Recording Skype Calls

This is not meant to be a definitive list, but just a list of possible software solutions for podcasters to consider when they want to record a Microsoft Skype call.  These have been mention to me in the past by a podcaster who at the time said they worked for them.

For Windows:

For Macintosh:

For Linux:

  • TBD

Personally I've only used Audio Hijack Pro and then I do all my editing in Audacity (Mac, Windows, Linux).

Tips On Preserving Family Memories

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).  

Since I have a Marantz 660, I'd use that or maybe my older iRiver IFP-799.  If you have any suggestions, then drop me an email at: .

New Version of Audacity v1.3.9 (Beta) Released - Free Audio Production Tool

The Audacity Team recently announced the release of Audacity 1.3.9 (Beta) for Windows, Mac and Linux/Unix.

Audacity is a very popular open source audio editing tool.

This release contains many bug fixes contributed by two Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2009 students, and brings the team much closer to the goal of a new stable 2.0 release.

The the previous release of Audacity was version 1.3.8 back on July 17th, 2009.  Between these two releases are fixes for:

  • VST &  Nyquest plugins;
  • fixes for Launch issues with Windows XP;
  • Several Mac OS X specific fixes with QuickTime and AAC file format;
  • Considerable user interface updates to windows, menus, tracks, spectrum analysis, VU Meters, and multi-track projects;
  • Improvements to effects like equalization and noise removal; and
  • Updated Help resources

Related to getting to a very stable v2.0 release is the announced plan to have one or two more beta releases and then a full v2.0 release. All in all these respective version 1.3 betas have been relatively stable and what I have been using day to day for all my audio production for the last year or so.

Catch & Track New Media Ads - #adwatch on Twitter

1089869_empty_billboard I started a new media/advertising tracking side project over on Twitter with a new account called adwatch.

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.

Good Update On Zune, Microsft Plans, & New Media Opportunities

Zune.small Leo Laporte and Paul Thurrott have a great Windows Weekly interview with Rob Greenlee from Microsoft. 

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.

New Version of Audacity and Pointer For Conference Recording

Audacity_IconThere 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:

  • Fixed periodic exported stereo files issues
  • Fixes for Nyquist effects, Compressor and Noise Removal
  • Fixed WAV corrupted issue related toi overwriting the same file
  • MP3 and WMA now export correctly with all supported metadata
  • Platform-specific bugs for: Vista, Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Improved F11 Full Screen mode
  • Improved Windows DirectSound API support
  • Improved latency correction using fixed correction value

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.

Rough Times For All Media - Bring On The Fundamentals

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:

  1. Do what you do best and do that better.  If you offer three services, pick one, and focus all your energy on that one service making it the absolute best.
  2. Focus on key partnerships that are mutually beneficial. Going it alone is miserable.  Branch out and find a partner that makes your one focus area shine for both you and them.
  3. Plan for investments.  If you haven't, then you need to start.  Even with cost cutting, you need to make sure you are devoting a good percentage of your available resources into future research & development (R&D) to "catapult" you forward when the market turns positive.

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.

New Media Expo - Getting Started With Audio Editing Session

I will be presenting at the New Media Expo 2008 (August 14-16, 2008) a "Getting Started With Audio Editing" session using Audacity from 2:00-3:00 p.m. in room N245 on August 14, 2008.

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.

One Option For Recording Phone Conversations

There was a question the other day on the New Media Expo Pathable Community mailing list about how to record phone conversations via POTS connections. 

I use a Telos-One-R (R = rack mountable) that I picked up on eBay and this is a diagram of my setup:


The Telos One comes highly recommended from two very smart audio gurus at IT Conversations: Doug Kaye and Paul Figgiani

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.

New Media Expo 2008 - Getting Started With Audio Editing Using Audacity

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:

The audio for my PNME 2007 presentation is available via Podcast Academy.

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.

Don't Forget Print Content In The New Media World

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 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  In the end he sold 10x the number via digital than print, but still made the same amount per transaction.  Neat!

Podcast Audience Grows In 2007 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.

More information and analysis at: &

New Version of Audacity For PC and Linux

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:

  • New Welcome Screen with introduction to Audacity.
  • New 'Mix and Render to New Track' command.
  • Support for VAMP audio analysis plug-ins.
  • More keyboard shortcuts and navigation.
  • Reworked solo/mute handling.
  • New preference: Select all audio in project, if none selected (on by default).
  • New preference: Beep on completion of longer activities.
  • Envelopes: Many fixes when copying, pasting, or repeating.
  • Many translation updates.
  • Metadata editor added for OGG, FLAC and WAV/AIFF exports.
  • Metadata import improved.
  • Muted tracks are no longer audible in the exported mix.
  • Improvements to latency correction.

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.

Tri-Network Rumbles About To Start?!?

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 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.

Musician Podcasts Can Be Really Good For Fans

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 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.

Mobile Streaming Media Player Coming Soon - Slacker Digital Player

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 @ 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.

Two Examples Of Using New Media To Your Strengths

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.

FIT Halloween Special - Some Thoughts On The Audio Editing Experience

The's TechNewsRadio show is part of the great FriendsInTech (FIT) group.  We have been doing special Christmas and Halloween productions since 2005.

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:

  1. Work with the best people possible. The FIT team is giving, helpful, encouraging, insightful, and very talented. It makes the project very enjoyable and you'll have fun doing it.
  2. I did all my editing of my parts (the outside scenes) in Audacity.  I didn't have any major problems or issues other than at times the scenes mix downs were very complicated with 24+ individual segments.  I ended up in situations like this to do 3 intermediate mixes with each one having ~8 individual segments.
  3. Having a vast special effects (SFX) library of audio is very helpful. Using sites like freesound is good, but some of the royalty free material other FIT members had was very impressive.
  4. When recording lines in a remote situation take at least three takes for each line.
  5. It really helps if you can do your remote lines recording with another person saying the other lines around your lines.
  6. Use a wiki to develop the first drafts of the script, but then migrate to a script writing tool for final production.
  7. Scripts file names and titles within the document should have version numbers or clear dates on them so you know what you have is the most current one.
  8. Tools like BIAS SoundSoap2 for cleaning up audio are pretty important if someone makes their recordings in a noisy environment.
  9. All the spoken word parts of a production should be processed with the same RMS settings.  We also ended up running them in bulk through The Conversations Network's Levelator.
  10. Using MP2 files for distribution during post production is very efficient and doesn't diminish quality.