Socks or Puppets

This morning two apps on my iPad caught my eye. They were Sock Puppets and PuppetPals. Saved in my "digital storytelling" folder, I had downloaded these upon recommendation of others.  Several weeks ago I was privileged to see a student produced Sock Puppet project in a nearby school. However, unto this point I had not tried either of these myself.

Sock Puppets drew me in first.
This is a really cute and easy to use application. After starting a new project, you are given the choice of six sock puppet characters to use. A maximum of four puppets can be used at a time. Once you have chosen your characters, the 11 backgrounds are presented for selection. Seven of the backgrounds are fun images and four are solid color. Each selection you choose is "highlighted" by little puppet eyes. Following the selection of the background, you now have props and scenery to choose from (16 choices in all). Here again a max of four choices can be made. Five of the choices, outlined in yellow, can be moved while recording. The trickiest part came with figuring out the recording. If you have more than one character you must select the character you want to speak and then select the red record. Once you are ready to record the next character, all you do is select that character. Do not stop the recording or it will start the entire recording over and you will lose the previous recording! When all characters have been "given a voice" you are then ready to stop the recording. The recordings are fun variations of your voice, which can be adjusted in the settings. You are then able to replay your recording and save. I also like the sharing options of FaceBook and YouTube.

Puppet Pals was next on my digital storytelling app adventure for today. Up for selection are seven "fairytale" actors. However, you are also presented with the option at the top for "my actors". I did not care much for the provided options, so I chose to add actors from my photos. Easy upload and the ability to "cut" (by drawing a line around the character of my photo) was appealing. However, once they were added I was notified that I could use these actors with the Director's Pass. Upon investigation that is an additional cost of $2.99. In fact, any additional actors that are wanted are extra. Suddenly the free application has lost the appeal for me. I do not like feeling like I have to spend money for simple things that I wish to do, like use my own photos. It appears to be the same with backgrounds, in which only three are available for free use. Again the option for adding the backdrop is available, and only after taking the time to upload your photo are you given the notification that you need the director's pass to be able to use it. If you choose to use the free actor and backdrop then you are finally able to record. The final result is a picture created with the actor, backdrop, and your voice recorded. I expected at least the mouth of the actor to move, but no. No changes to my voice either. The last a final bummer of this app was the steps to sharing my creation (not that I really wanted to share it, but I did need to complete the evaluation). To share this creation the following steps would need to be followed: give it a title, save it, the video is now copied to the camera roll, from the camera roll it could be shared via MMS, email, YouTube or transferred to my computer.

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