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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Test: Treasures from Old Newspapers (Using Adobe Spark)

Inspired by a post by Amy Johnson Crow, Ol' Myrt here decided to forgo training videos and directions and was delighted to discover the fun of using this new website Adobe Spark for making short subject videos - basically a series of pics with voice-overs. This is just one of many "cloud based" programs offered by Adobe. And this move away from installing software on one's computer is a trend Cousin Russ and I have noticed in the past year. (Think Google Docs, Chromebooks, etc.)

Ol' Myrt here created her 2 minute 32 second masterpiece in about 5 minutes! Fun and easy. I've embedded the video below. You may prefer to visit the Adobe Spark website version:

 From a producer's point of view:
  • I did not chose the music, though you probably can change it.
  • One can drag and drop to rearrange the order of the "slides."
  • I should speak louder in my voice-over recordings.
  • Make the voice-overs short and sweet. (Think "sound bites" here.)
  • I used my headset microphone to record when pressing the online "record" button. Be sure to stop talking and hold that button down a few more seconds, so your voice doesn't get chopped off. You can re-record your sound clip for each slide until you are happy with the results.
  • It was a cinch to upload graphic files from my computer. 
  • I created the cover graphic using a licensed copy the background image from where I maintain an account. I used PowerPoint to superimpose the text, and then used SnagIt to crop the image on the PowerPoint slide and saved it as a .png graphic file.
  • I understand there are Adobe Spark iOS apps for my iPhone and iPad, but I haven't tried them yet.
  • The on-screen prompts for what to place in the next slide were interesting, but most I deleted.
  • In my opinion, the original embed code height of 540 and width of 960 is too large for the typical blog layout with side bar navigation, so I changed the code to 405 height by 720 width. (Kinda techie, I know. But you wouldn't have to change a thing if your blog or website navigation is across the top.)
  • I could share the video via Twitter, Facebook and email, or merely copy the link and post to a text message, in addition to the embedding on a web page as I've done for this blog post.

From a viewer's point of view: 
  • It's easy to "sit through" a short, spunky tidbit of info. These aren't the long, drawn-out study group sessions I normally record using Google hangouts.
  • The viewer may click the icon in the lower right to move the video to full screen.
  • If you'd like to send a SPARK out to your PEEPS, just log in to a free account at

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
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