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Just don't listen! Record!

by Dave Riley

The chief frustration with creating web friendly political audio for sharing or podcasting is that it is so complicated to get the equipment just so. There's either a knowledge and skills gap or the devices used aren't up to the task or aren't being deployed. The best recording options will cost you a few hundred dollars.

Basically it comes down to the one challenge: a microphone which records what is said.

You'd think that since the left is so keen on talk and debate there'd be more of it recorded and available beyond the printed page.

I was doing some research for the AltMediaNetwork wiki when I came upon a dandy of a solution: a line in microphone designed for Mp3 players.

At around $AUD40 I want you all to go out there a get one so that you can turn your Mp3 player (see list on site) into a political resource*. With inbuilt modulation/power control (ie: gain) you can interview activists, record debates and forums, soundscape a rally or demonstration...then share the audio ( it records direct to mp3 format) across the web.

This would be especially useful for us types who want to see an archive of talks and lectures available on the web in audio format. The Education for Socialists project began life with that intention but the problem was that unless I did all the recording the talks and the education wasn't going to be available to anyone outside those in the room.

Whenever comrades have sent me audio they have used their mp3 player's inbuilt microphone and the audio has always been unusable.

If this device -- this line in microphone --does what it says it does (and there are so many great attributes on offer) then we are well away into audio political mode big time.

Since mp3 players/recorders are now so cheap (but see list)and everyone should have one (and why not!) we could really get into audio collectively in a big way. Don't worry about editing -- that's something the RatbagMedia can facilitate for the sake of sharing great audio content.

I don't have the 'line in' item -- yet -- but when I do get one I'll publish a review here. But it's an answer to a Marxist's prayer.

*Rule of thumb for recording audio: You may not understand the rationale but just do it this way -- because I say so.
  • Record at a high bitrate preferably 96 - 128kbps
  • Record at a sample rate which is a multiple of eleven: 44100 Hz or 22,050 Hz or 11,025 Hz.
  • Unless you are using two line in mics, you can record in mono rather than stereo to reduce the file size.
That's it. That's all you need to know.

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