The San Diego Union-Tribune had an interesting article on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 entitled "How Can I Preserve My Family's Memories?" by Jennifer Davies. The article has practical tips on how to capture the message, timing, location, preparation work, and other great suggestions related to recording audio memories.
On the technology side, Jennifer recommended the following potentially helpful resources:
Other technology options that I might consider recommending is a good USB microphone connected to a computer or if you wanted a hand held unit, I've read good reviews about Zoom H2 Handy Portable Stereo Recorder (but I've not used one).
I'm going to tweet references to content providers and their advertisements that I find interesting from the media that gets into my attention stream.
If you want to participate you can send me a link @adwatch, RT a post you find interesting, or you can just add your own by tagging #adwatch in your related tweets. The search stream for #adwatch is the feed I'm going to be interested in.
I've had this idea for a while to see where and how advertisers and new media content creators are coming together, and this seemed like the easiest way to get started. Plus, it is as open as possible and not something that is closed like other services.
If you have any other thoughts or ideas, please either add a comment to this post or drop me a message via adwatch @ Twitter.
They cover the latest in Microsoft Zune news, update folks on the state of podcasting, and outline a lot of opportunities in new media like download, streaming, live video, etc.
If you have a Windows PC you should take a moment and download the latest Zune client. I have it running on all my PCs (XP, Vista, Win7beta) and I find it to be a great content player.
There is a new version of Audacity v1.3.7 (beta) and I've loaded it up on my Mac Book Pro. I used it to mix down the Jersey Boys Podcast #66 without any issues. I've been using the previous version - v1.3.6 (beta) - without any major problems, and I consider this release to be production quality.
Some of what I think are the most important fixes and updates include:
Another Audacity related item of potential interest, is that the audio for my presentation at the New Media Expo 2007 has been posted to the Podcast Academy site. Here is a link to the PDF slides and a screencast QuickTime movie of the slides.
You might have a pretty good online training experience listening to the audio from the Podcast Academy site and watching the QuickTime Movie at the same time.
It is rough times for most everyone with the world-wide economic downturn and uncertainly.
In the podcasting world, Podango has announced potential shutdown plans. For the digital picture world, the wonderful magazine & online site JPG has also announced plans to shutdown. Even "big media newspapers" are reportedly on their way to Washington DC for potential handouts.
In situations like this, I think turning back to fundamentals is key. Here are my three suggestions:
I'm pretty sure there are other great suggestions out there. If you have one or many, then please let me know what they are by commenting below.
NOTE: I would be remiss if I didn't point out a great discussion thread by Michael Geoghegan on the "Podango" annoucment on his MWBlog.
I have created a set of WAV files that will make up my examples and demos that folks who are attending might want to download if they plan to try to follow along during the presentation. The link is here (34-MBs .zip file).
I also have posted a copy of my Audacity 101 DAU eLearning 2008 workshop slides in PDF format, and a link to a Blip.TV movie that includes the screencasts that are embedded in the presentation. Unfortunately the movie is not sync'd with audio so you have to work your way through them without narration.
NOTE: I will be doing my demos at PME 2008 using the Audacity v1.3.5 (beta) release.
I use a Telos-One-R (R = rack mountable) that I picked up on eBay and this is a diagram of my setup:
Paul has posted some great resources about the topic over at Podcast Rigs especially this post "Telos One, Talkshoe and Skype." There is also a great podcast with Doug Kaye (MP3) over at Podcast Academy that covers this topic.
Both Paul and Victor Cajiao at the Typical Mac User Podcast helped me setup the configuration of my unit - which is done manually with a small screw driver. I also borrowed Paul's unit diagram of a Telos One for my picture. Thanks Paul!
I am pretty happy with how this is working now, but I would recommend doing some post production processing on the phone track (usually your guest) with something like SoundSoap.
The very long running "audacity-users" mailing list has migrated over to a forum.
You can learn more via this link: http://www.nabble.com/audacity-users-f472.html.
If you have a question about Audacity, this looks like a great place to post the question.
Online registration is now available for the 4th annual New Media Expo 2008 in Las Vegas, NV from Thursday, August 14 through Saturday, August 16, 2008.
I will be presenting an updated version of my "Getting Started With Audio Editing - Hands-on With Audacity" interactive session at this conference. This presentation is in the "Track 1: Audio and Video Creation 101" series, and will be held Thursday, August 14, 2008 from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm.
If you are new to podcasting, audio editing, or to the open source multi-platform Audacity audio editing and production tool, then this will be a great session for you to attend. This year's expo looks to be as good or better than previous years.
If you can't wait for New Media Expo 2008, here are some references that I've done on the topic of audio editing with Audacity:
NOTE: There is an audio version of my Podcast Academy 3 presentation in the archives of Podcast Academy, but those are being transferred from GigaVox Media at this time and are offline. As soon as link becomes available, I'll post it.
This afternoon I was trying to find a potential project to do with my two boys this weekend, and ran into an article that I had bookmarked in MAKE:12 but forgot to blog about.
The article was by Kevin Kelly and it was entitled "Book Yourself: Innovative options enable you to publish your own text and pictures." It is a great DIY how-to on publishing your own book either by doing batch printing or print on demand.
If you are interested in batch printing (~250+ copies) check out:
And if you are looking for a print on demand publishing model, then you should check out:
The article also mentioned the option of ebook publishing using the site PayLoadz.com. They provide a service to sell downloadable items such as: ebooks, software, music, movies, digital art, manuals, articles, certificates, forms, files, etc.
The most interesting thing about the article was that Kevin did a little test where he wanted to make $1.50 a purchase no matter what medium or method. He sold them on Amazon for $9 (using B&W batch printing), then on Lulu for $27 (color print on demand), and then as a $2 PDF version on PayLoadz.com. In the end he sold 10x the number via digital than print, but still made the same amount per transaction. Neat!
PodcastFreeAmerica.com reports that eMarketer is has published a new report that the United States (US) podcast listening audience has reach 185 million in 2007, and that advertisers are increasing the use of podcasts to reach audiences.
I am not sure how this really fits into individual podcast producers other than it looks promising that their shows could be potential advertising avenues if that is something they are interested in.
It is also good news for the medium in that is appears that more and more people are tuning in with their attention and time to new media vs. traditional media options.
A new version v1.3.4 (beta) of Audacity has been released for Windows and Linux. The latest version for the Macintosh is still v1.3.3 (beta).
This new version has a host of new features and user interface improvements. According to a press release here are the major ones:
I have installed this on two Vista PC systems without any major issues, but I do most of audio production editing on a Mac Book Pro so I have not completely run this new version through the paces.
The recent This Week In Tech (TWIT) #126 podcast with Leo Laporte had an interesting snide comment at around 18 minutes in by Podshow's John C. Dvorak about Revision3's long list of new talent (including the recent Rodger Chang), and how quickly the are now going to run through their venture capital (VC) money.
The same could be said about Podshow's spending rate, business plans, or financial status which little is known publicly. One good thing is that they appear to still be hiring. And they continue to have the annoying pre-roll advertisements on many podcasts on their network.
Given the apparent implosion at PodTech.net there is a lot of uncertainty in the technology new media arena as we close out 2007.
It will be interesting to watch how TWIT, Podshow, and Revision3 play out their relationships in 2008.
Back in 2006, the Eurythmics posted four podcasts that highlighted the musicians perspective around many of the songs that they had produced and released in the past.
Elvis Costello recently did the same thing with a 10 segment podcast series. If you are an Elvis Costello fan you'll definitely enjoy the history and reflections.
There is now news from antiMusic.com that Stevie Ray Vaughan has embarced on his on podcast series to promote his new 'SOLOS, SESSIONS & ENCORES'.
UPDATE (12/26/2007): Apparently New Order has done this also but is selling the reflections and thoughts bundled around an album posted to iTunes.
There is a new mobile device coming out that lets users listen to streaming media while not connected to a network. The device is called the Slacker Digital Player and Walt Mossberg @ WSJ.com recently did a review. There are also some recent pictures posted to Gizmodo.
I think the device would be ideal for distributing traditional podcast material using a 'station' format based on topics or music. An indie music channel seems like a natural. Maybe a technology talk & news channel would be another logical topic cluster.
The first example is Minyannville Publishing & Multimedia which provides small animated clips of business and other headline news to major sites like Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, AOL Money, and Fox Business News. The main reason is their ability to offer fresh content that brings something new and different to these big sites so that their readership remains loyal. Independent content providers have a growing amount of leverage and opportunity to let their creative talents shine in front of many with those that focus on niches becoming hot commodities. More information for those that get the WSJ via an article entitled "Portals Think Small For The Latest News: Niche Sites Offer Access To Content As Gateways Battle Traffic Slippage."
The second, is from another newspaper article, this time from the Union-Tribune with an article entitled "Background-music provider puts shoppers in the mood." What I liked about this article was that PlayNetwork leveraged the basics of what they know with audio as a purchasing tool into a bigger business that also enables their customers to tie into new media outlets like web video, podcasts, and other multimedia services.
The latest one is called "It's the Great Server Chuck and Kreg" and it was posted on 10/24/07. It is family safe and only about 12 minutes long.
This year I volunteered to be part of the post production and helped with the mix down of scenes into the final version with Kevin Devin.
I learned some great lessons:
There seems to be a lot of stuff going on, so I thought I'd do a quick list of things I'm tracking:
I think #1 is important because if the domain becomes a popular user site then it will be a great site to promote material.
I am interested in #2 because it could save time in post production for any video podcasts.
#3 is cool because I hate DRM solutions for most of new media.
I think #4 should be tracked to see what effect the new version has on consumption of new media products as they move from the web to email. What does your content look like from RSS reader to a forwarded email that ends up on Gmail mobile? Could you make it better?
I added #5 because not everyone is happy with Audacity. Here is an option that might fit your style better.
The pointer to #6 is because you might want some new sounds in your library.
And you should check out #7 because it is full of great information.