Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Create music tracks and learn about copyright - Digital Story Resource

MYBYTES is an interactive website sponsored by Microsoft. It contains a free and easy to use Music mixer that allows for the creation of your own music track. The finished track can be downloaded as an MP3 to be used in a digital story. Completed tracks can also be shared on the site for others to listen to or re-mix. The creator of the track must determine the usage rights that her or she will assign to their work.

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The software is very easy to use.  In order to save and share your work you must create an account. An email address is not required for account creation. That makes it very student friendly. Students can select and mix together various instruments to create their own track. The music can be composed for a digital story project or podcast. By adjusting the instrument choices and tempo students can create a specific mood for their story.

Upon completion on the music track the student is presented with a number of publishing options. He or she must decide on the usage rights that will be applied to the work. This offers an opportunity for a discussion on copyright, digital content and file sharing. The site offers a full curriculum on these topics as well as interviews from subject experts.

The shared tracks can be downloaded or saved as a ring tone. If published for others to download, share or remix, the website will track the number of requests. This provides a very authentic experience for students to learn about file sharing and usage rights.

The use of student created music in digital stories simplifies the publishing options for student stories. We do not have to worry about the presence of copyright protected music.  Students enjoy the process of developing music to fit their stories. This adds a level of excitement as well as depth to the final product.


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