Linux for Podcasting
Linux is a great open source and free operating system. For the third week of the Podcasting for free challenge I was supposed to use only Linux to create a full podcast episode. Did that happen? No. Linux has its pros and cons. It’s good at certain things and bad at others.
It is of course an open source and free platform. As a result there are large communities creating their own distributions of Linux. Some of the most popular distributions are Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora and Debian. There are all different operating systems but based on the same Linux kernel.
There are some tools on Linux that work great. Video editors are an example of that. There are quite a few video editors available on Linux now and they work great. PiTiVi is one of my personal favourite but Lightworks and others are available too.
Linux is also very flexible. You can use it to simply automate certain tasks or write your own programs for it. You can do whatever you like with it without having to worry about developer tool costs and submitting your apps to the app store.
There are also no viruses on Linux. Linux is widely known as the hackers operating system. Hackers use it so that they cannot get their own viruses.
From the research that I did there is very limited software for live video recording. I did find one program, Webcam Studio but the interface was poor, features were limited and it did not run well. It’s unfortunate but Linux just isn’t designed to do these sort of tasks.
Another problem that I faced was limited audio and video device support. While most of the webcams I have work with Linux there is no manual control options. Few audio devices work too.
The biggest problem with Linux is its overall interface. Recent distributions of Linux have been becoming more and more user friendly. Distro’s such as Ubuntu now have their own app stores. However, you’re still going to end up in terminal if you want to use the OS to its fullest capabilities.
So can I use Linux in my Podcast?
If you have a website the chances are that you are already using Linux. Nearly all web hosting servers use an OS called centOS which is a distribution of Linux.
I am working on a project right now that uses centOS as its core. I am nearly finished the project and I will hopefully talk about it on next weeks show.
Domain and Website Hosting
Since I started Talks About Tech in 2011 I have used Godaddy for both my website domain and hosting. Last week I decided to move them over to different providers.
I moved my domain name over to hover.com. I have heard some great things about hover. It cost me $35 for the year with 5 email forwards. I’m really happy with hover. There were simple instructions on how to move my domain from Godaddy to Hover and the transfer began immediately.
I decided to move my hosting over to Bluehost.com. So why didn’t I get hosting and domain with hover? If hover shut down then both my hosting and domain would be gone. However, if I have them hosted by separate companies then it is much safer. I also heard great things about Bluehost but I had heard that transferring a WordPress site is quite difficult. It was. I took me the best part of two days to get everything set up and working. Here is an overview of the steps that I took to help you:
1. I copied my wp-content folder on my old server to my local computer using FTP.
2. I copied my WordPress database from my dropbox account where my weekly site backups are stored. You should be backing up your site every week but if you aren’t I recommend the BackWPup plugin.
3. I logged in to my new server C-panel and installed a new WordPress install.
4. I replaced the newly generated wp-content folder on my new server with the one from my website.
5. I went into phpMyAdmin from my bluehost C-Panel and navigated to the SQL database generated for the new WordPress install. I then went to the import tab and imported the database from my website.
6. I then forwarded my domain name to the new Bluehost server and everything was transferred.
I am paying $6.95 per month for a year which is a very good deal. There is unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth but that does not include media files.
Zoom H6 Audio Recorder
Zoom are famous for their great range of audio recorders. Their latest top of the range audio recorder is the H6 and this is an incredible recorder!
Where should I start? The H6 has 4 XLR 1/4 combo inputs built into it. Each of the inputs also has a dedicated gain knob and 12V, 24V or 48V phantom power. There is also a slot for different microphone capsules on the top. It comes with a standard X/Y stereo mic but you can put a mid-side mic, shotgun mic or even a capsule that adds two extra XLR 1/4 combo inputs for up to 6 inputs!
There is a line out to go into a mixer or any other line in device, a headphone out for real time monitoring and a USB port which can be used to transfer recorded files to a computer or for the device to be used as an audio interface.
The clear angled display is perfect for monitoring audio levels with the VU meter. There are built-in Compressor/Limiter features as well as other effects.
Some of the coolest features on the H6 are the Pre-Record, Backup-Record and Auto-Record features.
When pre-record is on the device is always recording from the moment you turn it on. Then, when you press the record button it saves two seconds before you start recording just in case you pressed the record button a little bit late.
Backup-record is my favourite. When you start recording with backup-record enabled another recording will be recorded simultaneously with 12db less gain so if you set the levels a little hot no worries because the backup recording won’t be affected.
Auto-record allows you to set an audio level. When the volume goes over that audio level then the H6 will start recording automatically.
The H6 takes 4 AA batteries and has over 20 hours battery life. It can take SD cards of up to 128GB and it can record six tracks of audio simultaneously. It records to MP3 or WAV and it is available on Amazon now for £329.