Entries categorized "Podcasting" Feed

Listening to the voice of reason

I NEVER THOUGHT I would see both the rise of populism and the dismissal of expertise enshrined in the White House. But that has happened and I think it's important for all free-thinking people to step up their game by diving deep into high quality programmes like the BBC Radio 4 series The Life Scientist


The show is largely the work of broadcaster, author and physicist Jameel Sadik Al-Khalili (in the photo from 1001 inventions), a British citizen whose passport has the imprint "Born in Baghdad" on it. Similar passport holders have endured the humiliation of hours of interrogation in American immigration cubicles. 

I graduated from an American high school where several of my classmates have helped propel the rise of right-wing populism. Some of that populism has normalized nasty attitudes and it has scorned reasoned discourse about climate change, religious faiths and immigration policy. I am appalled by the sludge of dubious opinions being passed off as facts. I'm troubled by the phenomenon of science denial because that sort of behaviour leads to the eroding of important international treaties when political appointees revert to their gut feelings about ways things should be done.

Facts are worth fighting for. So I've put The Life Scientist at the top of my podcast player and I plan to share snippets of what I learn with our two children who need to learn the scientific method. 

The Life Scientific: How Time And Space Began

Playing Short Form Audio with @Anchor

Anchor with Ruth Arnold
Screenshot of @r2uk on Anchor

I'M LATE TO THE waves created on Anchor, an audio app focused on short-form threaded in-hand audio conversations. I think Ruth Arnold gives a very good impression of the app in a series of two minute snippets that I cobbled together and shared on Audioboom.

Listening to r2uk Anchor

I spent an hour listening to waves on Anchor and think it's engaging social audio with several interesting features. I like the sound of people talking, especially when they're able to express their message in fewer than 120 seconds.

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When Building your Business on Top of Another's

YOU DON'T HAVE TO LOOK far to find start-ups that sputtered and died when their core business processes depended upon access to Twitter's firehose or APIs. All Twitter had to do is change how a business could access its API and a complementary business would fold. Twitter's example has been followed by a number of other businesses, including Audioboom.

Screenshot from @Omaniblog on Audioboom.

In Audioboom's case, a decision to the company to introduce a log-in wall in front of anyone wanting to listen to a audio clip caused some upset. The Audioboom log-in wall meant many people could not simply click to hear recordings anymore. The log-in wall means you have to have a free account to listen to anything on the Audioboom system. Paul O'Mahony explains how that has affected his business. [MP3 File 5:38 stored in OneDrive]

Audioboom Damaged My Business


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Annotating Audio on the Fly

X10 ICD MX20 connectionBernie Goldbach in LSAD-Clonmel | My photo of a line-out.

I LISTEN TO SEVERAL HOURS of pre-recorded audio every week and I'm interested in annotating audio on the fly.

The perfect solution for me when listening to audio while mobile would be to tap a button as a segment worth annotating played in my earbuds--and then being able to pull that annotated segment into an audio editing package. This would probably involve working with WAVE files and the Broadcast Wave Format. That's how I work some sound files on my desktop. I use Sony Sound Forge 10 to mark specific segments of clips for editing and reimagination. The Sound Forge software displays the time codes and annotations of everything I mark with the software.

But as audio engineers know, the BWF files appear in ways when using different programs to read them. While I might see the marker made by my mixing deck, I won't see any other text along with the marker. So it's often difficult to remember what to do with the annotated segment.

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Inexpensive Lapel Mic Test

Testing LavalierBernie Goldbach in LIT-Clonmel | Image of Audio-Technica ATR 3350.

I KEEP CHEAP stuff in my gadget drawer and decided to take the Audio-Technica ATR 3350 on a walkabout when requested by voices on Audioboo. Along the way, the little mic recorded an incoming phone call that you can hear in the clip below.

The omnidirectional mono ATR-3350 cost me less than EUR 25 all-in. It's not the kind of technology that you can use directly with a mixing desk because its audio levels are so low. However, when I use it with a fresh battery and record into my Sony ICD MX-20, it delivers consistently good results. Other people who have used the mic with video cameras report spotty results. Even though it comes with ample wiring, it does not pick up GSM noise interference from mobile phones like my XLR microphones always seem to do.

I've used the Audio-Technica ATR 3350 lavalier microphone for more than two years. I'm happy with its durability and reliability but I haven't exposed it to overuse with creative multimedia students or with little fingers at home.

Testing Lavalier

Bernie Goldbach teaches social audio on a creative multimedia degree programme.


The Phoneternet Has Relaunched Podcasting

Educasting's First 1000 ListensBernie Goldbach in LSAD-Clonmel | Screenshot from Educasting.

A RENAISSANCE IS UNDERWAY in podcasting, thanks to the rise of the Phoneternet. And as the screenshot shows, I'm enjoying a benefit from the trend.

Smartphones make quick work of producing quality audio content when using apps like Audioboo or BossJock Studio. Dozens of free apps help you download and listen (or stream) personal on-demand casts (podcasts). We've carved out space on Audioboo's servers with Educasting from Ireland and believe we have the material, people and pipes to make a 10-year commitment to serving earbuds with stories about teaching and learning from Ireland.

After a month of educasting, our most popular half hour of audio to date is Educasting 03, an episode that dealt with Evernote, One Note, formative assessment and ethical recording.

Educasting 03

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Using Two Mics

MicsI CARRY TWO MICS (at left) in my Bihn bag because I like to have gear that works with both my laptop and my digital audio recorders. I like mics that can be used in the field with dedicated recorders as well as being useful when lined in via my laptop's mic port. A few years ago, the USB mics I used generated hiss or hum that I could not reduce by a software gate so I started using the mic ports instead. I prefer the Rode or Beyerdynamic shotgun mics (both costing more than EUR 200) because they capture a wider range of the human voice. The Audio Technica lapel mic is convenient but as its recording level shows on the Audioboo clip, it's not as good as the Rode mic. It cost me EUR 120. Both of my mics are powered by a single AA battery and they have proven to be very resistant to damage in the field. In fact, the weak link is the XLR-to-3.5 cable. As I'll explain in a workshop at the ICT in Education Conference, it's easy to pull and disconnect internal leads on that cable. To hear the audio comparison of my two mics, click the link attached to my blog post.

Two Mics on Test

On Audioboo: "Two Mics to Test IE9 Line-in".

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Handheld HD with Qik Video Connect Plus



I SPENT MY FIRST coffee with Qik today, using Qik Video Connect Plus. It's an iPhone app that is totally integrated to all the social services and it incorporates several clever real time effects. There are two versions of the application available: Qik Video Connect and Qik Video Connect Plus. I paid $2.99 for the Plus version because I wanted the HD quality video. You can get a free version, Qik Video Connect, in the app store. The app is clever but it doesn't remove the need for the user to remember to turn the camera so it records in the best aspect ratio. I didn't and the result shows in the video clip that I made.

Qik -- Video Connect and my video.

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E7 post

E7 Mic RigJUST A QUICK CHECK of mail2blog posting sent from my Nokia E7 phone. I'm trying to make the E7 work with AlonMP3, a piece of software that is not designed for new Symbian phones. The recording software works great with my legacy mobile recording equipment, shown at left. I want to pull all these things together on the Web Promotion for Business course that we're running. If this post goes up to my weblog, it means that my mail2blog service is working fine with my E7's Gmail service. I'm trying to attach audio clips directly to my blog posts--something that I thought I could do last year--but discovered that I cannot email directly out from the AlonMP3 software. After I emailed my blog post up to InsideView, I used the server software to attach the audio file to the blog post. I'd like to be able to email the MP3 file to the blog as an attachment to a post.

First Use of Rig

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Open Source Radio


Making Underway in IrelandWHILE DRIVING IN TIPPERARY and listening to Adam Curry on my iPod Touch, I discovered something interesting. It's Open Source Radio, the Curry edition. Adam Curry has been running a streaming server for several years. We have one on wide-open bandwidth at LIT-Clonmel. The idea: push out a rotating playlist of songs that are truly interesting to creative multimedia audiences. Those audiences are communities of students, potential degree candidates, employers and graduates.

Curry is running his live stream on Thursdays and Sundays at 5PM Irish Time. You can listen live on the No Agenda Stream or get your fix as a podcast. The problem is Curry's podcast server isn't accepting all his three-hour shows for distribution.

Adam Curry's Open Source Radio

Recording with a live audience is the way to go. That audience gives real-time feedback by text, IRC chat, or hashtagged tweets. Curry's chatroom runs around the clock because he has a truly international audience. The sun does set on his audience--the Irish late night discussions are particularly vibrant. It's reinvigorated Adam.

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