Podcast FAIL

I’m hoping of the handful of readers I have out there, one of you will be able to clue me in on how to easily (and cheaply) record a telephone conversation as a podcast. Idiots do this every day, so why can’t I figure it out?

Here’s my badass setup: a Plantronics USB headset/mic (model Audio 470 USB, if you must know) and a Samsung NC10 netbook running Windows XP Home Edition v. 5.1.

As I wrote to Matt of the the Dump Runners Club (who I’ll be highly annoying to in person in about a month at the Green Mountain Relay; I’m sure he’s campaigning to not be in my van even as I type this):

I’m trying to get a series of interviews going with masters women who are trying to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials. I want to interview some of them by phone and present those interviews as podcasts (MP3s or whatever the format usually is). Only thing is, I’m retarded when it comes to this stuff.

I bought a USB headset/mic and attempted one call (with my SO) using Skype and something called Hot Recorder. What I got was hilarious. I sound normal. He sounds like Mr. Snuffleupagus on quaaludes. I attempted to work with the file in Audacity, but all I get is a short screech.

Inspired comparisons like this shouldn’t go to waste in an email, so I thought I’d post it here for maximum comedic mileage.

But after the laughter fades, the issue remains: when it comes to podcasting, I don’t have a fucking clue about what I’m doing. Can someone out there help me? Please. Help me. These women have lots to say and I’d like you all to be able to actually understand what they’re saying.

6 Responses

  1. You could simply do it through TalkShoe, but I don’t know about editing that.

    I did once see the Snuffleupagus during a run in Central Park, on the 102nd Street Transverse. Just saying. Don’t know how he sounded.

  2. Oops, sorry for the mac one.

    • FTR, I’ve got a Mac and several Windows machines. The only reason I wouldn’t use the Mac is that it’s got a fan that sounds like a jet engine when it cycles on (it’s a Mini too…weird). I also can’t move it into a quiet room as I can with my little laptop(s).

  3. So ticked…I just answered your question in detail, hit submit, and went to a page saying I needed to enter a valid email address. When I went back, my entire post was gone. Sigh.

    I’ll recap.

    Record your phone call; not sure the best way to do this with your setup, but I know it’s easy to do with Skype (of course you need the other caller’s permission).

    Then post a the sound file (mp3) plus an RSS feed to your server. This is easy (see link below), but easier still is just to post the sound file to one of the many free or near-free podcast services.

    Record a skype call on a PC: http://www.podcastingnews.com/2008/04/01/free-skype-call-recorder/

    Post a podcast: http://radio.about.com/od/podcastin1/a/aa030805a.htm

  4. Thanks for the tips! I’m going to test out TalkShoe this morning to see if Jonathan sounds like he’s speaking from beyond the grave again.

    Michael, if that doesn’t work I’ll try your links. I have to say I wasn’t impressed with Skype yesterday for overall sound quality, aside from the whole bizarre “caller sounds 70 feet tall and drugged” issue.

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