How to Create a SongBook Using
Tar Heel Player
Tar Heel Player (THP) is designed to be used in conjunction with
Heel Reader (THR) to produce a book with music or audio accompaniment.
THP was developed by UNC computer science professor, Dr.
Gary Bishop, at the urging of FIRST YEARS student and Music
Therapist, Chris Barton.
The combination of music and the printed page is a powerful tool for literacy
and language development.
sample SongBook: Hoppity-Hop - http://goo.gl/SImKZ
Some preliminaries: Copy-pasting URLs
At present, the only browsers you can use with Tar Heel Player are
We suggest familiarizing yourself with Tar Heel Reader first,
then moving on to the THP version.
Using THP involves "capturing" several URLs, or web addresses, by copying
them from your browser's locator field. Once copied, you then paste them
"elsewhere" – to be used by another program.
For example, to create a SongBook, you copy-paste the URLs for an audio
file and a previously-created THR book into the Tar Heel Player
THP produces another URL – a very long one! – that will play your SongBook.
To create a short URL which is more convenient to give to others, you
can paste that long URL into a program that makes "tiny URLs." It is these
short URLs that you will ultimately want to pass on to your users/readers.
This copy-paste process is summarized in the graphic seen at right.
||Copying a URL typically involves clicking in the locator
field, which highlights/selects the URL, then right-clicking to choose
the Copy menu option, seen below in Chrome. (In Firefox,
you have an Edit menu option to Copy. But you can right-click
This places the copied URL in a "clipboard," from which you can paste
to another desired location by using the right-click Paste option
(or the Edit > Paste menu in Firefox).
more information: Copying
There are 5 steps needed to create a SongBook:
All the steps involve capturing – and saving – the URLs to move from step
Select a song, which must be in mp3 format.
Create a THR book using the song's lyrics as the basis for the text on
pages of your book.
Feed the URLs for the song and finished THR book into the Tar Heel Player
and begin making the SongBook.
Shorten the long URL created by THP by copy-pasting it into a "tiny URL"
Share the shortened URL.
Step 1: Select a song you wish to use as the basis for a book
you will create.
Step 2: Create your book using THR, http://tarheelreader.org/.
Step 3: Collect your song URL and your newly-published book URL
and go to the THP Setup Page, http://gbserver.cs.unc.edu/TarHeelPlayer/setup.html
Keep it simple, the fewer the words the better. Think one line of text
The musical phrases will determine the pages of the book. For example,
if using Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, the first line of the song
will be the first page of the book.
Keep the topic general enough that you will be able to find pictures to
support it. For example, stars and moons are much easier to support than
artichokes and aardvarks. (Although not impossible if you want to use your
Capture the URL of the song you will use, pasting/saving it in a retrievable
location. You will need it in THP.
Step 4: Shorten the long URL by going to the free Google URL Shortener
Follow the instructions there to create your SongBook.
You can replay the SongBooks you create by clicking the
refresh/reload option on your browser.
(It looks like a u-turn arrow.)
Important: Save the URL of your newly-created SongBook! This
is critical if you want to see your SongBook again.
Important: Save the short URL
Step 5: Share the shortened URL of your SongBook with friends, students,
family and anyone else you want to!
Summarizing: The URL "journey"
To review, let's see the URLs generated for the Hoppity-Hop
Step 1: Capture your song's URL: http://www.christinebarton.net/Hoppity_Hop_12_22_mix.mp3
Congratulations! You've just created a SongBook!
Step 2: Create your THR book: http://tarheelreader.org/2011/02/06/hoppity-hop/
Step 3: Feed these into THP to create a long URL:
Step 4: Shorten this long URL: http://goo.gl/SImKZ
Step 5: Share the short URL. Make sure you tell your readers/listeners
to refresh the browser to replay the SongBook.
Editing already-published SongBooks
As you create a Songbook, you can edit and test to see the results. After
you publish, however, and if you need to go back and "tweak" the book and
song, you will need to retrieve your long URL from the original THP creation
process. Simply log on then paste this long URL into the last box in the
setup form. This will initialize the setup form for editing.