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Technology for Foreign Language Learning

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As we developed Language101.com we learned a lot about software and information technology in general that made sense to publish.

Here’s what we learned.

Audio Recording Techniques | Good YouTube Audio

A lot of people are trying to learn a foreign language by watching YouTube videos. That doesn’t work very well for a lot of reasons. One of those reasons is that most of them sound terrible.

If you want to put a foreign language learning video up on YouTube, that’s fine, but please make sure it sounds good.

After a lot of experimenting we finally figured out how to make your YouTube videos sound good.

The big problem seems to be that YouTube over compresses spoken audio. They don’t do this with music, so if you are making a new video with music and spoken voice, your spoken voice will sound a lot better if you either leave music in the background or fade your music out over your spoken voice in 15 seconds or so.

This video explains how to export your YouTube movie from iMovie, or Final Cut so that you get good audio on YouTube. We exported this through Quicktime using the following audio settings. AAC, stereo, rate 44,100, then click on advanced settings. Set the render settings to Best, set the encoding strategy to variable bit rate constrained, and set a bit rate of 192 to 228.

A fixed rate of 192 also worked well and you should try that if variable rate does not work well for you.

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