I've been really interested in family history for a number of years now, and spend lots of time doing research online to gather information. One thing that I haven't done yet, but that I keep meaning to do, is spend some time asking questions of the older people in my family and recording their stories for posterity. My excuse in the past has been that I never had a recording device or the time to do recordings during family visits. Recently, I had the opportunity to review an online resource called http://thevoicelibrary.net/ which solves both of these problems! Here's a bit about The Voice Library, from its website:
Your voice is the power, and your story is the magic. Together, they are the gift that transcends generations.
What is Remembered Voices?
We are the premier voice archive service for long term storage of your stories, with 24/7 access by telephone, cell phone, or online. We offer you convenient access to your personal Voice Library; add recordings anytime, and listen anywhere.
How do I share my story?
Purchase a Voice Library access card, then record yourself or a friend with your telephone, cell phone, or a computer microphone. You can also record on an MP3 recorder, and upload to your account.
Your recordings are available immediately for listening by phone or by logging in. Your recordings are archived for as long as you keep your account.
Setting up my account was easy, and I soon was making recordings from my computer. I thought that both the processes of making and listening the recordings were simple. Making recordings over the phone was also easy, with very clear instructions that walked me through the recording and listening step-by-step.
In my opinion, The Voice Library is unique and attractive because you can make recordings on the computer, on the phone or upload MP3 files and also access the recordings to listen by logging in on the computer or calling into the account on the phone. This means that that multiple people can make and listen to recordings on the account, with everything nicely organized in one place. This is perfect for family history or other group projects-as long as you have access to a phone or computer, you can contribute recordings or listen to what others have recorded.
To use The Voice Library, you will need to buy a card from the site. Each card sells for $50, which is good for a 5 year membership, with 300 minutes (5 hours) of recording/listening time. Both recording and listening do subtract minutes from your account. Your recordings are saved on your account for as long as your account is active. Currently, the site does not have a set price for transferring the recordings to CD, but, according to the representative that I spoke to at The Voice Library, this is a service that they plan to offer in the future. There is also not currently an option to download recordings to your computer.
I like the idea of The Voice Library and how easy it is to make and listen to recordings. Personally, I do hope that they soon develop some way to have hard copies of the recordings or download them to my computer. Otherwise, I think this is a great service and that you should check it out!
I have good news- The Voice Library has given me three $50 gift certificates to give away to you! Each $50 gift certificate is good for a 5 year membership, with 300 minutes of listening/recording time.
Mandatory entry (must be done for extra entries to count):
Let me know why you'd like to win one of these gift certificates
Extra entries (please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):
1. Follow me publicly with Google Friend Connect
2. "Like" me on Facebook
2. "Like" me on Facebook
3. Follow me on Twitter and tweet this: @gabreviews is giving away 3 $50 gift cards to The Voice Library (@TheVoiceLibrary). Visit http://bit.ly/lFCocY to enter #giveaway
You can tweet this once per day- just leave a separate comment with link each time that you tweet.
4. "Like" The Voice Library's Facebook page
5. Follow The Voice Library on Twitter6. Enter any of my other currently ongoing giveaways- leave a separate comment for each one that you enter!
7. Put my button (code on the right side of this page) up on your blog and let me know where I can find it!
Giveaway will close at 9 PM on July 19, 2011. I'll choose winners with random.org and will email those people who will then have 48 hours to respond. Good luck!
Disclosure: In addition to the gift certificates that I'm giving away, I did receive one to try the system for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.