As a member of the Mosaic Review team, I have been given the opportunity to review a special app that allows you to create audio recordings of your family history. The idea was interesting and I was curious about it. You could use it personally in order to leave a bit of history for your future grand-kids or use it with the older generation in order to record their memories from the past. This app will allow you to record as many memories as you like, share them with whoever you want and create an audio family album for generations to come.
The App and website will allow you to record as many stories as you like, then share them with whomever you wish, as you create your own audio family album. You will have numerous suggestions of possible recordings based on the age the person was when it happened. Here’s the questions you will find in the app according to their age group.
- Childhood – ages 0-12: Where and when were you born?, What did you enjoy doing?, Describe your mother and father, Describe your siblings/aunts/uncles…, Describe your childhood home, What did you like about school?, Tell me about your friends, Tell me about your pets, Describe your early family adventures, What did you want to be when you grew up?, Other childhood memories
- Teenage Years – ages 13 to 19: Describe your town, What did you like about school?, Describe your best friends, What was a typical school day?, What was it like to learn to drive?, Describe yourself as a teen, Any extra curricular activities?, Describe your first job, Describe your grandparents, What historical events do you remember?, Other teenage memories.
- Adult – ages 20-25: What was your first “real” job?, How would you describe your best friends?, Where did you live?, Did you date/marry?, Describe your family, What was your favorite saying? What technology did you use?, Describe your favorite trip. What historical events do you remember?, Other memories from 20-25.
- Adult – ages 26-40: How has your life changed? Describe your town and home, Tell me about your friends?, Describe the most interesting place you visited, Describe your family, Births, Deaths, additions to the family?, What did you like to do?, What was your favorite car and why?, What historical events do you remember? Other memories from 26-40
- Adult – ages 41-55: Who do you admire?, Describe the political environment, Describe your family, What did you like to do?, Describe your friends, Which vacation was the best?, What did you do for fun?, What do you wish you could change?, Describe your job, What historical events do you remember?, Other memories from 41 to 55
- Adult – ages 56+: Describe your family, Who do you like to do?, What are your happiest moments?, Describe a perfect day, where did you live?, What are your future plans?, What is the future you wish for your family?, Describe your life by decades, What is the best vacation you have had?, What historical event do you remember?, Other memories from 56 onward.
- Jokes: What is the funniest joke you have heard? What is the funniest thing you have seen, Other jokes you love to tell.
- Philosophy: What would you want your children to know?, What do you believe?, What guided your decisions?, Describe yourself, Other thoughts on philosophy?
- Religion: Have your religious beliefs changed over time?, How were you brought up?, Other thoughts on religion?
- Other Stories and Songs: What parts of your life would you change?, What got you through stressful times?, What songs did you love? (Sign them)
As you can see you will have the possibility to talk about numerous things like the first time you met your spouse, the birth of your children, a letter your grandma wrote you, your favorite vacation, your sports achievements, the first car your purchased (mine was a NEON), as well as college/university days. The premium service allows searching by tag words in order for you to find a story rapidly. Once you have stories to share, you have the opportunity to let close or distant relatives listen to them via the internet.
Soon you’ll have an audio scrapbook that includes the memories of your extended family, told in everyone’s own words and voices, exactly as they remembered them. Listeners will get real insight about the character of each relative and learn more about them than they ever could from a family tree or statistic.
The app is very easy to use. First you will have to download the app before you can start recording your family history. Once the app is installed, you can access the categories and their questions rapidly and start recording. Simply select the category and a question within that category and you will then obtain the recording screen.
The recording screen is very simple to use as well. Click on the record button to start recording the memories of the person you are interviewing. Saving Memories Forever allows you to record someone speaking about a specific subjects and upload the story online on the website. The website also allow you to save and store the recordings, some photos and family recipes as well.
You can watch a presentation on how to use the app on the website.
The app is free to download on iTunes or Google Play. However, if you decide to go ahead with the Premium subscription be aware that it will cost you a monthly fee of 3.99$ US. It all depends of what you want for the service. Below is a chart highlighting the features of both the FREE and PREMIUM package.
Come to think about it, I see tremendous advantages of this little app for history and genealogy purposes. This little app and the website together allows you to make an audio scrapbook that can include not only your memories but the ones from extended family as well. Everyone can share their memories on their own words and voices. Then, in the future when you decide to listen to them you will be transported back in time and learn more about your ancestors. Thinking of all this little app could do I almost wish my maternal grand-mother would still be alive today. She died back in the 90s and she was born in 1904. She had experience numerous events through her life – including the two world wars. I wish I could sit down with her and record her memories for my kids to listen. Below are pictures of her family (minus the sons she lost due to sickness) and the family house in Valcourt, QC.
I wish there was the possibility of adding new questions to the suggested one within the app. I guess the reason for the Other memories suggestions is for such possibilities. You will have to speak up the questions to know what it is related about. The app is interesting and I am planning to experience with it a bit more hopefully in August as we will be attending a family reunion on my mother-in-law side. All her brothers and sisters with their respective families (kids and grand-kids) are supposed to attend this get-together that will happen in Northern Ontario. I never attended a family reunion so in a way it will be a first for me as well as my kids. I am also thinking of letting my kids using this on their grand-parents when we visit them. It would be nice to record some of their memories of when they were growing up.
Saving Memories Forever has numerous possibilities for your family if you want to keep a record of the events happening in your life. It can also help the kids explore their genealogy when they interview their grand-parents and great-grand-mother.