Victor Agreda did a fantastic job of sharing his experiences in monetizing his blog at tonight’s meeting of the Knoxbloggers group. And he gave us several useful tips about how we might follow his lead and do the same with our blogs. It was, to me, a very interesting meeting.
A number of people expressed an interest in attending, but for some, prior commitments stood in the way. This meeting generated a lot of interest, as you might imagine. Perhaps second only to a topic like “sex” or the offer of free beer, few things capture people’s attention quite like the mention of making money. If you missed this event folks, you really missed a worthwhile meeting.
Because we had previously considered capturing the audio content of some of these meetings and because we had a specific request to do that for this meeting, Mike and I pooled our audio resources and set up our motley collection of equipment to capture tonight’s session for a podcast, or an audio blog post as I am calling them now. I arrived at around 6:30 PM and conducted some preliminary tests so that we’d be assured that we could capture the audio adequately. We had the room mic’ed very well, and the playback of our tests sounded quite good really. If we needed to run the resulting audio, once captured, through a noise reduction filter or an expander to make sure the sound was loud enough or that there were no irritating extraneous noises, that would be no problem. Post-processing for sound quality wouldn’t be half the problem that editing the almost 2 hours of material might prove to be.
We used Mike’s older, personal laptop and the trial copy of GoldWave to record the audio, and it performed beautifully in our tests. We conducted three or four trials to make sure the recording levels were satisfactory. And they were.
But unfortunately, Murphy was also in attendance at tonight’s meeting.
I asked for an intermission after about an hour or so, and saved the file in MP3 format. That save took almost 15 minutes and resulted in an 82 Mb file, which was about one-tenth of what it would have been if I had saved it in *.wav format. That intermission was a little longer than I had intended it to be, but everyone was understanding and eventually we got back to recording for another 50 or so minutes. The second file proved to be 62 Mb once it was saved in MP3 format.
Mike burned the two files to a CD so that I could bring them home with me and devote most of tomorrow to editing them down to the essence of what was said. But after doing so, he decided to play one of them back. What he heard was an audio file that sounded like it was a 78 rpm record played at 33 rpm speed, a slowed down version of the actual audio. I was hopeful that when I got back home, I would be able to increase the speed so that it might actually be rescued. Alas, it was not. I could increase the speed and make it sound almost like the appropriate pitch, but there were gaps that made the content unintelligible.
The problem, I realized after it was too late to do anything about it, was that I had failed to install the lame encoder in the GoldWave folder. So when I saved the file as an MP3 file, the audio was distorted beyond recognition. The error I made was that I failed to save one of our audio tests to see whether the saved file sounded as good as the playback of our tests when we listened to them.
So once again, I am wiser as a result of this experience, but I am very disappointed that we did NOT capture the audio from tonight’s meeting, and therefore I am unable to share it with you in an audio blog post. My apologies to all concerned, and especially to those of you who were depending upon being able to hear this recording.
“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.” — Vernon Sanders Law