May 2, 2007


The new Zoom H4 recorder is in and works beautifully either with its own built-in microphones or with the wireless Audio-Technica system that we use with the Marantz unit in the podcasting briefcases!

We have also procured a copy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 Preferred (they sent us 9 though I ordered 8 as 9 was not yet available on their site -- woo hoo!) which I will install as soon as I can get my mitts on a laptop with which to do so. I will keep everybody apprised.

Batteries, batteries, batteries...

We came so close! Half of Murray's lecture was recorded successfully and then bloop! Everything after a certain point (a funny point, actually) was cut off completely. The only possible culprit was a dead battery in the microphone. C'est la vie...

April 25, 2007

Technical difficulties

No podcast today because students swarmed Murray and he didn't get a chance to hit the record button. I'm just glad it wasn't a problem with the Marantz! :)

In other news, we can expect the Zoom H4 unit to arrive sometime next week, and we'll begin testing that immediately thereafter. And the transcription software has been ordered and will be available soon too.

April 19, 2007


Everything has been going well (no news is good news?) which is why this blog has been so quiet.

However, I think this entry, featuring The Turkey Sandwich Song, is one of the coolest things ever.

March 23, 2007

Research recordings

Jill's TA Zoe will be using the spare briefcase podcasting setup on Monday to record "ThinkAloud" research interviews with students on how they go about accessing the podcasts and posting to the blog. Should produce some interesting results! I'll be there to help get her set up.

Technical and other Difficulties

Well, that almost worked.

I was doing testing on the podcasting briefcase during Spring Break week and knew I would be out of the office Monday and Wednesday of this week. I had planned to get the briefcase to Murray on Thursday and Laurie would upload the podcasts from Monday on Tuesday morning (she was out on Monday) and Wednesday's lecture on Wednesday.

However, things were further complicated by the fact that Danielle was giving the lecture Monday, so Pete offered to set it up for her and bring it back to our office for safekeeping. That went fine, and the lecture recorded beautifully.

However again, since the briefcase was down here in our space, when Murray got back to town he didn't know where it was so he couldn't record the lecture on Wednesday. Dang!

At the very least, the equipment is working nicely again, so we will try to shoot for Monday for another Murray Lecture.

March 7, 2007

Poetry Slam

Jill has been familiarizing herself with the podcasting briefcase by recording some of her students' Poetry Slam presentations in class; we have been using the spare briefcase for this purpose and recordings seem to be going well. I had some issues with the audio which may have been related to where the student places the microphone on his/her person (mic too close to mouth, mic underneath clothing, lots of movement by performer causing feedback, etc.) but adjusting that sort of thing may have led to more nervousness for the performer so we'll just note it for next time. These are not to be podcasted/published in any form but are solely for the students' usage to gauge their performance; the mp3 files are delivered to students individually and not put online in any format unless the student takes the initiative to do so of their own volition. In my personal opinion, some of these really ought to end up on their MySpaces or Facebooks; they're that good!

Technical Difficulties

We're continuing to have some baffling technical difficulties with the podcasting briefcase used for podcasting Murray's class. Though set up properly, it fails to record any audio, and actually fails to record anything at all, resulting in files of 0kb instead of the 25mb we're used to seeing. Murray is speaking at a TEL Seminar this afternoon and I will do some intensive testing of the unit during Spring Break week to see what the issue is; if I can't replicate the problem, I'll swap out the Marantz unit with the one in our spare briefcase.

February 21, 2007


Laurie crafted a great how-to guide that she added to Murray's blog under the Resources heading. It's titled "How to listen to a podcast". Thanks, Laurie!

February 7, 2007

Podcasted lecture Monday, not today!

Lecture was successfully podcasted on Monday; there is a test today so no lecture to podcast today. All seems to be going well.

January 24, 2007

Podcasted lecture today

Laurie and I worked together last Friday to refined the setup for Murray so it is a much easier process. Murray was being very thorough by plugging/unplugging everything every time he'd setup and tear down, but it was creating more work for him, so we streamlined it and turned it into a quick-n-dirty seven-step process.

I set it up for him today, included directions as listed below, and am hoping this setup will make things easier for him in the future. The biggest issue at hand is that having to switch gears from preparing-for-class and being in that mode to podcasting-setup-how-does-this-procedure-go-again, while dealing with students coming up with all sorts of questions, was starting to become a real strain on production. Also, while Murray had asked students if anyone was willing to help him set up the briefcase each time, he didn't get any takers, and his TAs are not usually attending lecture and cannot assist him either. Luckily he's extremely technologically apt and capable of dealing with the briefcase himself, but we just didn't want him to have to downshift all the time when he's focused on the teaching he's about to do.

Here's what we did:

  • took the batteries out of all components except for the bodypack
  • flipped the power switch on the receiver to on and put tape over it so it was perpetually on
  • left all the cables plugged into the units (Marantz XLR to receiver, power supplies connected to receiver and Marantz)
  • painted a dot of red on the switchplate on the bodypack so that when it is turned on, it looks to the eye like it's red for 'on' (note earlier entry of strange battery light issue with the bodypack and the confusion that causes)
  • taped a note to the front of the bodypack reminding the user to turn the power on

Thus, the process is streamlined into 7 steps:

  1. PLUG Marantz power supply in
  2. PLUG receiver power supply in
  3. HOOK receiver upright onto bag
  4. HOOK bodypack onto self
  5. FLIP Marantz power switch on
  6. FLIP bodypack power switch on
  7. RECORD!

January 22, 2007

Podcasted lecture today

Podcasted Danielle today (lecturing for Murray) and all was fine and sounds good.

January 17, 2007

Podcasted lecture today

No podcast today because something didn't work in the setup -- no idea what it was. We've modified the setup a bit so it's simpler to deal with.

December 11, 2006

Podcasted lecture today

MSJ was being filmed for an Office of the Senior VP for Academic Affairs course catalog project concurrently with the podcasting, so that's why there's so much mention of it on the podcast...

December 6, 2006

Podcasted lecture today

Battery in bodypack had died so MSJ replaced after about 5 minutes of class and all else was fine. We should get a copy of MSJ's syllabus for next semester and have him note the dates he will not need to podcast. The process -- with minimal editing -- is now around 15-20minutes tops.