Friday, April 13, 2007

Minute Lit Tech 1.2 - the podcast

The second episode of Minute Lit Tech has been posted to Alex's iWeb site. Update your podcast-listening software to pull in the latest RSS feed updates (e.g., go to Podcasts in iTunes and click the Refresh button at the lower right).

Minute Lit podcast info:

See the podcast online at the Minute Lit main page, hosted on Apple's iWeb, or
download copies of both "Minute Lit" and "Minute Lit - Tech" here.

Give us a listen. Send us your comments, good or bad, in either written or audio format, to minutelit[at]gmail[dot]com.

This episode is titled "The Podcast". I note that although many bloggers are urging podcasters to move beyond talking about their medium and add real content to further encourage listeners...I choose to forge on and talk about the medium. In these still-early days of podcasting, it's important to encourage listeners, would-be podcasters, newbie podcasters and veterans alike to take continual interest in the medium itself, so that new things can be learned. Get out of your rut of just listening to a few shows, take hints suggested in your various podcasts to listen to new podcasts, video-casts, etc.

Although I don't watch many video casts, you should definitely periodically troll the offerings of such locations as youtube, Google's video site, and, as well as singular casts such as "Something To Be Desired". The creator of STBD is Justin Kownacki, who also is the force behind Podcamp Pittsburgh and the new Podcamp Pittsburgh Bootcamp, which will be occurring next Saturday, April 21st, at Pittsburgh's Art Institute. Listen to this episode of Minute Lit Tech to learn more, and/or go to for more info.

As Craig Syverson mentions in one of his VentureCast shows, co-produced with David Hornik, there is still much room in the digital space for both podcasting and videocasting - there are vastly different audiences for both, with some cross-pollination...but the production of both encompasses the same group of producers and content-creators - it's just that podcasts can ramble on for 1 or 1.5 hours...whereas video-casts really work best in a shorter format.

I'm not even going to touch on monetization. I think, unless we feel a really good pull in one direction or another, that we should just "build it and they will come".


Show notes: (a partial transcript of the show)
minute lit - tech - episode 1.2 - the Podcast

Minute Lit - Tech, the netcast for researching and discussing the Tech & Tools behind creation of 21st Century literature -- Episode 1.2 - the podcast

Minute Lit has been produced for your listening pleasure by the good folks at Silurian-Devonian Tunes, with your host for this episode, Alex Landefeld."

You may reach us at any time at That's m-i-n-u-t-e-l-i-t @ gmail dot com. You may address your e-mails either to me, Alex Landefeld, or to our co-producer, Dawn Papuga.

"This netcast has been assembled in Apple's GarageBand, with background music assembled from [....]

This episode is dedicated to podcasts, talkshow hosts and interviewers of all sorts - without your attempts to reach out to your fellow humans, I wouldn't be presenting in this medium.

In this edition of Minute Lit -Tech, we'll
- explore the concept of podcasts - what, where, when & how;
- review briefly communication methods that precede podcasts: television, radio, pamphlets and bards.
- discuss podcasting methods - software, hardware and content.

The second episode of our sister program, "Minute Lit" has been completed and the final version has been released. We had two versions,

Podcasts - what where when and how

As you're listening to this podcast, you know generally what it is: a pre-recorded, Internet-distributed audio program. Although books on tape are prerecorded programs, they are by definition distributed in a more limited format, on phonograph records, audio tapes, CD's, DVD's and perhaps FLASH Ram drives, all of which are distributed through traditional retail channels and lending libraries. These formats allow for wider distribution, certainly, than Internet-based audio, though with the improvement of Internet distribution via satellite and long-distance wireless communications, the difference in distribution coverage is narrowing, limited merely to a difference between those with network access and those without.

Though the name "podcast" does more than suggest it's origin as a netcast designed for the listening public using Apple's iPod listening devices, the term really encompasses any pre-recorded radio-like show which can be listened to on computers or portable listening devices.

What preceeded podcasts?
- books on tape/CD
- Television - visual information presented for immediate consumption
- Radio - audio information presented for immediate consumption, either stationary or via car/portable radios
- books, pamphlets -

In the first episode of Minute Lit, our vocabulary word was incunabulum, which describes sheets and books printed with the first printings of movable type or with blocks carved with the image of one whole page. These printings were the first instances of mechanical printing, following thousands of years of writing and copying texts either long-hand (by hand, thesaurus?) or inscriptions in stone or clay tablets. Since the beginning of printing, hundreds, then thousands and millions of books, pamphlets, posters, etc. have been printed, multiplying the amount of information to be distributed from a point of origin to an audience of one, 10, 100 or millions of readers.

Who prints? Who publishes? Who distributes? Who posts? Who reads? Who reads to others? Who records so that others don't have to read?

Bards, poets, priests, etc. - carried information from town to town...

Bards, travelling poets, priests, musicians, actors, commerce-businessmen (thesaurus?) - anyone who travelled from town to town to disseminate information from one group to another brought information of his own of from someone else, but transmitted the information colored with thoughts, feelings and ideas of the transmitter.

software, hardware and content:

As for hardware, other than your base machine, my biggest surprise as a complete novice was that basic computer microphones don't work very well by themselves.
Both mac's and PC's come with the basic headphone and microphone jacks...but I've not ever seen anything that says that an unpowered microphone won't work straightaway with a personal computer.

Well, try plugging a non-USB microphone or plantronics headset into that little microphone jack, and unless you turn the input volume up to full-blast, you won't hear anything. I ran into this with my Mac, and a good friend working with his PC laptop had the same issue. What we didn't know is that a microphone should be powered in some way - amplified, that is.

C'mon, we're software guys, not audio ace's.

Anyways, although I could have invested in a USB microphone (which implies a power-source via the USB connection), I wanted to be sure of something that would work...with existing equipment. I borrowed my wife's Griffin iMic, which is basically a USB external sound device with headphone and microphone jacks, plugged my headphone input and output jags into it, and then plugged the iMic into a spare USB port when Garageband was running....and OS ten asked me if the iMic device should be used. After clicking okay, I was up and running with workable microphone interface.

A benefit of the headphone interface is decreasing feedback via the mac's speakers....since I've been using this setup, that has not cropped up as an issue. One additional thing: with two or more Griffin iMic's, you can aggregate devices so that you can have an inexpensive setup for interviewing others on your podcast.

Google with the two terms thegaragedoor and agg, and you'll come up with the same great tutorial I found on The Garage Door's website.

Send us an e-mail at to let us know about your successes, failures or problems with these issues.

Podcasts reviewed
- Last time we reviewed in intro methods of four podcasts. Did you find those in your travels?
- The Command Line, VentureCast, This Week in Media, and That's Good to Know

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