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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