Ever been in the middle of a family reunion, and someone starts sharing a story you wish you could record…but no one has a camera readily available? Well, if you have a smartphone with the Saving Memories Forever app on it, that wouldn’t be a problem.
Saving Memories Forever is a web site and free mobile app that work together to help you easily record, organize and share your family history. Features of Saving Memories Forever include the ability to:
- Record stories right on your smartphone, and categorize them according to storyteller, age group and question asked.
- Add tags and transcriptions to stories online, search for stories and share stories with other family members.
- Include photographs and Word documents to enhance the audio stories* (*paid service only; premium subscriptions available for $3.99/month or $40/year)
After signing up for an account (Mosaic Reviewers received a premium account for review purposes) and downloading the app, it was pretty easy to get started. First you add the names of your storytellers (two on the free version, unlimited on the premium plan), then you choose a category. You can also upload a photo of each storyteller.
After you’ve gotten your storytellers set up, you can scroll through the plethora of questions available in each category. These are great conversation starters and memory joggers if you’re unsure where to start. The helpful hints online are also good to keep in mind before recording.
Once you’ve selected your question, you’re ready to record. It’s a simple matter of pressing the red “record” button, telling the story, and then pressing stop. You’ll then have the option to play back the recording, re-record it, or upload it. Now’s the time to make any needed adjustments; once you press upload, you can listen to the story on the Saving Memories Forever secure web site. You also have the option to share it on Facebook. And that’s it. You can find more info (and a video) on the process on the Saving Memories Forever web site.
What I love:
- If you’ve got a smartphone, the ability to record family stories is literally at your fingertips. You don’t have to carry around an extra recording device or make sure the video camera is nearby.
- The organizational features on the Saving Memories Forever web site help you manage the recorded history efficiently.
- I didn’t run into any problems using the app on our Android phone, but I believe some other reviewers did experience some technical difficulties. Also, the application is currently for iPhone and Android platforms only.
I found Saving Memories Forever pretty easy to use; I wasn’t around any extended family during the review period to get some family history in audio format, but the kids and I had fun recording some songs and stories. It’s definitely worth checking out the free app, and if you find you’re wanting to do more with your memories, you can compare the Free vs. Fee benefits on Saving Memories Forever’s web site. There’s also a newsletter and a blog chock full of information. I think, as its creators say, that Saving Memories Forever is a great way to give the “generations in your family a voice.”
Edit 5/03: Check out more reviews of Saving Memories Forever on the Mosaic Reviews blog.