"He who learns from one who is learning, drinks from a flowing river."
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Publishing Files with @Evernote and @Postachio
“What kind of files will Evernote and/or Postach.io blog service publish from my Evernote Notebook?” If you have ever had to find a file hosting provider for your podcasts, videos, etc., then you see the importance of this question. The question going around in my head is, How easy would it be to let Evernote handle my audio/video file hosting needs and would that show up in my Postach.io blog?
Let’s find out. In this article, we’ll explore the many file formats Evernote supports and what they look like when shared via Evernote and/or as a Postach.io blog.
Figuring Out the Look
If you are sharing content, you can do so from Evernote easily by clicking on the SHARE button in the top right-hand corner. On Evernote Web, it looks like this:
Clicking on that SHARE link will result in the following:
This results in a link you can see online and a web page generated by Evernote:
If you are using Postachi.io, you can add notes to an Evernote Notebook then see them appear as blog entries at a web address of your choosing (e.g. mguhlin.postach.io). The main, importance difference is that Postach.io provides you with themes, RSS feed for easy sharing into other apps and locations, and the ability to instantly share content to social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).
Here is what a Postach.io blog looks like:
Evernote and Postach.io handle files attachments you add to your Evernote notes in different ways. Where Evernote may display the files as you might see them in EvernoteWeb or Evernote app on your computer or mobile device, Postach.io may not. While Postach.io may display an audio file as "playable," it may not show up that way on an Evernote share.
Exploring the Differences
Let's explore these differences....
File Format #1 - One-Take Audio
“How can I quickly record an audio interview with a parent, teacher or student, then share it with others online?” The answer to this question—if you’re using Evernote and Postach.io—is a lot easier than you think. After connecting your Postach.io blog to an Evernote Notebook, anything you put in a note in that notebook will be shared. You only have to “tag it” with a one word descriptor such as published.
Whether you are walking down the hallway, recording audio notes for walkthroughs, sharing what students are doing, sharing audio online has become quite popular. These are known as “one-take” audio recordings because they will be published without editing. You have to get them right in one-take (or delete each effort that fails and record again from the beginning). One-take audio recordings are my favorite because 1) Audio recordings are often temporary; 2) The goal is to capture and share them quickly so others can access them.
Since many of us are using a variety of different devices, will that audio present well in our notes turned blog entries?
Below are the results of test I’ve conducted:
The following audio was recorded from a Samsung Galaxy S4 Android phone using the awesomeEvernote widget. Notice that Android audio is saved with an Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR) file extension and cannot be played easily if posted in a Postach.io blog.
How Android Audio appears in Postach.io
However if you view the shared Evernote note, you can play it without issue. Both Evernote and Postach.io have some growing to do in regards to handling audio recorded on an Android device.
The following audio was recorded on an iPad 3rd Generation using the Evernote app:
Audio recorded on an iOS device is saved with the M4A file extension. It can be easily played on Postachio, but must be saved to your computer prior to playing when looking at the shared Evernote note. This is a bit of a pain since neither Android audio or iOS audio is saved in a format that presents well on the web in Postachio or Evernote.
Recommendation: The best way to put audio into Evernote is to use a third party app, such as the no-cost Hi-Q Recorder for Android or Voice Record Pro for iOS. This will allow you to record Or, you can record an MP3 audio file on a Mac/Windows computer with Audacity (a no-cost program). Whatever your approach, all result in an MP3 audio file that can be attached to Evernote no matter whether you are on Android, iOS or Mac/Windows (including Evernote Web).
Here’s what that looks like:
File Format #2 - JPG, PNG Images
Inserting or capturing images with your camera on mobile devices works quite well. One of the benefits of Evernote is how easy it is to load images in.
File Format #3 - Sharing eBooks a la ePub and PDF Files
Working with a class of book creators? One of the challenges educators face is collecting ePub documents from iPads using Book Creator. One approach is to email a book to the teacher's Evernote account. This enables the teacher to open the ePub saved in her Evernote app, then use the iPad's OPEN IN... to get it into Book Creator or iBooks. Another neat feature is that you can easily share ePubs on a Postach.io blog, as you can see below, for download or opening online:
For example, here is a multimedia ePub that features video, audio and images, as well as text. If you open this as a regular ePub file on a non-iOS device, you will only see the images and text sans video/audio.
File Size: 65megs
And, here is the PDF version. As you may know, Evernote actually scans PDFs and makes them searchable, and in the Mac/Windows version, will actually reflect the content embedded in the note. This is quite handy if you are using more than just Evernote Web and Postach.io to view the note.
File Size: 4.7 megs
File Format #4 - Sharing MP4 Video Files
And, if you're wondering about video, consider displaying MP4 videos (one of the most compatible formats on the web):
gregk_appsmash1.mp4 6.9 MB
As you might imagine, there are many files that you can drop into Evernote. Only a few are supported for viewing, or for sharing with Postach.io, a feature request I've submitted to them. However, if you are running the full version of Evernote on your Mac or Windows computer, you can easily use Evernote as a digital file cabinet. It might not be the best tool to share those files with others, but undoubtedly, we’ll be sure to see improvements!