For this morning’s live Technology Shopping Cart webcast over Ustream and Skype I tried using CamTwist for the first time. Complimenting SoundFlower (a free “Free Inter-application Audio Routing Utility for Mac OS X”) which can be used to combine and change audio sources for webcasting, CamTwist (also available free) permits users to mix up and change the video sources used for different applications, including a Ustream webcast. I just used the slideshow feature to alternate between different still images during our webcast. I like this better than just having people see me when we are having a panel discussion with four different people, and I’m the only one who can potentially be on video!
The only problem we ran into for the first 10-15 minutes of the webcast was that I muted the broadcasted audio in my Firefox browser so no one in the chat room could hear us for the first “news” segment of the webcast! I was hearing playback audio from the webstream and needed to mute it, but hadn’t realized that audio was coming from my other open web browser (Safari) which I was using to login into the Ustream chat with a different username. After I paused the playback on that window and turned the volume back up in the Firefox broadcast window everything was fine!
I’ve submitted a proposal for our fall (Nov 13 and 14) Oklahoma Distance Learning Association’s annual conference called “Webcasting on a Shoestring” which will be a how-to session for webcasting with the following hardware and software ingredients:
- A MacBook Pro laptop
- A Sierra Wireless AT&T cell network USB data card
- A free Ustream.tv channel open in FireFox
- Skype software and a free Skype account
- Audio Hijack Pro (a $30 software program for Macs)
- Free SoundFlower software
- Free CamTwist software
The session description I submitted is:
Hosting radio shows for a global audience with an Internet-connected laptop and $30! Historically it has been quite expensive to produce and host a live radio program that is broadcasted for a global audience. Today, it is possible to share a live webcast over the Internet using a laptop computer, a high speed Internet connection, and a combination of free software programs as well as one $30 commercial software program. In this session I will explain and demonstrate how to use a Mac laptop, a USB cell phone data card, a web browser and the website Ustream.tv, Skype software, Audio Hijack Pro software (the $30 program) as well as free Camtwist software to webcast for a global audience on a shoestring budget. Access referenced links on http://handouts.wesfryer.com/shoestring-webcasting.
Generally I share more introductory-level presentations at conferences so I’m thinking it will be fun to share this more “bleeding edge” session on webcasting. One of our guests today on the show (I think it was Bob Martin) commented that in his job role, he “tries to bleed [with web 2.0 tools] so teachers don’t have to.” I feel a little like that using these tools for a live webcast! There were a few scratches during our webcast today but I don’t think anyone did any bleeding!
I’ll try to get the mp3 version of the webcast posted as podcast over the weekend.
Thanks again to Ryan Gordon for his instructions on webcasting with Ustream, Skype, Soundflower and Audio Hijack Pro.
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- Follow tonight's Presidential debate on OETA's Political Pulse Blog - 2008