Flip-Pal Announces StoryScans™ Talking Photos – Capture the Backstory of Family Photos

Couragent, Inc., makers of the Flip-Pal® mobile scanner, introduces StoryScans™ talking photos, a remarkable new feature for the Flip-Pal mobile scanner that allows recording audio and adding it in

Couragent, Inc., makers of the Flip-Pal® mobile scanner, introduces StoryScans™ talking photos, a remarkable new feature for the Flip-Pal mobile scanner that allows recording audio and adding it into a scan. According to Gordon Nuttall, CEO of Couragent, “We oftentimes say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, StoryScans talking photos shifts that a bit – voices transform scans into endearing stories.”


“Imagine how your family and friends will feel when you send them your grandma’s recipe, scanned with high accuracy showing her handwriting, tattered edges, smudges, the pretty illustration, and also with her voice telling you about it. Or, your grandfather proudly describing his Purple Heart medal from the Korean war. How about a photo of your grandma with your visiting cousin’s heartfelt description of her in England?  And, every grandparent would cherish getting a scan of your daughter’s drawing she created that day in art class, with her excited voice telling about it. The uses of StoryScans talking photos are far-reaching. Be among the first to use it and spread the word.”

What is StoryScans™ ?

StoryScans talking photos are easy to create.  For your Windows or OS-X computer, use the Flip-Pal Toolbox 4 software to record the audio and create the talking photo file.  For your iOS device (all models of iPhone and iPad), use the Flip-Pal ScanTools app.

StoryScans talking photos are easy to share. The small file contains both sight and sound and won’t get separated when sending via email, posting on social media, or uploading to the cloud. The Flip-Pal Toolbox 4 software includes automated uploads to your account on Facebook, Picassa, Dropbox, or Evernote. On your mobile devices, use your favorite apps to share. StoryScans files are supported universally and do not require an additional player.

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

New Genealogy Software to Save Thousands of Man Hours

Ged-I is an innovative genealogy software that automates the extraction of ancestral information from genealogical texts.

[Editor’s Note: we received the following press release from Logique this morning – this new genealogy software product looks interesting!]

We live in an age of technology and information. Yet genealogy is still behind the times. It can take months, even years, for a genealogist to track down a single person. Many of them long to learn their family’s story, but can’t go forward until they find out who that person is.

Lorne Redmond is all too familiar with this problem. He has been doing genealogy work for decades and estimates that even the names and information he has on hand today could take him up to ten years to catalogue. That’s an entire decade of work.

Lorne just doesn’t have that kind of time. With his programming background, he decided to come up with a different approach to the problem: Ged-I.

Ged-I (which stands for GEDCOM Interpreter) is an innovative genealogy software that automates the extraction of ancestral information from genealogical texts. It takes a process that currently takes months, even years, and condenses it into a matter of hours.

Nothing like this currently exists. Ged-I is the first of its kind.

Ged-I is still in the development phase.   Logique LLC, the creators of Ged-I, is running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo starting October 23, 2015, to accelerate development and get the product out to the people who need it.  You can find more info here: https://www.indiegogo.com/campaigns/ged-i-genealogy-in-seconds

And there are some great rewards available as well. As a backer, you can get access to the software before it is available to the general public, or become affiliated with the software. And, for a limited number of high-tier backers,  you can even get help writing your own family story!

For as little as $5 you can help Ged-I become a standard part of genealogical research.

Ged-I: Where will your family’s story lead?

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Tuesday’s Tip: Use TinyPNG to Reduce Blog Image Size

Learn how to use the free TinyPNG website to reduce the size of blog images and speed up your blog . . . and even increase your search engine ranking!

Lately I’ve noticed many of my favorite genealogy blogs are taking a long time to load pages and images. Out of curiosity, I saved some of the images to check the file formats and sizes and I was shocked!

Size Matters: Blog Images

One recent blog post had almost 10 different images in PNG format with an average size of 663k each. This means at least 6.6MB of data downloaded just to view the blog post.

Many bloggers don’t realize that Google and other search engines rank your site on how fast your main page loads. What does this mean? The more large images, the slower the page. Use the PageSpeed Insights site from Google Developers to test your site. Once you’ve entered your blog URL, you’ll receive feedback on ways to improve your blog’s speed and load time.

Personally, I try to use JPG images when possible for all my blog posts, but I’ll admit that sometimes the images are blurry due to the nature of the JPG file format. I love the PNG format, but a simple 570x width image (the best size to ensure social media sharing) can be 600k or more in size.

TinyPNG to the Rescue!

One solution I’ve found is TinyPNG: a free website that will convert your PNG images to blog friendly images without distortion. On average, I’ve seen a 70% or more reduction in image file size, but my readers don’t see any noticeable difference between the original PNG and the reduced sized version. In fact, the image for this blog post is only 32k, reduced from its original 600k file size.

To use TinyPNG, go to https://tinypng.com/ and then open the folder holding one or more PNG files to be reduced in size. Select a file and “drag” it into the box in the middle of the screen. TinyPNG will quickly reduced your file size, tell you how much room you’ve saved, and offer a download link to the new file.

Download the file and then use this compressed image for your blog posts. One trick I use: I give the new PNG file a different name than the original so that I always have the full PNG to fall back on in case I need it. Simply add the word “compressed” to the end of the file name so you now which is the original and which is the TinyPNG version.

Review Your Base Blog Images

Once you get the hang of using TinyPNG, examine the file size of your blog’s header graphics. I’ve also noticed many blogs are slow to load due to header banners that are 1.2MB or more in size!  Not only does this mean a slow page load, but you are eating up bandwidth . . . this is important if you pay a monthly fee to have your site hosted and bump up against your monthly bandwidth limit!

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.