I Don’t Even Know What To Say

Last night Melanie and I were feeling all wild and crazy and decided we were going to record a new podcast. The last couple of times we’ve tried to record one we’ve had weird technical stuff happen, and the problem with the weird technical stuff is that WE DON’T HAVE ANY IDEA HOW TO FIX IT. Last night, though, we were confident that we were going to have some serious podcast victory.


Around 10:30 we both got on iChat, but unfortunately iChat was unwilling to recognize that we were online. No matter how many times we quit the application, opened it again, restarted our computers, etc. and so on and oh sweet mercy so forth, we continued to show up as “offline” in each other’s buddy list. In a fit of desperation I finally decided to re-add Mel as a buddy, and that did the trick. And reaching that solution only took about 45 minutes of our time. So it was an exercise in efficiency, really.

After we got an audio chat going, I started recording on my end, and after about 20 seconds we had a connection error. Tried again. Another connection error. Tried again. CONNECTION ERROR. By that point Melanie was on the Google, trying to figure out what the issue was, and on some Mac message board she saw that we might need to change our port settings. Quite frankly I thought that sounded like more of an activity you’d deal with when, I don’t know, YOU’RE BOATING, but in the interest of NOT LETTING TECHNOLOGY BEAT ME I followed the port-changing instructions.

And then we started another audio chat and got disconnected and Melanie called me on my cell phone and said, “I DON’T UNDERSTAND. ALL THIS INTERNET BUSINESS IS FOR THE BIRDS AND ALSO I’VE NEVER FELT LIKE A BIGGER NERD.”

After some more Googling we came to the conclusion that the iChat wasn’t interested in being our friend anymore, so we decided to try Skype, which is how we recorded our first few podcasts back in ye olden days when we used to record more than two a year. We both had to download Skype onto our computers because neither of us has darkened Skype’s doorstep in about two and a half years, but once we got Skype up and running, we were full of hope. Giddy with podcast promise.

So we started an another audio chat. We marveled at the sound quality (I have to say: it was spectacular). We made sure our sound settings were good to go, and, about 50 seconds later, we were disconnected.

By this point we had pretty much left all of our warm and fuzzy want-to-record-a-podcast feelings way, WAY behind, but we turned to Google one more time – just on the off chance that there was an easily fixable problem. But all we saw were reports of some horrible Skype outage right before Christmas and message board thread after message board thread about how Skype doesn’t always get along really well with Macs.

And at that point we had to admit that, at least temporarily, the technology had taken us down for the count.

So here’s my question: do any of you nice people have any suggestions for a better, more reliable way we could record the podcast? In the past we’ve done audio chats via Skype or iChat, I’ve recorded on my end using WireTapPro, and then I make a few edits in Garage Band and upload the file to Libsyn. We’ve tried recording directly into Garage Band a few times, but for whatever reason doing that has crashed my computer. So that might not be the best method.

Based on what the Google has told me, our method of recording is pretty typical and should be a best-case-scenario for two people in different cities, but for whatever reason iChat and Skype are giving us tons of trouble lately. The iChat method worked fine back in May, but since then it’s been a big bust whenever we’ve tried to record something.

Is there some bigger and better way to talk online that we don’t know about? We just have so much pointless, absolutely meaningless information that we long to share through the podcast format, and given the technical frustrations of late, I thought I’d check with y’all for possible solutions so that we can continue with our particular brand of nonsense as quickly as possible.

That is all.

And just FYI: I think I’ve pretty much hit an all-time high with this post in terms of BRINGING YOU THE NERDY.

(I just typed “BRINING YOU THE NERDY” by accident. But I would imagine that nerdy becomes somewhat more potent when immersed in salty water.)

Happy Wednesday, y’all.

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  1. A couple of nights ago a friend and I were on IChat and we got disconnected about 5 times but I think that is because I have AT&T and it is horrible. Only had it two months and they have come out once already.

    I used Skype to and liked it. Sorry that I am no help.

  2. What about chatting through Google? Video is an option on that, I would assume just sound would be, too. (You can tell I’m suggesting something I’ve never actually tried, can’t you?) Or maybe you could just post a print-out of a chat you had the old-fashioned way: by typing…

  3. At work, some people have been using oovoo. oovoo.com is where you can find it. Apparently the quality is much better than skype. It’s free for one to one chatting. You can pay to have more people involved in the chatting – then it’s like having boxes of CNN commentators on screen all talking with each other. Anyway, they are real happy with the oovoo.

  4. Try Google chat. It works with Macs, too. And has a better picture than iChat. iChat hates me for some strange reason.

  5. I’m laughing so hard I can’t type. Because I didn’t understand a WORD YOU SAID after “So here’s my question.” I feel so incredibly old.
    Today, I was trying to update my Navigon (GPS) and it told me there was not enough room in the temporary files, and I should either compress or do something else and I had NO clue how to do any of it; I’m doomed to outdated maps.

  6. “In the past we’ve done audio chats via Skype or iChat, I’ve recorded on my end using WireTapPro, and then I make a few edits in Garage Band and upload the file to Libsyn. We’ve tried recording directly into Garage Band a few times, but for whatever reason doing that has crashed my computer.”

    I know you’re trying to communicate with these words, but I do not understand the language! Haha! (But seriously, I have absolutely no clue what any of those “things” are and I use a Mac.)

  7. Do WHAT?!?

    Hee hee. In all seriousness I really don’t know. But when you get it figured out, promise me that if you make as awesome a *verbal* slip as “brining the nerdy” is a typing slip, you won’t edit it out, because … PICKLED NERDS! Too good to miss.

  8. What?? Problems talking via camera through the internet?? Say it ain’t so!! My son is leaving for a semester in Liverpool next week and the only thing I wanted this year was a camera so that I could see his face when I am talking to him!! And now there is a problem?? Have mercy!! My eyes have started twitching!! Please, please let me know how you were able to fix this. I am feeling a little sick to my stomach.

  9. Uh, what?? I’m sure that podcast thingee would be great and all but since I haven’t the foggiest idea what it is or how I could listen or see or WHAT I say just keep on typing and making me laugh.

  10. Kirstjen Pratt says:

    Our family has lived in different cities for years and have used several applications to chat regularly. We used to use Skype and ichat but had similar issues.

    Our most recent discovery is Facetime. It was made for the ipod/iphone originally, but they have a version for the mac computer too (we all have laptops). We’ve been impressed by the sound quality and haven’t had any issues yet! And it’s free to download.

    Good luck!

  11. No stinkin clue.

  12. I have no clue about the issue at hand, but I just wanted you to know that you even managed to entertain me while “BRINGING ME THE NERDY.”

  13. We just used oovoo.com for the first time. Try that. Good luck!

  14. Ok.

    So,if I hear you correctly …

    You joined a Garage Band, but got busted due to some illegal Wire Tapping that you were doing and got sent to Lisbon?

    “Should you decide to accept this assignment, and get caught, we will not acknowledge that we know you.

  15. Sophie,
    Every time I read your blog I laugh so hard I pee my pants!!

    Now THATS Nerdy :), or maybe just weird, or TMI….whatever,

    You are awesome..however we get you :)
    bless you darling,

  16. Gabe can solve your problem for $19.95. I’ll e-mail you.

  17. Huh?

  18. Considering that I know even less about podcasting than I do about blogging (if that’s even possible)…I can’t offer you any podcasting advice.

    But I shall pray. And maybe fast (except for chocolate). Because my life has been dark, and sad, and bleak, since the podcasts have ended. And, I don’t want to talk about it anymore because I might cry.

  19. I say, PAY MARLA THE $19.95!!! Let’s DO THIS THANG!

  20. Well.
    I don’t even know what ichat is.

  21. I think that if you hold a tape recorder up to the phone while talking, that might work. But I don’t know how to download a tape to a podcast.

  22. You can chat via the computer by using Yahoo messenger and calling each other’s computer. Just download messenger, add your friends and then just place the call. It’s just like talking on the telephone. The kicker is that I am not sure if you can record it or not. Also Yahoo chat has a voice system and I am pretty sure if you get in a chat room you can record in there. Again not sure. Your next best choice would be a web cam I guess.

    Good luck