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NASA – Steve Robinson: First Podcaster From Space

I don’t mean to diminish the importance of STS-114 with this comment: the linked article merely references a downloadable MP3 recording. A key element of podcasting is syndication via RSS enclosures. A quick scan of NASA’s RSS feeds doesn’t reveal that this was syndicated content. This is the only NASA podcast feed I’ve found.

I’m just picky, I guess.

Please arrive home safely, Discovery.

Getting all my audio gear set up for the podcast. I’ll probably have a few kinks to work out after this session. We will be starting at 9 or a little earlier. Email or Skype me at “aharden” if you want to join the conference call. And make sure you’re running the latest version of Skype!

Scott and I will be recording our “warm-up” BDFL pre-season podcast this coming Tuesday at 9PM. Don will be joining us, so there’s no telling what else we might talk about. 😉 If you want in on the fun, you can join our Skype conference call (Skype me at “aharden”). It looks like I can host two more people on the call. We’ll probably be on for 40-60 minutes.

Please leave a comment, email or Skype message if you’re planning to join. Thanks!

Another fantasy football blogger, Dr. Soos, is podcasting. His current FantasySacs podcast features his analysis of the first week of free agent moves in the NFL. Check it out.

Due to Ed‘s talking about them last night, I’m now subscribed to the Dawn & Drew Show and WebTalk Radio podcasts. I’m now subscribed to 16 podcast feeds; here’s my OPML subscription file (generated by Doppler). I’ll try to keep that up to date.

Of course, I don’t have time to listen to all of the content that flows in, but it gives me plenty to pick and choose from.

I was pleased to see two Ogg Vorbis podcasts come though today on the Indy Media Radio podcast feed I’m subscribed to. Both were mono 22Khz spoken-word ‘casts at ~35kbps (probably quality 0) and sounded great. Thanks to their producers for helping to push Vorbis in this space.

I’m catching up on some feeds and podcasts while watching the game tonight (which is in OT!). I’m a pretty regular listener of Adam’s and was mildly entertained when, earlier this week, he featured excerpts of Madge Weinstein, and he podcast a phone interview with “her”. Apparently Madge is really Richard Bluestein (name dropped in the latest Trade Secrets), according to this reference. I’m surprised to find out that Adam and Dave didn’t think Madge was an act before today; Madge seemed way over-the-top to me (and certainly like a man) the first time I heard “her”. In the referenced TS podcast, they both seem miffed that someone would present a false persona as real in the blogosphere/podosphere.

It would probably be nice to know what’s real and what’s scripted in this community, but, like many things online, you gotta take it at face value. I think I have more of a problem with Dave and Adam being miffed at Madge (indeed, appearing to subscribe to the notion that “non-real” blogging/podcasting should be noted as such) than the fact that Madge is an act.

Doug Kaye of IT Conversations wrote a superb essay on the subject of the various stereo modes available when encoding MP3 files. I knew of the “Joint Stereo” setting and how it is different than “dual-channel” stereo, but knew nothing of the tunings one can do to JS encoding. I’ve been encoding the Cygweb podcasts as 48kbps CBR 22kHz mono MP3’s mainly because I didn’t want to sound quality to suck too bad. I’m going to go back and try reencoding some of the podcasts with the settings Doug recommends, then compare them to originals.

This was my first trip to the IT Coversations wiki, and I’m finding it has a lot of good technical info in it.

Thanks, Doug!

I’m catching up on my favorite podcasts and was sort of tickled when Reel Reviews’ Michael Geoghegan went over his new podcasting setup and mentioned he just got the Behringer Eurorack UB802 (he said “820”, but I’m sure he meant “802”) mixer. That’s the one I just purchased. The first podcast using it for will be recorded tonight with Scott. Like Michael, I’m recording off the computer (at least for now). My server running Skype is patched into the mixer, but I will be recording the podcast to MD and playing it back into the computer for final encoding. I’ve had issues with Total Recorder and Skype, and I only have one full audio interface on the server to play with. For the voicework we’re doing on the podcast, the multiple A/D and D/A conversions shouldn’t be a big deal.

Apparently the MD unit I’ll be getting for Christmas may not be arriving in time – supposedly there aren’t any in the country currently. Good things come to those who wait, right? When I get the Hi-MD unit, I’ll be able to digitally upload my recordings to the PC and avoid that last D/A/D conversion.

As I mentioned here, I think that Ogg Vorbis is an excellent container/codec combo for podcasting, from a technical sense. Obviously MP3 has much broader compatibility and should be used for wide-audience podcasts. However, as a proof of concept I’ve made my first podcast available as Ogg Vorbis, with roughly the same bitrate and audio specs as the MP3 version. However, there is more metadata packed into the file, and the multiple tracks within the file go a step towards addressing the bookmarking issue.

If you’re interested in checking it out, it’s here. (14.2MB Ogg Vorbis, Q0 Mono 32000Hz.) I’ve intentionally kept this file from showing up as an RSS enclosure in my feed due to the fact that most people aren’t expecting OGGs to be podcast at the present time.

Please let me know what you think of this format, should you decide to check it out.