The trials and tribulations of a podcaster

The trials and tribulations of a podcaster

I often get asked how long it takes to create my podcasts. Well it all depends on the type of podcast I am creating; is it a video or an audio podcast. My video podcasts normally take considerable time because I like to put lots of images to go with the information whereas audio podcasts are quicker since normally it is just a matter tidying them up a bit.

Every now and then you get caught out, what should have been a reasonably quick podcast gets hijacked by gremlins (little men in the machine that are out to get you).

First lets set the scene. I was lucky enough a few weeks ago to interview Sean O’Driscoll, General Manager Communities and Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, about online communites and Web 2.0. (You will probably realise by now that I think Sean’s Community Group Therapy blog rocks). Due to work commitments and other podcasts I have had to edit it has taken me awhile to get to editing Sean’s interview.

So today I put Sean’s podcast on my to-do-list; it is only an audio podcast so that won’t take too long.

Famous last words, here is what happened:

  1. I record my Skype interviews with HotRecorder. Once finished recording you convert to mp3 using their AutoConvertor. Well – I have been trying since the interview to convert to a mp3 or wav using AutoConvertor without any luck. It kept “not responding” on my computer.
  2. Not a problem there is always plan B. Plan B always works. You play the recording in HotRecorder and record using Video ipod with attached MicroMemo recorder (sound is feed from computer to recorder on ipod). That worked so well – NOT! Bugger….
  3. Plan C. So I decided that the way to go was to copy the audio file to another location on my computer and then update my version of HotRecorder in case that was the problem with HotRecorder. Imagine my surprise to discover it had converted ok and there was no need for me to have wasted time trying to record onto my ipod.
  4. Great so now edited in Audacity – which I did. But FINE….not. HotRecorder produces a wav or mp3 file that is recorded at 24,000 hz with Sean’s audio playing in one ear and mine in the other. If I upload a file at 24,000 hz Sean will sound like a chipmunk (his kids would have a good laugh). So again I got out the video ipod, that always works, and tried lot of times, with lots of combinations to record, because that way if it worked we would both play in both ears and it would be at 44,100 hz – but no luck just could not get it to work.
  5. Downloaded a few Audio conversion programs to try and get it to convert to 44,100 hz and play better. Nope…. no good.
  6. Even thought I would start up my work laptop and try connecting my ipod to it…NOPE…even my laptop hates me and would not let me log in as localuser.
  7. So there was one choice left…..(actually what I really want to do was really a bit dramatic)…changed project rate in Audacity to 22,050 hz which then means it will no longer chipmunk however have to live with the voice each person playing in different ears.

Yes – I know the solution is to get myself some better podcasting equipment like my mate Stephan Ridgway from Talking VTE. He use a mixer and good microphones to record his Skype interviews. Still not sure why my ipod solution won’t work as it normally does. Oh well so is life. I am sure that Stephan, if he listens to my podcast with Sean, will have great pleasure in giving me a bit of a hard time as we have great discussions on how long a podcast should be; and I argue the need to keep them less than 30 minutes.

Stephan Ridgway's podcasting equipment

Any way, broke my own rule, the interview with Sean is longer than 30 minutes but I did not want to break it up as he talks about some many great topics such as: online commnunities and why they are important to businesses; how to manage inappropriate behaviour in online communities; the value of blogging to him; and various Web 2.0 topics.

Please note it is now late – and now my wireless mouse has decided to play up as well. Must be time for bed!!!!!


3 thoughts on “The trials and tribulations of a podcaster

  1. It is all cool Sean. I had to have something to rant about because I was at home with no coke machine to rant about. BTW coke machine broken again today. 🙂 Yes I also enjoyed doing the podcast I hope your readers like it.


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