Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

September 2008 Posts

Howto Choose a Mac Voice Recorder for Podcasting

Thu, 09/18/2008 - 18:21 -- rprice

Every so often, I will get something that is mass-emailed to hundreds of people that I'm sure I can provide a very deep and useful answer to. Today's challenge is a Mac-compatible voice recorder that can record phone calls, but be flexible enough to handle recording interviews that will later be the basis for print work AND apparently for possible release as a podcast. Yikes! That is a very flexible recorder! Therefore, my options were fairly narrowed-down. Here was my response:

You mean physically connects to the phone? Is it important to do it on an actual handset?

For example, I would use Skype and eCamm Call Recorder. I use these applications for recording my own podcasts, and I have never looked back. There are also solutions that will let you plug straight into GarageBand if that's your editing program.

This is exactly the setup I used to record this interview:
Blogging Fringe Interview with Poofy Du Vey (Courtney Cunningham)

Using Skype to call another Skype account is free, and making calls to land-line phones or cell phones is handled via a flat-rate, and international calls are just a few pennies per minute.

If you use skype, you can buy any USB headset with a microphone (I recommend the ones that use USB over other solutions, because you're using a Mac).

Plantronics Foldable USB Stereo Headset
This headset even comes with a separate (replacable) USB audio device - this is the most flexible, so you can use the headphones as normal headphones or through the USB audio port.

Olympus TP-7 Telephone Recording Device
For recording from a physical phone instead of over VOIP, this product seemed to get a lot of good reviews on Amazon. I've never used on myself.

I think the basic Idea is that you put this in your ear and then hold the phone up to that ear - it's just a small microphone that plugs in to whatever recorder.

Griffin iTalk Pro - Microphone
An extremely simple option if you have an iPod is a voice recording accessory built for iPods, like a Griffin. Most of these have an input jack for an external microphone in them, on top of a mono or stereo mic. Just make sure they are compatible with your version of iPod - 3g, 4g, 5g, Nano, Touch, etc.

Edirol R-09HR High-Resolution WAVE/MP3 Recorder
If you want to go for the big guns, something like an Edirol is made for super-professional recordings, has built in microphones, accepts line-in and a whole bunch of great features - and it records to SD or SDHC cards - completely Mac-compatible. You'll see a lot of folks recording to a Marantz, but unless you need phantom power, that's just too much.

Hope this helps. If not, I'd be happy to have a deeper discussion.

If you're looking for more podcasting help, I MUST recommend the BlogOrlando unconference coming up next weekend. Saturday, Sept 27th at Rollins College. FREE. There will be some really amazing speakers and discussions there.

Edit: For my own setup I use an M-Audio MobilePre USB and two MXL V57M mics, along with a couple of On Stage stands, shock mounts and XLR cables.


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Book Review: PHP Reference by Mario Lurig

Thu, 09/18/2008 - 03:38 -- rprice

From the very first page, the author of this PHP book lets us know exactly its purpose - to act as an off-line reference to the hundred or so domestic PHP functions one might use in the course of writing software, and a couple of their lesser-used variants.

One of my favorite parts was the list of related functions below each description: this allows you to hyperlink your way around the book in a more semantic way than simply reading it front-to-back.

This is certainly not a book just for beginners, because I wouldn't consider output buffer functions to be used by beginners (if you don't know what I mean when I say ob_start() or ob_flush(), then you should probably pick up a copy).

This is the kind of book you should throw in your laptop bag as you get started on a new project, or keep on the shelf of your cubicle. Think about which is faster - tabbing back and forth between your browser window with the current page you're testing, and your text editor, AND the site, or just having a small reference book next to your keyboard.

Also consider your ability to make notes next to functions about your own personal tricks and experiences - I always find myself digging back into my own code as a reference, but if you just had this paper version to carry with you everywhere, you could save yourself a lot of time by not having to grep through your code.

Completely worth your time and money.

Edit: It should be said that I went to school with Andy (Mario), but that does not affect my review of his book. You should buy one.


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Wed, 09/17/2008 - 06:02 -- rprice

outdoor coffees, originally uploaded by fazen.

This Friday, 8AM, Panera Bread @ Lk Eola started over 2 years ago in New York when two guys decided having a good conversation over coffee and talking to a likeminded person would be better than doing it virtually. Now they are in 50+ cities on 6 continents, including: Ankara (Turkey), Shanghai, Bucharest and Frankfurt. On the same day, people in these cities and 40 other places around the globe, other likeminded individuals will be getting together for some good coffee and conversation.

Coffee sponsorship ($25 is plenty) could be kindly paid for by your employer.

If you love Orlando and you want to find other people of a like mind, you've come to the right place. Chris and Ryan and some friends get together once a month before work to have a good conversation. Come talk about anything, exchange emails, share stories and walk away with a smile on your face ready to face the last day of the week knowing you have made some new friends this week.

Panera is at the corner of Robinson St and Eola Drive on the North East corner of the lake.


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