Hi, this is Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Apple Podcast, hosted at Podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Apple bias. Today is Sunday, April 25, 2021, and this is show number 833. This weekend, Steve and I went to see our kids for our birthdays (they’re fully vaccinated and we’ve had both shots). I knew I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the grandkids if I had to work on the show so I asked George from Tulsa if he could pull something interesting together for us and he came through like a champ. I really appreciate him coming through for me. As it turns out Bruce, aka UseTheData and Frank aka Wheels both sent in articles as well but I didn’t know they were coming so they’ll be next week or the week after. Thank you all for letting me have a relaxing weekend with the family.
I have to say that it’s an absolute miracle that this episode of Chit Chat Across the Pond ever got to your feed. First of all, we scheduled it for March 24th because all the rumor sites when rumors said there would be an announcement that week. Then the announcement didn’t happen. Then the same rumor sites said we’d have an announcement on April 6th so we scheduled it for that week. Again, no announcement. Finally, Apple announced their Spring Loaded event for April 20th so we scheduled our chit chat for the following day.
In the third problem for this recording, we had a time zone mixup and I showed up way before Doc thought we were meeting. The irony of the situation is that while I was waiting for Doc, I worked on an article about my Time Shifter Clock, the design of which is for people to send a time in the future in different timezones when they want to meet. And you guessed it, I didn’t use it when I talked to Doc about the time. When we did finally connect, I showed him the clock and he loved it and bookmarked it!
When I tried to start a Skype session with Doc, Skype opened the call window, but never called him. I tried it three times, force quit the app and tried again but Skype was having nothing to do with me. So I was forced to reboot my Mac. After the reboot, Skype let me call Doc.
Finally, it was time to record. I did a test recording, listened to it and it sounded great. I asked Doc if he’d like to record his own voice so we’d have the best possible recording of him to combine with my recording of me, and he agreed. He’s all over this recording stuff so it was pretty easy for him.
We started chatting and 13.5 minutes in I checked Audio Hijack to see how long we’d been talking…and I hadn’t restarted my recording after the test I ran. I may have said a non-girlscout safe word at that moment. Doc checked though, and he discovered he was actually recording both of us. Yay!
We decided that as a safety net, I would start recording my voice from that point forward with Audio Hijack. Another 15 minutes in, and I had that horrible looping audio problem I think I’ve mentioned on the show before. I’ll play you a short clip of what I heard.
Isn’t that lovely? This happening during a Skype call was actually great news. this problem has happened three times before, but only during the live show. Trying to figure out which of the 26 apps I run for the live show has been impossible. mimoLive and Hindenburg are complex applications for video and audio and they run during the live show along with three apps from Rogue Amoeba: Audio Hijack, SoundSource, and Loopback. I’ve been in discussion with all of the companies, but now I know the only vendor between the plain Skype call and the live show is Rogue Amoeba.
This looping simply doesn’t stop, but from Doc’s perspective he can’t tell anything is wrong. Obviously, I can’t understand what he’s saying but I figure out he can hear me clearly, so I took off my headphones and wrapped them around my mic so he could hear what I was hearing. I really wish I’d been recording the video so you could have seen the look on his face when he heard it!
I couldn’t give up this opportunity to capture some data about the problem to give to Rogue Amoeba, so I left Doc hanging while I pulled a sample from Activity Monitor for Audio Hijack before quitting both Audio Hijack and Skype and reconnecting to Doc. I’m so glad this happened with someone who does this same kind of work because he took it completely in stride. I keep thinking how my interviews at CSUN would have gone off if this had happened during one of those!
After that it was clean sailing for the rest of the recording, and Doc pulled the audio from his RODECaster Pro and sent it off to me. And the file was 5MB. If you know anything about audio, that’s not possible for an hour-long conversation! Doc checked again and discovered the right file and we both sighed with relief.
After we hung up, I started working on editing the audio. Luckily with the RODECaster Pro, he was able to make markers in the file for me where the problems had occurred which made it far easier for me to work on the editing. Around that time, Steve wandered by and I told him how delighted I am with the new lamp he got for my studio.
My old one was pretty ugly, and the glass was broken on a couple of the bowls around the lights, so he got me a new one for my birthday and he’d just put it together while I was chatting with Doc. I noticed that there was a little sticker on one of the plastic areas, and he offered to take it off, and of course, it left some residue on the plastic.
He brought in some Goof Off to remove the glue, and I don’t know why but the smell was HORRIBLE. I don’t mean it smelled bad, I mean unbreathably bad. I mean I could taste it bad. I had to run out of the room and stop editing the audio. I could not stand it. After a while, I came back in and held my breath while I set up a fan to blow these noxious fumes out the window. I should mention that we didn’t have the window open very far because Steve took our screens out to be replaced and if we opened the window any farther we knew one of our idiot cats would climb out on the roof! Hey, at least this story didn’t end with a cat on the roof, right?
But it did have one last problem. I got the audio edited in spite of everything, attached it to Feeder and pushed the audio up. I verified that the episode showed up in Overcast just fine. Then I hit preview on the blog post and double-checked that I could play the audio file from the web page … and it said file not found. Seriously??? How could it be working in my podcatcher but the file not work on the blog? I use a TextExpander snippet to create the URL for the web page, it can’t be wrong. Well, it can be, sometimes I forget which show I’m publishing and use the NosillaCast TextExpander snippet instead of the Chit Chat Across the Pond snippet, but that wasn’t the problem.
I stared and stared at that URL and I couldn’t see what was wrong with it. I needed to look at what the podcast feed thought the URL was because obviously, it’s working. The easiest way for me to see the feed is to open the URL inside Firefox. For some reason, Firefox doesn’t render it but shows the raw text instead. If you want to try it yourself, I put the URL in the shownotes. Don’t click it, copy and paste it in.
Anyway, with the feed open, I compared the URL for the enclosure character by character until I got all the way to the very end … and discovered that the file I uploaded was the AAC/m4a file, not an mp3. That meant that I never ran Auphonic Leveler on the file because that does the MP3 transcoding for me. This means that the file doesn’t meet the loudness standards, but luckily we both have great mics and our levels were set well.
Now the reason my podcast player could play this m4a file but the blog could not is because, on the blog post, my TextExpander snippet very carefully types in mp3 for the file extension and file type. After I fixed THAT I was finally done.
In nearly 16 years of podcasting, I have NEVER had that many things go wrong with a podcast recording. And I hope that record stands for a very long time.
Support the Show
I’d like to throw out a special thanks to Wayne Dixon and Rick Snider for becoming patrons of the Podfeet Podcasts. These two lovely gentleman went to podfeet.com/patreon and made very generous pledges to help support the show. As I mentioned last week, I don’t need to make money off of the podcast but it sure would be swell if it didn’t cost me so much to do the show. When Amazon dropped me as an affiliate last year, that nearly cut the income in half, so I rely completely on fine Patrons like Wayne and Rick to help offset the costs of doing the shows. Thank you, gentlemen, I really appreciate the support!
George from Tulsa is up next with a story that just happens to also be about Synology, so let’s have a listen.
That’s going to wind this up for this week. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, Everything is Fiddly recordings, comments and suggestions by emailing me at [email protected], follow me on twitter @podfeet. Remember, everything good starts with podfeet.com/. podfeet.com/patreon, podfeet.com/paypal, podfeet.com/facebook, podfeet.com/slack! And if you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time and join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.