[Update: Since I previewed this article last Saturday, FamilySearch removed the reference to the inaccessible list of OS/browser combinations that don’t work. They have also enhanced the announcement to more fully describe the new feature.]
Last Friday FamilySearch announced that it now supports upload of audio files to the Memories section of the FamilySearch website. The section already supports photos, stories, and documents. FamilySearch spokesperson, Brad Young, said:
FamilySearch is pleased to announce the new audio files upload feature as part of the Memories tab options in Family Tree. Patrons can now add audio files to FamilySearch, and attach them to their ancestors for others to discover and enjoy.
Audio recordings are handled much the same way as photos. Recordings can be uploaded, tagged to memory persons, attached to tree persons, titled, described, and stored in albums.
The FamilySearch website says “Your priceless family memories are accessible to you and your family online, and will be preserved in our state-of-the-art archive facilities.” Underneath this is a picture of the Granite Mountain Record Vault. I wonder if FamilySearch is going to shoulder the expense of keeping your photos and recordings accessible as file formats become obsolete. Photos and audio recordings are accepted in formants that may be difficult to sustain. (See “Sustainability of Digital Formats Planning for Library of Congress Collections.”) Already, some recordings are inaccessible in some situations. For example, m4a files are inaccessible using Firefox on Apple and Android devices. The article links to a list of supported browser/OS combinations, but that list is also inaccessible. [Note: FamilySearch has since removed this link.]
If FamilySearch means what they say, I highly recommend utilizing their offer to keep your memories accessible. But to be safe, I think you should also archive your own copies and plan on bearing the burden of conversion from technology to technology.
To read the entire FamilySearch announcement, see “Audio File Upload Feature Now Available on Family Tree.” (As I write this, ironically, that article is inaccessible. If the link still doesn’t work when you read this, try https://familysearch.org/blog/en/tag/audio-files/.)