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.

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.

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