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Ozaki iPill Microphone

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Sep 23, 2009 in IPod Touch

As some of you may know, in just over 2 weeks I’ll be heading to the Holiday Inn in Birmingham for Dimension JumpiPill-iPod-Nano-493x369 XV, this year Red Dwarf Convention, and as we do a Red Dwarf podcast (ScutterCast), I thought it might me a good idea to record some footage while I was there.

I’ve been looking at a number of solutions and came up with the idea of using Audioboo from my iPod touch, then picking up the Audioboo feed using WP-o-Matic, which will then post the audio on the Red Dwarf Forum homepage, which will then tweet this out.

One major downside to using the method, was that the iPod Touch doesn’t have a built in microphone, although I do have the “earbud with built in microphone”, which would be find for recording my own voice, but probably a little intrusive if I wanted to record anyone else.

After a couple of days of looking at different mic solutions, I read a review over at iLounge and they did a mic comparison, the audio from the iPill sounded awesome, so decided to go with that. After an evening of trying to buy one, it seemed that these are only available in the states, and they seemed to be out of stock, having heard the quality difference, I was adamant that this was the mic I wanted, in a bid of desperation, I decided eBay it was. Luckily, I found a company in the Republic of Ireland that had these in stock, and instantly bought.

This morning the mic turned up, and I’ve got to say, I’m really impressed. The first thing I noticed was the packaging, and the look of this thing. The plastic container is in the shape of a petri dish, with a small clip holding the pill shaped microphone in place.

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The iPill itself pulls in half, to review the 3.5mm jack plug, that plugs into the bottom of the iPods headphone jack, and the other half has a small loop where you could potentially add some string so you don’t lose this thing.

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So, the audio quality…what’s it like ?…pretty awesome ! I plugged it into the bottom of my iPod Touch, and it was instantly recognised, and I gave it a quick test in Apples “Voice Memos” software, and attached my recording below

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So, the audio quality…what’s it like ?…pretty awesome ! I plugged it into the bottom of my iPod Touch, and it was instantly recognised, and I gave it a quick test in Apples “Voice Memos” software, and attached my recording below.

iPill Test

Final thoughts ?, granted this isn’t the same quality as my M-Audio mixer, and my condenser mic at home, but think it will do an awesome job, of getting some footage at Dimension Jump.

I can highly recommend this microphone to anybody who want to turn their iPod Touch into a decent dictating machine, and for £13 delivered, it’s worth every penny !

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ScutterCast

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Mar 22, 2009 in Red Dwarf

Apologies for no posts for a while, however I’ve been mad busy on one of my other projects.

About a month ago, myself and a couple of my resident posters over at Red Dwarf Forum decided it was time to do a Red Dwarf based podcast. We’ve been discussing who will do it, what we’ll talk about for a while, and last Monday we recorded the first episode.

The podcast itself took about 5/6 hours to edit together, which for me was quite good, as I’m still quite new to all this podcasting stuff.

Below is the software I’ve used to put the whole thing together, there are probably a lot quicker and smarter ways, but open to suggestions 🙂

Initial recording was done using skype, and a piece of software on the mac called “Skype Call Recorder“, which does the job well, however recorders all inputs as 1 file with no channel separation. This although good for the job, makes editing a bit of a pain, as we found Antirealism was too quiet, and Ori-Studfarm was too loud. I’m pretty sure this can be fixed quite easily by using hardware, and probably something I will look at as the episodes come along.

Once I had the audio file, it was editing time. I ran the file through Adobe Soundbooth, to hopefully clean up the background hum of a 4 man skype conference call, and attempt to increase Antirealism’s voice, and lower Ori-Studfarm’s. I then went to town on the editing, we recorded around 90 minutes worth of audio, however in the end, there was only around 35 mins used.

Once I had the cleaned audio, it was then time for GarageBand to work it’s magic. Dropped it into Garageband, chopped the audio into sections, then added stab music in between the little breaks. It was time then for the intro music, the intro message from Kyten (thanks to Tony Lunn), the outro music and the background track. I was planning on having just the clean vocals without a backing track, however there was still quite a lot of background humm, and thought the best was of applying a “sticky plaster” was to attempt to mask it out with an audio track.

The final work that needed to be done, was to add the images, I’ve always wanted to do an enhanced podcast, and was the main reason I bought the mac in the first place. This then meant listening to the podcast, listening for key points in the episode review and getting screen shots from this point. This was done with a peice of software on the mac called Snapz Pro X, which allows you to take a screen capture of anything on the screen, as the Cmd+Shift+F3 doesn’t allow you to take screen captures when you are running a DVD.

The final peice of the jigsaw was hosting. As we plan to do all 55 episodes of Red Dwarf (currently 52 + the 3 Easter specials), I made the assumption that these would be around 50Mb each x 55 which would be nearly 3Gb of space, and if only 10 people downloaded, we would need 30Gb of bandwidth.  I took the advice of a fellow podcaster (CarBozman), and went with podbean, as this is a dedicated pocast hosting site, and I can’t describe just how happy I am with this. It gives more stats then I know what to do with, and after a discussion with Tony, we will probably be moving all the other projects to podbean.

That’s it, episode 1 in the bag, and everything set up for episode 2 and the other 53 episodes.

If you wish to have a listen yourself, you can find them either on Itunes by searching for scuttercast, or by going to the podcast site for the Enhanced version or the MP3 only version

Also please check out the newly WordPressed version of www.reddwarfforum.com, many updates on the new Red Dwarf episode.

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Fanboys

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Feb 8, 2009 in Films

It’s been a while since I was exited about a new film coming out, I think the last one was Transformer (still to this day, I think it’s probably one of the best films ever made), now there is a new film to make it to my top 10 list (Hopefully)

On my Red Dwarf Forum, one of my users ori-STUDFARM posted a youtube video of a film called Fanboys, in a thread entitled “Signs you are a Star Wars Geek

Below is ori-STUDFARM’s background on the film
It follows a group of friends and is set 6 months before the release of The Phantom Menace. One of the friends finds that he is dying of cancer and will not live to see The Phantom Menace released. His friends decide that he WILL see the movie. Road trip style comedy ensues!!

This movie is 10 years in the making. It has the blessing of George Lucas. It has a host of stars including William Shatner. And it may not get a full release. We may never see it! It has been released in 6 cities in the states and any further releases depends on public opinion. I am looking forward to see this more than what I did for Revenge of the Sith and Clone Wars. Why can’t they just release the damned movie!!

From what I can tell, and what I’ve read, the film was complete 3 years ago, however they were asked to remove any references to Cancer (which was a little hard as this was the entire backbone to the storyline)

The movie has been shown in a handful of cinemas to gauge peoples reactions, and it’s now going to be released.

A few teaser trailer below

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