Wednesday, April 10, 2013

For Quick Narration Try Using Windows Sound Recorder

Yes, Windows Sound Recorder. I can see people's eyes rolling over but hear me out. Let's say you have a Windows OS laptop or desktop computer. Every once in a while you need to do a bit of narration for a slide presentation or video.

You don't want to install Audacity or a sound editing program because you don't do tech and you don't have the time to learn or figure it out.

Or you could be using a video editing program that does not have a separate audio narration function.  Or you don't know how to use it.

Or you are on the job and there is no budget for a Popsicle let alone purchasing a software program.

Or the IT department flat out refuses to allow you to install one of the free (and safe) audio recoding software.  IT departments can be a total buzz kill on creativity.

Look, I am not talking about doing an audio podcast with Windows Sound Recorder. Goodness, no.

This is more of "I gotta do something quick and what do I have that functional and available."

All you need is a microphone and the ability to press Record, save and be able to retrieve the WAV audio file.

Window XP users are limited to 60 seconds of audio. Windows XP users also need to move up to Windows Vista or Windows 7 but if you have no choice do what you can.

The WAV audio file can be imported into almost every video editing program without a problem. Note I did say almost cuz there is always a stinker that will put up a fight.

Home users will have a sound card installed on their computers; all you have to do is go to the Start Menu, type Sound Recorder in the Search box and the software should appear on the list of items that match the search.

Windows XP users can go to the Start menu, All Programs and then  Accessories, Entertainment and then click Sound Recorder.

Those of you on the job might have an issue. In business and corporate environments the sound card may or may not be installed on the computer. Another problem that can happen is that what the IT department perceives to be "unnecessary software" might not be installed on your computer.

If you have access to a microphone and headset jack you probably have what you need to record.

It Isn't A Perfect Solution

Verily, you will have issues. Let me count the ways:

  1. There is no Pause button. If you make a mistake you have to start over.
  2. The recording will be as good as your recording environment and microphone. If a bird chirps or the refrigerator hums those sounds will be captured in the recording. If you are using an free or inexpensive microphone you could have audio crud creep into the recording.
  3. Your patience will run out after take #7.
However, if you are in a very quiet place, have less than a paragraph of narration and you aren't going to make a habit of doing this then Sound Recorder could help you out in a pinch.

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