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.

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.

Welcome to the Migrated Blog

For those following me around the Web you will know that I had a blog on The Gray Matter. Well I have flown the coop (pardon the pun) and found a new home on WordPress.com, and you have found it.

I should explain why I have moved. James and I had a lengthy discussion, that was the first thing. What came out of that discussion were a couple of things. One was that I clearly had different ideas about the site, the blog and what I wanted to do. While I only made suggestions to James he did feel that I was placing a bit of pressure on him. That’s the last thing that I wanted to do. The other thing is that James is a very busy person. He has a growing family, a job (part time but takes full time effort), doing a university degree and as a side thing he manages a home network, web server, email server etc. He doesn’t need to feel any pressure from me. The move is entirely voluntary and James and I are still talking. In fact there was no argument at all. So coming here means that I can generate as much traffic as I like, I can play with HTML a bit, and do my thing.

James did offer to set me up with my own site hosted on a server, while this idea was a good one, it didn’t take him out of the picture. I would have had to rely on James for trouble shooting and code stuff-ups. So after a lot of digging around I have ended up here. There is enough control of the site to be able to do what I want to do and it makes it easy to do it, just right. Plus it uses open source software and I am supporting that community, which for me is a bonus (plus James would like it ;)).

I will continue to support The Gray Matter, James runs a top site and I will contribute from time to time. James has just updated the site with a new very fast server and it will continue to evolve. Hope that all goes well for you mate.

The other thing is that I am really excited about doing my own blog on my own site in my own way. I like WordPress and I am learning the features so visit often. Better still subscribe to the RSS Feed.

I hope that you enjoy the Rooster’s Rail.