March was mad

I was looking at the list of podcasts I produced during March and there was less than half of my normal output, you would think that there was a certain amount of PodFade. However that was not really the case, as it was mostly down to external factors beyond my control. I lost over a week to having no power and no internet, I can’t record an interview when there is no electric in the house. I did go to my sister in law to get internet on a few ocasions but that is no help for recording as there are kids and noisy dogs in the house.

Following the week with no electric there was, certainly as far as I was concerned, too much time in the garden trying to sort out the devastation the storm left behind. Our garden is full of mostly cork trees and a few pines. Five of the pine trees fell down and all  of the cork trees lost branches, such was the weight of the snow. I still hate gardening, even if I get to use a chainsaw.

I did have interviews arranged during the month and the people were unable to keep the appointment. One of them seems to be very busy and the other had a bad cold. These have been re scheduled but has left us without the interview content. That is the problem with the fact that the shows rely on content coming in from external sources.

I did do something different last month also with the production of the Mac20Q ramble as a video. I enjoyed that experience because I did it with green screen in Final Cut Express. Of course it does take longer to arrange such a production, but I thought it came out well enough that I will do more of those. Good to have the video posted out in varoius places too all pointing back to the show notes for the audio podcast. I have bought a set of LED lights to illuminate the green screen and I will post a picture of the set in the studio shortly.

The lack of podcasts was overall for the Answer20Q network and I think I will have to do some catching up. Also though I will have to get a schedule. I plan to chose a day of the week for publishing a Mac20Q podcast and do that once a week. The Video 20Q can be a every other week and the others I will aim for one a month and I’ll see if I can ramp it up when the summer is over.

During the summer I work in a camp site, a bit of cash is nice,  I improve my Spanish and get to practice my German speaking too. It does mean though that the podcasting lessens during the summer also.  I have started work for this year already but until the end of May it will probably only be weekends. That works out quite nicely and I am not looking forward to the working 10 hours each day in a reception that has no air conditioning. The owners are too tight to look after the staff at this place. At least maybe I can write a script or two in the quiet moments. It is a shame though that it will have to be as today written using a Windows computer and a Spanish keyboard which has a few extra characters and a few in different places.

Funny thing about camp sites is that you get used to seeing people walking to the showers in the dressing gown and a toilet roll in the hand. Maybe I should think about a story involving a camp site as a location. I have seen one or two other funny things here.

I have started work on a story /  comedy sketch that I want to make as a short movie. Writing it first in Scrivener as a narrative as the first draft and for the second draft I will make it into a screenplay- script. I will perhaps keep doing that in Scrivener but I might try using Celtx which is dedicated script writing software. Planning to send the script to my son who is a professional cameraman because I can envisage him helping me both with the camera part of the filming and with the acting side of it. I need 3 actors for the job and I could see two of my sons and a friend filling the roles nicely.

I have not  written a screenplay before so I am also in the process of learning how to do that, luckily I found a web site that shows the correct way of doing it as per the industry standard and gives good practice type of tips too. After I have the short film made I will publish the script also on Video20Q.

Mac20Q Podcast 61 Steve Sheridan

A burger is fine food ???

I was looking to get to talk with Steve for quite a while. I had heard he would be an interesting fella to talk to and it was true. We had a great chat about about how he uses his Mac. It was also known to me that Steve is well into the video end of things, so I asked him about that. he undertook a project which took him nearly forever to digitise a pile of videos from the old days. He liked doing it so much he even did some for his sister.

Steve provides the back up and support for Alison, both moral and technical for the Nosillacast. Moderating the room when Allison does the live recording of her podcast. I think that Steve deserves some of the lime light too. He claimed to be shy but was an excellent guest and in the end we had to stop or the podcast would just be too long to put out.

In the ramble I talk a bit about the screencasting I have been doing this week. I enjoy doing it but this week I have had extra impetus with having the new version of ScreenFlow to test out. I got in on the Version 2 beta testing run and it has to be coming out soon because I have not had any problems with it while making the screencasts.

I also comment in the podcast about Macbreak Weekly, following on from the condemnation of Leo Laporte by Allison made me re think how I felt about MBW. OK they could be annoying from time to time with the singing now and then on the show but lately I had to wonder about why they keep the show length when there is so little news sometime. They end up talking more about the competing products from competing businesses, making it less of a Mac Podcast and more of a general geek show.

Ah well it is their show and they can do what they like with it, as I do what I like with my show. Maybe my listeners will tell me what I could do with changing in the show here at Mac20Q, and I don’t expect to get the call now to go and talk on the MacBreak Weekly now. Ah well never mind…


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Starting the week 30th March

Man I have been struggling this morning with Visual Hub, VideoCue and getting a short video made. VideoCue is a teleprompter and I have used it before successfully and for some reason today I could not get it to see my Samson C03U microphone. Sometimes it would then other times it wouldn’t. Then on top of that I was not happy with the export settings and I have been fiddling around with those to get some acceptable quality of the video. Still not as good as I would have liked but maybe I should be getting out the video camera and I know I will win. It will be a good opportunity to try out iMovie 09 then.

In the end I did some restarting of the computer and editing of the export settings in VIdeoCue and then deleted the microphone and then added it back in to get it right. I still ended up with a video that was too large so I then was trying visual hub to convert it and it did not play ball. So eventually I got VideoMonkey to do the job. I also tried Stomp and that was rubbish too. I tell you it can be difficult to get to grips with all of the video codecs that are out there. I truy to stick with H.264 do convert the files to get decent size with decent quality.

Allison Sheridan Mac20Q Podcast 12

Click on the Picture for the Podcast

An absolute delight to be talking with of the ever so slightly Mac biased (cough – cough er bit more than slightly) which is hosted at Podfeet.com. The podcast was a little rushed as she was due to talk to talk on another podcast directly after me and time was short. She tells us about her microphone, Camtwist, geeking out with Bart Busshot, her podcast buddy on the Nosillacast. Allison even appears with the Mac superstars on the

Allison even teaches podcasting and I am sure I have a thing or two to learn about the matter. Have a look at
Podcasts Allison listens to:

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Equipment:
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Allison of course has some great recommendations for Mac and iPhone software
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On the podcast the image I used for the podcast is not quite correct. I took it from Allisons’ podfeet site and should look like this..