Equipment suggestions for posting podcasts to AppleVis

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Hardware & Accessories
I wasn't quite sure where to put this, as it primarily has to do with apps and podcasting, though my question has more to do with software and equipment more than anything else. If it needs to be moved, I can repost it, though. Anyhow, to get to the gist of my topic, I'd like to do a podcast for AppleVis, but am unsure of how to get VoiceOver to come through clearly. I have no idea on how to record things like podcasts, or, for that matter, anything else on my computer. I would be grateful for any suggestions. Here's my setup: A Windows 7 PC running NVDA A Logitech headset mic iPhone 4 I have no idea how to get things so that I can hear VoiceOver and still have it sound nice on the podcast. Maybe I'm making things more complicated than they need to be, but I would prefer not to just hold the phone up to the mic or something like that. It just feels and sounds both clumsy and awkward to me. I want this podcast to sound somewhat good, not only for its own sake, but because it will have been the first podcast I've ever done, and I want it to sound decent and not cobbled together or something. I also have no idea what kind of software I would need to record it. I would prefer to not spend any money, and I don't want too many bells and whistles. I also do not have any usable vision, if that impacts things at all. I was considering making a podcast on Amazon's Cloud Player app for iOS, which I just got a few days ago. I'm pretty sure there isn't a podcast up here on it yet, as I download all the AppleVis podcasts to listen to in my spare time. If anyone has any suggestions for me, I would highly appreciate feedback. Thanks, Shersey

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Submitted by David Goodwin👨‍🦯 on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Shersey,

People are using a variety of methods to record podcasts for the site. The simplest solution is to use an app such as DropVox or List Recorder to record directly onto your iPhone. The benefits are that it should record VoiceOver quite nicely and you will have the file in a format that you can upload to the site without needing to convert it. You need to make sure that the app supports recording in the background, or else it will stop as soon as you switch to the app that you are demonstrating. Take a few moments to test that the VoiceOver volume is appropriate to the volume of your speech, and away you go <smile>

Having said all of that, this might not be suitable for the podcast that you have in mind, as I think that all voice recording apps will stop recording if you start playing audio in another app (anybody feel free to correct me if I am wrong <smile>).

Some people use a digital handheld recorder, which if you happen to have one, also makes for quite a simple solution.

I've no experience of recording audio via a PC or Mac, but I know that many of the people who have recorded podcasts for the site do use this method.

In its simplest form, I would assume that it requires no more than plugging a Mic into your soundcard or USB port. If your soundcard supports 2 inputs, you should be able to connect both your Mic and iPhone, and record both inputs simultaneously.

Beyond this, you start to get into dedicated hardware, such as mixer boards, which (among other things) allow you to connect multiple audio inputs to your computer. Again, I've no experience of using these.

As for software, Audacity and GoldWave seem to be popular choices. The first of these is free, and there are lots of tutorials available online.

There is a podcast demonstration of Audacity on the Blind Geek Zone website at: http://www.blind-geek-zone.net/audio.htm

There's a podcast introduction to Audacity on the Blind Tech Support website at: http://www.blindtechsupport.net/podcasts/audio/audacity

I don't know if the Sound Recorder application that is native to Windows is too limited, or whether it would be enough for this purpose.

Hopefully somebody with actual experience of recording podcasts with a PC will be able to provide some better advice <smile>

Submitted by Scott Davert on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In reply to by David Goodwin👨‍🦯

Hi. I have heard good things about Audacity, though I have neve rused it myself. GoldWave is free for this purpose, but you'd eventually have to buy a lisence. Do you have computer speakers? If so, maybe plug your iPhone in to those and just sit with the headset near the speakers. Obviously, you will need to get the level of audio set right, and you would do that through trial and error. Sound Recorder is not a viable option, as it limits your recordings to 1 minute each.

I have to play around with the app more, so that I am familiar with the layout and accessibility pitfalls. Not that I'm saying that's inaccessible, mind-- from the little I've seen, it works quite well, but then again, I haven't played with it a lot, and I have not played any music with it. I know for sure that there is on poorly labeled button. Would a splitter work for piping audio through to my recording program on the computer--say, Audacity-- and still allow me to use headphones so that I can still hear VoiceOver while recording? I'm not sure how well this will work--I'm not sure how well you can mix things that have their own USB soundcard and analogue stuff. I might just go the digital recorder route, as I do have an Olympus. Ah, darn! I totally forgot that that uses wma as it's file format--I'll have to check if I can get it to use wav or something. I can always compress that with Audiograbber. I would use my Booksense, but that records things at a ridiculously low bitrate, which makes Winamp go wonky when you try and fast forward through the file. It just places you back at the beginning of the file--and this is completely unacceptable to me. Winamp is a very popular media player, so compatibility with my podcast file is critical to me. I'll see what I can do. Thanks, Shersey