Michael Rozlog has agreed to an interview. I am planning to discuss his roll as the Delphi Product Manager, the Delphi Survey, the Delphi Road Map and your questions from the comments on this post. The interview is scheduled for Thursday, so I need your question before then. Try to keep the question short and succinct. If you have a bug report, please use QC. If you have an issue in QC then please include the QC number.
If you would like to email me an audio question or use the Delphi Hot Line to submit a question you can do that too. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or call (361) 4Delphi. You can also post your questions to a special user voice forum, which might be the best way so I can ask you questions back about your question.
I’ve had people asking me about what goes on behind the scenes here with the Podcast at Delphi.org. Here is a little glimpse into the tools and process that I use for the podcast.
Planning – Since the interviews are in different timezones I use The World Clock Meeting Planner to find a time that works for everyone. It makes the process really easy. Once I have a time that works, I put it on my Google Calendar.
Skype – Possibly the most popular application written in Delphi, Skype Voice over IP what I use to connect with everyone for the interviews.
Pamela – A good full featured Skype recording tool. Records audio and video both. An important feature it has is recording to wave files in stereo, with me on the left, and everyone else on the right. It is $30.
Callgraph – Is a free call recording tool that also supports stereo and recording to wave files. I used Callgraph for most of my podcasts until recently. It has a slight echo at least with my sound system, even with the echo cancellation turned on. This might not be an issue on other systems, or even be a big deal to most people.
Logitech ClearChat Comfort USBheadset – This is the headset I used for microphone and headphones through episode 32. It does a really good job, for a really reasonable price, and because the microphone is held by your mouth the background noise is very low, plus it includes pretty good headphones. If you are just starting out then this is a great option, and if you need both headphones and a microphone then you can kill two birds with one stone. There are 3 levels of microphone connectors: Analog, USB and XLR. The analog microphones use the 1/4 jack to connect to your computer. It delivers an analog signal to your sound card where it is converted to digital . The problem with this is inside your computer is noisy, and that noise gets into your recordings. USB and XLR both are converted to digital signals outside the computer, so they have much less noise. XLR is the professional microphone format, which requires external hardware to do the conversion. So USB is the poor-man’s digital solution, but still good in my opinion.
Blue Snowflake Microphone – Entry level professional quality portable USB Microphone. I’ve heard it recommended as a good entry level podcast microphone by other podcasters too. Amazon has the Snowflake on sale at a really good price right now because they have a new one with a built in camera that just came out. The Snowflake is a better then average USB microphone, but still at a good price.
Audacityeditor – Is a free, open source, cross platform program for editing and recording sound. It is a really effective tool for editing audio, and your can’t beat the price. I actually tried a number of commercial and professional level tools, and I found Audacity easier to use, and just as effective. Maybe someday I might upgrade to a different tool, but this one really does the job, and I can’t beat the price.
Levelator – A specialized tool for normalizing, compressing and limiting the audio. Just drag and drop the wave files on it after removing the noise in Audacity and it does the rest. Be sure to use Levelator before you include music or sound effects. It is only designed for working with voice. One odd thing I discovered with it is some times if you have slight noises like swallowing or breathing, sometimes it will boost it up much louder. I am hoping that my new microphone does better with this . . . Let me know how it sounds.
CyberEars hosting – Podcast hosting has been provided by CyberEars.com. They are big Delphi fans there. Thanks guys!
Tune in next time for a video of the entire production process.
Note from Jeroen Pluimers: Actually, only Digital XLR is done outside the computer. Normal XLR does not, but usually does not suffer from noise:
Because most computers don’t have built-in XLR
It is shielded much much better
Signal strength usually is higher
Audacity can also level your sounds
Update: Levelator automatically does a much better job then I have been able to achieve with Audacity. Maybe if I knew exactly what I was doing I could get better results with Audacity, but Levelator does really good, and I don’t have to worry about doing it right.
After the huge popularity of the Delphi UserVoice site, we thought it would be good to add a Podcast Form to it. So you can tell us who you want to hear, what you want them to say, and how you want it said. Then we will do our best to tackle the highest voted suggestions first, short of actually putting words in someone’s mouth (but it doesn’t mean we can’t ask real nicely.)
Feel free to suggest guests, topics, format changes, or just about anything else you want related to this podcast.
Thanks to Holger Flick for letting me know that our podcast is now iPod Touch/iPhone ready! I don’t have an iPod Touch or iPhone (yet), so I wasn’t even aware this was a problem. Since I haven’t changed anything then I assume this is a new feature of CyberEars, who provides the hosting for my podcast and feed.
New Poll for your voting pleasure. Please let me know your favorite podcast format of the ones I have provided so far. I plan on mixing it up with a couple different formats, but it would be nice to know the preferred format.
Back in episode 2 Nick Hodges told us to learn the latest features of .NET since the future version of Delphi for .NET will have full support of all .NET features. Instead of learning C# or VB.NET, we can use Oxygene by RemObjects. In this episode we talk with marc hoffman of RemObjects about Oxygene – the surprisingly complete Object Pascal implementation for .NET.
Also a note about last week’s episode: In addition to all the great information on using generic collections, I also had asked our guest, Julian Bucknall, some questions about the implementation of the TDictionary class. Julian did not write this class, nor did he heavely research the code. He did tell me how he understood it worked. Well it turns out he a missunderstood some of the implementation details. Barry Kelly, the author of that class added some comments on the show notes for that show. Check those comments out for a correction on the implementation of the generic TDictionary in Delphi 2009.
Some of you may have noticed a poll on the left side bar on our home page. These polls provide a great way for me to aggregate your feedback on how to improve the podcast. When I first started this podcast my target duration was 15 miuntes to a half hour. Then I started interviewing all these interesting people and my duration shot up to about 45 miuntes. I actually edit the hour long interview down quite a bit, but they are still longer then I planned. Maybe that is a good thing. Let me know what you think. How long would the ideal podcast be for you?
Preferred Delphi podcast duration?
Don't care, just keep them coming! (45%, 53 Votes)
I’ve been tracking my traffic and I am getting a pretty heafty amount of traffic on my feeds. So I have setup 3 new FeedBurner feeds. This should alleviate some of the server load, and also provide a lot of great support to the subscribers. If you have any trouble or would like a new feed with the content sliced up differently, please let me know . . ..
Podcast only feed(Use this feed if you are using a podcast client. It has all the special podcast tags.)
Comments Feed(Use this feed to get all the comments from all the posts.)
If you are using one of the Delphi.org feeds then you should be redirected automatically (if everything worked correctly.) If you are using the CyberEars feed, then you may want to switch to the Podcast only feed – it is the official feed, the one I will be maintaining. I am still using CyberEars, but I might do things that don’t make it work exactly the way you are expecting (I like to tweak things!)
Again, if you experience any problems, or have suggestions please let me know!
As I mentioned in the podcast, Gurock Software is donating a free copy of their SmartInspect tracing and debugging application for one lucky listener. If you are interested in winning a copy then download the 30-day trial of Smart Inspect version 3.0. Test it out and then send me your short review and comments. I’ll share those comments in a future podcast and announce the winner then. Please post your entries as comments here, or if you would like to submit a short audio clip, you can email it to email@example.com. All entries must be received by Thursday, September 4st, 2008.