Review: Saving Memories Forever (& a Peach Salsa Recipe)


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I never knew my maternal grandparents. I have heard stories of their lives and I have copies of their recipes but I’ve never heard their voices. As much as I would love to hear their voices I know my mother would give almost anything to hear them again.

It’s easier to record family memories today, we have pocket-sized mini-computers and tiny cameras that record sound and video. Keeping those memories organized can be a bit of a hassle, however. Perhaps the idea of preserving family history seems overwhelming and time-consuming. This is where Saving Memories Forever comes in.

Saving Memories Forever is an innovative company that exists to record, organize and preserve family memories. SMF is a two-pronged operation utilizing a smartphone app to record memories and a website to preserve and organize memories.

You begin by downloading the app to your smartphone from the Google Play Store or iTunes. Once you register for your account you can begin recording memories. *It appears as if the app is only available for Android & iPhone at this time*

Click on the photos to see larger versions.

Begin by adding storytellers. A free account allows you to add 2, the paid vaccount allows unlimited

Begin by adding storytellers. A free account allows you to add 2, the paid account allows unlimited

Choose an age range for the story you wish to record

Choose an age range for the story you wish to record

You can use the story prompts suggested in the app or choose your own

You can use the story prompts suggested in the app or add your own

Recording memories is simple, just press the record button.

Recording memories is simple, just press the record button.

Press the upload button to upload each memory to the SMF website, where it will be stored. TIP: You need to be connected to wifi to upload so I suggest connecting as soon as possible because the stories are organized by date uploaded.

Press the upload button to upload each memory to the SMF website, where it will be stored. TIP: You need to be connected to wifi to upload so I suggest connecting as soon as possible because the stories are organized by date uploaded.

You can access your memories by logging into the SMF website. You can also use the website to tag stories and download them into a zip file that can be burned onto a disc (note that the free account is limited in these abilities).

What I like about Saving Memories Forever:
-The app and website are easy to use and feature intuitive navigation
-The graphics are minimal and simple

What I love about Saving Memories Forever:
-I love the idea of recording stories in the storyteller’s own voice.

What I am not crazy about:
-In my experience the app just doesn’t work very well. I use a Motorola Droid Bionic with fully updated software. I don’t have these issues with any other app I use.

Every single time I open the app I get this error at least once, usually 4 or 5 times.

Every single time I open the app I get this error at least once, usually 4 or 5 times.

Sometimes the app doesn't work at all, even after a phone reboot.

Sometimes the app doesn’t work at all, even after a phone reboot.

Despite multiple (more than 10) tries I have never been able to assign a photo of the storyteller to their profile in the app.

Despite multiple (more than 10) tries I have never been able to assign a photo of the storyteller to their profile in the app.

If I was reviewing the free version of the app I could let the fact that it doesn’t work half of the time slide, however I am reviewing the full, paid version. At the cost of $3.99/month (or $40 a year) I expect the app to work flawlessly.

Let me tell you why this is important to me: On March 2, 2013 my aunt and uncle, who live in Texas, came to FL to visit family & friends. I spent the day chatting with them and begging my aunt to share some of her famous recipes with me (and she begged me for my raisin bread recipe!) I tried to get the SMF app to work so I could record her reciting the recipe from memory. The app would not open despite my valient efforts, not even after two phone reboots. I gave up and my aunt emailed me the recipes several days later.

My aunt lost her battle with cancer just 27 days later. Having a recording of her reading the recipes would have made a precious memory even more special.

I can’t say if I would or wouldn’t recommend this service because honestly, I don’t know. When the app works it works well and is easy to use, the problem is that it doesn’t work a good portion of the time. Now, I have not tried the app on an iPhone, it’s possible that it works better in that format. If you’re interested I suggest downloading the app and trying it out for a few weeks before you upgrade to a paid account.

And now, in memory of Barbara Ann Foley, here is her recipe for the best peach salsa on the planet:

6 cups chopped tomatoes
6 cups chopped peaches
2 cups green peppers chopped
4 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup JalapeƱo peppers chopped
1 cup cider vinegar
1 T salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T oregano
1 T garlic salt
1 (12oz ) can tomato paste
1(15 oz) can tomato sauce
fresh cilantro to taste
Combine all ingredients and cook until desired thickness

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