Why Record Your Own?
My grandma used to record books on tape for us and I loved listening to them before bed. It is something that always made me feel closer to her, even though we didn’t see her very often. It also fostered my love for reading and stories. And I learned a lot, listening to those books over and over through the years.
I started recording my own because my oldest son Godric had trouble settling at bedtime. We would do our normal routine: read him a book, say prayers, and brush teeth. When we left his room, we would turn on his books to listen to as he drifted off to sleep.
Beyond calming him, I want my children to have something permanent to give to their children and grandchildren. I like the idea that, should anything ever happen to me, they could still have their mom (or grandma) read to them before bed.
Tutorial For the iPhone
I picked about 10-15 of G’s favorite books for this and tried to make the books as engaging as possible. I love the “Little Blue Truck” books because you can really exaggerate and have fun with the noises. I also like anything that rhymes nice because it has a soothing flow to it.
The goal for me was to add personality to the characters and the book- without making it too stimulating (because there’s no need to wake a baby with a misplaced WHOA! in the book!).
I used to record books on my computer, but I found it was hard to commit to sitting at the computer to do it.
The easiest way I found to record this was to record it using my iPhone. The iPhone comes with an application called “Voice Memos.” In the photo below, you can see it right beside the iTunes Store.
Note: When I switched to an Android, I was able to use an app called Smart Recorder.
|Is it weird to be awkwardly embarrassed by my apps?|
Open the application and you can click the record button (the red one) to start recording. I made sure there weren’t any aggravating background noises.
As you record, you can pause as needed to take a sip of water or to grab the next book. You just push the red button to start and stop. When you’re done, click DONE (to the right of the big red button) and title your recording.
You can click on your recording now and you will see three options. The weird box with the arrow through it on the bottom left is what you want.
Click on it and choose “mail”… Then you can email yourself the recording. My 20 minute recording was a small enough file to send through to my gmail account.
Once you send that, you can go to your computer and download the file from your email. The file is a .m4a file. I saved it to my desktop and then right clicked it to open it in iTunes. I right clicked to add it to a playlist called “Godric’s Books on CD,” then opened the playlist. You can then right click the title of the playlist to see an option— “Burn playlist to disc.” Click on that.
For my computer, it popped up with “Burn Settings” and I selected “maximum possible speed”, “audio cd” format. Insert a blank CD-R into your disc drive and select “burn.” When it’s done, just eject it and write a label for it (or print one if you’re REALLY motivated).
Now you can just put the CD into a CD player in your child’s room to play. Alternatively you could just put this on some type of device (iPhone, iPod, whatever) for your child.
Want to transfer tapes to CD or audio format? I wrote a blog post about transferring my Grandma’s cassette readings onto CD.