Stilgherrian Live Alpha: lessons from episode 2

I wish I had a screenshot to show you, but, as I mentioned before, episode 2 of Stilgherrian Live Alpha wasn’t recorded. It only lives on in the memories of the 20-odd people who watched it live — and then probably not for long.

What did we learn this time?

The key lesson is that it just isn’t possible to do everything on my old PowerBook G4. There ain’t enough processing power. And there isn’t quite the cashflow to organise my new Macbook Pro for a couple of weeks. That leaves me with an important decision: How do I shape this alpha series in the meantime?

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Creating podcasts on a Mac, Part 1

Podcasting is now far, far easier and cheaper even than I’d imagined — even for complex productions. I’ve been experimenting. Here’s a very quick summary of what I’ve learned so far about doing this on a Mac, my platform of choice.

Now if your podcast is just you talking then you can take a much simpler approach. Read no further.

However this investigation was inspired by the “live recording” of the 2 Web Crew. Having an audience contributing comments and questions via text chat created an interesting dynamic — similar to talkback radio but less formal. I wanted to explore further.

The technical challenge is combining all of the audio elements before the audio or video stream is piped up to Ustream or wherever. There’s probably quite a few ways to do this, but my starting-point was The UStream Tool Kit — which also covers Windows.

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Dawn Chorus, 18 March 2007

Here’s what dawn sounded like this morning (1.3MB MP3), or at least a minute and a half of it. There’s quite a few different kinds of birds. Unfortunately there’s a slight whine in the right channel — a bad microphone cable, that’ll have to be replaced! And the thumping sounds toward the end are one of the cats walking across the wooden deck, too close to the mic stands. But it’s a suitable test of my recording set-up, which hasn’t been used in ages.