Adding Audio in YouTube Editor

In February I attended my second Google Apps for Education Summit (GAFE), two years after my initial one, and having already published heaps of student/teacher content on YouTube, I was looking for a few new ways to use Google Apps with my students. The presenters gave me several  ideas, like teaching visual text with Google Drawing, or using Annotations to create interactive videos, which we immediately starting doing (part one and part two). One of my favorite takeaways, however, had been sitting in front of me for years, and I never took advantage of it: the audio feature of YouTube video editor.

It’s simple to use and can quickly enhance any video you publish. This screen shot gives you a glimpse of what you’ll see when you open the audio feature. The powerful part is in the bottom right corner…more than 150,000 songs to choose from (especially nice for those who are tired of the same dozen iMovie jingles).

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After choosing a track, you can adjust the volume level and position when you want the music to start. Here is a four minute tutorial I made for my students on how it works:

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You can see some examples in the homophone game we’ve made (more on that later) and the digital story my after-school class is creating (wait until the ends of the videos).

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If you’ve been publishing teacher/student videos for a while, or even if you’re getting started, I would recommend experimenting with this feature. There are a couple of drawbacks: for example, you can only choose music after publishing (not while creating the videos), and you can’t finely tweak the volume level (I’m afraid the music might drown out some of my students’ voices). But it’s a low time-cost, it’s fun, and adding music really takes the videos to another level of quality.

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