Sonicart

In radio days gone by the term cart was shorthand for cartridge, as individual music selections were stored on cartridges for organization and playback. Sonicart plays of the antiquated name, creating a virtual audio cart system to organize a series of tracks and add breaks for voice over. With Sonicart, create a basic playlist of tracks, save the playlist for future use, interrupt the playlist with voice and commercial breaks and generally do all the on-air things a traditional radio station might do. If you want to create an Internet radio stream or a podcast with a multiple music selections, sequencing music files becomes vital. Sonicart is an affordable way to cue audio with automated control over interrupting and organizing a playlist for producing shows of all types. [Windows 9x/2k/XP $0.00]

DIY Microphone Zeppelin Windscreen

I’m a big fan of DIY gear for shooting video or recording audio when your budget is holding back your ability to produce an otherwise great creative endeavor. You can save a ton of money in many cases and you get the satisfaction of creating something useful along the way. Case in point, the DIY microphone zeppelin windscreen from Joel Greenberg of Joel and Karen. Zeppelins are those fuzzy things you see covering microphones on long boom arms and help to greatly reduce wind noise when recording with a shotgun style microphone. Using some PVC, leaf guard, fur from the fabric store, and a hot glue gun, Joel built a very functional zeppelin to help cut down on wind noise when recording audio in windy outdoor environments in Texas. He details all the steps and provides a before and after audio recording sample to demonstrate the sound difference. As a bonus he also shows how to build a microphone shock mount using PVC too.

Nacho Libre Confessional

nacholibre.jpg If there’s anyone in Hollywood who can make a video podcast work, it’s Jack Black. In addition to his movie career, his early stint in bad Disney after school specials, and his side project duo Tenacious D, Jack Black already has a solid history in Internet video through support and participation in projects at Channel 101. Now he’s stepping into the video podcasting world with a behind the scenes effort aimed to both promote his new film Nacho Libre and add some personal insights for fans leading up to the movie. Who knows if the movie will be any good, but when you’re starting with the premise that a Mexican priest moonlights as a lucha libre wrestler to raise money to save an orphanage. You can subscribe to the podcast here or watch individual installments of the Nacho Libre Confessional in the video section of the official site.

Princeton Review Vocab Minute

I’m sure the Princeton Review doesn’t really need my help in promoting their Vocabulary Minute podcast, but it’s too awesome not to mention. It’s like Schoolhouse Rocks meets your English teacher, with a little musical help from Tom Lehrer thrown in for good measure. Each update contains a short song about a particular vocabulary topic with entertaining examples sung throughout. Since launching in December the podcast updates about once every two weeks with songs like I Agree (Do you concur or acquiese?), The Silly Hate Song (make words not war), and Do you know an Ingenue? Assuming the company keeps this up, this is like getting one of those vocabulary building books and some cool entertainment all rolled into one fun package.

Meanrabbit Sound Effects

If you edit your own home movies or if your podcasting, you can simply never have enough sound effects at your disposal. You just never know when that obscure sound of a huge comet crashing into a planet might come in handy for adding some spice to an otherwise dull birthday video. Meanrabbit offers a ton of great sound effects, free for personal use, in several downloadable collections. Ideally, the company hopes you’ll buy versions at higher sample rates, but for most personal projects, the free versions work great. Sound effect selections range from more practical sounds like telephones, trains, clocks, motorcycles and other parts of daily life to the more obscure sounds of dinosaurs, alien invaders and wild monkeys.

Microtrack Firmware Update

After using M-Audio’s Microtrack 24/96 to record all The Chris Pirillo Show interviews for CES 2006, I’m convinced it’s officially the best portable recorder on the market. XLR connectors like those found on the Marantz PMD660 would be nice, but M-Audio did a better job of making it painless to configure audio levels to avoid clipping, so they win my vote. Pocket size is another great reason to choose the Microtrack. Like many portable devices, keeping the firmware up-to-date is crucial to getting a great experience when using the Microtrack in the field. On December 19, 2005, M-Audio released the most recent update, which included some minor fixes for accurately displaying space left on the CF card and improved formatting of CompactFlash media. If you own a Microtrack recorder but never updated your firmware, now is the time.