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K12LEARN.com November 7, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Software, Podcasting.
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K12 Top

I just got a note from K12LEARN folks who seem to have a similar product to those that I’ve talked about for Higher-Ed, but focusing on K-12. Their “About Us” states that it’s cost-effective, though I haven’t contacted them yet about that, and they seem to have the same goals in mind as I do: enabling people to “utilize technology as a teaching and learning tool to it’s fullest extent.”

Check them out at http://www.k12learn.com.

Intellipodcast – Solution for Universities? October 11, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Software, Podcasting, University Podcasting.
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Intellipodcast (http://www.intellipodcast.com) appears to be an interesting product.  Billed as a solution for businesses, I’m supposed to be getting a demo shortly on how we might be able to use it at schools and universities.  From their website:

The mission for intellipodcast is to create a site where individuals can upload either narrative text, sound, or video for automated production into RSS feeds, blogs, podcasts or videocasts and upload to iTunes.

  • Intellipodcast automates the entire process of podcasting and media sharing
  • Everything is done from the intellipodcast website eliminating the need for experienced user technical knowledge

Apparently, a educational institution can purchase the software and implement it with a little help.  Allowing faculty, staff, and students to create and share media through blogs, instant messaging, image sharing… and of course podcasting.

I’ll let you know how the demo goes… email or comment if you have had any experience with Intellipocast.

Anystream’s Apreso Automated Lecture Capture Solutions March 13, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Software, Podcasting, Screencasting, University Podcasting.
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Got a tip from a podcast listener that Apreso was an awesome tool that I should check out. I did… and he was right.

It definitely fills the niche of a university that does not want to do it themselves (patching together multiple solutions and manual processes to capture lectures and distribute them). Though it might seem a bit expensive on the front end… you have to consider what all the software, hardware, and labor costs are of implementing a solution like this on your own.

Though I don’t have any personal experiences with the solutions, I did get a demo from someone and read 10 +/- reviews online. Check it out for yourself at http://www.anystream.com/industries-edu.asp.

ApresoDiagram

Interview Recording for Podcasts – Part 1 – Software February 27, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Software, Podcasting.
5 comments

Hi Jeff,

Found your blog the other day and really enjoying it! My wife and I are getting ready to start a podcast and I had a quick question for you…We are wanting to do phone interviews with 2-4 people at a time for some of our podcasts and I was hoping you had some suggestions on a low cost (or free!) way of doing that. I found a site called XXX which looks like would work but didn’t know if you had a better way.

Thanks for your help!

John
http://barlaybrainstorm.blogspot.com

John asks a good question, but also mentions a site that does this sort of thing for you. I tend to shy away from going with a hosting company or signing up with a web site for a certain feature. I don’t want to be dependant on them and I certainly don’t want the feature or service to go away and me to be stuck. So, I like to do things myself.

One service that I know won’t be going away anytime soon is Skype. My best advice for recording podcast interviews on the cheap is to sign up with Skype and record your calls. Skype doesn’t, but may in the future, provide recording capabilities… but you can easily record your calls using third-party plugins, applications, or hardware. The call audio could them be converted to an audio file that you could use in your normal podcast software.

Personally, I use http://www.hotrecorder.com when on a Windows machines, and http://www.rogueamoeba.com/audiohijack when on a Mac.

For more software applications to use in recording skype calls, see:

http://labnol.blogspot.com/2006/06/how-to-record-skype-conversations.html

See tomorrow’s post for hardware ideas.

Great Tool for GarageBand Podcasts February 8, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Software, Podcasting.
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Channel Strip for GarageBand includes the following critical signal processors integrated together in one easy-to-use interface:

  • Delay
  • Expander/Gate
  • Compressor
  • EQ

ChannelStrip1

ChannelStrip2

The package includes the GarageBand-specific AU plug-in and more than 115 general purpose ChannelStrip presets to optimize your software instruments and your entire mix. To get the power and sound quality of ChannelStrip on any other platform, you would have to spend a lot more, almost 10 times as much. Whether you are a hobbyist, a pro using GarageBand as a sketchpad, a composer, a guitarist, a drummer, a singer, a podcaster, or even an entire garage band, use ChannelStrip for GarageBand to add a professional sheen to your demos, compositions and podcasts. Make it sound like the real-deal. All for $89!

Get the full details of ChannelStrip here.

ProfCast January 10, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Software.
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I have a faculty member here who has downloaded this application and is having great success with it.  If you haven’t heard of ProfCast, check out http://www.profcast.com/public/index.php.  It’s a relatively small investment for those of you who want to try it out.

See these reviews/comments from users:

What To Get Your Podcaster November 24, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Audio Equipment, Podcast Books, Podcast Software, Technology.
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I got a great question a couple of weeks ago that I answered in an email, but I thought I’d post a more thought out response. The basis of the question was… what to get a podcaster for Christmas? Though the question was formed around finding a podcasting Christmas gift, the wish list can obviously also be used for birthdays and such in the near future. A note of warning though: technical gifts that you get today, maywill… be out of date in the next few months. Even this list that I give you below will be out of date shortly. Having said that, there are a lot of gifts and presents out there for a podcaster friend or in the family. Here is what should be on your Christmas shopping list:

  • Money – most podcasters are working for almost nothing podcasting, so throwing a little cash at your podcaster is always a plus.
  • Microphone – a good microphone can make all the difference. Though pricey, maybe it can be a group gift or something.
    • shure ksm44 – $800 – great sounding mic, it’s what I use in the studio.
    • shure ksm27 – $300 – great studio mic as well, but I use it for live recordings.
    • marshall mxlusb.006 – $100 – usb means you can plug it right into the computer to record, very nice.
  • Audio Podcast Software (costs very greatly between vendors and specials)
    • Audacity – free and cross platform (apple or windows).
    • Mac
      • Garageband – the podcasting standard, free on new apples.
      • Soundtrack Pro – a great upgrade.
    • PC
      • Cakewalk – great starter software.
      • Adobe Audition – better.
  • Headphones – a good set of headphones is crucial to getting the sound you want.
    • Sennheiser HD25 – $200 – though a big investment, these headphones are a big improvement over your averages set.
    • AKG 240S – $100 – $100 is really enough to spend on a good set, there are so many at this price point it’s hard to pick.
    • Others? – as stated above, since there are so many, they try to beat each other out on price and packaging… the sound is the issue though. headphones are very personal items, don’t feel bad if your podcaster takes a set you bought him or her back. each podcaster has to find a pair to get comfortable with and ‘know.’
  • Portable Recorder– if your podcaster is on the go.
    • Edirol R09 – $400 – I did a review of this not too long ago, great recorder.
    • M-Audio MicroTrack – $300 – my number 2 pick.
    • iRiver – $150 – might be hard to find, but a great little mp3 recorder.
  • iPod – you can never go wrong with getting someone an ipod. consider a different form factor or more memory than the one he or she already has. maybe an itunes gift card if the ipod is out of the price range?
  • Books– resources for podcasters are all over the internet, but sometimes it’s just good to have a book to sit down and read… and not an audio book… real paper that you can highlight and underline. my recent picks for the best podcasting books are:
  • Magazines– a great way for your podcaster to keep tuned in to the latest things going on.
    • Mix – if your podcaster is mixing their own podcast.
    • Recording – more for the music industry, but still some great tips.
    • Videomaker – great for videographers.
    • Computer Videomaker – video podcasters will appreciate this one.
    • Sound & Vision – audio and video tech toys together.

I’d also like you to think about magazines and gifts in and around your podcasters topic or niche. If he or she is podcasting about jogging, get a subscription to Runner’s magazine, a new jogging outfit, or how about a gift certificate to a shoe store?

Lastly, how about a trip to a podcasting conference, course, or seminar. There are only a few, and you can search for them in your area. I personally have a course I’m teaching in Houston, TX that will be under $400 for 18 hours of instruction over 6 Monday nights… but there is the Podcast Academy, Podcamp, the Podcast and New Media Expo, etc. A gift for a trip to something such as one of those could very easily benefit your podcaster more than any of the other things mentioned in this post.

So, what to get a podcaster? Great question! The wish list of a podcaster can be huge depending on how into podcasting your podcaster is. I hope this list helps!

Another MP3 Player for Your Site November 8, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Software, Podcasting.
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Yesterday, I talked about Wimpy versus FLAM... both MP3 players for podcasts on your site. I got an email about another open source option that I just wanted to share breifly.

XSPF Web Music Player is a flash-based web application that uses the xspf playlist format to play mp3 songs. You can integrate it into your website just as the others. XSPF stands for the XML Shareable Playlist Format and the software is written in Actionscript 2. It’s less slick on the admin side than Wimpy or FLAM, but it’s free, and you have some more control what it does if you like to get in and code things. There is a Slim, Extended, and Button version which would be equivalent to a regular player, jukebox, and button from Wimpy or FLAM.

Podcast Players – MP3 Files Played on Your Site November 7, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Software, Podcasting.
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I got an email question two weeks ago about Flam vs. Wimpy. Actually… that’s all the email said… “Flam vs Wimpy” was the subject, and the body was “Flam versus Wimpy?”

Flam and Wimpy are both Macromedia flash based mp3 players that you can include on your web page to play podcasts. I’ve only used one of them, but I did a quick poll of my network and have heard from people who’ve had experience with both.

Right up front, I’ll tell you that the majority use Wimpy. I know a couple people who have switched from Flam to Wimpy, and I personally don’t know anyone who has switched from Wimpy to Flam. Feel free to comment here on either, or another that you like, but the poll that I took suggests Wimpy is

  1. easier to install and maintain
  2. working on upgrades more frequently
  3. charging you money (maybe that’s why 1 and 2 are true)

Yes, FLAM is free and Wimpy costs money. Here are the links and quick facts:

FLAM

  • Flam is free :)
  • Flam uses Macromedia Flash (swf), MySQL, XML and PHP. A MYSQL database stores the authors and track characteristics and the PHP scripts manage the communication between the Flash player and the database.
  • FLAM stands for F-L-ASH MP3.
  • FLAM Player has an administration module that an admin uses to add tracks, edit authors and track data, and create playlists.
  • They say there is a FLAM express coming, but it’s not out yet.

WIMPY Player

  • Wimpy has a PHP and an ASP version.
  • There are several different products:
    • Wimpy MP3 – A jukebox for your website that you can skin. It will automatically list and play a directory of MP3 files that you point it at.
    • Wimpy Button – This is the trick for podcasters… it plays one MP3 file when someone clicks the button. You can customize the look of the button and put it anywhere (it’s html).
    • Wimpy AV – Presents and plays a directory of FLV, SWF and/or MP3 files.
    • Wimpy Wasp – Like the button, it plays one video (FLV or SWF) either as a pop up window or embedded in your webpage.

Wimpy also has the Wimpy Podcast Player. – The Wimpy MP3 Player will allow you to generate a podcast feed as well as play podcasts directly from your web site.

The other thing I like about Wimpy is that there are a bunch of free tools around it.

Who’s using…

Bottom line? At least pay the $20 for the Wimpy button and see what it’s all about. You’ll be glad you did.

The Levelator™ October 10, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Academy, Podcast and Portable Media Expo, Podcast Software, Podcasting.
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Don’t miss this tool! The Levelator™ takes an audio file and normalizes the levels in the file. The perfect application, and one that many people deal with, is multiple speakers. Whether it’s two people and one mic (so one person is a little further away and may not sound as loud), multiple people with different mics or different levels, or the best application being an interviewee on a Skype call (maybe audio hijacked) and an interviewer on a mic… The Levelator™ will take a Wav or Aiff file and “level” all those various speakers.

I found out about this tool at the Podcast Academy / Podcast and Portable Media Expo… and it truly is a revolutionary tool. Find details here. Download this tool: http://www.gigavox.com/levelator.