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Old 06-20-2005, 05:42 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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Podcasting Hurts My Ears!

I'm thoroughly enjoying the tech podcasts I've been listening to. Shows like Tech Addiction, 1src Podcast, Palm Addict's new show, etc.

But has anyone noticed the horrible quality of the recordings?!!

I was spoiled listening to the Computer Outlook show recently with all the PalmSource DevCon interviews. They did a really great job technically with the shows, and I started to take it for granted. But the typical amateur isn't really equipped to do that right off the bat, and probably doesn't even have the right equipment and/or technology to make it sound good.

So now when I use a cassette adapter to play podcasts on my car stereo from my trusty Treo650 mp3 player, it hurts my ears. Literally!!

For example, there was a fantastic podcast recently from The Podcast Network on the Personal Productivity Podcast. The guest was David Allen (of Getting Things Done fame). A really fantastic show. But each person had a different volume level, so you turn it up to hear the hosts, and then when David laughs, it almost pops my eardrums! It's not David's fault... it's the recording/finishing setup.

Hopefully there will be some software systems to automate the whole thing with audio levels and editing and management of pops (things like "p" sounds that drill your ear, or whistling "s" sounds), and even with Skype voip integration because that seems to be the most popular way of bringing people together for a podcast.

Don't get me wrong... I really enjoy the podcasts. I just can't wait till the art of podcasting catches up so it doesn't hurt my ears anymore!
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Old 06-20-2005, 07:17 PM   #2
Alexander Turcic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobR
But each person had a different volume level, so you turn it up to hear the hosts, and then when David laughs, it almost pops my eardrums! It's not David's fault... it's the recording/finishing setup.
Here comes a nifty feature idea for a MP3 player with better Podcast support: on-the-fly normalization!
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Old 06-20-2005, 07:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Alexander
Here comes a nifty feature idea for a MP3 player with better Podcast support: on-the-fly normalization!
I clicked the reply link intending to ask about normalization but Alexander beat me to it. And more to the point he suggested something I hadn't thought of. Normalizing the sound on the fly isn't new tech (I know some televisions have had it for years) but I don't think I've ever seen it on a hardware player. I know you can tell some software to normalize the file for you but it would be nice if the device did it on-the-fly.
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Old 06-21-2005, 02:45 PM   #4
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Agreed. It seems many podcasters need to find the gain control for their mics. Some of them also need to find a more isolated place to record (hearing sirens in the background of a podcast is most disconcerting). Almost all of them need to stop downloading horrid intro music from GarageBand.com.
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Old 08-11-2005, 03:13 PM   #5
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Here are some really good tips how podcasters could improve their recordings:

http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/2005...gpodcasts.html

Let's hope a lot of people will follow this guide so that Bob's ears find some rest
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