I wrote recently about how students can create platforms for storytelling in their communities through technology. After seeing this post from Om Malik I’ve been thinking along a similar thread, which is using technology for more agile storytelling.
We’re inching toward the 10 year mark since the birth of the iPhone and true mobile computing devices. There are still some industries that haven’t successfully transitioned into the mobile arena. Relative to most content creation, it’s still extremely difficult to create, produce, and package quality audio content on a mobile device. This impacts the relevancy and impact of audio as a form of media because the harder it is to get it into the world, the more likely it is to be stale when it arrives.
In terms of a platform addressing the problem of storing audio and making it accessible, SoundCloud is the emerging standard. I really hope it can become for audio what YouTube became for video. If you remember the world before YouTube, video on the internet was pretty much a complete mess. In so many ways, that’s still the case for audio. Easier to create than it was a few years ago, still very difficult to produce and distribute.
As Om points out, it looks like Shure’s forthcoming Motiv 88 and accompanying iOS app will help address this. It launches this spring, will cost $149, and is the first condenser mic that I’ve seen that plugs directly into an iOS device with a companion app for recording and production:
Designed to capture clear, high-quality stereo sound on the go, MV88 directly connects to any iOS device equipped with a Lightning® connector. The microphone element is mounted to a 90-degree hinge with built-in rotation that offers flexible positioning options, even in video applications. Access five built-in preset modes for voice and instruments using the ShurePlus™ MOTIV Mobile Recording App, which also offers real-time adjustments to gain, stereo width and EQ with 24-bit / 48 kHz recording.
We’re planning for the Penn State Media Association to purchase at least one of these for the student broadcasters at The LION 90.7fm in State College. And I’m planning to use one to record and produce an audiobook version of Conserving Mount Nittany, which was already one of my planned projects for this year.
We tend to be transfixed by video, but we’re often more transported by audio. As a medium, it tends to be more intimate than any other because it’s often piped right into our heads through earbuds or noise canceling headphones.
Creating or capturing great audio will get easier because Shure and others will get better at miniaturizing the technology and creating a better software ecosystem for its production and distribution to the platforms that matter. As the production technology becomes more mobile, the impact of the content it enables will grow.