Q Media: Audio Tour Experts

Delivering your goals, to your visitors, within your budget.

Archive for Downloads

Q Media GPS GeoTours

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August 23, 2009 – Q Media has launched a new service offering downloadable GPS audio tours for GPS devices.  GPS devices are becoming a great way for outdoor facilities large and small to offer audio tours to their visitors.  Up to now most choices to provide a GPS tour were based on purchasing expensive hardware that also needed to be distributed to your visitors as well as maintained.  But now with a Q Media GeoTour there’s no need to purchase, distribute or maintain any GPS audio tour equipment to provide a GPS tour:  Visitors download the tour into their own GPS devices such as Garmin or Tom-Tom and then use them to experience the tour.  The tours can also be downloaded to an Ipod or mp3 player, can include pictures and video and be made available for sale too.

“This is a great way for our clients to take advantage of emerging technologies,” said Mike Lutz Vice-President and Technical Director at Q Media. “There are many outdoor locations where traditional audio guide hardware or cell phones aren’t an option because of distribution issues or cell reception.  A Q Media GeoTour can now allow for tours where before it wasn’t easily viable to do so.  Outdoor parks, driving tours, city walking tours – any type of tour that takes place outdoors at the visitor’s own choosing and pace – can all easily be made into a Q Media GeoTour”. 

So for example, let us say Q Media is hired to produce a walking tour of New York City’s Theater District.  After the content for the tour is produced, Q Media would provide the outlet for the tour to the public as a Q Media GeoTour on its website and the visitor would only need to choose the device they want for the download to operate on.  No equipment is necessary for the visitor to sign out and return and the tour stops play automatically when the visitor reaches the programmed GPS waypoints.  

To see an example of a Q Media GeoTour please go to the GPS Tours page on the Q Media website and scroll down to the bottom to see the Q Media produced “Kansas Wetlands and Wildlife” driving tour of Barton County, KS.  In the example there you can read a summary of the tour, see a map of the route, preview the audio files and download the tour into a chosen device (with instructions).  Visitors can also rate the tour and leave comments.

If you have been interested in producing and distributing a GPS based audio tour the time has arrived!  Prices to host a Q Media GeoTour tour start at $89/month for non-Q Media clients and the service is free for any Q Media production client who wishes to have it.  For more information on how Q Media can produce and provide a GPS Audio Tour GeoTour for you please contact Stasha Boyd of Q Media Productions at stasha@qmediaproductions.com.

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Audio guides in an iPod world. Are they still relevant?

“Audio guides are dead. Passe. Old news. Too expensive. Too creatively restrictive. Too… too…  yesterday.”
Fantasy of Flight; a unique experience!

Fantasy of Flight; a unique experience!

RUBBISH!

Before I start a non-professional rant, let me make a couple of clear points:

First, audio guides and audio tours are not the same thing. An “audio guide” is a device, an “audio tour” is an experience. You can experience an outstanding audio tour on a number of different devices — e.g. audio guides, cell phones, iPods, pdas — which may or may not have been designed and developed as a way strictly to present an audio tour. An audio guide, on the other hand, is a type of hardware that was designed, developed, and deployed with one purpose in mind, to deliver audio tours to the general public. 

Second, there are two sides to an audio tour (you will see this point made over and over in this blog), “what you’re listening to” and “how you’re listening to it.” An audio guide is simply another “how”, another way to get the “what,” — that is, the message — to the ear of your visitor.

Keeping those two points in mind, the question then becomes, do audio guides still have a place in today’s artistic, historical, and cultural organizations? The answer is “yes” provided that for the individual organization the pluses outweigh the minuses. Read the rest of this entry »

Are they listening?

Many orgnaizations use software to track how listeners respond to their audio tour. And often, when facilities find that tracks aren’t listened to in their entirety, they conclude that “the listener isn’t interested in audio tours,” RATHER than “their audio production isn’t interesting.” Visitor behavior, they call it. It reminds me of how film students will cry that the audience didn’t “get it” rather than acknowledge they were the ones with the responsibility to be understood.

I’m baffled. Visitors were interested enough to get in their cars and come to the site, interested enough to pay their admission, interested enough to take the audio tour, but then suddenly not interested in the information they were seeking? Not likely. More likely, they didn’t like what they heard. And the reason they didn’t like it was because it wasn’t presented effectively. Read the rest of this entry »