…audio, video, web and general tech ramblings.
SoundCloud & AudioBoo, Part 1: AudioBoo
OK, originally this post was meant to be about SoundCloud, then it was going to be on AudioBoo. In the end I though why not talk about both and give a rundown of their individual features, a comparison of the two and what you might be able to achieve using the two together. This will be a two part post, bringing you AudioBoo in the first half and SoundCloud in the second.
What we have here are two audio-based social networking sites at quite different ends of the scale…
AudioBoo is micro-blogging that is focused around the spoken word and also has an emphasis on ‘being mobile’. It’s all about sharing audio whenever and wherever you are as easily as possible. This means the mobile apps (currently only iPhone and Android) are very important.
Setting up an AudioBoo account is really easy, especially now you can login using your Twitter account. Something most users will probably already have. Once you have your account up and running you can administer it through the web interface which is much like Twitter as it has a similar layout and shares similar features: You can follow people, comment on other peoples ‘boos’ etc.
‘Boos’ are limited to 5 Minutes or 50MB, so this really is mirco-blogging. Well, micro-podcasting might be more appropriate. Using the web interface you can create a ‘boo’ by uploading an existing audio file (a good mix of file formats are accepted), or you can even record straight into your web browser. The latter of which is convenient for those who don’t have specific audio recording software or happen to be using a computer other than their own.
As mentioned earlier there are there are apps available for the iPhone and for Android and this is where the technology really comes alive. The apps allow you to do everything you can on the full website. You can attach an image to each ‘boo’ to give an idea of the content of the audio and are geo-tagged so listeners know exactly where the content is coming from. This has the opportunity to up into the world of news coverage and even featured in the G20 riots.
The option to upload existing files may be particularly handy for those who record on location but would rather use a dedicated recording device to maintain a higher level of control and quality. In this case the audio file could be uploaded by transferring it to a netbook or to a device which is running one of the mobile apps.
There is also a mobile site, and though it works very well is unfortunately quite limited in features (on my phone at least), and is lacking the most important feature of all; you can’t upload ‘boos’ through the mobile site. This is a real shame.
It would be really handy, and i’m sure quite simple to add the ability to upload on the mobile site. Users with less-able phones could then record using the voice memo function, something which most phones have these days, then simply upload the file.
AudioBoo has released an API so I’m sure as the site gains popularity we’ll be seeing plenty more applications; hopefully for Symbian, Blackberry and maybe even a Java app sometime in the near future.
So in a nutshell AudioBoo provides the ability to podcast straight from your mobile phone and takes all the hassle of it by providing RSS and iTunes feeds for you. Nothing could be simpler than AudioBoo, all you need now is something to say!
In my next post I’ll bring you part two of this article, which will be an overview of SoundCloud.
I’ve recently discovered Twaudio, which describes itself as Twitpic for audio. This is a perfect description, as that’s exactly what it is!
This may be a more atractive option for those with older mobile phones as uploads can be sent via email. There are a couple of drawbacks: Only MP3′s are supported and at a maximum file size of 10MB, you do get podcast feeds like you do with AudioBoo though. So this makes it a direct contender for the podcasting crowd.
Twaudio basically fills in the gap AudioBoo has missed out on by making itself universally accessable by allowing uploads via email and integrating itself with Twitter even more tightly. However, if you can’t live with the 10MB limit or MP3 as your only format then AudioBoo is still for you.
Twaudio is only in it’s early stages but it’s definitely one to look out for.
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