Global Geek Podcast Number 8 is Out Now!

Hey everybody, just letting you know that the latest podcast is out. Sebastian and I had an absolutely great time preparing for it and doing it. In addition to that we have worked on the audio and we think that it is much improved.

This week we did some things that made a big improvement to the audio, for a start Sebastian bought a mixer and a great microphone (check out the set-up here). I really need to put some photos up as well. The other thing is that I tweeked my audio to try to eliminate some of the background noise that I can not avoid. My computer sounds like a 747 taking off! But here in the tropics you need that as it gets pretty hot. So to do that I turned down the gain and had the microphone very close to my mouth. What do you know it worked. Don't know why I didn't do it before. But I think one of the reasons was that I was not that good with the levels and could not get it right. So I am glad that my skill has improved and I managed to get it so that it sounds good.

Sebastian's additions to his set up has made setting the levels for the show much easier. The reason being that using a mixer on line-in means that you over-ride Skype trying to adjust your audio setting as well as the fact that you can push the sound higher than you would be able to otherwise. The result is that we had a podcast in the raw format where the levels were pretty close. That ment that I did not have to "compress" it much or amplify it nearly as much. The other thing that we did before the show this week was we forwarded Skype on our routers, without going into it; that means better audio and no use of super nodes – rather a forced direct connection. It was an absolute pleasure to edit.

Sebastian was a bit disappointed with the result, he thought it would be better than it was. But as I said to him, look at how we are recording it; we are using Skype, then Hot Recorder to record it. Then after editing it I am encoding it as an mp3, inherently a lossy format and looses some quality in the encoding. Factoring all that in I think that comparatively we have a very good sound, especially if you get out there and have a listen to some podcasts out there that I don't think spend any time or effort on their audio.

Just a note for our regular listeners to Global Geek Podcast that there will not be a show released over next week end as Sebastian is going to South Hampton for inspiration. But we will hopefully be getting a show out mid week next week as the following week end I am working and it is a big effort to get anything out. So It will work out anyway.

Don't forget to check out the podcast if you have not already and don't forget that you can listen to it straight off this page just find the "PODCAST" button on the right and it stream off the site for you.

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Podcast Player Found! No Help from LibSyn…

Well I am as happy as a pig in poop! Yesterday I blogged about the LibSyn Player malfunction and the fact that I was not getting any help from Liberated Syndication with the problem. The no help thing has continued, step in the wonderful blogging community.

Big ContactYesterday I recieved a comment on the post that was an answer to my prayers. Rob from New York Mets Baseball Podcast put me onto Big Contact's Feed Player. To say that it is unreal is an understatment. It is feature packed and the main thing is: It Works!

In actual fact this player has more features and more options than the LibSyn did! Features like having a list of previous shows as well as the most recent show to play is great. In addition to that there is the function of being able to see the show notes from the player! There are also instructions on how to "subscribe" to the show… AND Adam has just assisted me to make the player "detach" from the page, allowing visitors to surf the web or work elsewhere and listen to the show. Very cool. There is more but I think you get the picture. Oh and did I mention it is free?

Please head over to the Global Geek Podcast Homepage and check it out, especially if you are looking for a player. There are many other customisable features that podcasters may want to modify to suit their needs and the very fact that you can is another big plus.

Many, many thanks to Rob again and hey Rob I have talked to Sebastian and we are only too happy to plug your show on ours so if you would like to send us a promo we will slot it in. Because that's how the world should work.

Stay on the look out for more changes to the Global Geek Podcast Homepage… woot this is going to good…

LibSyn Player Removed!

Well the Global Geek Podcast has been going very well. The website is working great, accept for the LibSyn Player; which has been broken for nearly two weeks.

LibSyn PlayerThe player is just a web page application that allows people to "stream" the audio directly from the web page. It is also detachable so you can surf the net and listen to the show. About twelve days ago, after the upload of show number 004 (I think) it broke. It failed to update with the new show and the situation stayed that way. For me the player does not work at all. For others it might play any show that we have published, at random! Not good.

You might think that this is a minor thing, but you would be surprised to learn that this is the way that most people listen to the show. The majority of people appear to not know about aggregators or "podcatchers". So the fact that it is broken is really affecting our statistics, we have seen jumps in other episodes that should not have occurred and a downturn in the numbers for the most recent show. We are fairly sure that it is related to the player not working. Part of trying to combat this was to put the WordPress Podcast Widget on this blog, you can go to the streaming page and listen to the podcast from this and download the podcast with the right click "save as" command. But it was not a total solution. We have also tried to search for a decent player from somewhere else but we are having trouble finding one that us gumby people can put on the page and looks good.

So after all this and three emails to Liberated Syndication I have removed the player from the site, I just hope that people click the "POD" button to listen to the show or download it manually or preferably subscribe to the show using a podcatcher of some description. I recommend Juice as a free option, open source and it works. For a payed version of an integrated podcatcher and RSS reader I recommend FeedDemon.

Still hoping to get the player fixed and reinstated on the website but until LibSyn get back to me my hands are tied. Normally they are good with support but on this they have sucked.

Internode ISP To Boost Bandwidth in Australia

As you may or may not know my Internet Service Provider is Internode. This is an Adelaide run; slick internet provider that comes highly recommended for you Australian readers. I have always received great service with a no-fuss attitude. In addition to that they offer a reliable service at an affordable cost.

So without starting to sound like an advertisement or something, I found some real news on the RSS about Internode. Australian IT reports that they are wanting to be the first Australian ISP to offer “super-fast” internet connections of over 1Mps. They are currently waiting for approval by the relevant authorities. Once this is done they are planning for immediate deployment of the service.

The service is being touted as ideal for people that want to host web services, video conferencing and downloading large files. While this is all great and dandy, I bet the rest of the world is laughing their arses off! Internet services are so far behind in Australia it really is not funny. This is evidenced by the fact that I regularly talk to my overseas contacts that have much faster connections than the “super-fast” 2Mps! Indeed Knightwise who is from Belgium has a 4Mps connection for less than I am paying for 1.5Mps!

This is not to shun the forward thinking of Internode. The fact that they are pushing for faster connections is great but we are really behind the times on a global level and scale.

The tele-communications industry in Australia remains a political and red-tape filled cess pit that, from what I can see, shows no sign of changing any time soon. This is severely compromising our stake in this rapidly changing and transforming landscape that is the internet. Perhaps the global push for connectivity will boot our industry into a more competitive stance and one that enables the community to take advantage of all that the internet is offering, rather than a restrictive, legalistic, overpriced and unfair monopoly (Despite the denials) that restricts access and that is based on cost alone.

This is highly evident by the fact that at the moment I pay $49.95 AU a month for a 1500/256 connection. If I was with the biggest, most dominant and anti-competitive company in Australia and yet the most popular, Telstra; I would be paying $125 AU. When you ask them why; you get the usual red-tape rhetoric. I just do not understand how a company that charges more than double can stay in business. Other than the fact that they prey on peoples’ comfort in familiarity.

Congratulations to Internode for playing the ball. Wake up you Telstra morons we are being left behind and yes you are a problem.