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March 6, 2005 [ More archived home pages here ]

Podcast Interviews Using Voice Over IP

Update 07/01/05: Using the iTunes Music Store, you can subscribe to my podcast directly.

Over at Digital Passages Podcasts, I'm producing the first of many interviews with friends and associates. I'd like to talk a little about what is being done and how it is produced.

I leverage Internet technologies to fit my vision of life and business. Podcasting is one of my latest efforts implementing combinations of audio and distribution using the Internet. For several months now, I've produced short podcasts and the growth in listeners has been constant every month. Currently, my most recent podcasts exceed 700 downloads to-date. I'm hoping to push over 2,000 downloads for each podcast per month in the near term.

The subject matter is varied and will occasionally be more focused. Right now, I'm focused on doing interviews, perhaps up to 50 minutes in duration, but the target timeframe is about 20 minutes. My interview style and techniques change with each experience and I gain new knowledge from every interview.

I use Skype as the technology to communicate with the person being interviewed. That software uses the Internet to make what amounts to telephone calls for any distance, for free. That's right, free using the technology of, Voice Over-IP.

Skype is a wonderful use of technology to drive down the cost of communication. It's a powerful enabler running on all computer platforms and the number of its users increase every day. The interface is easy to set-up. If I want to, I could search out people from any city and assuming they're online using Skype and they'll accept my call, start talking to them for free, This is a great way to do initial research about places and people in those regions and to help make new contacts there.

I capture the audio stream from Skype using WireTap Pro and a couple other pieces of software. That combination allows me to easily record both sides of the interview. I then post-process that audio to make it sound better before encoding the interview in mp3 format. The mp3 format can present a 40-minute interview using about 5 Mb's of space. That small size makes it extremely fast to download.

The podcast is uploaded to one of my servers and the podcast entry is sent to an aggregation site using rss. Users from all over the world can check my link in those aggregation sites using podcast-capturing software and download it to their computers or mp3 players, such as Apple's iPod.

I've separately interviewed Gene Weed [ Link since removed ] and Marc Raiser [ Link since removed ] in the past 10 days and I will be doing more conversations with them soon. I also plan on expanding my list of people to interview. Don't be too surprised if your get an invitation from me to participate. I'll try to find people that are knowledgeable about their topic and are comfortable in this venue.

Before I finish here, I want to say that if, we the public, urged our local, state, and federal government to mandate wi-fi service throughout our country, we could make voice-over-IP pervasive and almost free using wi-fi phones instead of cellular-type phones. Why pay $60 or more a month for cellular when you could communicate for almost free using wi-fi phones and Skype or some other free software across the Internet?

Some cities are already ahead of the curve and providing wi-fi Internet access to anyone within their reach. It seems to me that those people in those regions have a real strong competitive advantage over the rest of us who are forced to use expensive and out-dated telephone communications and services to accomplish the same thing they are doing. Think about it!

Don


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