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Friday, February 17, 2006

GarageBand 3 Review

GarageBand 3 for podcasting - a lot to like and a few drawbacks

Direct link to the mp3 (18.5 mb 22:58 min)

  • App is much faster, reponsive previous versions a dog
  • Open garageband chocie for a podcast episode you see: a podcast, male voice, female voice, Jingles and radio sounds tracks
    • Podcast track for chapter markers and photos for making enhanced podcasts
      • mixed feelings
        • Positive for long tracks, podcasts and audiobooks lets you jump around easily
        • Positive - easy drag and drop photos, put in titles and links. Formerly done via the command line app.
        • Negatives -Set up AAC (Mpeg 4) compatibility won't play on iRiver, Creative Zen or even a stock pc without iTunes, quicktime or Real Player installled. Mp3 plays everywhere. I never look at the enhanced podcast pictures on my iPod Video - so in the end I'm not sure of the value on shorter tracks. Stay tuned for a tip on how to get an mp3 from your Garageband recording
    • Sound Effects and Jingles
      • Brilliant. High quality, royalty free, sound effects and music that sound fantastic. I've been using them in my last few podcasts. In fact I'm half-tempted to get one or two of the jam packs Apple sells to get more of these (but they cost more than iLife itself). This really adds something to your podcast. I find a short musical interlude really helps break up a monologue.
    • Podcast Radio Engineer
      • Another great feature set
        • Ducking. Lowers music track automatically if you start talking. Automatic ducking can be a little abrupt, but can be adjusted on the master track
        • Male and female voice tracks are tweaked with eq, compression, noise gate to really improve on the sound. These really are "templates" - a feature Apple has been putting in many of their consumer applications - you could do better if you're an expert
        • I do like the way my podcasts are sounding coming out of Garage Band
      • iChat interview recording and iMovie scoring. Great sounding features haven't tried them yet. If you'd like to plug your podcast with mme over iChat - let me know.
    • One click iWeb publishing - mixed feelings here -
      • Great if you want to fork over $99 for dot mac web hosting -which you may want to do. It has some nice features and simplifies amost all aspects of online sharing plus adds features like email, backup, etc.... I don't plan to purchase this. I find I can find plenty of places to host things for free or cheap (Flickr, Ourmedia.org, Gmail, etc..)
      • A bit of a minus if you don't want to use iWeb/dotmac. Everything set up for this by default. There are workarounds though such as export to folder.
    • Other thoughts
      • Some have reported long export times from GarageBand 3. I think is due to the need to mixdown all the tracks into one stereo or mono track and then compress the file into aac format.
      • How to make an mp3 file and avoid this problem alltogether? Delete the podcast (photo) track and then choose Share -> send to iTunes. This will mixdown an uncompressed aiff file and send it to iTunes. From there you can convert the aiff file to mp3 with itunes or another tool of your choice (LameBrain).


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