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IntroductionEdit

This guide is designed to help those wishing to design, create and publish audio tour guides. It is still 'work in progress' and we welcome comments, contributions and criticism where appropriate. Please email me at npjrogers@btinternet.com with the words 'Audio Guide' in the message subject of the message to avoid the anti spam trap.

What is an audio tour guide?Edit

Maybe your first question is “What is an audio tour guide and why is it worth creating?” If this is the case let me share a brief history lesson.
Audio tour guides have been in existence for several decades. The have traditionally been recorded commentaries providing a visitor or tourist with audio information relevant to the location of the listener. They add value to a visitor’s experience by providing background information, factual data and also by creating atmosphere and presence for the listener. But more about these last two later.
With the advent of more portable audio playback equipment such as MP3 players and other proprietary systems it is practical to play an audio commentary over a pair of small headphones whilst walking and travelling. Next generation mobile phones can also play MP3 audio files.

Safety noticeEdit

This form of portable audio listening should never ever be used in a situation where listening to a commentary could be considered even a small distraction from a more important activity such as crossing a road, driving a vehicle or walking on a difficult surface.
This safety warning applies to all the activities and suggestions described in this How-To guide. It is the responsibility of the user of any guide to ensure that they do not jeopardize the safety of either themselves or others through using an audio guide.

How are guides recorded?Edit

Audio guides may be recorded in segments as numbered tracks. Each track corresponds to a location and provides information relevant to what the listener can see. Most tour guides provide a companion map with numbered locations. These numbered locations correspond with the track number of the MP3 on the player. In some cases where there is co-operation between the sponsors of the location (i.e. the museum, the local tourist authority or attraction operator) a number may be marked on the exhibit or at a prominent location which corresponds to the audio track.

Some but not all MP3 players have a small screen, which can show a colour picture while playing a track. This was introduced by the music industry to replace the traditional album cover that provided details of the performers and the material. In the audio guide this facility, (to show a picture), can be used to provide visual clues as to the location of the point of interest or to guide the listener from one point on the tour to another.

How are guides recorded?Edit

Audio guides may be recorded in segments as numbered tracks. Each track corresponds to a location and provides information relevant to what the listener can see. Most tour guides provide a companion map with numbered locations. These numbered locations correspond with the track number of the MP3 on the player. In some cases where there is co-operation between the sponsors of the location (i.e. the museum, the local tourist authority or attraction operator) a number may be marked on the exhibit or at a prominent location which corresponds to the audio track.
Some but not all MP3 players have a small screen, which can show a colour picture while playing a track. This was introduced by the music industry to replace the traditional album cover that provided details of the performers and the material. In the audio guide this facility, (to show a picture), can be used to provide visual clues as to the location of the point of interest or to guide the listener from one point on the tour to another.


Go to Different Types of Audio Tours
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