A Few Mac Apps I Can’t Live Without

I really wanted a way to post the apps I’m using today. It will be interesting to look back a year from now and see what has changed.

I have other apps but I don’t use them often.

  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Anvil
  • Audio Hijack Pro
  • Characters
  • ChronoMate
  • CocoaRestClient
  • CodeKit
  • ColorSchemer Studio
  • Cornerstone
  • Dropbox
  • Evernote
  • Fantastical
  • FireFox
  • GitX
  • Glyphs
  • Google Chrome
  • Google Drive
  • Growl
  • HipChat
  • Hostbuddy
  • Icon Slate
  • ImageAlpha
  • ImageOptim
  • InVisionSync
  • iTerm
  • join.me
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Levelator
  • LimeChat
  • Messages
  • MS Office
  • Navicat
  • Opera
  • Pages
  • PHPStorm
  • Pixelmator
  • Postbox
  • Pro Audio Converter
  • ProCSSor
  • RegExRX
  • Ringtone Creator
  • Safari
  • ScreenFlow
  • SequelPro
  • Skype
  • Slack
  • Slicy
  • SourceTree
  • Spotify
  • Sublime Text
  • SVGO GUI
  • The Unarchiver
  • Transmit
  • Tweetbot
  • Enigma64
  • CSSHat
  • UnRarX
  • VirtualHostX
  • VMware Fusion
  • Xcode
  • xScope

Podcasts 101: Learn How to Do Your First Podcast

The session itself will be on Podcasting. Luckily I have no shortage of stories when it come to the topic. I have had the honer of podcasting for a little over two years now. The first podcast I have been involved with is called “The Web Weekly” and the second is the “SitePoint Podcast“.

From these internet radio shows I have learned a great deal. Not just technically (audio and the like) but also in terms of professionalism and communication skills. However, podcasting is not just about personal gain. It is also, and mostly, about sharing and relationships.

So, back to the session.

What will I be talking about?

Podcasting for the first time and what it takes to connect with listeners and remain engaging.

Platform

For the Web Weekly we use WordPress as our platform in conjunction with the Blubrry PowerPress Plugin. The plugin works nicely with iTunes. And, though we still have a lot to learn, everything works perfectly.

The key when it comes to picking a platform is to keep it simple. You will be spending most of your energy on the show material and producing. Only after two years are we talking much needed time to revamp “The Web Weekly” website. Which we are working through as I write these words.

Time Commitment

If you are going to be running your own show know that you will be spending a lot of time on it. Whether its just you or a group. It is going to take at the very least 2 hours a week just to produce a show. The SitePoint Podcast takes about 2 hours of my time each week.

For SitePoint I have to setup interviews, stay on top of the news, setup my gear and record the show.

For the Web Weekly I spend 3 hours doing the same but also manage the website and audio with my cohost and friend Jonas Flint.

I also do video interview on this blog. These I did alone and each one took at least 2 hours of my time.

The point being: be sure you have the time and can make your podcast a priority.

Gear

When it come to gear such a mics, computers, software, mixers and headphones start small. However, know that production quality is very important. If your audio is not clear you will have a hard time retaining listeners outside of your Mom.

Audio is KING!

When it comes to the actual physical gear Dan Benjamin of the 5by5 network has written a great article on the topic. We have just about followed all of his advice.

Software

If you need help with software that is another issue entirely and require some personal creativity. There are three way to mix down a show that I know of personally when dealing with multiple audio steams.

  1. Record your audio separately and merge the clips with audio software. For Windows Audacity and for a Mac GarageBand will work for starters.
  2. Record using one machine and merge the audio using hack-ish techniques. Never fun or reproducible.
  3. The is the best way. Get a firewire mixer with that is capable of mix-minus and send that one device to the recording software of your choice.
Once you have gotten the tools you need to record your first show go and download Levelator. Levelator will take the audio you have recorded, once saved, and make sure the volume is level across the board.

Getting guests

If you want some rock solid guests on your show there is a hidden technique not many people know about or are willing to try. I call it “just ask”. This is what I have always done. No secrets are hidden from you guys. It is that simple. People are most often very happy to give you 30 to 45 min of their time for free. This has been my experience. It is free marketing for them in any case right?

I have used conference, twitter and email to line up guests for the Web Weekly, my blog and the SitePoint Podcast.

Adding it to iTunes

Once you have your first episode recorded edited and added to your website. Make sure that that episode has a valid iTunes RSS/XML Feed. Then hope over to the Apple iTunes Podcasting Docs.

In Summary

To wrap things up, if you are coming here from my blog or from the conference, feel free to ask any questions in the comments. Or, if you have any personal advice please share.

Personally I’d be happy to get into specifics but only if you ask.

After the Event

Link: DNA Creative Communications Hosts Session to Help Nonprofits Take Charge of Their Online Communications (http://www.upstatebizsc.com/articles/4054/)

Path Access for WordPress

I have blogged about it before in “Drupal Wins the Members Only Website“. WordPress just doesn’t cut it for members sites. Sure there are a load of plugins that gives you some control over a sites access but none like Drupal.

So, I thought to myself why not take a Drupal module and port some of it to WordPress. Thus, I ported some of Path Access for Drupal and made Path Access for WordPress.

What does it do?

It gives you the ability to call the 404.php template file or your own custom template file for specific paths where a user is not logged into WordPress and is not a specific role. Your theme must have a 404.php file. However, if you want a more custom page you can create a file called access.php and users will be directed to that template instead, this template will set you HTTP Response to 403.

I’m going to try to explain how to use the plugin. Its simple enough for you to give it a spin and find out for yourself. For advanced users, you might find it useful when registering users with GravityForms.

From you Drupal people. The plugin doesn’t give you the ability to set different paths for different roles like the Path Access module. However, it does give you a simple solution for when WordPress makes since but you still need to control access to pages.

Export AIFF podcasts in GarageBand

This is what I do for the SitePoint Podcast. To export a podcast in AIFF format from GarageBand simply follow these steps:

  1. Select the Podcast track at the top of the GarageBand window and press Command-Delete to remove it.
  2. Go to Share
  3. Send to iTunes.
  4. Control-Click on the file in iTunes and choose Show in Finder from the contextual menu.
  5. Use the AIFF file

Read: Egoless Programming

After reading Stephens post I was also reminded of the Braditudes my friend Brad Garrett wrote about. It makes me wonder if I should have my own list of principles specifically designed to guid my business and career choices.

Of the 10 commands shared by Stephen, 8 stands out:

8) Fight for what you believe, but gracefully accept defeat. Understand that sometimes your ideas will be overruled. Even if you are right, don’t take revenge or say “I told you so.” Never make your dearly departed idea a martyr or rallying cry.

Interview with Miro Keller

In this interview I speak with Miro Keller. Miro is the founder of the AXR project. The AXR project is not only open source but also aims to transform the foundations of web design and development. At first glace the project seems like a long shot, but the deeper you go the more you learn.

I hope you enjoy this interview. I personally endorse the AXR project for its creativity and innovative ideas. As you will see Miro is passionate about the AXR project and very sharp when it comes to web standards. Thanks Miro!