The Podcast Workflow at Snakebite Cafe

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As of August 2018, our recordings have already been through three iterations in almost twenty episodes. From LG cell phone to ZTE cell phone to Z16 multi-track recorder, we’ve been shy about method and brazen about content. Where we lacked discipline in format, we were all too gunshy about our equipment.

Take that for what it’s worth to you – the only format we knocked together by accident on the first episode was the Opposition arguments of Part One, a one minute break with music and then the Proposition feel-better band aid of Part Two. That’s not much of a format if you ask me. But the new recordings sounds great and the music’s always been a lively bit of fun to find and cobble together…

Audio Hardware

The Z16 from records stereo with its built-in mics which are staggeringly more responsive than any other mics around here. Host wears headphones. Nearly 200MB per channel are recorded to an SD card that is sent to Audacity which can just handle the capacity. The lag is a strain on patience.

Audio Software

In Audacity, the left and right mono tracks are Copied together, then a new Stereo track is created and sound Pasted there. Original tracks are deleted from the project. Audacity’s Amplify does a fine job as does its Truncate Silence feature or Effect typically set at 35.

Royalty Free

FreeMusicArchive and FreeSounds are the two sites we rely most heavily upon for music and sounds. Audacity does nothing for kitting the sounds into something fun to play with but we are looking into another solution for that (MuTools is a serious candidate). FileZilla takes the exported Audacity .mp3 from a local folder to a Textpattern folder. Attempts to upload have gone silly even after rewriting file size permissions.

Transcript and Subtitle Software

The Express Scribe Transcription Software is something we like to tease but it’s really quite potent. After a short bit of time the trial runs out and we were all too happy to front the reasonable cost; transcription software does speech to text but requires training and guidance and provides different “profiles” that we haven’t bothered to yet set up. Remember:

Where we lacked discipline in format, we were all too
gunshy about our equipment (hardware and software).

A support call from NCH software would be invaluable. Like you, we’re looking for fewer learning curves and looking forward to faster concept to publish days ahead.

Podcast Blog Images

The art is just the result of Royalty Free searches. It’s all over the place but the thing to remember is podcast hosting often requires HUGE file sizes and quite proper RSS formats. Textpattern provides perfect RSS feeds but not for iTunes and what we’re lacking right now is the use of thumbnails which smd_thumbnails plugin for Textpattern provides but we haven’t finished utilizing. The reason podcast thumbnails are so extreme is all the Apple computer hardware and retina display devices that take extraordinary resolution and crap it down to fractions of inches these days.

We’ve just arbitrarily gone with 2160 by 1440 only to find out most services love square images. smd_thumbnails crops squares.

The workflow will be updated but that’s where we are for now. The later the episode you hear, the more “cutting edge” the process. A half hour runs about 30MB finally but takes over 200MB and roughly one and-a-half hours to get there with editing images, audio and the transcription by robot which is really a good laugh. FileZilla makes FTP uploads inconsequentially fast unlike the old days or YouTube uploads that can keep you on your butt a good half hour extra.

Who needs it? It’s time to produce, not wait!

Take care,

The Owner.