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Filtering by Category: On Digital Media

Mixlr Adds Support for SoundCloud, AudioBoo, MixCloud and Dropbox

John Federico

Mixlr, the company that brought the simplicity of web video streaming to audio, has just announced integration with the biggest audio sharing services on the web.

You'll now be able to export your captured live streams to SoundCloud, AudioBoo, MixCloud and Dropbox. (OK, Dropbox isn't just an audio sharing service, but being able to export to Dropbox makes for a nice, simple production workflow.)

Read More

New iOS Podcasting Workflow

John Federico

Since I began podcasting in 2006, I've been using a variety of methods to record audio, both in the studio and remotely.

I use Macs exclusively and my experiments have included full simultaneous multi-track recording in Garageband using a Firewire mixer, to simply using a conference phone and a pocket recorder to capture phone interviews.

I finally settled upon Audio HiJack Pro for both local and remote recording as the software enables me to capture both sides of a Skype conversation in a single audio file.

This setup worked great for years with only minor hiccups. Finally, a few weeks ago, I had some weirdness occur in this setup and I lost an entire 90-minute episode.

For whatever reason, the Skype connection dropped. We immediately reconnected and everything sounded fine during recording. However, when I played the file back, the audio coming from the studio mics from that point forward was completely garbled. (My caller sounded fine, which was even more strange.)

Sure, we had a good conversation - in fact, it would have been a great episode -  but I wasted everyone's time by not having a better solution for monitoring the audio.

Fixing It

To say that I have a few gadgets in my studio would be a gross understatement so I decided to take stock of my gear and pull together a simple, reliable method for capturing local and remote audio.

Here's the result.

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Video Rig Updated to include FujiFilm Finepix HS10

John Federico

Click to EnlargeI love my Kodak Zi8 just a little bit more than my Zi6 for one simple reason: the audio input jack.

It helps create a simple, lightweight video rig for interviews that I like to get at conferences and events. Using my Zoom H4 portable audio recorder as an audio mixer, I can connect a couple of mics using the XLR jacks and connect them directly to the Zi8 using a standard 1/8" stereo jack.

Click to Enlarge 

The only downside to this setup is the width of the shot - in close quarters it's too tight, requiring me to occupy lots of precious space on exhibit hall floors.

I've tried to counter this with the addition of a wide-angle lens adapter. While it does indeed widen the shot, items on the outer edges can be blurred which makes your interview subject look terrible.

For example, check out this video of FanFeedr Chief Revenue Officer, Ben Lar Marca being interviewed by Craig Calder:

Read More

Event: Using Social Media to Promote Your Blog or Web Site, September 22

John Federico

I've been invited to participate in an upcoming event produced by Professionals in Media. If you can join us in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey please come! Information is below.

If you're unable to attend, fear not - I'll be streaming the event live. You'll be able to listen at the URL below beginning at (or around) 7 PM:

Here's the official announcement from PIM:

You are planning on building a web site or blog. Maybe, you already have one. Either way, drawing traffic equals good business. Tuesday, September 22, at 7 p.m., Professionals In Media (PIM) presents a seminar Using Social Media to Promote Your Blog or Web Site. This event will be held at Summit Medical Group, 1 Diamond Hill Road, Berkeley Heights, Room C-100 in the Education Center of Lawrence Pavilion.

Allan Hoffman, Michael Shapiro, and John Federico are the panelists for an informative evening on using social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to promote your blog or web site.

Allan Hoffman is the CEO and founder of Hoffman is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Newsday, P.O.V., Rutgers Magazine, The MotherHood, Wired News, Worth, Yahoo Internet Life, and many other newspapers, magazines, and literary publications. He is the personal technology columnist for the Star-Ledger. Hoffman has been interviewed about technology topics on various television and radio programs, including NBC’s "Early Today," C-SPAN’s "Washington Journal," CNNfn, and NPR’s "All Things Considered."

Michael M. Shapiro, chief executive officer and editor of, the State of New Jersey’s all-online hyperlocal daily newspaper, is an attorney with degrees from Stanford Law School and Rutgers College, Rutgers University. He first made headlines as one of the youngest people to run for public office in New Jersey when at age 21, he ran for Mayor of New Brunswick.

John Federico is an accomplished marketing, communications and business development executive and founder of the web site He offers 15 years of experience in marketing communications and business development with passionate expertise in digital media.

Admission is a $10 donation per person. Light refreshments will be served. Seating is limited; reservations are strongly suggested. Contact Jacqueline Herships at 973-763-7555 or or Michele C. Hollow at For directions, please visit

The Strategies and Tactics of Show Prep

John Federico

Unlike Kris and Betsy, for most of us, life isn't show prep. It's actually real work.

I have some basic concepts that I consider during show prep, production and post-production.

  • I want to minimize post-production. It's a time suck and some people can really get obsessive about it (ahem...). You want to produce the best media possible, but if it's only one of many things you do every day (like me) you want to have to do as little as possible.
  • It needs to be easy to collaborate with others. I have three co-hosts and a number of guests at any given time. People need to be able contribute topics that they feel are worth discussing while learning what others may want to talk about.
  • It needs to be easy for remote participants while maintaining sound quality. Chia-Lin now lives in the Bay Area, so she no longer participates in studio. I need to accommodate her as well as any guests we may have.

With that in mind, here's an overview of the process I use to produce the On Digital Media podcast. Yes, it goes beyond just show prep, but James Andrews asked my about me gear, etc. so I decided to post it all here.


We typically record on Thursday evenings. Since it's a topical, current events-based show, we have to collect stories that have occurred throughout the week. And, since there are four of us (with the occassional guest) we need a way to collaborate on the story list.

We used to use Delicious to collect stories but since Steve and I do so much of our reading on our iPhones, bookmarking in Delicious just wasn't practical. Nowadays we star items in Google Reader. I prefer to use Shared Items in Google Reader - if it's worth sharing, chances are it's worth discussing.

That process works great for things we find in RSS feeds, but that's not convenient when we find something on a web page. For that, I've recently started using Twine. I've created a Twine called "Digital Media" where I publish interesting stories using the Twine bookmarklet. I also get the added benefit of sharing the item via Twitter.


Once we've collected a group of stories that are worth discussing, we have to organize them. For this, we use a Google Docs. Usually Steve or I will create a Google Doc and share it with the episode participants.

I usually drop a short script in at the top so I remember to introduce the show, tell people where to subscribe, introduce my co-hosts and guests and allow each of them to get in their plugs.

Headlines, slugs and sometimes entire articles are copied into the Google Doc and loosely organized by topic. On the evening of the show, I will sort the stories for improved flow and better segues.

That said, we don't discuss every item - sometimes we go deep into a particular topic and run out of time. Other times, it's good to have extra items since you never know when it might be interesting to segue into something else in the story list.

Keep in mind - Google Docs allows multiple simultaneous editors. That means we can edit the show notes and every participant can see them in real-time. It works beautifully.


After doing this for nearly three years, I've pretty much got the gear set up for our weekly(-ish) use without having to touch much.

Studio 1A

Studio 1A is my home office, in the attic (hence, the "A"). On my desk I have an Alesis Multimix Firewire 8, though rarely use the Firewire interface these days. I keep things simple and jack-in to my MacBook using a USB capture card running from the analog I/O ports on the mixer. (It's the USB encoder/decoder that came with my Logitech Premium Notebook Headset.

For microphones, I have a few mic stands and a variety of condenser mics: a couple of MXL 990's, a Kel-Audio HM-1, an AKF Perception 100 along with a few others. Ken needs a pop filter as he has a difficult time remembering to keep a safe distance from the mic. ;)

Headphones are available to everyone. I bought some inexpensive over-the-ear headphones at Radio Shack which are collapsible and can be transported easily. Since over-the-ear headphones can get really hot really fast, I like to use my Shure SE110's in the summer months. (I'm going to upgrade to the SE310K's soon as they have improved bass response.)

Remote Participants

For Chia-Lin and other remote participants I use Skype on my MacBook. Chia-Lin connects to the Studio using a Skype-to-Skype connection. If you have a suitable amount of bandwidth, you can't beat the sound quality of Skype. If I have other guests calling in who do not have Skype, I will call them at a number they specify using SkypeOut. The quality isn't as good as good as a Skype-to-Skype connection, but it doesn't require me to purchase a digital hybrid coupler, which can be expensive.

Recording Live

Right now we use TalkShoe for our live shows. Downloading TalkShow Pro allows me to control my chat room, mute listeners and take questions live from the audience. For this, I also use SkypeOut to call the TalkShoe phone number. There's a VOIP interface that is intended to offer better voice quality, but I haven't had the opportunity to try it.

I still record the shows locally on my Mac even though TalkShoe is recording everything on their central servers. (I'm a belt and suspenders kind of guy when it come to recording: you never know when something can go wrong so it's good to have multiple recorders rolling.)

I'm expermimenting with a Shoutcast server for better live sound quality. Will post something on that soon.

Post Production

I run everything through the Levelator, edit in Fission, lay it out with music, intros and outros in GarageBand and edit ID3 metadata using iTunes. I currently publish to a Wordpress blog using PodPress, but that will change. More on my workflow here.

Any questions? Comments? Tips? Post them in the comments.

On Digital Media #74 - LIVE - Thursday, October 16th at 9 PM

John Federico


Join the ODM crew for a LIVE episode of On Digital Media this Thursday evening at 9 PM on BlogTalkRadio.

Our guests this week are:

Kip Voytek, SVP, IconNicholson

...and James Andrews, VP, Director of Interactive, Ketchum

The call-in number is (347) 633-9501 or you can send in questions ahead of time to comments AT odmcast DOT com.

On Digital Media LIVE tonight on BlogTalkRadio

John Federico

We're doing our first LIVE episode of On Digital Media tonight! Regular listeners will get to experience all the foibles in real-time. (Those of you who download the podcast will probably get an edited version...) ;)

Tune in here on BlogTalkRadio at 9 PM Eastern time.

[tags]On Digital Media, Podcasts, Podcasting, BlogTalkRadio[/tags]

Getting a Jump on the Flood of iPhone Apps

John Federico


As the executive producer of On Digital Media, I get a lot of press releases and general product and service pitches from PR folks. In this morning's batch I received one that caught my attention, not because the product wowwed me, but because of it's timing.

On Monday, June 9th, there will be a SteveNote at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference where, presumably, Steve will demo and announce the availability of a few new products and services. One service that we're sure will be announced is the general availability of the App Store, Apple's software store for the iPhone that allows third-party developers to sell iPhone applications to corporations and consumers.

Immediately after the SteveNote, there will be a torrent of new iPhone applications of all types, some free, some for a fee but all of them competing for attention.

Back to the press release I received today.

The release was from a company that was announcing general availability of its software for the iPhone in advance of Apple's formal opening of the App Store. It's available for free from their web site - right now - but if you read the fine print in the installation instructions, it requires a jailbroken iPhone.

Why announce a product for a small number of people who may have unlocked their iPhones? I would speculate that this company is already developing a formal, Apple-approved iPhone application that they hope to sell in the App Store.

The press release says:

We are thrilled that Apple is opening up the iPhone and we look forward to taking part in future application development.

More importantly, I would also speculate that this company is trying to create some awareness and brand recognition for its product before the bazillion iPhone applications are announced over the next few weeks.

It's not necessarily a bad strategy. (Although spamming my inbox with a press release is...) I may or may not use the product, but at least I'll remember it.

[tags]iPhone, Apple, App Store, iPhone Developer Program, Jailbroken iPhone, Software, AppTap Installer, PR, Media Relations, Bloggers, Podcasters, Podcast, On Digital Media[/tags]

Hear This: On Digital Media, Episode #64: Where does the box go?

John Federico

The latest episode of On Digital Media has been posted. Show notes and audio can be found here.

Subscribe in iTunes here.

[tags]John Federico, Ken Gellman, Chia-Lin Simmons, Steve Hatch, Wine, Digital Media, On Digital Media, Downloads, Audio, Music, iTunes, Retail, eCommerce, NewsCorp, Microsoft, Circuit City, Blockbuster, Vudu, Home Theater, Twitter, Pownce, AlertThingy, FriendFeed, SocialThing, Advertising, Business Models, Amazon Tax, Sales Tax, Mail Order, Catalogs, AOL, Apple TV, TiVo, Cable TV, Platform A, Mike Troiano, Conversational Marketing Conference, John Battelle, Venture Capital, Investments, Twinkle, Location based services, Mobile, Wireless, twitterific, Google, Podcamp NYC, Podcast, Yahoo, MatchMine, Apple, iPhone, Media, Acquisitions, Alexander Blu, Jobs, Careers, Career Development, Events[/tags]

Hear This: On Digital Media, Episode #63: We Told You So

John Federico

The latest episode of On Digital Media has been posted. Show notes and audio can be found here.

Subscribe in iTunes here.

[tags]John Federico, Ken Gellman, Chia-Lin Simmons, Steve Hatch, Eric Rochow, Real World Green,, Wine, Digital Media, On Digital Media, For Your Imagination, Elvis Costello, Downloads, Audio, Music, Wal-Mart, iTunes, Retail, eCommerce, EMI, EMI Digital, Google, Podcamp NYC, Podcast, Yahoo, MatchMine, SXSW, Google, Android, Apple, iPhone, Media, Adobe Flash, Silverlight, Acquisitions, Alexander Blu, Jobs, Careers, Career Development, Jeff Pulver, SoMBAA, Events[/tags]

Hear This: On Digital Media, Episode #62 - Mobile 2.0 Smackdown: iPhone vs. Android

John Federico

The latest episode of On Digital Media has been posted. Show notes and audio can be found here.

Subscribe in iTunes here.

[tags]John Federico, Ken Gellman, Chia-Lin Simmons, Steve Hatch, Wine, Digital Media, On Digital Media, Podcast, Yahoo, Open Social, Facebook, MatchMine, SXSW, Google, Android, Apple, iPhone, Media, Audible, Amazon, Flash, Silverlight, Java, J2ME, Acquisitions, Alexander Blu, Jobs, Careers, Career Development, Jeff Pulver, SoMBAA, Events[/tags]

Hear This: On Digital Media, Episode #60: Yes, Steve. Blu-Ray is dead.

John Federico

The latest episode of On Digital Media has been posted. Show notes and audio can be found here.

Subscribe in iTunes here.

[tags]Online Advertising, Advertising, John Federico, Ken Gellman, Chia-Lin Simmons, Steve Hatch, Wine, Digital Media, On Digital Media, Podcast, TV, Television, Nielsen, Podcasting, Digital Audio, VOD, Blu-Ray, Apple, iPhone, Microsoft Exchange, John Battelle, IAB, Interactive Advertising Bureau, Research, iTunes, Music Retailers, Music, Wal-Mart, Audience Measurement, Metrics, PRX, Public Radio Exchange, NetFlix, Earnings, AT&T Wireless, AT&T, Audible, Amazon, Random House, Audiobooks, Downloads, Media, Google, Spring VON Conference, VON, Acquisitions, Alexander Blu, iTunes, Microsoft, Yahoo, MicroHoo, Jobs, Careers, Career Development[/tags]

On Digital Media featured on

John Federico

On Digital Media is a featured podcast on Creative's They even took the time to create their own graphic for the home page. ;)


I discovered this thanks to S3Stat, a stats service for Amazon S3 that I'm currently testing. (It's essentially a custom version of Webalizer for S3.)

Thanks, Creative. We're glad you like us.

[tags]Creative, Zencast,, Creative Zen, Podcast, Podcasting, On Digital Media, Digital Media, Podcast Directory[/tags]

Media Hosting with Amazon S3

John Federico

It's taken me a few weeks to make this happen but I've finally moved the file hosting for On Digital Media to Amazon S3. It's only been live for a couple of hours and already I've received email and tweets from ODM subscribers who have noticed the improved download speed.

Why did I make the move?

My current hosting provider offers simple, reliable media hosting. Interestingly, this type of hosting doesn't allow for scripts, applications or logging - it's purely a file hosting service.

Therein lies Reason #1: I'm paying way too much for file storage. People continually listen to archived episodes, so I prefer to leave them online. A typical episode is around 45 megabytes and we've produced 60 of them to date - that can really add up.

Reason #2: no log files. I've been relying on a measurement system that leaves me to question the number of listeners we have each month and a log analyzer would give me more confidence in the numbers.

So, what did I learn during this process?

S3 doesn't write log files in a common log format! So, a standard log analyzer (Webalizer, analog, etc.) won't work.

A quick google search unveiled S3stat, which I'm testing now.

Stay tuned for a review.

[tags]Amazon S3, Media Hosting, Storage, Podcasting, On Digital Media, Podcast[/tags]

Hear This: On Digital Media, Episode #58: Microhoo and Amazonible

John Federico

The latest episode of On Digital Media has been posted. Show notes and audio can be found here.

Subscribe in iTunes here.

[tags]Online Advertising, Advertising, John Federico, Ken Gellman, Chia-Lin Simmons, Steve Hatch, Wine, Digital Media, On Digital Media, Podcast, Podcasting, Digital Audio, Downloads, Media, Google, Audible, Apple, Acquisitions, Alexander Blu, iTunes, Microsoft, Yahoo, MicroHoo, Hedgehog Concept, Peanut Butter Memo, Jobs, Careers, Career Development[/tags]

iTunes 7.6 breaks podcast feeds?

John Federico

Has anyone noticed that iTunes 7.6 has broken podcast feeds? Nearly all of my subscribed podcasts required that I re-subscribe in order to receive new episodes - including my own.

I've also noticed that since the software was released, our consumption seems to be down about 25%. Coincidence? Maybe, but it was so sudden that I don't think so.

[tags]iTunes, Software, Podcasting, Podcasts, Syndication, RSS, Apple[/tags]

Hear This: On Digital Media #57: Bumpy

John Federico

Show notes and audio here.

[tags]Online Advertising, Advertising, John Federico, Ken Gellman, Chia-Lin Simmons, Steve Hatch, Wine, Digital Media, On Digital Media, Podcast, Podcasting, Digital Audio, Downloads, Media, Traditional Media, Big Media, Google, Google Android, iPhone, Apple, Alexander Blu, FaceBook, iTunes, Amazon MP3 Store,, CBS, WPP, Integrated Media Measurement, Investments, VC, Venture Capital, Journey, Music, Spiral Frog, Yahoo, New York Times, NYT, NY Times, John Ellis, John Battelle,, RealClear Markets, Federated Media, Arbitron, Portable People Meter, Media Measurement, Craig Calder, Yovia, Web 2.0 NY, Web 2.0 Conference, Rock Band, Harmonix, XBox Live Marketplace, Verizon Wireless Open Developers Conference, YouTube, Jobs, Careers, Career Development[/tags]

Google Reader Mobile in my workflow

John Federico

I have a new workflow for producing On Digital Media (and keeping up with my feeds, in general): Google Reader on my mobile phone.

Here's the deal: each week we comb blogs and news sites for relevant stories for a new episode. When we find an interesting story, we then tag it in (for:ondigitalmedia - Feel free to tag stories for the show). On the night that we record an episode, we create a story list based on the contents of the feed.

For me, the challenge has been to find the time to catch up on all my reading. So now, I use Google Reader Mobile while I'm on the train.

Here's the addition to the workflow: If I find something interesting and relevant as I'm reading on my phone, I'll "star" it. When I return to my desktop, I'll then tag it for and remove the star from the item until the "Starred Items" list is empty.

This simple addition has enabled me to achieve the equivalent of "Inbox Zero" in my feed list - something I never thought possible to accomplish on a regular basis.

Thanks to Mr. Hatch for the tip.

[tags]Productivity, Podcasting, On Digital Media, GTD, Workflow, Steve Hatch, Google Reader, Mobile Phones, Mobile Content, Cell Phones[/tags]