Students can participate in The Great Thanksgiving Listen (or any interview recording project all year round!) by using StoryCorps Connect or the StoryCorps App (they can even upload audio files recorded with different tools!). No matter how they record and upload their interview to our archive, they can go through the same steps and even submit their interviews to the same Community. Which tool is right for a student (or any user) can be determined by a few different factors:
- Is their recording partner with them, or do they need to record long distance?
- Do they have access to a mobile device or a computer?
- Is the student's device or computer incompatible with StoryCorps Tools?
- Other differences between StoryCorps Connect and the StoryCorps App
Is their recording partner physically with them? Or do they need to record long distance?
- The StoryCorps App is designed to be used by participants who are in the same location; it does not record phone calls. If the student can safely be in the same room as their interview partner, the StoryCorps App is a good choice.
- Please note: with COVID-19 in mind, we have provided safety tips for recording at storycorps.org/app.
- StoryCorps Connect was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is specifically intended to record conversations with two people who are not in the same space. If your student is not able to safely be in the same place as their interview partner, StoryCorps Connect is the best choice.
- Please note: both participants will need access to a computer with a microphone and an up-to-date web browser (we recommend Google Chrome).
Do they have access to a mobile device or a computer?
- The StoryCorps App can only be downloaded on Android and iOS devices, like a smartphone or tablet. It cannot be used on a desktop computer, Chromebook, or Windows phone. If your students have access to a mobile device and can download and install apps, then the StoryCorps App is a great choice.
- StoryCorps Connect is a web-based application, which means you don’t need to install any software, but you do need access to an internet connection and web browser. StoryCorps Connect works on both mobile devices and computers, so if your students do not have access to a mobile device or cannot install new software, StoryCorps Connect is a great choice.
- Pro Tip: If your student intends to record with someone in the same space, but needs to record using a computer, they can still use StoryCorps Connect. While StoryCorps Connect is intended for users to invite another participant on another device, it will still record if only one computer is connected.
Is the student’s device or software incompatible with StoryCorps tools?
The StoryCorps App and StoryCorps Connect are compatible with most mobile devices and computers. However, if a student is using an older computer that is unable to install the latest version of the browser (to use StoryCorps Connect) or an older mobile device that is unable to install the latest version of the StoryCorps App, they may have technical difficulties using StoryCorps’ tools.
In this case, recording with different software is a good backup plan. Users can upload audio files recorded with any software as long as the file is one of our accepted file types (AIFF, WAVE (WAV), FLAC, ALAC, OGG, MP2, MP3, AAC, AMR, and WMA). You can find step-by-step instructions for uploading an interview directly to the archive from the web in this article.
What are the other differences between the two platforms?
The StoryCorps App and StoryCorps Connect may look different, but the tasks the student must complete to record are very similar. Students still must select a title, keywords, descriptions, and participants as well as selecting from the same privacy settings.
Here are a few differences worth pointing out:
- Question Lists: The StoryCorps App has question lists built in, and StoryCorps Connect does not. Students using StoryCorps Connect can still build a question list on archive.storycorps.org that they can keep open in another window or print out to have on hand while they record.
- Uploading: The StoryCorps App offers users the option to upload their recording to the online archive or download a draft of their audio without publishing it (uploading to the online archive is what it makes it possible to share the interview). However, StoryCorps Connect records directly to the online archive; there is not an option to not publish the interview.
- Photos: StoryCorps Connect automatically takes five random snapshots from the video feed as users record, whereas the StoryCorps App prompts users to take a selfie or upload a photo before they complete the interview. Users of both tools are able to edit, add, and delete photos after the interview is published.
- Internet Connection: Users of the StoryCorps App only need to be online when they are uploading their interview to the Online Archive (in fact, we recommend using airplane mode while you record to avoid interruptions). StoryCorps Connect, however, uses the internet to connect users remotely, so both users of StoryCorps Connect must be on the internet for the duration of the recording.