Creating a Class Biopoem Podcast with Myna

The other day, as my students were finishing up a Biopoem writing project, we worked together to pull pieces from their work and create a collective Biopoem Podcast that would represent everyone in the class. In the past, I have used my little handheld voice recorder to do this. This year, with my new Interactive Board shining brightly at the front of the room, I decided to do something a bit different.

I decided to use the new audio site, Myna, and allowed students to record and then watch me go through the process of mixing the podcast. They were completely fascinated by the process and a number of them asked for the web address for the site to try on their own (with parent permission, I warned them).

Take a listen to one of the classes:

Class Biopoem Podcast

Myna is part of a free suite of tools from Aviary.Com and it is still in beta. But, it is an interesting alternative to Garageband (and does not require you to be on a Mac), although Myna a bit limited right now in loops that you can use.

In an earlier post, someone asked about the differences between Myna and Audacity.

So, here goes:

Myna is web-based. Audacity is a local program.

Myna has loops. Audacity does not have loops.

Myna limits each live recording to just one minute (meaning you have to divide up a longer podcast). Audacity has no limit to recording time.

Myna allows you to export as MP3 and Wave, as does Audacity (if you have the LAME encoder).

Myna gives you an instant embed code (although the code seems buggy and I had to remix a file a few times and then gave up and used my Box.net to host the files). Audacity — since it is not web-based — does not allow you to embed.

Myna has a pretty design, with color coding and simple drop-and-drag options. Audacity is basic in design and streamlined.

Myna has fewer advanced options for dealing and messing with recorded audio tracks, but more than a enough to create interesting podcasts. Audacity has many levels of tools.

Neither one costs a penny. (love that)

I hope that helps people do some exploring. I think Myna is worth trying out, although for now, I am doing any recording there under my own account, as my students do not have individual emails. The Aviary folks, however, mention they might be developing a school-centered platform, so I will keep an eye on that.

Peace (in the sound),
Kevin

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