Monday, January 10, 2005

Prelude to Podcasting

I don't mean to blow my own trumpet, but -- toot toot!

Let me tell you why I'm so chuffed: I recently downloaded a podcast from a respected fellow who was detailing how he goes about making podcasts; I know it sounds a little geeky, but I was interested to know what sort of equipment he used.

Before his voice even got to a PC it went through a very expensive suspension microphone, then through two black boxes that filtered the clipping and background noises before being recorded into a compact flash digital audio gizmo.

Well, I thought the audio quality of his podcast was pretty good, and I wanted to have a go myself with the editing app he recommended, but I don't own a microphone. Then I remembered the teeny weeny hole in the top of my Pocket PC that's a mike for recording voice notes, so I figured I'd have a play with that.

After adjusting the gain to the highest quality settings, I recorded ten minutes of blurb onto my SD card and popped it into the PC.

Wow. I could not get over how good it sounded. Crystal clear, with virtually no hiss or background noise.

I wasn't sure how to get the sound from the pwi file into Audacity so I just imported it as raw sound and it worked perfectly. I then used the default Normalize and Amplify settings and exported it as a rather low bitrate mp3.

To my ears it sounds even better than the file that prompted this project. I feel I'm ready right now to start making podcasts; all I need is something to talk about!

So if you have a Pocket PC (mine's an HP 1910) record a voice note and play it back on your PC. The speaker on the PDA doesn't really do it justice...

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