It’s time for the latest Lab Report from MacSparky, covering this week’s Apple news and updates…
For the longest time, many (most?) podcasters recorded shows using a combination of Skype (that we all love to hate) and Ecamm’s ingenious Skype Call Recorder (that we hate to update, seemingly once a week). It seems that between continual changes with Skype and Apple’s release of Apple Silicon, Ecamm has decided to stop updated Skype Call Recorder. Jason Snell has the full story. This really represents the end of an era for folks making podcasts.
So for the first time in a long time, I’m looking seriously at podcast recording tools again. For several years now, I’ve been using Audio Hijack as my primary podcast recording tool. It, in effect, relegated Skype Call Recorder to a backup system for me. (But when it comes to making podcasts, backups are good!) Below is my Audio Hijack setup for recording the Mac Power Users.
When I took the above screenshot I didn’t have my MixPre (Audio device) or fancy headphones plugged in, but you can get the idea. I’m able to make three simultaneous recordings in Audio Hijack with 1) me alone, 2) everybody else on the call without me, and 3) a combined audio file. Usually, I only need that first recording but if the other person’s recording fails, I can use that second recording for a separate edit track. The third, combined, recording can be used to sync audio.
I can’t recall Audio Hijack ever failing me. Nevertheless, I really felt good knowing I had that Skype Call Recorder backup. With its demise, I can make a backup of me alone using QuickTime, but it’s really not the same. I’m not capturing the entire call. I’ve been talking to other podcasters about this dilemma and the collective wisdom seems to be leaning toward moving the entire recording process over to Zoom. Zoom allows you to make a recording of the entire call as the backup. Audio Hijack will remain the primary recording, I’ll just point it at Zoom instead of Skype. I’m not alone in reconsidering the workflow. I think Ecamm’s abandonment of Skype Call Recorder is going to end up changing the way a lot of podcasts are recorded.
I was a guest on Joe Casabona’s How I Built It podcast. We talked about the process of making the Field Guides and the current state of Star Wars animation.
I spent the last week guesting on Ken Ray’s In a Few Minutes podcast. It was a lot of fun and topics covered range from iBooks Author to my five-song jazz playlist. Enjoy.
As the end of the year approaches, the Focused podcast partnered with the NeuYear calendar company to create a custom 2020 Focused wall calendar. I’m thrilled with the way this came out, and I can’t wait to hang it on my wall. We intentionally priced this low ($29, including shipping to most places in the US) so people could get these on their walls.
I like the idea of a year calendar on the wall. Not only does it help you plan, but it also gives you something to look at before you say “yes” to any significant commitments. Indeed, that is one of my rules. No “yes” until I see how it looks on the wall calendar. We talk about this at length on a recent Focused episode, but if you’re interested in the calendar, get it now.
The latest episode of Automators is now available for download. In it, Rose and I share some of our most beloved recently created automations.
Rosemary has an automation to help to deal with her garbage email address, and I have an email-related automation dealing with Basecamp. Rosemary built a magic album player using Shortcuts, and I used Shortcuts to help deal with meetings. Finally, Rose got a new Mac mini, and she’s adding all sorts of automation to it.
This is a great episode with lots of exciting ideas. We’ve got several blog posts and sample videos linked to explain what we’ve done and there something in there for everyone. If you haven’t subscribed to Automators yet, you should.
This episode of Automators was sponsored by Creative Next: The new podcast future-proofing creatives.
There is a live event for the Relay fifth anniversary later this month in San Francisco. I will be there and participating. They have a “Family Feud” style game planned for the Relay Hosts. I am not going to look at the questions because I like to be surprised. However, if you would like your answer included in the survey results, check this out.
This week I guested on the Connected podcast where Federico and I had an extended discussion of the new iPadOS Files and Siri Shortcuts applications and I tried to understand the Connected contest rules.
This week I guested on the Download podcast. Aleen Simms and I joined Stephen Hackett and Jason Snell to talk about Apple’s play services including Apple TV+, Apple Card, Apple Arcade, Apple News+ and so many other things that start with the word “Apple”.
This week I was a guest on the Friends in Your Ears podcast. Anže Tomić and I joined Kathy Campbell to talk about some of our favorite podcasts and how we got into this racket. It’s a short show but a lot of fun and worth checking out.