Audio Recording Loved One’s Voices and Messages Preserved for Future Memories

Click on the arrow to listen to a reading of the content below. To hear the section with the replay of an interview, click on the double parallel lines to pause the recording. Then drag the bar to 2:58 and click the arrow again.  You will hear Morgine questioning and my answers.

In two recent posts, I mentioned regretting not having the tangible voice of my beloved, late-husband Sam, for remembering the sound of him, as well as messages he might have liked me to have. I stated that I would show simple ways that you can record audio messages, conversations and interviews. Below I cover using telephone, conference lines and Evernote.

Be sure to scroll through to the end of this post to read two other examples of possibilities for recording different kinds of memories.

IMPORTANT NOTE – Please keep in mind that if you are going to be recording any kind of conversation with another person, state up front, as the recording is started, that it is being recorded. Then get that person’s permission for you to be so doing. If he or she says “No”, then discontinue.

1- Using a telephone bridge/conference line

The most common way to record using conference lines is for all of your invited people  to individually call into “your” preassigned phone number.

You, the host, will always need to call in on that number, adding the administrator code that you have been assigned.

There are three ways for creatively recording that I’ve used, incurring no long distance charges for the second party.
(Note – I pay for unlimited long distance calling, so there are no fees when I initiate these calls.)

a – If you have a telephone extension, you can call into “your” conference line phone number and have the other person on an extension of your own. You can then record your “interview” or simply have a general back and forth conversation that you record as you both talk into the phone.

b – With a speaker phone, you can call into your conference line and simply record the two of you talking, as well as anyone else who is within the same room.

c – With the 3-way call feature in your phone service (usually an added charge or part of a package), you can call your family member, friend or client; use the flash key to put them on hold; call into the conference line; flash back to the first line; then press the appropriate phone buttons to record, dependent on which service you are using.

2 – Conference Line Companies I Use for Recording –

a. For many years I’ve used Audio Acrobat‘s conference call line capabilities. I do pay for this service monthly. I appreciate it because in addition to be able to save and present the calls in different ways, Audio Acrobat, allows for uploading, storing and sharing videos. There are some videos that I would prefer to keep private and not share on YouTube.

With this service, you, the host, give out you conference line call-in number. Then you, and each of the people you want participating, call into that phone number.  You, by pressing certain keys on your phone, can record any calls up to two hours in length.

Audio Acrobat also offers the option for your own dedicated phone line which you can give out.  With that number, your friend, associate and/or family member can call in and leave a testimonial, or any other, five-minute message.

b.  There are also many free conference line services which also have the option for recording calls. In addition to Audio Acrobat, I use which offers different online controls as you’re conducting the call.

3 – Evernote for Recording Calls

a. Another option I have been using lately is Evernote.  When I’m on a call that I suddenly realize I want to record, I quickly open a new note in Evernote; then click on the microphone icon to start recording. Evernote is a free program downloaded from the Internet that works on Mac or PC computers, iPads and other tablets, and Smartphones.

For more details on how to use Evernote for recording, click on  the “Recording, Editing and Sending Voice Memos Using
Evernote”  link for the post on Technology for Seniors Made Easy.

The Underlying Story Behind this Blog Post

Reading the section below – “Ways of Recording Memories”.  Click on Remembering Sam to hear Kaitlyn sing, as referred to in the recording and down below.

As I read and reflected on two different posts on Facebook, earlier today, I was reminded of my regretting not having the recorded sound of my late husband Sam’s voice.

In her post, one friend shared about the wonderful relationship she has with her mother who lives in another country, about the daily chats they have over coffee.  I began to wonder, “Does she have any of this recorded?”

Another friend from Australia wrote that she found a year-old unopened package from the funeral home that handled the service for her mom who had passed away. Opening it revealed a DVD recorded by an overhead camera at the back of the room during the service.  My friend had no idea that this was being done and was feeling somewhat a sense of invasion of privacy and wondering if she even want the recorded memories of that day?

This set me to remembering, the little that I do, of the memorial services for my mother, then my father and more recently, though it be over 5 years, the one for my beloved Sam.  For all three services, I wrote my own tributes and read them during the service.  I do have those Word documents saved so I can go back to them at any time. And whatever else was said, by I don’t even remember whom, is long gone from my memory bank. I would love to be able to hear those voices now.

Part of my healing process after Sam was gone was to set up a memorial web page for him.  On it I was able to recreate some of the experience, including, after the fact, recording our then 15 year old granddaughter singing the three songs she sang at the service. I posted them on the page and more.  Now I can go back, at any point in time, and honor and remember Sam in a variety of ways. Others who loved him can also do the same.

So, how can you, too, preserve audio memories of individuals and conversations that you might want in the future?  Go back to the beginning of this post for some of the simple ways.

If you are, or become, interested in more in depth recording of family history,  I recommend you check out the “Recording Family History using Digital Tools” site, I found a wealth of interesting and detailed information and tools there.



Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows and Mac Mail Programs

In recent Technology for Seniors Made Easy blog posts, I’ve shared frequently used keyboard and mouse shortcuts. As I have become more accustomed to using them, I’m finding,
at times, that they are much quicker and more efficient to use than my mouse.

If we’re already on the keyboard typing, why not simply click 2 or 3 keys, rather than reaching over for the mouse and then going up to the menu across the top of whatever the program is in which we are working.

Following are the email shortcuts I have been using most regularly now. They apply only to Windows and Mac Mail programs.  If you are going to the web for your mail, i.e. in AOL, GMAIL, YAHOO Mail, or any other web-based mail program, the shortcuts would apply to your Internet browser applications.

New Message – CTRL + N
Open Message – CTRL + O

Send Mail – ALT + S
Reply to Sender – CTR + R
Reply to AllCTRL + SHIFT + R

Delete an eMail – CTR + D for an open email or from the listing of emails in your Inbox or other folders

Forward an eMail – CTR + F (In all other programs except for Mail in Windows, CTR + F = Find)

New Message – CMD + N
Open message – CMD + O
Close message – CMD + W (Windows  does not have this option)
Delete an email – CTR + D from the list or an open email

Send Mail – SHIFT + CMD + D
Reply to Sender – CMD + R
Reply to ALLSHIFT + CMD + R
Forward Email – SHIFT + CMD + F

Delete an email – CMD + Delete, or simply click the Delete Key

ADDED KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS on the MAC – Not in Windows (at least not in my Windows Vista program)

Hide a window – CMD + H
Close a window in a program – CMD + W
Quit the program altogether – CMD + Q
REMINDER – All of the shortcuts, plus more, are listed in any one of the following drop down menus in both WINDOWS and MAC under:

FileEdit or Message – depending on the action you wish to take

The Mac has additional shortcuts listed under others of the options along the top bar.

For your convenience, other blog posts here with additional shortcuts include:

Shortcuts for opening Internet Browser and Emailing Internet links

7 Most commonly used Keyboard Shortcuts

Mouse and Shortcuts for Highlighting Content in Word and Mail

As always your feedback, suggestions and questions are welcome here in a reply to me or on any of the posts on the blog.

Please add them in the “Leave a Reply” box just below or email me at

Photo Booth – How to Use Effects for Video and Photograph with Photo Booth on iMac

How to Use Photo Booth on your iMac

See “Effects” below for explanation of above video

Apple Mac Photo Booth iconTo capture your own photos and create videos on your iMac, find and select the Photo Booth Icon in the Applications folder.  Click to open.

Take photo selector in Photo Booth on iMac


Then to take a PHOTO with Photo Booth, select camera icon on far left.

A camera image control will then appear in the center


Video select icon in Photo Booth on the iMac

For VIDEO, select the filmstrip icon, third one in on the left.

A movie camera image control will now appear in the center.

When ready for your photograph or video, click on the appropriate control button in the center.

Also, be sure to look up at the camera lens, green light – center along the very top of your computer frame.

Focusing on the lens is important if you want to appear to be maintaining eye contact while “talking” to your audiences.

Note – There is a 3 second countdown, after you click the control, before the photo is taken or the video starts, so you will have time to look up. To stop the video recording, simply click the movie camera icon again.

Creating Photos or Videos Using the “Effects” Option

Here’s where fun and play come in, if you so choose.

Photo Booth has an “Effects” range of choices.  I first learned about it when trying out one of my grandsons’ iPad. I shared some photos I did with it in an issue of Treasure Your Life Now – See iPad Effects Call Attention to Varied Interpretations.

Quite a bit after I discovered that “Effects” is also in Photo Booth on my iMac. Then just this past week, when summarizing activity with a client and writing a follow-up tutorial for her on using Photo Booth, I discovered we can also video using “Effects.”

What fun!

(Note – As an application on the iPad, Photo Booth is limited to one page of Effects for taking single shot photographs only. Although the Camera app on the iPad does video also, there is not an option for it in Photo Booth.)

Controls for using Photo Booth on the IMac

The EFFECTS button is on the far right. Click on it to bring up a variety of different effects.  The arrow to the right of of the button brings you to more choices.  Your “normal” image will stay in the center.  Choose it any time you want to resume regular recording.

The rest of the photographing or recording process is the same as above. Choose PHOTO or VIDEO on the left and proceed as you did with the instructions above.

Again, when you want to get out of Effects choose the “Normal” photo in the center and you’ll be back to the beginning.

What’s Next with the Video or Photo

photobooth-send-dragClick to select a photo or video along the bottom strip.

You can then
A – Send the photo or video by email;
B – Send it to iPhoto; or
C – Drag it to your desktop or another folder to attach to emails or insert into a document

As I mentioned in an earlier post on Technology for Seniors Made Easy Blog, I’ve started having fun emailing birthday and now, anniversary, videos from (see) Photo Booth or my iPhone. Below is one I did the other day using an EFFECTS option.

Please share your experiences with Photo Booth in the “Leave a Reply” box below or your responses to the videos or anything else in this post.

Easy Technology for Seniors – Audio and Video for Preserving Memories

In a previous post on this Technology for Seniors Made Easy blog, I mentioned my passion for using technology for connecting with, and gaining the support of, family and friends. In addition, we seniors and others have the means for ensuring that we are not left with guilt, regrets and missing memories when a loved one passes on.

All that’s necessary is learning how to use some simple and basic technology, particularly in the area of recording. There are a variety of cost-effective and easy ways that this can be done. In addition to your personal memories, you’ll also happily have tangible recordings of some of your family history that can be shared with other loved ones.

My beloved husband Sam has been gone for more than five years.  One of my main regrets is that I have nothing with his voice.  I am fortunate to have many love notes written by him to me from the time we first met through our first four and a half months. Then we were married. (Yes, we both knew what we wanted 53 years ago!)  Then, for the next 47 years, there were the “perfect” cards and the notes he often added to them. Many of them are still in my possession. Yet I still regret not having his voice. There are, I’m sure, a large number of people who, in addition to absent voices, no longer have the written words either.

How easy it would have been to record Sam, do interviews with him, and to be able to listen to his voice today whenever I have the desire for reliving some of his and our memories.

Five years ago, I could have called into my Audio Acrobat account and had us both talk on the phone, recording as we spoke.  Audio Acrobat makes it very simple to save the calls, then listen online or download the recordings to listen to directly on the computer.  You can save the recordings and keep access to them as private, or delete them once downloaded, your choice.

Also, five years ago I had a digital camera that did videos as well as take pictures. All three of my digital cameras had, and have, that capability.  It simply NEVER occurred to me to do any of this with Sam, even though I had done some phone recordings with my granddaughter and great-nieces.

Today our choices for preserving memories, voice, as well as visual, are so much broader and, in some cases, even easier.

We have smartphones that can record both voice and video, with easy ways that you can send them to yourself, and others, or download them to your computer.

I highly recommend getting comfortable learning how to video with your smartphones, to be ready to do so as soon as you find yourself getting into a conversation, or precious memory, you want to save. The iPhone and iPad have the benefit of switching the camera with a simple tap so that the camera is facing you.

The video above is an example of a spontaneous recording on my iPhone, when my friend Caren last year came to Florida, from Texas.  She and some other friends who you hear in the background met in Florida for a visit.  It was fun demonstrating and doing the quick video. Better yet it provided a bright moment and new conversation when I happened on the video recently and shared the YouTube link with Caren once again.

Note on Permission and Privacy
The above video is shared on YouTube with Caren’s permission. Always be sure that you have that before sharing. And although people can search YouTube, it does offer settings to keep your video private.  Videos uploaded to Audio Acrobat are only searchable by you, the account owner. They can be viewed by others only if you share the links for them.

for simultaneous photographing and recording.

Last year I also used my iPhone “Voice Memo” tool to record an interview with 96-year old Minnie and her daughter Bobbie.  At the same time as we were talking and recording, I was able to take dozens of photos of both Minnie and Bobbie.  And, it does not have to be a third person interviewing and photographing. It can be you.

An added fun part for me was to be able to take my skills and present some of the content on a new website I then created to celebrate Mothers anywhere. See My Mother Always Told Me.

YOU can be the one that does all of the above, capturing your family history, including creating sites, or blogs. Watch for future posts on how you can be doing phone conference recordings and other forms of preserving memories through photographs and writing, should you so choose.

I will also be be giving you a list of suggested questions, should you not know where to start in having a conversation that you’d like to save.

FINAL NOTE – When I write of building an audio-visual memory bank, I am not advocating a mourner stay in, and continue to live in the past. Rather, there are simply times when the reassurances of the love that was can uplift and inspire you in the present.

Please share your own experiences in the REPLY box below. I’d especially like to know if you have questions regarding any of the above.



Kaddish Online – Connecting to Jewish Shiva Service by Phone and Internet

On the Technology for Seniors Made Easy blog, I mainly cover tutorial how-to’s for using various types of programs and devices. The question sometimes comes up, “Why am I doing this?”  Then I’m reminded that, for me, the most rewarding benefit of being online, and using technology, is the the ability to connect with, and gain support, from family and friends and communities all over the world.

For most of us, at some point in our lives, a time comes when we are confronted with the death of a loved one, a dear family member or friend.  Most religious groups have some form of ritual gatherings where family and friends can offer love and support, memories and a celebration of the life of the deceased.

The challenge today is that more and more of us are living far away from many of those with whom we have the closest attachments. So what happens when we can’t be present for those healing moments?  Loneliness? Frustration? Added grief?

Fortunately, we can now use the power of technology to help in the grieving.  And being very computer savvy is NOT always a requirement.

In 2007, my beloved husband of 47 years died.  We had a Jewish Shiva mourning period in my home for 3 days and nights.  During that time people came to pay their respects and there were prayers every evening. Then, because my husband’s brother could not come down to Florida, a niece, when she returned, had a gathering in her home for family and friends in Philadelphia.

Wanting to be part of the group in some way, I called my niece and was able to listen and participate in saying Kaddish (the Jewish Mourning prayer). I then spoke with family and friends, sharing their and my grief, as well as memories of Sam. I felt loved, embraced, cared for.

Now, in 2013, familiarity and comfort with using modern methods has expanded the possibilities. It allowed for a heartwarming celebration of life and memorial service for a beloved cousin who recently passed away. Her daughter in California organized a conference call where friends and family from all over the country called into one phone number at a designated time.  Those who were savvy enough were able to download screen sharing software to their computers that allowed them to view a slide show of photos that Karen presented as she and we on the phone all shared memories.

There was also a small gathering of friends in Karen’s home. At some point her Rabbi came in to lead us all in prayer. This included having Karen and us say Kaddish, the traditional Jewish Memorial prayer.

The video above is this portion of the service.  It is a clip from the longer, full video I did, a screen capture of the slideshow being presented for those of us who were able to see it on our computers.

For those present in her home, Karen had handouts with the prayers and she showed the documents on her computer during the service. She also emailed them as attachments, so those on the phone only, without computer access during the call, could print them out and join in also.

What you see in the video are both the English translation and the transliteration of the Hebrew of the Mourner’s Kaddish.

(Note: If you click on the rectangle in the very bottom corner you can see the video full screen and, most likely will be able to read words.

The background greenery has nothing to do with the service or the video.  It is the image I have as my desktop background.)

In future posts I will be sharing different ways you, too, can connect with loved ones and others, via free conference calls, Skype, other means of individual and group chat. For now you can check out and click on Facebook Video Chat and Google Hangouts.  Those posts will link to some others on the Technology for Seniors Made Easy blog.

Your experiences and feedback on technology and connecting with family and friends would be most appreciated.  Please use the REPLY box below to add your comments.

You can also email me at

How to Upload Videos and Photos from iPhone to Facebook

In a reply to the post on how to email videos from iPhone, a reader commented that she wished she could send a video directly to Facebook from her iPhone.  In fact, it is a possibility and a very easy, and exciting, one.  You’ll see below you can even be doing some editing prior to uploading.

To post video to Facebook from your iPhone

1 – Go to your profile page in Facebook.  Look for the “Share Photo” button. It’s under “Friends” and next to “Write Post.”

2 – Tap “Share Photo” and your photo album opens.

3 – Tap on your desired video.

Share Photo Button on IphoneiPhone Photo Album







4 – Write Message in New Window

5 – Tap Globe for drop down menu

6 – Select Audience – who can view

7 – Then tap on Post button

iPhone - 3 steps to post Photo in FacebookiPhone photo to Facebook - Select Audience




iPhone Video to Upload to Facebook









To Edit and Post Photo to Facebook from iPhone Photo Album

1 and 2 – Same as above. Profile page and Share button.

3 – Select Photo – Click on Pencil bottom right to okay selection.

4 – Photo opens with editing tools on bottom. They include cropping, which brings up rotate option, and changing lighting.

Select Sunflower Photos from iPhone Photo albumsunflower photo and editing icons before posting ot Facebook







5 – Again, tap pencil to bring up window for message.

6 – Then tap “Post.”

Lighting Edit choices on iPhone Photo before uploading to FacebookSunflower photo from iPhone to Facebook








Mouse and Keyboard Shortcuts for Highlighting Content in Word and Mail

In a recent post, I detailed 7 Most Commonly-Used Keyboard Shortcuts. This post covers using both the mouse and keyboard to highlight words or phrases that we want to either delete, or copy and save to paste in another place in the same document or email or put in a totally new one.

Clicking, then dragging, the computer mouse over a word or phrase is probably the most common way of capturing the content in Word documents or emails. And there is an even quicker way of gaining the same results, all with mouse clicks only.

Experiment with the following yourself:

1 – Screen shot 2013-06-02 at 5.31.46 PMTo highlight a single word, place your cursor on it and DOUBLE CLICK your mouse.

Screen shot 2013-06-02 at 5.32.26 PM2 – To highlight a paragraph, place your mouse in the body of the paragraph and TRIPLE CLICK your mouse.

Highlighting Section of Copy with Mouse3 – To highlight an even larger segment than a paragraph:

a – Place your cursor at the beginning of the material you want copied.

b – Hold down the shift key.

c – Then place your cursor at the end of the content you want to capture. Click and the whole section will be highlighted.

Release the mouse and you’re ready for whatever your next step is, be it:


REMEMBER, you can
g – REDO, if you made a mistake – CTRL/CMD Z

REMINDER –  CTRL represents the Control Key on the PC.  CMD, the COMMAND Key on the Mac.

For a refresher explanation on the 7 Keyboard Tips recently covered click on shortcuts.

iPhone Tip – Create Shortcuts for Frequently Used Long Phrases

For months I’ve been tapping each letter individually anytime I wanted to put in a message and…

I just discovered there is a far simpler wayShortcutsNow I type in “tss”, an arbitrary code (shortcut), and the full URL comes up. I’ve also created “tsb”, for the full URL for the blog –

iPhone settings icon


To create your own shortcuts, find and tap on the Settings Icon on your iPhone.

Then, open Settings. Tap General, then Keyboard, as shown below.

Settings Menu on iPhone

iPhone keyboard setting






Make sure the Add Shortcut control button is ON. Then scroll down to “Add New Shortcut.” iPhone shows “omw” = “On my way!” as an example.

Add Shortcut Menu on iPhone

Keyboard to Name Long phrase and create shortcut







Tap on “Add New Shortcut”. In the window that opens, type in the phrase for which you are creating a shortcut. Then create the “label”, the short letter combo, you’ll remember.

When that’s done, tap on SAVE in the upper right.  Now, any time you type in the shortcut letter combo you created, the longer phrase or URL will appear.  Tapping on “Return” will enter it into the note, email, text message, or wherever else you might place it.

Enjoy the added minutes and, ultimately, hours you’ll be accumulating.

Please share your experience of this in the “Leave a Reply” box below or send an email to

How to directly eMail an iPhone Video

One of the things I love about my iPhone is that it is a way of connecting with other seniors.  In the waiting room of Bethesda Health City Women’s Center, I was happily reading a book on Kindle on my iPhone.  It was on Using the iPhone.  After two plus years I was still excitedly learning new things with which I was experimenting as I waited.

The woman sitting next to me asked if it was an iPhone I was using. She has been considering purchasing one. I excitedly starting sharing the video aspect of the iPhone, asking if I could video both of us. I then went on to show her how it could easily be emailed and proceeded to email it to her.

The process, including the 18-second video I did of the two of us, is shown above.  Note my new friend’s excitement.  I am most grateful for the interaction.

For those who prefer text to video, following are the steps in how to find and select videos to send by email, message or post to YouTube.

iPhone Home Pageicon to open photo album in iPhoneFirst go from the stopped video to your iPhone Home Page. Tap on Camera – upper right on my home page on left.

Then tap on small window in the lower left corner to open the photo album.

iPhone photo album with all photos and videosiPhone album with videos

The Album with All your photos and videos will open.  You can select from there OR tap on Videos at the top and just your Video library will open.

In either case, tap on your selected video.

iPhone- page with Curved Send ArrowiPhone choice to edit, or trim, videoA new screen will open with the video frames on the top and a curved arrow on the bottom for SENDing.

Videos sent by email from the iPhone must be one minute or less for email purposes.  If yours is more than a minute, you will get another window giving you the choice for what you want to cut, or “trim”. Simply drag the yellow lines to where you want to begin and end. Then tap on the yellow TRIM button when satisfied.

iPhone send to mail, messge or YouTubePicture of iPhone Preparing Video before sendingGoing back to the curved arrow on the bottom for SENDing, tap on MAIL.

A new screen pops up showing that the iPhone is Preparing [your] Video…

iPhone-mail-window-addressplace for message in iPhone email plus video icon

Once video preparation is complete a mail message window opens up.

Type the address in the To space:

[In the image on the left you see my name rather than an address because that’s the way it was picked up automatically in my Address Book. The email address IS there, though you don’t see it.]

You can include more than one person in the Cc or Bcc spaces. I often CC myself so I’ll have the video in my computer even before I download it from my phone.

Add Subject and then scroll down to the body to write a message above the video, .mov,  icon. When finished tap SEND.

That’s the whole process.  You now have made someone, I’m sure, quite happy… especially if it’s a new friend. The subject in the video above was quite happy, anticipating sharing the video with her husband.

Now, if you would be so kind, I would appreciate your answering the following question.

When going to a tutorial like this on Technology for Seniors Made Easy, do you prefer a video or the images and text? or perhaps you’d like both? Please respond in the “Leave a Reply” box below.

If you prefer, you can email your answer to me at

After the Fact Note
– In searching for this “new friend’s” email address in my SENT folder on my iPhone, there was, for some unknown reason, no record of the email.  I did not note her address anywhere else.

SO, caution… If you are emailing directly from an iPhone video or photo, and it’s to someone’s address who is new to you, Cc yourself so the address will be on the email you receive.

Of course, it would be a good idea also to make a note of it in NOTES or another place you can save it that you’ll remember.


How to Use Photo Booth to Create and eMail Videos

The video above shows three options available when using Photo Booth on the Mac and iPad – photos, photo montage, and video.

I’ve had my MacIntosh computer with Photo Booth for over three years and it was only a few days ago that I made, what was for me, an exciting discovery.  We can actually email directly from Photo Booth the videos that we create with it.

So now I’m starting the practice of emailing birthday videos to family and friends. Here is one I created for you.

You’ll notice that throughout I maintained “eye contact” with you until the very end when I had to look down for the control button.  Now that I think of it, I could have positioned my mouse on the control and when ready to end, simply clicked my mouse without moving my eyes away from the camera.

The way, of course, to look directly at the recipient of your video is to focus your eyes on the camcorder.  If you don’t have a camera built into your computer, then you can purchase an inexpensive camcorder that you can clip onto it.