Recording Better Podcasts

Cast looks like a promising service for recording podcast multi-enders. When recording podcasts with remote guests I’ll usually record my mic directly and then record Skype from the computer—either feeding the computer’s output to a mixer or using a program like Audio Hijack. Either way, the audio I’m recording of my conversation partner has been compressed and sent through the Internet. There will be artifacts and other glitches. Simply put, it’s not the best.

To get around this issue, I could have the other person record his or her audio locally and then send it to me later. I would then drop that audio into my audio editing software and line it up with my track. This is a chore, because most people aren’t adept at recording. More than that, uploading a ~500MB file can be a pain. And lining the audio up can be laborious—especially if there are any sampling issues and audio drift.

That’s why Cast could be so useful. They look to simplify that process by cutting out all the steps in favor of an easy in-browser solution. I’ve requested an invitation to the private beta. I’ll let you know if it works out.

Cup of Coffee

Against Coffee’s Cultured Despisers

I don’t defile my coffee with cream, sugar, or any other substance. People go to great lengths to make their coffee taste like something other than coffee. As if that weren’t egregious enough, they engage in elaborate rituals around the adulteration of this fine beverage. They pour all measures of impurities into a perfectly black coffee, stirring and pouring until they arrive at some tan foreign substance.

I believe in rights for the coffee drinker. And by that I mean the purists. I mean the black coffee drinker. Let’s start with separate lines for coffee at events. If we can’t remove the impurities from the premises entirely, let’s at least move them across the room. Ritualists, don’t make the rest of us watch your cultic practice while we just want to fill our mugs with pure black goodness.

Iterating Upon the Reformed Forum Media Infrastructure

Ever since we started podcasting for what has become Reformed Forum, I’ve been looking for ways to improve our workflow. Over the past eight years, we have worked through many iterations. I’m fleshing out a vision for the next one—something much bigger than any previous system. The goal is to create a system for the organization and dissemination of Reformed theological resources with as little ongoing staff support as possible.

To accomplish much of this, we need to keep track of episode segments. It’s not enough to have information about the episode as a whole. We need also to determine a title, descriptions, guests, and start/stop times for its constituent parts. Segments would have one and only one episode. An episode could have zero (defined) or many segments.

Segment information would be useful for allowing listeners and web visitors to skip to different sections. It can serve as a table of contents. Web players usually allow changing the location of the play head. A custom WordPress plugin could add the segment information to the post description and include links with Javascript instructions to operate the player. Segments can also be used in conjunction with a command line interface (CLI) audio editor. We can write scripts that automatically pull segments, attach stock intros and outros and podcast the segment.

I want a backend system that exposes is functionality through an API. Then, I want a WordPress plugin to access that API. This allows us to continue using WP without being constrained by it. If we use the WP-API plugin, we could largely reduce the need to use the WP Dashboard.

.church Domains Are Available

There are a host of new TLD (top level domains) available now through registrars. Reformed Forum owns a few (reformed.audio and reformed.academy). One of the more interesting options is .church. It looks like all the basic names like reformed.church, christ.church, redeemer.church, etc. are already taken. But you might find something useful for you congregation. At least it could be better than graceorthodoxpresbyterianchurchofspringfield.net.

The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am

The way the human body works is just crazy. The mother and baby form some sort of biological duplex communication so that the mother receives info from the baby’s saliva and sends the baby antigens to fight specific infections.

To produce breast milk, mothers melt their own body fat. Are you with me? We literally dissolve parts of ourselves, starting with gluteal-femoral fat, aka our butts, and turn it into liquid to feed our babies.

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Artisanal Everything

The hipsters have invaded, and now we have artisinally-crafted everything. Sometimes it leaves me rolling my eyes. Yet other times, there are some beautiful and clever alternatives to traditional products. Here’s one I found at a coffee shop. Can you ascertain what it is?  

Colossians 1:28–29

Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

Books

No Uncertain Sound
Lamentations, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah: A 12-Week Study