January 15, 2007

New podcast: An interview with Michael Anissimov

My latest audiocast has been posted here. You can subscribe to this feed.

This past Sunday January 14 I interviewed Michael Anissimov, the fund raising director for the Lifeboat Foundation, a member of the World Transhumanist Association, and a founding director of the Immortality Institute. Michael is also a prolific blogger at Accelerating Future who writes and speaks about such topics as existential risks, the promise and peril of advanced AI, nanotechnology and transhumanism. In this epsidoe, I ask Michael about the Lifeboat Foundation, various risks facing the human species and some potential solutions.

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Damien said...

Great podcast, as usual =) I've got to say I love the new intro. The left/right panning was neat, but somewhat distracting. You should keep it this way. I don't know, it just sounds more 'professional'.

One note though... did your interview have a lot of noise 'spikes' in the feed? It might just be my feed or headphones, but it was a 'bit distracting.

Other than that: great job!

George said...

Darn, that's the second time someone has complained about noise. When I listen to it, it sounds fine. Can you describe these spikes to me? Is it more digital distortion, or are you getting clicks and pops?

Is anyone else having this problem?

Michael Anissimov said...

George, what program do you use to listen to it? I'm getting tons of pops and scratches as well. I can pop on Skype tomorrow night if you'd like, and try to play the podcast for you from my computer.

George said...

Okay, I've re-listened to it and I think I know what you guys are talking about. Unfortunately that's sound on the source file and it cannot be helped. I think I know what's wrong and will work to prevent this in future recordings. This is a learning process for me.

In my opinion, it's not so bad as to make the int'vw unlistenable. Would you guys agree, or are you hearing more severe and distracting interference?

Armchair Anarchist said...

I haven't had a problem with interference - your stuff is much clearer than some other podcasts out there. One thing I would request is - could you put metatags on the mp3 files? I sync podcasts and music to a DMP using Media Player, and it helps to be able to organise files by podcaster ('artist'), originating site ('album') and chronological position ('track number'). Just a thought.

Michael Anissimov said...

George, the interference is pretty distracting, but whatever, I think people can listen to it once without hurting themselves. What program are you using to listen to the mp3? Winamp, or something else?

George said...

I've used both Winamp and Quicktime to listen to it.

Jay Dugger said...

06:31 PM Tuesday, 16 January 2007

I'll second Armchair Anarchist's request for metadata. A description of each episode would also help. Bloglines serves as my podcatcher and feed reader. The SD podcast episodes appear there without description or summary, and that makes it hard to prioritize my listening time.

Of course, having asked you to do this, I'd better make certain to do the same in my own podcast.

George said...

re: metadata will do.

Anonymous said...

George, the spikes are very loud and frequent; almost makes the podcast unlistenable for me (except that I used audacity to remove the spikes). I was also the guy who commented about the previous podcast having this problem, so whatever change you made at that time... please revert it.

Here's a temporary page containing a screenshot of the spiked waveform, and an 8 second clip: spikes

On the bright side, these ear-piercing spikes finally motivated me to visit your site, if only to complain, but I'll be sticking around.


George said...

It appears that some people are hearing rather severe spikes on my latest 2 audiocasts. I made some recent changes to how I record, and clearly it's not working.

Consequently, I've decided to revamp my studio setup (something that is quite overdue). I'll be picking up some new gear this coming weekend. Look for my future audiocasts to be vastly improved.

Until then, my apologies to everyone, including Michael, for the poor quality.

Damien said...

Other than the spikes your podcast quality has vastly improved since the last time I listened (when you first started). What mp3 compression program, equipment, etc are you using? I or one of your other audiophile listeners might be able to jump-start your learning curve a bit ;)

George said...

Hi Damien,

I've been experimenting with a bunch of things, and I'm going to change yet again. Here's the evolution:

- recording into Audacity with a professional studio mic that's routed thorough an effects processor (dry). I record at full CD quality resolution and export to WAV. Then, because Audacity's MP3 converter sucks, I use Sonic Foundry's Sound Forge (an old program) to export as MP3.

- I used to work in the recording industry, so I have some old tools. I recently pulled out my old Ensoniq PARIS digital audio workstation and rebuilt an old computer to run Windows98 (PARIS will only run on Win98). What a disaster! While PARIS runs brilliantly, Win98 runs very unstably, and I cannot do a Windows update due to support being cut of by Microsoft. IE keeps crashing. Nor can I find a decent MP3 converter, which may account for the spikes. This system is also proving to be waaay too time consuming.

- So, I have a new plan which I will start to work on this coming weekend. I'm going to get a license for Ableton Live and pick up an external sound card with 1/4" inputs and built-in FX. This will be clean, simple, and efficient. Once I have this up and running I'll post a follow up with the details.

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