Lord Admiral Card Club Blog

This weblog is a diary of the backstory to the Lord Admiral Radio podcast.

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Friday, August 05, 2005

I suck

Thanks for the comments everyone and I apologize for not keeping this as up to date as I keep promising.

OK - First things first. I want to talk about phone interviews.

I don't mean to diss Skype. It is a fine product and I don't think its original inventors imagined podcast interviews being within its scope. Nevertheless that is why I use it and that is what I am commenting on.

Skype itself is easy to use and amazing in a sense. Much like Windows Messenger anyone, for free, anyone can get an account and the software and then chat with each other over the internet. When I say chat I mean literally talk.

That component works well and that is how Stacks and I usually host the show. For me it is a little more difficult than the average bear. Because I have a C04 Samson microphone attached to a Tascam US122 external sound unit (which acts like a sound card) I can't seem to record my Skype conversations. Skype itself doesn't offer the functionality - but most people can find a way to use the same sound card to talk and record. My Tascam unit (which I purchased specifically for the show - it lets me use professional mics and multiple microphones for the odd time I have guests) where was I...anyway the Tascam unit won't let me use it for Skype and record to a separate program without getting interference. In order to resolve this I use a second PC. I pump the output from the Tascam into the Line In on the laptop and voila. The laptop records (usually with Audacity).

This works well when someone has a Skype account.

When someone doesn't have a skype account things get trickier.

I use SkypeOut - a feature of Skype that allows me to call someone's phone from my PC. This has three drawbacks. (1) The sound quality drops - though not terribly. (2) There is a small delay between one person speaking and the other hearing. This can result in awkward interviews if the interviewees aren't comfortable. The other issue (3) is the conference calls on Skype don't seem to work well with Skypeout - at least I haven't been happy with it - way too much interference.

So this means if I want a three way call with someone like Bob Ciaffone - my usual approach has some hurdles. I have found some ways to overcome them. Some have worked and other haven't. I'll start to break those down in the next post.