University of Sydney: One Down, Two to Go!

As of this morning, I have officially finished semester one of my masters degree! I am capitalizing on these few days of rest before jumping straight into my month-long internship down in Melbourne. I have three seasons of the Walking Dead to watch so some TV time is at the top of my to-do list. I am also hoping to see The Greats: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland at the Art Gallery NSW. I am planning on going tomorrow so I’ll have a review hopefully up by tomorrow night.

For now, it seems like a great chance to essentially summarize my semester. It has been incredibly full on, but, worth every single moment. I didn’t think it was possible to be more interested in heritage and museums. Luckily, this course is proving me wrong! It’s kind of funny that at the beginning of the semester I was completely freaking out I wasn’t capable for this study. Phrases such as intangible heritage and new museology seemed like such foreign concepts. Now, they are old news and I cannot wait to see what is in store next year.

I am also so excited to start this internship. Actually, so so so excited to start the internship. It’s going to be great gaining the practical experience of actually designing and installing an exhibition. I’ll be updating my blog quite frequently during this time 🙂

In other news, I’ve been accepted into the Open Palace Program for 2016! Basically it’s like a heritage camp in the UK that takes you behind the scenes of the Royal Palaces and Stonehenge etc. It is going to be incredible and I am just counting down the days (241 days currently).

I’ve also decided to shake things up a bit and do weekly/monthly (let’s be real) App reviews. I’m going to start with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Powerhouse Museum Walks. First things first, it’s really easy to navigate. When you open the App you essentially have two choices – listen to a tour or find out more information about the Powerhouse Museum. I’m also giving the App points for having posters of the musical Jersey Boys in its cover image.

Anyway, there are some really interesting tours on offer. They are all self-guided and include maps for orientation. There are five free tours and one paid. The free ones are the Harbour Bridge, Ultimo, The Rocks, Pyrmont and George Street. The one that is paid is a historical pub tour (so sad you have to pay). So far I’ve only taken the Ultimo tour because the area is literally next door to where I live and I’ve been lazy.

Each stop has about 30 seconds of audio, which I personally think is both good and bad. It’s enough time to stop, say that’s nice, take a photo, and move on. On the other hand, I wanted more information at some of the places. With fourteen stops you’re looking at around a thirty minute tour. Ok so some great things about the tour.

  1. An actual human being is talking – not a robotic voice that just makes you want to fall asleep
  2. There are genuinely interesting sites on this tour – I frequently thought wow I walk past this everyday and had no idea it was….
  3. The map is very easy to use

Some not so great things about the App:

  1. It’s quite hard finding how to get back to the tour list once you’ve started a tour
  2. There needs to be more tours!

So on balance it is a pretty decent App to download. Sometimes you just want a quick shot of history and this tour delivers just that.

I am going to rate this App 3.5 out of 5 stars. The 1.5 is lost because I’d like to see an option that provides more information on the sites and more tours!

Snapshot of the App
Snapshot of the App

And there is my first review. Happy Audio Guiding!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s