2014 Podcast Equipment Guides

This idea of having my own podcast, or as I’m envisioning it, a podcast network, has me losing sleep at night. Seriously. I dream about this idea just about every night and find myself daydreaming ideas for shows and setups and when I move to including video and how I’ll setup my lights and green screen

It’s crazy. But, to your benefit, my craziness means I’ve researched the hell out of starting a podcast. In this post series I’ll break down four podcasting studio setups; Bare Bones, Budget, Premium and Professional. I won’t get into the room acoustics or types of tables and chairs but I’ve dug deep into the audio equipment side of things for this.

Click the images below to go to each podcasting setup.

I’ll be sure to let you know what I ultimately sign up for between these. Whatever setup I get will probably be a mix of each of these, though I am aiming for the “Premium” option over everything else.

To me it is a fair balance of cost vs performance. It also plans for the future without getting too aspirational. I could go cheap or I could go crazy and mimic Leo Laporte and the TWiT network!

Will Streaming Music Services Kill the Music Industry?

I have always been a fan of music. The first song I can really think of totally being obsessed with was “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper (imagine that). I remember listening to that with my mom over our Chevy Caprice‘s radio. I was just a little kid but I’ll never forget.

Chumbawamba‘s Tubthumper was the first CD I ever owned. Don’t judge me, judge my uncle who chose the album, I was 13 years old. A few years later I would start recording from the radio and eventually use Napster to discover and download new music, later to AudioGalaxy. In high school I became known as the guy to go to for CD compilations.

As I started to concern myself with audio quality, I dropped all the music from file sharing sites like Napster and started replacing the tracks with high quality rips of CDs I’d buy. Later iTunes became my music store of choice with a handful of albums from AmazonMP3. Since then it’s been sort of a non-stop buying spree for me. Or so I thought.

What you see above is the song release timeline of my iTunes Match library. This anecdotal data comes with caveats to consider before we analyze anything. Continue reading

iPhone 4 won’t update to iOS 5.1

UPDATE: It’s been fixed! Thanks to my friendly and always helpful Twitter friends @jdyates, @mrfrank505, @ropiko, @richmackey, @josephjaramillo, @Apple9511and @shuether for their suggestions.

Turns out the fix was as easy as using a different computer. Turns out (and I only sort of know what I’m talking about here) the issue came from when I used an iOS jailbreak tool to unlock an iPhone for my trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia. It redirected the activation from Apple to Cydia which is why I got the error message below.

There are two fixes, either edit the host file through Terminal or just do the update on a different computer. Since the command I had to fix through terminal didn’t work, I tried the update on my MacBook Pro and it worked like a charm!

So I have this iPhone 4 which is in absolute perfect physical shape, only has three months of use yet after around iOS 5 Beta 3, the phone stopped working correctly, the digitizer stopped working reliably. That is, sometimes after unlocking the phone, you could not swipe to unlock, the screen was remapped and a swipe to the bottom didn’t do anything, sliding across other parts of the screen would move the unlock button to a degree but never enough to unlock.

I had to keep this phone unlocked 24/7 or risk having a phone that was unusable. I eventually was forced to buy the iPhone 4S. Since I was running a beta version of iOS and couldn’t undo that after Beta 4, Apple would not honor the warranty.

Do you have any suggestions? DFU restore and regular iTunes restores do not work. I’ve tried numerous times to upgrade this phone to the latest version of iOS 5 and 5.1 with no luck. I have even wiped it from its built in restore feature but that hasn’t worked.

Hopefully someone reading this will have an idea as I am all out of them!

Why I won’t be using iTunes Match

When Steve Jobs hit the stage to announce all the goodness Apple was rolling out with their new iOS 5, the feature that had me most excited was iTunes Match. This service would cost you $25 each year but provide you with one of the coolest things to hit the music industry since Napster. Only this time it’s sort of on their terms.

Here’s how it works. iTunes goes through all of your music and matches it with the iTunes Music Store library. All that music you bought on CD back in 1998, Shania Twain, Paula Cole, Savage Garden (you know who you are), and ripped at 128kbps for your computer are now available for you to download from iTunes. Only now you’ll be able to replace that sad 128kbps MP3 with a 256kbps AAC audio file, far superior if you ask me.

This even works with all that ill-gotten music you might have on your computer… As long as iTunes can find its match, you are good to go! Sounds great doesn’t it? A $25 get out of jail card that also improves quality of music in your library. Worth every penny if you ask me.

So why won’t I be using it?  Continue reading

The New Girl Premiers on iTunes for Free

I never review television shows. Not really sure why, perhaps because there are a million other blogs out there that dedicate their entire existence to this topic. Nevertheless, there is a tech connection.

  1. The show’s star is Zooey Deschanel who is wicked smart and an official nerd.
  2. Fox premiered the show on iTunes with a free HD download. Click to get the deal.

Already it has nearly 700 ratings at 4.5 stars, not too shabby I’d say. For the first time, at least that I can remember, iTunes is premiering a show, two weeks before anyone else. That’s a pretty interesting technique but I do wonder how it will affect the numbers for the broadcast premier. Now to the review! Continue reading

Why is iTunes Absent from the Mac App Store

Apple released the Mac App Store (MAS) back in January of 2011. Jobs and Co. rolled it  in the update to Mac OS X 10.6.6 and it wasn’t long before companies were clamoring to release their software on the new platform.

Apple's Mac App Store

There were some unfortunate hiccups with the new way of purchasing applications for the desktop Apple operating system. For instance, if you had already purchased a piece of software that is on the MAS, somewhere else, you will not get access to updates through this system. Even if you have a serial number from the purchase, you are kept out.

This is because Apple takes a cut of all purchases made through the MAS and have no real need to serve another storefront’s customers. Some developers worked around this by providing heavily discounted versions of their software initially to ease the cost of users transitioning to the new distribution service.

Of course there were some that not only didn’t offer this option, they even decided to stop supporting their applications’ updates unless they purchased them from the app store. Practices like this were quickly condemned by users for basically forcing them to pay twice for the same software.

I already posted about Apple’s great success on the MAS, check it out here. They manage to keep up around 50-90% of the top paid download on the MAS, out of the thousands of applications available there. On top of that, over 1,000,000 downloads of Mac OS X Lion went through the MAS within the first twenty-four hours!

A thought popped into my head today though. After pushing so hard to make the MAS a success, why hasn’t Apple put its most popular app into the MAS? The only way to get FinalCut Pro X or Mac OS X Lion is through the MAS and as of yesterday, Apple has begun to pull all boxed copies of their software from Apple stores.

Yet, for some reason, iTunes is not available on the MAS.

iTunes is Missing from the Mac App Store

Anyone dare to suggest why? I can’t think of a really solid reason for this. In fact, I’m surprised Apple hasn’t rolled out its developer portal to the MAS. Many developers* like me use the same Apple ID for both the MAS and our dev accounts.

Imagine how great this seamless integration could be for development teams.

Tomorrow Comes Today and Brings The Beatles to iTunes

It’s 8 am, Tuesday November 16, 2010 and I’m told again by Apple that, tomorrow is just another day.

I guess the fact that they had this same message up yesterday shouldn’t mean too much. Perhaps everyday will be just like the day after only the day after is more memorable. Wait, is that like having a dream within a dream within a dream? I hear that isn’t stable…

Meanwhile, it appears the Beatles are officially live in the iTunes music store. More fabled than the white iPhone, the Beatles in the ITMS.

After years of lawsuits between the two music giants, it appears a common love of money has merged these two in unholy union. Good on ya Yoko Ono, I have a feeling you had something to do with this.

Or not.