We’re very lucky on the NosillaCast because so many people contribute fantastic reviews or record their Dumb Questions. I often get questions on the best way to record, how long the reviews should be and the best way to get the recording to me. These quick instructions will tell you everything you need to know.
How Long Should it Be?
I find that people like guest recordings in the 3-5 minute range so try to stay under that limit (it’s not easy to do that short)
How to Record
Hardware to Record:
- Use any USB microphone hooked to your computer (don’t use the microphone jack though)
- If you don’t have a USB mic, you can even use the internal mic, do a test recording and ask yourself if you’d like to listen to it
- Important bit – make sure you wear headphones so you don’t get feedback into your computer from the speaker
- Use your iPhone – it makes an m4a file that is quite good actually
Software to Record:
- The Open Source Audacity from audacity.sourceforge.net is cross-platform and free, so what’s not to like? It’s a little clunky looking but it works perfectly on the Mac, Windows and Linux.
- If you have a Mac, Garageband works quite well and it’s already installed on your Mac anyway
- One more point – if you have a choice, make sure it’s a 16bit AIFF (32bit won’t import to iTunes)
Format for Recording
The best format is an uncompressed format (AIFF or WAV) because when I get it, I’ll be adding it to my own recording and then compressing it. If you send it as an MP3, it will be compressed twice. It won’t be horrible but why not make it the best it can be!
Garageband isn’t obvious in how to save uncompressed. If you create your recording as a podcast, you won’t be able to save it uncompressed. Hide the podcast track and then choose export, and UNcheck the compress box. That will create an AIFF file.
For Audacity you’re in luck – I create an Audacity Tutorial for Podcasting. Just stop before I teach how to compress to an mp3 and you’ll have an AIFF or WAV file.
Don’t Forget to Send the Script & Links
Remember that we have a lot of people who like to read rather than listen to the show, and there’s the deaf who can’t listen, so if you use a script (which makes it easier to stay under 5 min) be sure to send it to me. Even if you don’t use a script, if you can give some bullet points that’s good too. And don’t make me go hunting you down to get the links to the products you’ve reviewed, send them the first time! Oh – and don’t forget to plug your own work, if you’ve got a blog or a podcast of your own, or you just want people to follow you on Twitter, send me that too!
How to Send it to Me
If you keep your recording down to the 3-5 minute limit, you can probably email it to me. If your email provider won’t tolerate that large of a file, here’s some other options (and there are many more):
- iDisk – put the file in your Public Folder, then using the web interface click the share button, and then email me the url
- Dropbox – this is a free service that allows you to share a folders with people from dropbox.com
- YouSendIt – free account at yousendit.com to send files up to 100MB
Where to Send It
Send your reviews, Dumb Questions, comments to firstname.lastname@example.org