2007-05-26 06:40:13

Hi all,

I've decided that I want to join in the podcasts for blind cool tech.  Since I know there's at least one person here that has done podcasts for them (dark), I wondered if I could get some tips/answers to questions.

First off, I'm not totally new to podcasts...I subscribe to several.  Creating podcasts, however, is a different story.  Also, I don't have any fansy mics or digital recorders like half the people that podcast over there do.  I thought maybe I could get by using Resco on the PAC Mate to do the recordings.

Here's where the newbe in me comes out.  What do I have to do to submit podcasts for them?  Are there certain criteria that have to be met?  I looked on the submitions page, and it said to make mp3s 96KBPS and 44.1KHZ.  I don't really know what that means, despite the fact that I took an audio class last fall that was supposed to explain this kind of stuff.  I guess I just didn't get it, and I've yet to find a website, not even wikipedia, that explains it very well.  For now, it kinda seems techy to me.

I'd apreciate any help I can get, as it'd give me something to do over the summer.  I've already recorded a review, I just need to figure out what I need to do to submit it.  It sounds good enough to me, but maybe not everyone would agree.

Once I get this stuff figured out, I can start "casting of the pod" to quote dark... LOL


2007-05-26 08:11:28 (edited by dark empathy 2007-05-26 08:43:39)

ah how ironic, I'm just setting up for the recording that Lone wolf review I promised (the game book series not the submarine audiogame).

Anyway, given the current positions of my speakers i'm going to have to turn the volume up more than usual. As I'm now in my new flat with neighbors under my floor, I've been trying to keep volume related things down at more unearthly hours ----- in truth it'd probably be fine (I've been up all night reading Spellsinger vol 6 on cd), and not got any complaints, but stil I'd rather not cause trouble if I can avoid it.

Anyhow, to actually answer your questions, Luckily, I have a friend who's a very serious ameter musician and net radio Dj, so he's highly familiar with all this sort of stuff and provided me with explanations.

the 44 khz sampling rate is probably set as standard on most recorders, sinse it's what all Audio Cd's and mp3's etc use. In scientific terms this is to do with how many times per second the sound wave repeats, ---- ie, it's frequency, but I'll probably have to go and ask my friend again why precisely you must have this frequency for digital recorders (I'm going to see Pirates with him on Tuesday, so will ask him then).

Anyway, suffice it to say you probably don't need to worry about 44 khz.

the 96 kbps thing though is another matter (I do actually remember what this one means smile!).

Basically, kbps stands for killabytes  per second, and has to do with how much info the sound wave has in it. Mp3's are able to be smaller files because they cut out lots of stuff at frequencies which humans can't here. the lower the kbps, the less information is contained in the sound wave, and the worse quality it is.

Generally, you won't actually notice the decrease in quality until you get to fairly low sample rates. But 96 obviously doesn't make a difference to the quality, while keeping the file size down, so it's a good idea to have your recorder set to that.

I'm afraid I don't actually know what a pack mate is, ----- it sounds to me like the person Packman goes to the pub with after a hard day eating ghosts, so I can't offer any specific recording advice.

As general tips though, I've advise making certain that your stuff sounds okay when played through windows media player, ---- preferably on speakers. Quite often I'll here something on my R09, through my rather nice headphones and think it's fine, then try to play it through the pc and find it isn't.

I'd also advise mucking about with positions of hardware and speaker placement, ------ though if you can reccord directly from your Pc you won't have to do this (hopefully I should be able to get my hands on a Usb mike soon so I won't have to do it either).

As to other guidelines, making a few practice runs, having a basic idea what you want to talk about, and being relaxed all help I've found.

There are no submition guidelines for Bct other than the ones you mention, so it's up to you how you cast your pod.

Submition is very easy. simply go to one of the Bct ftp sites, (the one I use is: ftp://dm.myftp.org/

Then just enter the password given on Bct (you should only have to do this once sinse the site will remember you), and copy and paste the file of your review into the internet explorer window. One of those percentage boxes should appear similar to when you download a file (though uploading seems to take longer), wait until that's at 100 percent and vuala!

Then, just send an E-mail to Larry Scuchan telling him what file you've submitted, with a brief description (I also let him know which server I've submitted to sinse there was once trouble with one of them), and it should get posted within the next week.

Well sorry about the long explanation, hopefully some of it will be helpful.

Now, I'm going to grab some coffee and actually reccord that pod!

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

Thumbs up

2007-05-26 19:26:30

Dark, that was actually really helpful.  I ended up recording my podcast 4 or 5 times to get it to where it sounded good enough to me, and that I didn't leave anything out.  Unfortunately though, I can't get any of the ftp sites to work...it keeps telling me that it timed out.  It doesn't come up with a place to put in a username and password.

Maybe the servers are down?


2007-05-27 00:40:03

ah.  After what seems like azillion google searches, it seems I can't access the FTP sites.  Even after I try logging in, it still comes up with a mesage informing me that Windows could not access the folder, and to make sure I have permission to access it.

I've tried messing with different settings under Internet options, but to no avail so far.  The only thing I haven't tried is playing with the firewall, but an error comes up when I try to open that as well.

It also wouldn't surprise me if for some reason I can't access FTP do to restrictions that sometimes come with school wireless networks.  Just to be sure, I went and had a look at the wireless agreement my university has on their page, and it didn't sound to me like uploading a casted pod would be a big deal, but they love to bog things like that down with leagalese that you can't make sense of it. LOL

Any suggestions for getting around the FTP errors, or other ways to cast the pod other than via FTP?


2007-05-27 03:14:18

Hi Brian, glad I could help.

Unfortunately, my first attempt at recording the pod didn't exactly work too much random info in no logical order), and when I was about to try again I ran into one of my more destracting friends, who I spent all afternoon with. So annoyingly the pod will have to be done tomorrow.

Looking at the Ftp though, I get a nasty message from windows when I try to open it too, which implies that it's a problem with the server not our connections.

I'm actually glad you found this out, sinse I'd assume that something was going wrong with my new Bt dsl connection which I've just got set up here.

Perhaps you should try the other server mentioned on Blind cool tech (check the submition guidelines thingy, I think it's listed there). If that doesn't work, i suggest E-mailing Lar scuchan, ---- I'll certainly mail him myself if I have this problem tomorrow (which i probably will).

As far as uni networks of doom go, up until I moved out at the end of April, I was under the Tyrrany of Durham uni's network connection of doom, which stopped me doing all sorts of things, ----- like playing muds, connecting to Vip gameszone games, or streaming stuff using winamp. I was however allowd to use the ftp through it.

Based on the fact that the Durham network was administrated and set up by the most security paranoid bunch of brainless monkies you can imagine (deffinately not-human, and probably not even higher primate), I'd be moderately surprised to find that your uni network wouldn't let you upload stuff to an ftp server.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

Thumbs up

2007-05-27 06:18:52

Hi Dark,

Glad I'm not the only one.  I've tried the ftp link you gave me, as well as the link provided on the bct contact page multiple times, alternating between that and googling to try and figure out why the errors kept coming up.  I would either get an error saying that the connection timed out, or that the server could not be verified (I'm paraphrasing that one, since it was the less common of the two).

As far as emailing, I did that earlier this afternoon before some friends picked me up to watch a basketball game, and I haven't gotten a reply back.  Given that you're having the same problem, I'd bet that Lary's gotten more then enough emails complaining about issues like these.

As to the network connections, looks like my university played some of the same cards yours did, upping the security quite a bit.  In adition to making students change their passwords for accessing online university services, they added a secure network which requires WPA encryption (probably a good idea), but that required me to spend $35 on a new wireless card.  Recently when I had issues connecting to the network via my PC, I had to use my PDA to access the net, and the wireless card I have for that doesn't support WPA, so I had to use the network the university set up for guests, which I don't mind, since most of the time when I'm using the PDa I don't need to access campus resources.  Anyway, as of a couple weeks ago they are now requiring a username and password to access that network as well, so I'll need to take the PAC Mate over to tech support.  I can't wait to see their reaction when they think I've got a laptop without a screen. LOL  Of course, it is just a blindness specific pocket pc, though I thought the comparison to pacman was pretty good.  I've installed a trial version of an audio recording program onto it, and I may decide to purchase it later after the two weeks ends.

That's what I'll be using to cast my pod, though I don't have an external mic.  After playing around a bit, I got it to where the internal mic should be alright for most of what I'll be doing since my computer wasn't talking much during the recording.  I just had to turn my speakers up a bit louder than normal.  I just transfer the pods to my pc via my 8 gig compact flash card.  Unfortunately, Pocket PCs can't record in stereo as far as I know, so I'll need to get a dedicated hardware audio recorder for that.  Something like one of those new olympus recorders everyone that casts their pod seems to rave about.  Maybe someday...


2007-06-02 05:14:21

ah.  I got an email back the other day that suggested that I send my podcast via a normal email attachment.  I didn't think it would work given how long the recording was, but it ended up only being a little over a 5MB file.  It sounded alright to me, though I really hoped it'd be a bit better.  Looking at the properties of the file, it's only 22KBPS and 11 KHZ.  I haven't tried tweakig the settings on my recording program yet, since every time I  change a setting it comes up with a message saying that it hasn't been tested to work with the storage medium, which in my case is my 8 gig storage card.  I did a test on one of them, and it said it'd work fine, so those are the settings I used to do the podcast.

After my podcast was successfully sent off via email, I recorded another one on how I've used the iPod right out of the box since I'm not a rockbox fan (shocking I know).  I haven't tried sending that one off yet though.  Maybe I'll give the ftp sites another shot.  The first podcast is about using iTunes with JAWS.  We'll see if it actually ends up getting posted...