Saturday, August 18, 2007

DearMYRTLE's genealogy podcasts

Myrt, you forgot your own podcast

From: Stacey
Thanks for the big list of genealogy and history podcasts in yesterday’s blog "What's on DearMYRTLE's iPod?" .However, you forgot one important podcast – YOURS. I love your upbeat podcasts, especially the interviews. Keep up the good work. I know you’ve had challenges with your father’s health, but it is great when a new podcast comes out. I look forward to each edition. -- If YOU won’t toot your own horn, I WILL.


Heavens, thanks for the heads up and your kind comments. I’ll amend the previous column to add my own podcast to the list.

YES, Ol' Myrt here does have DearMYRTLE’s FAMILY HISTORY HOUR and the individual column podcasts on her iPod, but she doesn't actually listen to her own podcasts using her iPod

BECAUSE she has already listened to each podcast at least four times during the production process.

When creating each week’s DearMYRTLE’s FAMILY HISTORY HOUR podcasts, I complete the recorded telephone interviews with my special guests by saving each to my hard drive. Next, I listen to each segment using Audacity to edit out sound checks, dead space and too many “ummms”. I am lucky because the talented folks I get to interview are dynamic speakers, so it’s easy to talk with them, and there is very little editing to be done. I then record my own parts of the podcast, hoping that everything will equal about an hour of content. Using Mixcraft, I splice all the segments of the podcast together including such things as:
  • bumper music
  • intro
  • interviews
  • ads
  • PSAs (public service announcements)
  • readers & listeners’ feedback
  • titles from the past week’s blog entries
  • across my desk
  • MightyMouse segment
  • the wrap up
  • interesting bits of background music to spruce things up

At this point, Ol' Myrt listens to the entire show again for sound leveling and continuity. In true multi-tasking form, I usually fold laundry right next to my computer desk while listening, so I can edit something immediately if there is a problem.

Continuity can be a challenge some times, because the interviews may have been recorded weeks in advance of a podcast’s release. To overcome potential continuity problems, Ol' Myrt usually schedules the interviews within a day or so of release, so that breaking news (like new FamilySearch affiliates access or photocopy price changes at the NARA) can be reflected in the content of an interview.

Then I have Mixcraft convert the file to an .mp3 file, adding tags and identifying info before I press the “Save” button. Once the file conversion is complete, the podcast begins playing automatically using my default .mp3 player that came with my computer. At that point, I’ll listen to the podcast 1 more time to be sure there were no hiccups or chipmunk-speed problems. Now with faster, more reliable computers, and streamlined audio editing software, there is seldom a challenge with the finished product. But it is my responsibility to put my best foot forward, and make sure my guests interviews sound great.

If I were really a “MASTER Multi-Tasker” I’d spend that hour filing all these genealogy papers stacked in piles around my computer desk, but I’m not.

YES, Stacey, by the time I’ve created a DearMYRTLE’s FAMILY HISTORY HOUR podcast, I have listened to the podcast all the way through at LEAST four times.

So when Ol' Myrt does her power walks, she likes to listen to the audio files produced by other podcasting genealogists.

PS - I hope some would-be podcasters will look into the software I've mentioned. Mac users would tell you that those of us with PCs have to work a bit harder to get podcasts produced, but don't let that deter you. I hope you are encouraged to do your own podcasts -- starting right now!

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

(c) 2007 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

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