I’m working on an enhanced podcast version of Dr. David Berliner’s presentation on high stakes testing and NCLB from yesterday in Garageband, and ran into a frustrating problem I’ve just solved. When I record on my iPod using my iTalk mic, the resulting audio file is in WAV format. If I try to import that file directly into Garageband, it does not sound/play correctly, it is garbled. This is one of the reasons I love editing my podcasts with Audacity, which never has this problem and seems to import audio in any format without difficulty.

In the past when I’ve run into this I’ve used QuickTime Pro to convert the WAV file to AIFF format. Today when I tried that, the imported audio file sounded like Minnie Mouse: the speed of the played back audio was faster than it should have been. Turns out you need to use a “sample rate of 44.1 kHz” when converting the WAV file to AIFF. (Via this Apple Support Discussion thread.) The imported 44.1 kHz AIFF file works great in Garageband.

My other Garageband gripe is that songs (in this case podcasts) are limited to 1999 measures long. That may sound like a silly complaint, but when you are trying to create a podcast that is over an hour long, it can be a problem. Again, another reason to go with Audacity which does not have any length limit for created podcasts or other audio files. One major limitation of Audacity is that it doesn’t directly let you add album art (which shows up in iTunes and on iPods when you play the file) or create enhanced podcasts. To create an enhanced podcast, you must be on a Macintosh and Garageband is the easiest software to use.

I do love Garageband for creating original music, it is phenomenal, but I find some of these file format and length limitations to be creativity and workflow inhibiting: characteristics I try to avoid with both software and hardware tools. If you’re interested in learning more about podcasting on any platform (Macintosh, Windows or Linux) including some good tutorials on Audacity, check out my Podcast Help page.


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If you're trying to listen to a podcast episode and it's not working, check this status page. (Wes is migrating his podcasts to Amazon S3 for hosting.) Remember to follow Wesley Fryer on Twitter (@wfryer), Facebook and Google+. Also "like" Wesley's Facebook pages for "Speed of Creativity Learning" and his eBook, "Playing with Media." Don't miss Wesley's latest technology integration project, "Mapping Media to the Common Core / Curriculum."

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  • http://www.andycarvin.com andy carvin

    Personally, I use Final Cut Pro to edit my podcasts. Yes, I know it’s strange to use video editing software to edit audio, but being a more visual person, I find it easier to edit and layer my audio when I can see it laid out as if it were a video sequence. FCP works well when editing wav or aiff files, less so with MP3. I then save it as a wav file and convert it to an mp3 using audacity. I suppose I could do all of this in audacity, of course, but I just love the FCP layout. Guess I’m a creature of habit… -andy

  • http://www.wesfryer.com Wesley Fryer

    Turns out the file needs to be 16 bit and 44 kHz.

  • Walter McGinnis

    Howdy,

    I found a slick little (and more importantly FREE!) workaround for this. Select the the voice memo in iTunes, go to the Advanced menu and select “convert to AAC”, after that drag and drop in Garageband and you are sweet.

    Cheers,
    Walter

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