More on M-Audio Microtrack

At What Caught My Eye: More on M-Audio Microtrack, with review highlights shared by Tim Locke at the BBC News. While the comments are generally positive, he notes a couple potential gotchas.

5. There’s no pause+record function - so you can’t tweak your record levels before starting recording.

6. Accidentally hitting the navigation button and inadvertantly pausing during a recording is a too easy.

And, finally, the Broadcast & Podcast Gadgets site is written from the Netherlands. His distance from it is not shared by me. M-Audio is headquartered in the city next door. (And I want to go get a tour there).

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 26, 2006 in • AudioAudio: Hardware
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NPR : Oral History Recalls the Reagan White House

I’m listening to today’s broadcast of NPR’s Talk of the Nation, which is discussing the President Reagan Oral History project. And playing excerpts. The guest is Steven Knott, associate professor and overseer of the Ronald Reagan Oral History Project at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. You can listen to the show with Real Player or Windows Media Player.

The discussion bounces back and forth between discussing Oral History (what it can and can’t do), President Reagan and his administraton, and the challenges that historians have in describing and analyzing a presidential administration. Oral History: “This is just one resource of which we’re very proud. ... documents can also be self-serving.” The transcripts will be available online on January 29th.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 24, 2006 in • Oral history in the news
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Using the tools of the oral historian to discover Osama

The Talking Points Memo Cafe Book Club focuses this week on The Osama bin Laden I Know: An oral history of al Qaeda’s Leader, by Peter L. Berger. With book excerpt and discussion of the Oral History Method used in the book

Peter Bergen’s own discussion to how he got started with this book—- a biographical treatment of bin Laden through those who’ve known him:

During the course of our chat, [the governor of a province in Afghanistan, Haji Deen] Mohamed, a genial white-haired former mujahideen commander, mentioned in passing that he had known bin Laden reasonably well in the 1989 to 1991 time period when the Saudi millionaire was helping the Afghan war effort against the communists. That comment started me thinking about who else might have spent time with bin Laden, who might be willing to speak to me. As it turned out there were around fifty people that I spoke to directly, who had had some encounter ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 20, 2006 in • Oral history in the news
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New Orleans jazz : Jelly on a roll

Boxed Set of CDs The Economist reviews the Oral History of Jelly Roll Morton, in 1938 set of interviews by Alan Lomax, and recently released in their entirety in a boxed set of CDs.

IN 1938, a casual encounter in Washington, DC, inspired one of the most remarkable documents in American music and culture. Alan Lomax, the young director of the American Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress, heard that Jelly Roll Morton, a legendary pianist-composer from the bygone days of New Orleans jazz, was languishing in a seedy local club.

...Though Lomax actually disliked jazz, considering it a corruption of folk-music purity, he invited Morton to the Library of Congress to record some of his New Orleans memories. The moment the veteran pianist began to talk, play and sing, Lomax realised he had struck gold. That one-off interview stretched into months, ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 19, 2006 in • Online Oral History Collections
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Memory Miner: Family History App for Mac OS

MemoryMiner is a MacOS app that’s more than the means to annotate your collection of family photos: It provides options for identifying people and their relationships, the time and place of photo, or places a person has lived or a person’s life. Echoing the interconnectedness of person, places and events, the software builds up a in order to build up a portrait of a person and family relationships. Further, it has the ability to attach audio files to pictures. Hooray! Now my Mom, who won’t learn to type, but is the repositor of family info, can “talk about” the photo and date and time, and not be held back by the tangle of fingers and keyboards.

I watched the demo movie once—it requires QuickTime 7, it would seem. Which I used to view the movie elsewhere, but not at this machine. Anyway, it was an amazing demo movie. Here are pictures of a person. For each, you identify who the person is, what relationship the person is to you (Grandmother, Aunt, Great-Aunt, etc.), when the picture was taken—specific time or approximate. You can draw marquees around different people in the photograph to identify more than one person to a photo. View photos of one person, or this person and that person. Drop an audio file (and thereby link it) to an image. Or create a text annoation of the image. Further, you can identify places where photos ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 18, 2006 in • Do it: YourselfFamily History SoftwarePhotographs
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