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: sholden@aztecmedia.net .


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.


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.


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:

Telos_setup_v1c_2

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 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.


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 @ 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.


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.