Audacity is my new favorite tool as a researcher. Thanks to another great suggestion by Jim Oliver, MLIS IT guru at St. Kate’s, I’m recording my fieldnotes verbally. I met with Jim last week over some technical frustrations around trying to make screen capture work with my SL sessions. We talked about a crazy plan I’d come up with involving dueling lap tops: 1 running only SL with my avatar Testy Outlander for ease of navigation AND #2 running SL with another avatar just for screen-capture recording purposes. Additionally, I somehow thought I’d be able to take field notes (pen & paper, no computer). When it was all said and done, I would have needed something like 14 hands to actually make this plan workable.
Jim casually asked, why not take your field notes by voice? Bingo! Brilliant, simple, and a possibility I’d totally overlooked. The best part is that Audacity can run at the same time as SL with no disruption to SL performance that I’ve been able to detect — at least not on the faster, sleeker work lap top I’m now using for my SL sessions. (It’s just a Dell D600, not that sleek at all….but worlds better than my much older, much slower personal lap top).
So, I’m now using just one lap top, running Audacity in the background constantly as I do interviews or observations, and using Jing for occasional screen capture (read all about how I’m using Jing in my previous blog post).