I just bought the ProJive XLR mic cable for my iPhone. What’s it do? It’s an XLR to headphone jack cable adapter, and it’s made to plug a normal XLR microphone into an iPhone.
This lets me use my better-quality microphones (well, better than the built-in iPhone mic, anyway) for recording. It works with any audio app (like the voice recorder) or with video apps, too.
So – check out the video above, and listen to the sound. Not bad for an iPhone video, huh? Also listen for the unmistakable cell phone interference – that “beep beep beep” noise that you sometimes hear when a cell phone is close to some speakers. I’ll have to experiment more – if that interference happens a lot, the cable isn’t going to be all that helpful.
But we’ll see. Until then, I can now get quality audio in my iPhone videos effortlessly. Sweet!
NCompass Live, from the Nebraska Library Commission: focus on library trends.
This Week in Libraries: Eric and Jaap from the Netherlands host a weekly video show with a bunch of interesting guests, usually talking about the future of libraries. Definitely international in scope.
Games in Libraries: A podcast about Games, Gaming, and Gamers in Libraries (sporadic at the moment)
Adventures in Library Instruction: A monthly podcast by and for library information literacy instructors and teaching librarians. The show includes features, interviews and discussion about teaching in libraries.
LibPunk: Live call-in show/podcast focused on hot topics in libraryland
Additions from the comments (some other really cool-sounding podcasts):
So – what am I missing in this list? Know of any other podcasts focused on the library/information professional industry? Let’s list them here. And make sure to listen/watch/call-in – give them a try, and see if you get something out of them!
My library has been podcasting for awhile, and we have been using blip.tv as our mp3 podcast hosting service. That has worked great … until now.
Blip.tv is a really cool video service. They have always focused on original web shows (think Epic Fu or Ask a Ninja), but historically they were also really friendly towards random, “share the stuff in your head” videobloggers and audio-only podcasters. So they were a great free alternative for a podcast hosting service.
Lately, Blip seems to be narrowing their focus to original web shows. Nothing wrong with that – businesses grow and change. But how does that affect us? Well – for me, though I have quite a few videos uploaded to Blip, you can’t find them in blip’s search engine anymore. They’re still hosted, and you can get to them on my videoblog – just not through Blip’s search engine.
And my library’s audio-only podcast? Blip is turning off the ability to upload all audio-only formats (that includes our mp3 files) starting December 13.
Bummer for us.
For my videos, no sweat – that’s easy. I’ll still upload them to Youtube (I’m already there anyway).
But finding a new podcast hosting service isn’t nearly as easy. For the most part, podcast hosting services actually cost money these days. Here are some of the more popular choices these days:
The big three – these are considered professional podcast hosting and distribution platforms:
talkshoe – free, but it’s really more a live call-in show service that can be recorded and archived.
We ended up choosing Libsyn. Rob Walch, VP of Podcaster Relations at Wizzard Media (they own Libsyn) and host of the Podcast411 podcast, has spoken at two of the three Podcamp Topeka unconferences my library has hosted, and really knows his stuff. So we figured why not try them out?
So for now, we went with Libsyn’s $20 a month plan. It includes advanced statistics, a smartphone app, and more monthly storage. Since we plan on expanding our mobile multimedia offerings (i.e.., more audio and video stuff), paying for those features made a lot of sense to us. It’s still relatively cheap (compared to other stuff we buy or subscribe to, $240 a year is definitely cheap), and we get a dedicated podcasting platform and some really great statistics. Nothing wrong with that!
**warning** the first part of this video is very quiet, and the last part is LOUD – don’t scare your office-mates!
I occasionally shoot video with my iPhone, and have noticed that the internal iPhone microphone really isn’t all that great. Which is one reason I don’t use the iPhone video feature more often – the audio it records for video varies pretty wildly. For me, anyway!
So when I saw a link to Amazon for the i-Microphone, I clicked and read. And bought.
It’s cheap – it’s listed at $25.99 at Amazon right now. And it’s LOUD. The manufacturer’s website claims the i-Microphone boosts the audio level “up to 12 dB louder” – and I believe them!
Check out the video I made (embedded in this post). For the first part of the video, I’m using the built-in iPhone mic. Then I plug in the i-Microphone … and you can suddenly hear me. There is a HUGE difference in levels. HUGE.
So – if you like to shoot videos (or record audio) with your iPhone (or pretty much any device that can use a headphone jack plugin for audio) – you might find the i-Microphone pretty darn useful.
I see lots of people give presentations … and hear lots of presenters with microphone problems.
I know a little bit about microphones and how to get the most out of them, so here are 5 Mic Tips for Presenters!
Have some microphone tips not listed? Add them in the comments!
5 Mic Tips for Presenters:
1. Get close to the mic! Most mic and volume problems are solved if the presenter simply moves his/her head closer to the mic.
Optimally, you should be about 4-6 inches from the mic, and an easy way to measure that is by using the clenched fist rule. Simply put your fist up to your mouth, and put the mic on the other side of your fist. That puts you about 4 inches or so from the mic.
Using a lavalier? They don’t have to be as close as a handheld-type mic, but you still need to position the lavalier to it’s pretty close to your head. Right under your neck is a great place for the lavalier mic, so for guys wearing ties, clipping the mic right underneath the knot of your tie works great. Women, same thing – wear “lavalier-friendly” clothes (so you have a place to pin the mic).
2. Speak directly into the mic (or slightly angled if your P’s and S’s are popping a lot). I see lots of speakers hold a mic down by their chest. Bad! Be bold, be brave … and talk into the mic.
3. Do a sound check before the event. Make sure to talk into the mic like you normally would during a presentation – so no embarrassed whispering. Also, use that time to get familiar with the mic. See if it has an on/off switch, a mute button, a battery light, etc.
4. Avoid feedback. That high-pitched, squeaky feedback is icky, and it’s really pretty easy to avoid, if you follow these three steps:
if you start hearing feedback, move closer to the mic – not farther away from it. If the mic isn’t picking up a strong signal from you, it will start picking up other noises, including your voice from the monitors… and that causes a feedback loop (ie., those terrible screechy noises that everyone hates).
don’t cover the mic with your hand. That’s sorta the same as cupping your ears (ie., more ambient noise = more likely to feedback).
Stay away from the monitors! If you like to walk while talking, and there are monitors on stands in the room … stay away from them.
5. Use the on/off or mute button. If you need to cough or say something privately, either step away from the mic or use the on/off/mute buttons. That’s what they’re for.
Hopefully, these simple tips will help you be a better presenter. Got any mic tips of your own? Share them in the comments!