Caving podcasts?

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Caving podcasts?

Postby Wayne Harrison » Oct 18, 2005 3:44 pm

(If you don't know what a podcast is, read this: http://www.podcastingnews.com/articles/ ... sting.html )

I listened to a recording of a through trip at Great X, while looking at photos of the trip, and wondered if anyone had thought about podcasting cave adventures? Maybe call it "Cave Radio."

:exploring:

There are thousands and thousands of podcasts out there and I can't find a single one that covers caving.

Podcast.net:

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Your search - caving - did not return any matches.
No podcasts were found containing caving.

:caver:
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Postby hewhocaves » Oct 19, 2005 9:45 am

A bunch of years ago Paul Steward and I were kicking around the idea of putting together a monthly article for the NSS News. The article would focus on older and famous members and how they have affected the society.

That became the Spelean Spotlight, of course.

Now what's less known is that one of the first people we interviewed was Jeanne Gurnee. We taped something close to two hours of material, out of which came about two pages of text. But there was a lot, lot more - we just didn't know what to do with it. (this was the mid to late 90s, btw)

I'm thinking that doing a interview format for some of the older members of the society would be excellent material for a podcast. There are some really great stories out there which exist only in people's memories and as we lose the previous generation, we lose a lot of our history.

Just a thought

John
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Yes, by all means, do it!

Postby CaverScott » Oct 19, 2005 11:49 am

John - NPR has done a similar series and I always enjoyed listenging to it. I would encourage you to pursue this project. :exactly:
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Re: Yes, by all means, do it!

Postby hewhocaves » Oct 19, 2005 12:25 pm

Scott Fee wrote:John - NPR has done a similar series and I always enjoyed listenging to it. I would encourage you to pursue this project. :exactly:


damn you Scott! *shakes fist* You've foiled my clever attempt to pass this off onto someone else.

Well, it's an interesting thought and idea. I'm not sure about how much equipment I'd need to make a good recording.

heh... any chance of getting funding from the NSS for it? lol

John
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Re: Yes, by all means, do it!

Postby CaverScott » Oct 20, 2005 8:13 am

hewhocaves wrote:
heh... any chance of getting funding from the NSS for it? lol

John



Hmmm, another interesting thought.

Would it be considered Educational?
:?:
http://www.caves.org/grants/index.htm
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Postby Scott McCrea » Oct 20, 2005 9:17 am

If it's good quality stuff and cavers are listening to it, corperate sponsors would surely step up.
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Re: Yes, by all means, do it!

Postby hewhocaves » Oct 20, 2005 11:49 am

Scott Fee wrote:
hewhocaves wrote:
heh... any chance of getting funding from the NSS for it? lol

John



Hmmm, another interesting thought.

Would it be considered Educational?
:?:
http://www.caves.org/grants/index.htm


it could be.
i was focusing on the history aspect of it. we can do conservation, biology, basic geology, etc... heck, even vulcanobiospeleology!!! paleo-vulcanobiospeleology, that is. ;-)

the problem, as I see it, is that everyone is so far apart from everyone else... that's great for listeners, bad if you want to set up an interview.

Although all this technological stuff has gotten me intrigued enough to look a little deeper into it. Darn you Scott Fee!!! Why don't you just embed a WiFi chip into my skull!! please?

lol

John
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Postby AmyB » Oct 20, 2005 12:41 pm

[quote]Would it be considered Educational?

http://www.caves.org/grants/index.htm


it could be.
i was focusing on the history aspect of it. we can do conservation, biology, basic geology, etc... heck, even vulcanobiospeleology!!! paleo-vulcanobiospeleology, that is.
[/quote]


Might be. I like it. Send in an application form and we'll look at it.
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Postby hewhocaves » Oct 20, 2005 12:59 pm

hi Amy!

Ok.. I'll put together a proposal. I figure all I'm going to need is funds for equipment. As for what that equipment will entail...

I'm not sure.

I'm not an electronics person, but I figure that the way that any interviews will get done is over the phone. So some sort of microphone - phone tie in apparatus which then hooks (by USB / Fireware?) to a PC and saves it as a file.

I figure that any additional funds will probably go towards software - for the purposes of digitally mixing the stuff together.

I know a few people who have their ear to the web when it comes to these things. I'll try to confer with them in the next few days.

And yes, I do think that this could be a no-brainer for the society to approve. Besides education and enjoyment this can be a medium which helps close the gap between officers and membership.

(example: there could be an episode once a year to an interview with the President of the NSS)

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Postby Scott McCrea » Oct 20, 2005 1:43 pm

John,

Perhaps you have thought of this already, but just in case...

Talk to Mark Passerby, mark@caves.com, about Skype. These are free computer based phone calls, which would probably be easy to record straight to your hard drive. And it's free, even internationally.
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Postby hewhocaves » Oct 20, 2005 1:52 pm

hi Scott,

yeah, it's a possibility. When I moved to morgantown I looked into these things instead of having a phone line. The peer ro peer line over the net seems to just be a buffed version of netmeeting. On the other hand, calling to a non-computer line still costs. I'm not sure what the quality is vs. a phone line. the other downer is that the person at the other end has to download something and they might not be willing to do that (they'd also need a good mike at their end.)

right now, i'm looking at phone-line mixers. making a little headway, but it's the usual 10 websites of ads and 1 with a snippet of info.

example:
http://www.podcastrigs.com/pcrig.html

I still don't see where on that thing it does phone interviews. but i might have just missed it.

John

(edited to add)
it just occured to me that the phone-in might just be a single line from the phone, holding both halves of the conversation. up until now I've been looking at having just their end in the phone.
hmmm... now how does THAT affect the feed?? do i need to get a better phone (I have a 10 year old Sony cordless now)
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Postby Cheryl Jones » Oct 20, 2005 3:45 pm

hewhocaves wrote: I'm not sure what the quality is vs. a phone line.

If you mean quality of a VOIP connection, such as Skype, it is significantly better the voice quality over a regular phone -- especially if the headset uses a USB connection rather than one through the computer's speakers.

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Postby hewhocaves » Oct 20, 2005 4:17 pm

heh... brain overload. talk about cramming the recording industry into my head over the course of an afternoon.

so the nickel lowdown on podcasting hardware.

microphone and headset: duh. obvious. one you listen through, the other you tak through.

mixer: takes individual lines of sound and "mixes" them together. pretty much essential if you want to have a conversation with the person next to you (a cheaper alternative is to share a microphone)

compressor/processor: the big thing that this does (from what I understnad) is keep everything at a reasonably audible level. This means that if I'm talking and I'm really loud, it drops my volume and if you're talking and you're really quiet, it raises your volume. There are some other things that it does, but I don't know what those are yet.

hybrid: this is the magic item. this is the thing that connects a phone line to the whole apparatus and makes it seem like that person on the phone is another mike in the studio. Teh cheapest retail price I've seen for this thing is $600-. On ebay you'd get it for less.

so that's that. from what I've gathered, this is the way it goes:

the most essential thing is the mike. with a decent mike connected right into a PC, you can edit out the worst static with software. reasonably clear, but not broadcast quality.

the second most essential thing is a mixer and addtional mikes. now you can do face to face interviews without sharing a mike, which means that you're not going to be leaning in to each other like stand ins in "The Lady and the Tramp". You can also put that second mike adjacent to a speakerphone and get reasonably good results.

the third most essential thing is the processor thingie. apparantly, its much better to just fiddle with the raw feed before it gets digitzed on your computer. *shrug* that's what they tell me, anyway. i suppose if they told me that apples are really 40' tall I'd have to believe them, too.

lastly, you have the hybrid. we can do a decent podcast, i think, without it - though the phone interviews might sound scratchy. the equipment is also raher portable - so I can see lugging it to convnetion, for example, and doing a bunch of interviews there and releasing them to the public over the next six months.

i haven't figured out prices yet, but as a rough dollar figure It'll be below $500-. (Ideally, below $250- but that may be wishful thinking). As for donations/grants I'm still doing research. The less I spend, the better :-)

John

PS: Cindy, Skype seems to be favorably reviewed in a number of places. I still have concerns over how willing the party at the other end would be to using it (or how much in phone bills I'll be forking over). Ideally, I'd prefer to capture a good feed right off a land line, even if that part of the program gets edited in later (that's apparantly common and easy to do)
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At least I am off the hook

Postby CaverScott » Oct 20, 2005 5:11 pm

hewhocaves wrote:hi Amy!

And yes, I do think that this could be a no-brainer for the society to approve. Besides education and enjoyment this can be a medium which helps close the gap between officers and membership.

(example: there could be an episode once a year to an interview with the President of the NSS)

John Tudek

\
I don't know John.... :eyecrazy:
This might just drive potential members away! :rofl:
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