Inside The Studio 022: PFF Challenge Week 1

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On this episode I talk about week 1 of the Podcasting for Free Challenge, Xsplit 1.3 Beta and more.

PFF Week 1
This week is the first week of the Podcasting for Free Challenge. This week is the Windows Challenge. I use the Windows OS extensively in my workflow so it wasn’t too hard to make the transition completely over to Windows.

You will can replicate the results of this episode using about €630 worth of hardware. If you want information on the hardware that I am using and that you can use to replicate the results you can go to episode 20.

Pre-Show
For the show preparation notes I used the free Google Drive service. Google Drive allows you to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms and drawings. You can organize your files into folders and share files with other Drive users. Google Drive is, in my opinion, the best service for show notes creation and collaboration.

Recording and Streaming
To record and switch the show I used Open Broadcaster Software. Open Broadcaster Software allows me to create multiple scenes that I can switch between e.g. switch from camera shot to desktop shot. You can add in multiple sources into each scene with image overlays, video capture sources and more.

To stream the show I used the Livestream Procaster. I stream to Livestream and the procaster is free software that Livestream provide to stream a webcam source, your desktop or a Direct X game.

I also used Ustream Producer. I forgot to talk about how I integrated Ustream Producer during the show but I used it to display my laptops screen and all other screen captures. I took the output from Ustream Producer into Open Broadcaster Software using the Game Capture feature in OBS because it see’s Ustream Producer as a game.

Post Production
I used Lightworks to edit the show and audacity to process the audio for the show. I did not cover it on the show but I will cover it on next weeks show and I will release a PFF Week 1 YouTube video during the week.

Listener Question
Here is a question from Corey about Podcast Workflows:

Hi Michael,

First off, absolutely love your show. Thank you for taking time to put together, and perform the show.

You mention ‘workflow’ throughout many episodes. What exactly is workflow, especially pertaining to podcasting?

Keep up the fantastic job!
Corey

Answer:
A workflow is the process that you go through to produce your podcast. A workflow starts with the pre production or pre show and ends when you publish the podcast. Here is an example workflow:

    • Write show notes with Google Docs
    • Record with OBS
    • Send finished file to Lightworks for Editing
    • Encode the finished show for the web
    • Upload to CDN
    • Publish to website and RSS feed as podcast.

If you want to find out more information about Podcast Workflows you can check out episode 9 of Inside the Studio.

Xsplit 1.3 Beta
xsplitI saw the tweet from Xsplit this week saying that the 1.3 beta was available to all Xsplit users. I downloaded it straight away to try it out.

I’ve been using Xsplit since my very first podcast episode. Recently though I’ve been using Open Broadcaster Software because of two reasons: Xsplit didn’t have a Constant Frame Rate option and the audio Codec wasn’t too high quality.

I’m really enjoying the Xsplit 1.3 beta. Here are some of the new features:

  • Better Chroma Key
  • Faster Loading Time (10-12 Seconds)
  • Ability to change the bit rate on the fly while recording or streaming
  • Updates to Justin.tv/Twitch plugin – Automatically picks the closest server to stream to, automatically configure channel based on internet and computer speeds.
  • New “Simplified” Local Recording Plugin – Select from a number of presets or create your own custom presets using x264 terminology.
  • Broadcast Menu Interface Improvements – Quick access to channel settings
  • Bandwidth Tester Improvements
  • Shows the total size in bytes of the recording or streaming file in the top bar
  • Force Constant Frame Rate option
  • Audio codec greatly improved

All of the issues that I had with older versions of Xsplit are now gone. Xsplit supports Constant Bit Rate now and the audio codec is greatly improved and now the audio quality is really clear. I broke one of the golden podcasting rules. I used Xsplit 1.3 beta in episode 72 of Talks About Tech Weekly. It worked brilliantly. You can check out that episode at talksabouttech.com/tatweekly/72.

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