As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader of the E-Learning Curve Blog, I’m a vocal and passionate advocate of Open Source Software (OSS), both in principle and in practice. If you drop in to my blog often, you’ll also know that I think that the Audacity audio editor is one of the best, most fit-for-purpose OSS applications available today.In my view it should be part of every e-learning professionals content development tool-kit.
One of the better-known aspects of OSS is that application support is based squarely in the community; it’s these contributors that give their time and knowledge to provide documentation and user guides for the wider user base. This can cause issues – great coders aren’t necessarily great instructional designers. Equally, they may have the requisite technical writing skills to develop an adequate user guide. Indeed, while such guides may be available, they may not be localized. For example, the Drupal CMS has, by all accounts, got a great set of supporting documentation… in German. Aber ich spreche kein Deutsch.
Enter Packt, a print and e-book publishing company based in Birmingham, UK that focuses on supporting and promoting Open Source. To date, they’ve released over 100 titles for users users of a diverse range of OSS applications and tools. The company supports and promotes Open Source projects and concepts. When a book, written on an Open Source project is sold, Packt pays a royalty directly to that project. This scheme has resulted in the company providing sustainable revenues to many of the Open Source projects since 2004. This is a fantastic idea, and provides much-needed support and revenue for development teams who, don’t forget, create and manage these OSS projects out of a sense of community and goodwill.
With this in mind, how could I refuse when they asked me to review Getting started with Audacity 1.3 by Bethany Hiitola?
So, as we speak, I’m awaiting the delivery (by post) of a reviewer’s copy of the book, and as soon as I’ve evaluated it, I’ll review it here. According to the author the text will focus on
- Teaching basic techniques for using Audacity to record and edit audio tracks – like podcasts and interviews
- Combining learning to use software program with the simple theories behind digital audio and common audio terms
- Providing advanced editing techniques and tips for using Audacity beyond a first project
It uses a task based, step-by-step approach to guide newcomers into the world of audio editing. If you are new to audio recording and editing, and particularly using the Audacity software, this book is for you. It explains everything from common audio industry terms and software basics. Technical sound engineering details and jargon are omitted to keep the book friendly and easy to understand.
In the meantime, click here to find out more about Getting started with Audacity 1.3 on Packt’s website, and I’ll bring you my review of the text as soon as I can.