to present the file, your have some choices to make here, too:
If you want to take the simplest approach possible, upload the audio file to your web site for direct download.
Instructions for a standard web page:
If you are placing the file on a standard web page, use Microsoft Expression Web, SharePoint Designer, or any ftp program to upload the file.
Using Microsoft Expression Web:
Drag and Drop
Since our web folders are webDAV enabled, if you are a Windows user you can simply drag and drop your audio files to your web folders using Windows Explorer or Windows Explorer in combination with Expression Web.
Use any ftp program:
If you do not wish to use Expression Web, and cannot drag and drop, any ftp program will do. Here is a list, from CNet, of free ftp client software. Follow the connection instructions with your FTP client to make connection with your web page. We support secure (FTPS) connections on our web servers. To set one up, please contact Academic Technology. The address of your web page will be something like ftp://faculty.palomar.edu/username, where username is your first initial coupled with your last name. The username and password for login purposes are your Palomar College email username and password.
Instructions if you want to use Blackboard:
Login to Blackboard and enter your course. Go to the content area where you want to place the audio file. Turn "Edit Mode" ON, if not already on. (In the upper right of the course screen). Enter a Content area and Hover over "Build Content." Depending on what you want to do, you can select "Item," File" or "Audio."
Step 3. Link to the file on your web page.
If you are using Expression Web:
Open the web page on which you want the link to appear, place your cursor at the link location, and press Ctrl-K to create the direct link to the audio file.
If you are using Dreamweaver, GoLive or some other authoring program:
Make a standard link in the normal manner within your web design program of choice.
If you are using Blackboard
The type of link you make will depend on the audio file format.
If it is a WMA file, taken directly, for example, from an Olympus voice recorder or from your Windows Media Player library, select the File link, and choose open in a new window on the configuration screen. This will invoke the player associated with WMA files.
If it is an MP3 file, you can choose to add embedded controls (the Audio link), use a File link, as with the WMA file, or embed it within an Item link, using the embed audio control in the visual textbox editor.
The instructions above are for directly downloading the audio file. If you wish to stream the audio file rather than presenting it for download, contact Academic Technology for assistance. For streaming purposes, you will want to use a common streaming format, such as wma for Windows media streams.