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Wire for Podcasters

Wire for Podcasters

Why

Most podcasters (ourselves included) begrudgingly use Skype to record our shows for two reasons:

  1. Most reliable call quality/lacency
  2. Network effect (guests usually have an account already)

We all build our workflows around Skype, cobbling together different tools for recording, file transfer, etc, etc.

We would gladly jump ship, pay for, and evangelize a competitor if it can compete with Skype on call reliability/quality and provide a better work flow for us. Here's a short list of features that would solve Podcaster Problems.

Must-have

  • A single button click by the 'producer' on a group call starts local recordings for each participant
  • After the recording is finished, each participant's local recording (their voice only) is uploaded to the producer
  • A shared text chat is available during the recording for non-voice comms, link sharing, etc.

Like-to-have

  • Participants can see a 'recording' status so they aren't recorded unaware
  • Participants can mute themselves on the call, also silencing their local recording
  • Producer can see a wave form of each participant for leveling purposes
  • Conversation can be streamed live to a web url (or hooks to perform this via 3rd party software)
  • Participants do not need the Wire software or accounts to join the call (just send them a link would be awesome)
@phranck

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commented Dec 19, 2017

Skype is the most terrible solution for this case! That's why so much German, Austrian and Suise podcasters (and that's a lot!) switched over to the incredible Ultraschall software in combination with Studio Link. Unfortunately their websites are in german. But I know Ultraschall is working on an english translation (maybe you ask Ralf Stockmann, the maintainer of this open source software).

Ultraschall is a GUI for Reaper especially designed for the needs of podcasters. With Ultraschall and Studio Link you have nearly zero latency with HD audio quality! It is like all conversational partners are in the same room.

Besides with Studio Link On Air (a special feature of SL) you are able to provide live streams of your recordings. All your requested features are already implemented with these two software packages!

Btw: I'm the developer of the Podlive Mac client, a software for macOS, iOS and tvOS to listen to Studio Link On Air live streams, mentioned above. (-:

@gitlik

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commented Dec 19, 2017

That’s all true but for several reasons (support being only one of them) the Ultraschall team decided not to address the English-speaking market yet. Unfortunately they will have to live with those lame Skype solutions for a while. In german speaking countries about 1500 podcasters are using the solution day by day.

@phranck

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commented Dec 19, 2017

@gitlik

the Ultraschall team decided not to address the English-speaking market yet

Okay, that's new to me. Sad.

@jerodsanto

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commented Dec 19, 2017

@phranck @gitlik we would love to try that solution if/when they are in our market.

@phranck

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commented Dec 19, 2017

@jerodsanto You can try it though, the GUI of the software is already in english. The website has a Google translate integration, which is quite well. As Ralf mentioned in our Slack "just" the tutorial videos are in german only. So, don't hesitate to give it a try. (-;

@irae

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commented Dec 22, 2017

I think the list is pretty nice, but I would say recording locally and sending after might not be a must have.

Which "end" the recording takes place might impact some workflows. What about the scenario of interviewing someone that will need to hangup and go on a flight just after? What about someone that the connection drop? I can imagine a lot of small miscellaneous scenarios where uploading after hanging up might be compromised, like someone recording from iPhone and closes and kills the app (therefore suspending background activity and upload capabilities).

If I might suggest, here is how I would state the requests:

Must have:

  • A single button click by the 'producer' on a group call starts recordings
  • Recordings takes place on 'producer' device, as one separate file per 'participant', sourced from their raw stream (their voice only)

Like-to-have:

  • Redundant recording takes place on 'participant' device, only for their own channel. After the recording is finished, each participant's local recording (their voice only) is uploaded to the producer
  • Recording of the 'producer' channel should be optional and in raw lossless quality from their input device, instead of streamed data

This would add a lot extra reliability. It is also likely easier to achieve and if they can only cover the "Musts" all scenarios, even the ones some participants cannot keep the app opened after the session would be covered. It is also a huge step up from Skype.

@irae

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commented Dec 22, 2017

I also have another idea for uploads. What about cloud hosting the streams? Some people cannot afford as a producer to be hammered with 3 high quality stream downloads from their peers. Connection might be at a premium or they might be interviewing someone else just after this call.

If Wire could provide a temporary - secure - cloud hosting for the high quality upload it would be awesome. Here is how it could potentially work:

  1. Recording is done and all 'guests' have their high quality recording to upload
  2. It gets sent to Wire's temporary service but encripted in a way only the 'producer' can decode
  3. While 'producer' is not on a call, their client downloads all the files in the background, auto-pause if another call is started

Anyone likes the idea?

Edit: It is only about the 'producer' availability. Parallel download from the 'producer' side creates slowdown for 'guests' to send their recordings, which adds to the problem I mentioned on my previous comment.

Disclaimer: I am not a podcaster myself, I do plan to start one, have bought equipment and have run a few tests with friends. For now I am just an enthusiast that put a lot of research on it.

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