I recently had the chance to review the iPhone app Saving Memories Forever. I received the premium subscription, which is $3.99 per month. Saving Memories Forever has both a free version and paid version of the app. The main difference is how many people you can add to the app, and the ability to download files to your computer. You can see a comparison of the paid versus free version here.
This app is basically a tool for recording memories, learning about your family history, and hearing stories of other family members. It’s an easy to use system that goes step by step through the different stories you can share and helps you build your (or someone else’s) life history, one story at a time.
To learn a bit more about how their system works, you can go their website and see video tutorials on how it works and how to get started. It’s easier than I thought it would be to get signed up and going.
I have to admit, when I first heard of this app, I kind of wondered what the point was. I already have a video camera on my phone. Why would I pay money for an app that records your voice? But then I realized that there’s much more to it than that.
It’s especially awesome if you’re recording your life history or capturing a family member’s history. The app gives you questions you can ask your interviewee (or yourself). You can also add photos, stories, and descriptions to your videos, personalizing them as you choose. Here’s a screenshot of some of the different questions you can work on:
Once you select a question, you’re taken to this screen where you can record your answers:
I love that it gives you simple questions to answer. It makes it much less daunting to create a life history. While we don’t have any family living nearby to record their stories, I think it will be awesome to work on recording our own. Someday, this effort would probably mean a lot to our kid(s). I also think it would be neat to record some of my son’s stories. He’s not a big talker, especially about himself, but these pointed, easy questions might work for him.
If you have a premium account, you can download the mp3 files to your computer as a zip file, so you’ll always have them. Overall, I really like Saving Memories Forever. The only thing I wish it would have is a way to easily transcribe the voice files into a readable document. I’m very big into reading things and having them written down. I consider voice recordings priceless as well, but it would be awesome to be able to transcribe with the click of a button. However, this product is something I would use and plan to continue using in the future.