A guide to recording audio
When I started in radio most of the kit was prohibitively expensive for the home enthusiast, now free digital editing software, and an abundance of cheap and very good mic's bring the whole audio production game within the reach of just about anyone with a home PC. To highlight some of the different ways you can record broadcast quality audio without spending a lot of cash I joined up with Paul Parkinson of Podcast User Magazine. More details on what we used to record here. There's a version without idents on the internet archive here incase you want to spread the good word yourself. Otherwise you get exactly the same thing plus bonus bad music and husky voiced ident via the link below
Little Atoms: Semi-blog powered radio
Stumbled across a radio show on Resonance FM called Little Atoms. I'm not just drawn in by the superficial similarity of our websites, a co-incidence I'm sure, the content looks fun too with plenty of the top names in British blogging on the show.
BBC Discussion on the Future of Radio
I was on BBC Radio Five Live this morning (listen to me blather here) talking about the future of radio with Ian Dickens, chief executive of the Digital Radio Development Bureau and Phil Elliot Five Live's resident gadget guru. The discussion was sparked by new RAJAR figure's showing 4million people in the UK now listen to DAB digital radio (it's free unlike Sirius, but not satellite). My role was to suggest how I thought podcasting was likely to change radio. As I say in the show the major difficulty I see with podcasts at the moment is sequencing: Odeo's custom channels are almost there but not quite - they're input rather than output driven. Good scheduling software needs to have a blank template into which it fits podcasts matched to your preferences to create a properly sequenced show. So an hour might include a news podcast at the top (or converted real audio feed), local traffic and weather podcasts, a podcast related to the main news of the day (as determined by Google news perhaps) and then other shows to match your previously entered listening preferences (with perhaps one show randomly determined to keep it surprising). Interestingly when I spoke to Hugh Hewitt some time ago about his new(ish) book Blog he said much the same thing (mp3 here)
We Don't Own the News
On the pods and blogs segment on BBC Radio Five we interviewed Richard Sambrook, blogger (internally within the BBC only at the moment) and international news supremo, his official title being Director of the BBC's World Service and Global News division. His remarks at the We Media conference that "we don't own the news" have attracted significant attention. particularly from advocates of citizen journalism. His view as expressed in one interview is that journalists will increasingly become news "facilitators" i.e. filtering and evaluating content primarily provided by the public. I'm sure what he has to say on this will be of interest to bloggers and podcasters alike. An archive of the interview can be found here.
On WGN Radio
I'll be on WGN Radio Chicago as a guest of Milt Rosenberg. We'll be talking about podcasting. If you want to listen live the link's here
WGN has just entered the world of podcasting (more here) which is great news for fans of quality commercial radio in the US
Update: Huh for about the 3rd time in a row the Cubbies have tied the game up. I'm clearly the best mascot they've ever had!
Update: Cubs have just lost...somehow posting about the game must have double jinxed them..sorry cubbies.
Update: But we just don't have enough time to do the topic justice..so we're postponing again _sigh_
Pods and Blogs - BBC Radio Five Live
There was little else we could justifiably do this week but cover the aftermath of hurricane Katrina through the eyes of bloggers and podcasters. The latest archive is here and our blog is here (expect and update of links etc Weds.)
I said on the programme that I thought this disaster was a crucible for much that is wrong in our society; the way that the poor, the sick and the old were the particular victims of the failures in emergency management show us clearly what we must change and improve. In that vein LA based blogger Matt Welch has an interesting article that analyzes how rumour and prejudice compounded the crisis in Louisiana
Pods and Blogs - BBC Radio Five Live
Monday's segment was a bit hectic; what we'd planned was blown out the window by the awful arrival of hurricane Katrina. Today's pictures from the states affected are truly moving. Helping us cover events we had some excellent contributions from The Oil Drum, The Watt, and Weather Underground to name but a few.
UPDATE I: The audio archive on the Radio Five Live site still points (bizarrely) to half of last week's show I'm afraid. I've emailed them to see if we can get this fixed.
UPDATE II : I've cut an mp3 of some of the items covering the hurricane and the new Iraqi constitution. I mixed this mp3 "as live" using 2 free pieces of software Cool Play and Audacity our production notes section has more on this.
UPDATED, UPDATE III: The archive is now fixed! Click here to listen to the entire broadcast including all the items not included in the mp3.
Here's a quick run down of the segment:
We kicked off with some excellent phone posts of people who chose to stay behind in New Orleans. And we played a recorded an interview with blogger Michele Dupre as she reflected on what had been a very dramatic night and early morning.
Next Dr Jeff Masters of the Weather Underground site. In a previous job he's even flown into hurricane's. He told us just what it was like to experience 100mph+ winds. Apparently at his university they invite student to try out high wind speeds in a wind tunnel...most can't make it past 70mph.
Of course one of the big knock-on effects of the hurricane will be on oil prices. Today's NYTimes has an incredible photo of an oil rig entangled with a bridge (sadly I can't find it on the on-line edition). Discussing the issues we were joined by Heading Out of the truly amazing site The Oil Drum joined us (why pay for a subscription to an industry magazine when you can read stuff like that for free) as did Ben of the excellent energy blog/podcast The Watt
We overran the half-ways because those guys were so good. After the news and sport it was back to Iraq. Asso Aslem of the site/blog/radio-station www.niqash.org joined us with an informative run-down of the situation with the new constitution. We spoke via a very good voice over internet connection to his base in Northern Iraq.
And then back to the hurricane. In spite of our best efforts seminarian/podcast/blogger Chris Decker's internet and phone connection in Baton Rouge died at the vital moment. But we played a clip of his podcast.
Then on to the blogging man of the hour Mark Kraft aka Insomnia. He's really done sterling work dealing with the hurricane and compiling posts from all those blogging from New Orleans.
And last but by no means least, we wondered if the bad weather and high oil prices weren't a reminder that we all ought to be a bit more concerned about the environment, and maybe, just maybe, cut back on our penchant for gas guzzling "after-the-passion-wagons" and SUV's in the company of the superb podcasting tag-team of More Hip than Hippie.
We don't need no stinkin transmitters aye
If you can't broadcast, podcast. That's what those canny Canucks are doing at CBCunplugged. In brief striking Canadian broadcasters are putting out podcast shows in a gesture of defiance as a dispute with management keeps them off the wireless. I'm not sure in the final analysis I understand what it proves, except that the most important people in radio are the content producers and that if you have good content everything else, including transmitters, is a bit of an irrelevance...at least until pay-day comes around.
Leaving the best bits in...
Evans, who presents Radio 5's weekend news, told Witchell: "If I'm going to ask you questions and you're just going to say I'm not prepared to answer that we're not going to get very far, are we? I just want to get this over with."
During the in-studio spat the tapes were rolling as producers (ugh been there, done that) tried to calm the situation. Nothing surprising there, but some wise-ass cut an mp3 (via The Guardian) and the row is now all over the Internet. Top marks go to the press office this time though for their perceptive comment - "It sounds like the sort of story which tends to surface in August, doesn't it?" Indeed.
That's probably about as much as I can say..except to observe the mp3 is almost certainly a lot more entertaining than the finished 2-way, thereby reinforcing something that podcasters seem to have known for a long time; that the best radio is made by leaving the so-called out-takes in. (cf. the wonderfully crafted stumble, mumble fest as I introduce the Catholic Insider on the last pods and blogs cast)
Pods and Blogs - BBC Radio Five Live
Another week and another edition of our segment dedicated to blogging and podcasting on Five Live's Up All Night programme. It's been a bit tricky getting material together for this week, the news didn't naturally fall into a clear sequence - but we've got some good stuff coming up I hope. You can listen live here (Monday 6PM PST / 9PM EST / 2AM BST) or after the show on archive here. Continued overleaf is a list of items currently planned for the show..
Update: We've had some issues with the archive this week. We hope to have it fixed soon. In the meantime I'll post some of the non-BBC copyright material as an mp3 here soon
Following he continuing investigations into the shooting of an innocent man on the London Underground we take a look at whether there should be armed police on the tube with Annie Mole of http://london-underground
Over a 100 bombs in Bangladesh this week and people in that country seem to think it's about time both government and opposition took terrorism seriously. We'll speak with Bangladeshi blogger Rezwanul of http://rezwanul.blogspot.com/
An internet worm wiggled its way round the web this week. But are such attacks the early tremors of a much bigger, much more damaging virus attack? Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard University speaks to us about his fears.
News and Sport
Our correspondent Kevin Anderson takes a look at efforts to set up a European version of the Electronic Freedom Foundation and about concerns over new EU rules on data retention that are stirring up controversy. Our guest is blogger Suw Charman
From the heart of the Catholic Church... The Catholic Insider talks to us about the World Youth Day gathering in Cologne.
And last but by no means least we'll have a listen round the wonderful world of soundseeing tours. Many different clips on offer, but also a mini-interview with Nicole Simon of Sushiradio