FREE Stuff

There is so much free stuff out there on the internet, thanks largely to people who believe in their right to basic software and information: photos, sounds, music, software, services and more!

Free Photos

"One of my favourite things is to find free photos on the web," says michael. For example if we're teaching a theme, i'll search for a range of photos relating to that theme. i like to use 'copyright-free' images, so i go to Peter Shanks' very useful "search flickr" page. This site allows you to search for images on flickr, which are licensed as "Creative Commons".

Free Sounds and Music

The creative commons site has plenty of information on their new licensing models .. and many links to places you'll find music to re-use freely (as long as you credit the artist).

Sound effects and music: try going to PacDV, or the FreeSite has some good links.
Digitales, the Australian educators' Digital Storytelling network, has a couple of good links, eg

Free loops and beats

If you have students wanting to put together some tracks, you'll want to download free loops and beats. Try these sites (make sure you double-check licences before you publish.)
i once found a terrific site where artists share tracks, and add to each other's compositions .. but can i find it now? No.
It was a bit like, but better ..

Free Software

  • Audio editor: Audacity is not only free as in 'free beer', it's free as in 'free speech' as well. Free and open source.
  • Image/ audio browser: XNView is a great app for browsing folders full of images (makes thumbnails), and it has some image-editing capacity too. Not only that, but it'll preview mp3 audio files too (so you can rename while listening).
  • Mass renamer: Lupas Renamer is good for renaming all the files in a folder (eg on your iRiver or digital camera).
  • Tag editor for mp3 files: mp3Tag is terrific for adjusting tags on mp3 files (in batches), whether you've made them yourself or downloaded them.
  • Video: Player: VLC is not bad (open source). Plus, there's a portable version over at portableapps.
  • Video: download and play: Miro is a program to collect online video (podcasts and vodcasts). However, i found it a terrible hog on my computer resources as well as bandwidth (michael).

Michael Chalk has more on free software over here.
Plus take a look at Alan Levine's brilliant list of 50 tools for making Digital Stories / Narrative Video.

images (licensed under creative commons): thanks very much for
  • Monopoly graffiti by purplejavatroll at flickr
  • Takin to the Banksy by guano at flickr