2nd March 2001 at 00:00
Ages 6-14. IntelPlay Computer Sound Morpher. pound;49.95+VAT. TAG Learning. 25 Pelham Road, Gravesend, Kent DA11 0HU. Tel: 01474 357350. Freephone: 0800 591262. Email: info@taglearning.com. Website: www.taglearning.com.

The Computer Sound Morpher is a mobile sound recording and editing device for Windows PCs. With it, you can record, download and alter sounds. For your pound;50 you get a small digital audio recorder, headphones, belt clip and a CD-Rom of software. All you need to add is three AAA batteries and your imagination.

The way the system is packaged and operates clearly indicates that this is a home market product, not designed specifically for education. But so is IntelPlay's QX3's Microscope, and that has many useful educational applications. With Sound Morpher, pupils can record sounds remotely for four minutes before they download them to a PC. Sound files can then be edited and changed if required and used within multimedia or web-based presentations.

Editing sounds is easy and fun using the software provided. Voice recordings or songs can be cut up and swapped around or deleted, and, using the buil-in sound-effects, these recordings can be enhanced or made weird or really wacky. All sounds can be attached for added amusement to the on-screen talking faces (use a photo of a pupil and add a talking mouth using the special face features included on the CD-Rom).

Sounds with or without images can be saved. Voices or songs can also be recorded live to the computer and sound-effects can be used while recording. There is also a feature where text can be typed in and the computer will read it back using a synthesized voice which can be saved for exporting.

As the sound files are saved in WAV format, they can be exported to most multimedia applications. This is where the device becomes a truly useful tool. By selectively recording sounds and effects, users can build sound libraries for other applications. My PowerPoint presentations will never be the same again.

Bottom line? You won't get a digital recorder cheaper than this and, used selectively, there's much that can be done with the Sound Morpher.

Chris Drage

Chris Drage is ICT manager at John Kelly girls' technology college, Brent

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