My dad sends out a lot of photos via email. Especially old ones he finds in his collection of family slides or photo albums. He’s very slowly working his way through them all, scanning them in a few at a time and emailing them out to everyone. It’s a riot to see some old shots of my sister and I as kids. The only downside is, we can’t remember where we were in a lot of them.
Same goes for really ancient shots of my grandparents and even great grandparents. I love looking at those black and white moments in time of relatives I never even met. If only I could have a time machine to head back and interview them for a virtual family tree album.
In a way, I can start doing that now, thanks to a new photo app called SocialCafe. This fairly basic app lets you give a voice to your images. Literally. With SocialCafe, you can add up to five minutes of audio to every single picture you have. The potential right there is pretty limitless.
Family outing to a Yankees game? Record sounds of the crowd, the day’s lineup, and even the final score. Years from now when you look at that photo, you can click Play and hear details about the game!
Birth of a child? Catch your kid’s very first cries as he or she enters the world. Add in details about the day, the time, the surroundings.
In short, you’ve got a pretty nifty time capsule of an app here.
Of course, Social Cafe lets you easily share your audio photos with your friends and family on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. You can even go “Old School” and… gasp… email the photo, details and a link with the audio to your friends and family.
SocialCafe also integrates seamlessly with Dropbox, to let you quickly and easily save your customized photos. Come with me as I give you a quick walkthrough!
For starters, I thought I’d dig through the camera roll on my iPhone to see which photo I’d like to share a story about. (Note: You can also take a new picture and work with that one.) I found a great shot from my 42nd Birthday last month featuring my homemade Beaker cake.
Using the SocialCafe app, I easily browsed through my camera roll and selected the image.
You’ll notice a few icons at the bottom and on the sides. That little tools icon on the right pops up a layer to let you add an optional title and description to your photo.
The little microphone icon on the left side, pops up the audio tools to record your sounds and messages.
I hit the bullseye icon to start recording, and you’ll see that a timer shows how long you’ve been talking. So when you get close to 5 minutes (for you babblers), you’ll know it’s time to wrap things up. You, of course, don’t need to use up all five of the minutes! You can record for a minute, 30 seconds or even 2 seconds.
When you’re done, you just hit the square icon to stop. Now it’s time to save this sucker!
I clicked the red Dropbox icon to save it to my Dropbox. If you’ve never used Dropbox before, it’s an awesome free Cloud storage. (Sign up here if you’d like.) The first time you use it with SocialCafe, it’ll ask you for approval, and then seamlessly save everything to its own SocialCafe folder.
At this point, you can even share your photo on Twitter, Facebook or via Email by clicking the arrow in the bottom right and following directions. Standard sharing will occur and your recipient can head off to a SocialCafe page to see (and hear!) your photo! Click here to see my SocialCafe Beaker photo!
I know there a zillion photo apps out there that let you add things to your images like mustaches or cats, but while those are fun for a few minutes, they get stale real fast. Putting a verbal history behind each photo, however, is something I can see being passed down from generation to generation. That’s certainly something worth talking about.