7/13/09
11:26 am

MacMost Now 265: Making the MacMost Now Video Podcast

Gary Rosenzweig talks about the software, hardware and Internet services he uses to produce and distribute the MacMost Now video podcast. See the full post at http://macmost.com for links.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi, this is Gary. On this edition of MacMost Now, letís take a look at how I make MacMost Now. So, I get tons of questions every week about how I make MacMost Now. What camera do I use, what software do I use, what mic I use, all that sort of thing. So I thought it would be good to have one episode where I just run down all the technical specifications of MacMost Now.
So the camera Iím using is a Sony HDR HC-1, which was the first in line of many DV high-definition cameras that Sony came out.That now is the HC-9, if you were to buy it. Now, this camera's got Firewire out, so I plug the Firewire directly into the IMac, which is doing the recording so Iím not using tape at all, Iím just bypassing that and going straight to a file with each shot that I do. I record in standard definition mode; it saves processor time both during recording and during editing, and since im only uploading these as podcasts for youtube where bandwidth is a factor, I figure doing it in standard definition is fine as long as Iím able to get the information across that I plan to.
Now the microphone I use is an Audio-Technica ATR-35S. It says Lavalier Microphone right here. Now, I find a Lavalier Microphone works a lot better than any other solution for this because it isolates the sound right around my voice, so itís not picking up any ambient sound and I don't really need to record anything else besides just my voice for these shots.
To bring audio into the mac Iím using a Griffin iMic adapter. So this just allows me to plug the microphone into the Griffin iMic adapter and then it plugs in via USB to the Mac.
Now to record everything, Iím using software called Wirecast and itís from Telestream, and this is kind of like a recording studio in software. I can record multiple cameras and also screenshots at the same time. Itís how I put myself in the bottom corner sometimes while Iím showing the screenshots. Thatís all done in real-time; Iím actually showing you the things while Iím recording the video at the same time. Wirecast also allows me to add titling and all sorts of special effects, things like that, and it even allows me to do live green screen. Now, itís expensive software so if you just want to do basically screenshots with yourself as a video in the corner, you might want to look at ScreenFlow, which is software by the same company.
Now to record everything, I record stuff in segments, so I'm doing this as a quick little segment, and when Iím done with this thought, I'll stop and assess whether or not I recorded a good segment. If I did, Iíll keep it. If not, Iíll start again with the same thought.
So in the end I just have a group of segments that now I can edit together in a final podcast. I do that using IMovie. I started with IMovie 08. iMovie 08 was very much disliked by a lot of people, but I learned to work with it and IMovie 09 really is a big improvement on it, and I basically take all the segments and I quickly throw it together in IMovie. Now, I could do that in Finalcut but I've tried it and it actually takes me a lot longer to put these segments, which are ready to go, together in Finalcut than it does in IMovie, so I prefer to do it quickly and end up with a product that I can get out in a timely manner rather than spending a lot of time with every single episode doing the fine-tuning. Then, when I'm done, I'm not really happy with how IMovie exports the video. I end up with a very large M4V file, which is great quality, but way too big for podcast downloads. So what I do is run it through a post-processor. Now I used to use FFMpegX which is great software and will post-process it into an MP4 file that is much smaller, about half the size of the original M4, but I recently switched to MPEGStreamClip, which basically does the same thing but has a little bit nicer interface, and I find the quality is just a tad bit better. Both are really good products to use.
Then I end by uploading the video, and I upload to two places currently, although I used to upload to a lot more. I upload to Blip.tv which is a great service for uploading your podcasts and they will host the podcast stuff and also give you a high quality flash video that you can put on your website, and I also upload to youtube. Now, instead of uploading to two different places, I go ahead and use TubeMogul to upload once and then TubeMogul to upload to both Blip.tv and YouTube. Then the Podcast comes from the original RSS to Blip.tv. I process it and put it through Googleís FeedBurner, and once through there, it then is available on iTunes.
Hereís a quick rundown on all the technology, software, hardware, and network that I use to get the show from an idea in my head to a video on your computer, iPod or iPhone. For links to all these different products, see this post at MacMost.com. 'Till next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Links to products mentioned in the episode:

  • Video camera with Firewire: Sony HDR-HC9 6MP MiniDV High Definition Handycam Camcorder
  • Microphone: Audio-Technica ATR-35S Lavalier Microphone
  • Microphone to USB: Griffin Technology iMic Audio USB Interface
  • Video recording studio software: Wirecast: More Information, To Purchase
  • Simpler solution for video recording and screen capture: Screenflow: More Information, To Purchase
  • Video compression: FFMpegX or MPEG Streamclip
  • Podcast and video hosting: Blip.tv
  • Video uploading: Tube Mogul
  • RSS handling: Feedburner
  • Comments: 11 Responses to “MacMost Now 265: Making the MacMost Now Video Podcast”

      Homer
      7/16/09 @ 1:43 pm

      Your podcasts are great Gary. I’ve nothing to say about the production quality nor the contents. But maybe you should have a look at the Podcast Producer service and see if it can simplify your software processes !?

      This is included by Apple for free inside Mac Os X server since Leopard. I know it is for entities who are publishing many different podcasts, usually made by many different people. But I think this is a great one-stop shop product for producing, managing and distributing podcasts.

      HTH !

        7/16/09 @ 2:04 pm

        Thanks. But that product is really more for universities and companies where they need to have various people (teachers, presenters) be able to easily record and publish. It is not something I need and it would only get in the way of what I am doing,

      Mike Odendahl
      7/16/09 @ 8:49 pm

      Gary,

      You, by far have the best podcast production. I’ve had 50 or 60 subscriptions through itunes. Your content is great and I look forward to each episode.

      This particular episode is very helpful, I plan to venture into podcasting. I currently multitrack audio on my Mac pro with Logic 8. If you ever need jingles, or music of any type, I’d love to help out. You can see my work at:

      http://www.myspace.com/studioprojects

      All the best,
      Mike Odendahl

      Ron
      10/21/09 @ 6:37 pm

      Hi Gary

      Very useful video.

      I was also wondering if you could list what you use for your video lighting and backdrop.

      Thanks.

        10/21/09 @ 6:54 pm

        See episode 265 for details on how I make the show. I don’t use anything special for the lighting — basic 3-point lighting, but standard high-wattage bulbs, nothing fancy. The backdrop is photographer’s muslin.

      Tom Dolan
      12/8/09 @ 11:42 pm

      Hey Gary,

      Just found this post on a video forum in triiibes, in which I’m newly a member!? Anyway, I have this stored in my itunes and watching it again for the 5-6 time I was wonder: if I shoot with a studio background vs plain as you and some others do, will the result be a larger file, and if so does it affect download times?

      I haven’t written for awhile as I don’t want to become a nudge, but anyway, I hope the book is doing well and have a Happy Holiday Season – Happy Hanukkah.

      Tom Dolan

        12/9/09 @ 7:19 am

        The file shouldn’t be any significant amount larger, as the background is not moving so compression should take care of it from frame to frame. You could do a test. I’ll bet it is less than 1% larger with a patterned background.

      Jim Crawford
      11/10/10 @ 9:09 pm

      Gary – excellent work. Great site. Very informative. Curious – do you have a day gig, or is this a full time job for you? Thanks, Jim C

      Martin G
      7/11/12 @ 12:14 pm

      Hi Gary,i wonder after 3 years what changes/updates can you share with us?
      Thanks!
      Martin

        7/11/12 @ 2:22 pm

        See the video http://macmost.com/screen-capture-plus-camera.html for some up-to-date ideas for doing things like I do them. I still use pretty much the same general method but I use a special Matrox card to get HDMI video from a camera into my Mac Pro instead of Firewire. And I use Final Cut Pro X instead of iMovie, but in pretty much the same way. I could probably switch back to iMovie and no one would notice.
        In the near future I hope to be able to switch to using a camera connected via Thunderbolt instead of using a special card.

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