If youâ€™ve ever wished for an easier way to record family memories without using a tape recorder or video camera, your wish just came true. Snapgenie.com is a new offering from The Generations Network that will change the way family history is collected. Itâ€™s free, fun, and fabulous.
Itâ€™s very easy to use. Within just a few minutes I was able to upload several pictures, dial a toll-free number, record recollections for those images, and e-mail that album to a family member. Iâ€™m not kidding. Like the product name says it was a snap and like a genie in a bottle–magical! My relative couldnâ€™t believe it. All he had to do was click on the link in the e-mail to listen to my message and look at the pictures.
Snapgenie definitely has that â€œwowâ€ factor. Hereâ€™s what you can do with it.
- Upload approximately 100 pictures per â€œalbum.â€ This can be done in two ways. Either select the Power Upload button to upload all the pictures at once or select and upload images individually using the â€œBrowseâ€ feature. There are no editing tools in the program (yet) so use your photo-editing software first before adding pictures to your album.
- Record up to an hourâ€™s worth of memories per album using the toll-free number and access code that youâ€™re given. All you do to move through the images is click on the forward arrows under the pictures. Click and record. You decide how long you want the message to be for each picture. Tip: I planned out what I wanted to say before I dialed the phone.
- Share with as many family and friends as you like. Just type in their e-mail addresses to send them the album. They can even forward your e-mail on to someone else in the family.
- There is no limit to the number of albums you can create.
- Replay your album as often as you like.
- Use the â€œStudioâ€ feature to make changes. Delete or add pictures as well as re-record your voice track for the whole album or single images.
- Add pictures, but donâ€™t forget that you can also include digital files of documents to your album.
- Hereâ€™s a cool tool. If you have a blog, you can use the cut and paste feature to obtain code to add your album to your blog. Family can then use your blog features like Comments to write additional information on the pictures.
Hereâ€™s an album of my family photo mystery. Click on the play button in the screen below to take a look and listen.
Snapgenie has taken family history sharing to a new level in this beta version of their product. According to Hoyt Priscock, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development for MyFamily.com, thereâ€™s a lot more to come.
You can create your own Snapgenie show at Snapgenie.com (http://www.snapgenie.com/) and soon Snapgenie will be part of your MyFamily.com family websites. Itâ€™ll turn them into what they ought to be–collaborative endeavors for sharing pictures, data, and oral history. Family members will be able to add their voice to your albums sharing what they know about the items on your site.
Watch for the following future developments:
- Use the three-way calling feature on your phone to interview more than one person at a time.
- Record the oral history of the family then illustrate the story later on by adding photos.
- Family members will eventually be able to leave audio remarks, or voice comments, for each image–not just written comments.
- Save your album. Youâ€™ll be able to buy DVDs of your creation to play on your computer or television.
As Priscock said, â€œSnapgenieâ€™s a collaborative story-telling tool for the whole family.â€ Iâ€™m completely smitten. There are endless possibilities on ways to use it for genealogical purposes. Try it and see why itâ€™s going to make a difference to your family history.
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Maureen Taylor, is The Photo Detective. She writes about family history and photography on her blog at http://www.photodetective.com/.