As a culture, we have always prized and treasured photos. And with the advancement of digital photography and smart phones, we are taking more photos than at any time in history! By pairing photos with scrapbooking we are often able to capture memories before they disappear. But there is still something missing….the voices.
Although photos are wonderful, there is something about hearing a loved one’s voice that adds a fullness to the memory. The timbre of the voice, the turn of phrase, even their accent captures a moment in time with extraordinary intimacy. There are whole “sound museums” dedicated to capturing and preserving the voices and stories of history. In fact, the National Museum of American History has some of the earliest sound recordings in the world!
Thanks to the advent of smartphones and the plethora of apps, it’s possible to create your own “sound museum,” and capture the voices and stories of your family and friends.
Jane and Harvey Baker, the creators of Saving Memories Forever have developed a great little app and website combination that can help you capture and preserve your oral histories.
To begin using the program, you first download the app to your hand held device (Android or iPhone) and register your account online. You must register first before using the program. You can register via your smartphone or computer. Then you sign in as a New User and add your Storytellers.
The app will lead you through the recording process and even provides a suggested list of questions which are helpful when interviewing relatives. When finished with the recording, press the Upload Button and your story will upload to the Saving Memories Forever website.
At the website you’ll find a How-to Video, Quick Start Guides, and a User Manual to help you every step of the way. You can use the service either as a Free Subscriber, or as a Premium Subscriber for $3.99 a month. Although there are limited features for Free Subscribers, I feel that you can get a really good feel for how the program works and if it will be a good fit. You can read more about the features for subscribers at their website.
Because of my husband’s job, we have lived far away from all family for over ten years. As a result, our children have missed spending time with their grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. How I *wish* I had this app at the last family reunion over 5 years ago! There were family members there who have since passed on, moved away, or are seldom seen except at an occasional wedding or funeral.
I would say the biggest difficulty I’ve had using Saving Memories Forever has nothing to do with the app itself. It’s simply that we live so far away from our extended family who’s stories we want to capture. It’s a little hard to explain the process over the phone, so we’re waiting until we see them again in person. But in the meantime, Hubby and I and the children are capturing our stories to save and share.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through Mosaic Reviews in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.