Frequently Asked Questions - Updated on 08/15/2008
Or at least, questions answered so they are not asked frequently...
What equipment/software is used to produce the podcasts?
Audio is recorded using a Samson C01U USB microphone on an Apple MacBook Pro using Garageband '08. MP3 encoding is done using iTunes, and then the podcast is created using Podcast Maker.
Why are the files encoded so crappily?
I originally encoded all my shows at 80kbps which sounded pretty good, but had to go back and scale everything down 64kbps to make the downloads smaller. This makes them quicker to download, and saves me bandwidth. Later, I went to 96K since some off brand MP3 players were having problems with 64 and 80. Go figure. Short answer: to save space.
How are the 3-D videos made?
I record them using an old (1999) Sony Digital8 camcorder with a NuView 3-D adapter.
Old way: The video is edited using iMovie, then the interlaced (field sequential) video is then split into two movies files (odd san lines and even scan lines) using JES Deinterlacer. These two files are then combined into a color anaglyph using StereoPress DV (Mac OS Classic). The resulting video has no sound, so it is brought back in to the original iMovie clip where the original audio is detached and synced with the new red/blue footage. Lastly, the video is compressed into h.264 iPod-sized video using a freeware program.
New way: Today, since Intel Macs do not support the old Classic applications, I am doing the conversion using Final Cut and video filters.
Yes, it's time consuming.
Does anyone actually listen/watch these things?
Yes, thousands. And I have no idea why.
The highest spike in downloads was July 27th, 2008, when over 27,000 downloads per week happened, almost all from the 3-D Disneyland video podcast. (I think it was a total fluke -- the videos must have been mentioned on some high profile site, sending a bunch of temporary traffic to this site.)
Do you think your shows are actually good?
Yes, they got your attention, didn't they?
But seriously... It's been said that people who don't like Howard Stern actually spend more time listening to his show than the fans, so good or bad doesn't seem to matter. It's a matter of catching attention.
A few years ago, I would not have considered listening to a show like mine, nor most of the other podcasts I subscribe to. And if said show was on the radio, I doubt I would have paused on that station very long. But podcasting is something (sorta) new and different (even if it's fundamentally nothing new or different), and at least for now, we are enjoying it. Will it last? We'll see...
P.S. - I think my Rencast is good, and Priuscast has merit. The rest are mostly for fun. For now...