Tag Archive for Apps

How to Build a Podcast on the Road (Without Your Stuff)

 Technology continues to close the gap between “the professionals” and “the amateurs,” giving regular people the ability to compete at some level with those who get paid to do it, whether “it” is a radio broadcast, journalism, video broadcast or a podcast.

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It’s no secret, this blog was highly influenced by Michael Hyatt’s blog (see here and here). I starting doing a podcast because of Michael, as a way of adding another dimension to The Z Section. I recorded my first podcast about ideas (click here), and it was OK.

My next attempt at a podcast was when I interviewed my wife, Wendi Warren, after she published her book, “Princess Grace: A Tale of Faith, Hope & Love.” I really liked it. It sounded good, and it sounded professional.

Right now, my podcasts are done in a simple fashion. My wife, who had been studying voice acting, has a Yeti USB microphone. So, when I got the idea to add podcasts to the mix, I retrieved the microphone, connected it to my Dell All-in-One computer and fired up Audactiy, a free, open-source application for recording and editing audio.

Well, I wanted to do my third podcast with my sister-in-law, Randi Breese (you can read about why, here). Due to logistics, and when I wanted to record the podcast, it was not feasible to her to come to my home, where my desktop computer is located. Wendi and I were going to see Randi and her husband, Shaun Vahl, so we decided to take the microphone and nothing else.

Before we went to see Randi and Shaun, we stopped at Wendi’s parents. My mother-in-law, Dolores Breese, asked me to help her with some computer stuff, including getting music on her computer onto her mp3 player. As I searched the music on the computer (which was one we gave her), I noticed it had a “song” I created years ago, called “Little Like Zep.”

I created the song a few years ago using Aviary’s sound editor, Myna, which is now defunct. The music sounded a little like Led Zeppelin, thus the title. When I decided to record podcasts, I wanted to use music for the intro and outro, and somehow I came across the file on my Dell. I was surprised to see I had left it on my old computer, which my mother-in-law now uses.

We had a good meal, played some Scrabble (I lost, ask my mother-in-law who won) and eventually made it to Randi and Shaun’s house. They were at a fundraiser, so we had some time to spare. I checked Shaun’s laptop, and he did not have Audacity. So, I downloaded and installed it. I also downloaded the LAME MP3 Encoder so I would be able to export the audio to the MP3 format.

I thought for a minute that I would forego the musical elements of the podcast, but then I called my mother-in-law and asked her to email the song to me, and she did. Thus, I was able to record, edit and add music to the podcast, just as I would have done in my own home.

Technology and the Internet are breaking down a lot of barriers. In the old days, there would be no way I was installing a program without having the disks (or CDs or DVDs). But, thanks to technology and the Internet, everything went as planned.

If you want to listen to the entire song I created, check it out below.

Just Enjoy the Scenery Today

Enjoy these photos processed and uploaded via Instagram. I do not use it as much, but it is still a good app. I guess the thing for me is other apps, like Pixlr-O-matic and Pixlr Express do so much more.

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Kindle Fire HD 7 Continues to Score Big Here

It’s been nearly seven weeks since I purchased a Kindle Fire HD 7, and I am liking it more and more everyday. For good reason.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7

I remember reading on Michael Hyatt’s blog about how preferred the iPad Mini over the original, larger version, saying the Mini was what the iPad should have been from the start.

Having never owned an iPad, I cannot make the same statement, but I can say this: The Kindle Fire HD 7 is what netbooks should have been all along. When my wife’s laptop became old, outdated and slow, I wanted to get her a new one. However, there was something attractive about the netbooks. At the time, I did not fully understand what they were; I just thought they were slightly smaller laptops.

Well, in a sense, they are. Netbooks are smaller than laptops. And, netbooks kind of look like laptops. But, what we discovered is a netbook is not really a laptop. A laptop is for computing, and a netbook is mainly designed to surf the Internet.

My Kindle Fire HD does just that. It surfs the web, it feasts on Amazon.com content, it plays games and it even contributes to some productivity. After I first purchased the tablet, I carried it with me sometimes. Now, unless I know I am going to be totally tied to my desk at the newspaper, it comes with me.

Why I Carry My Kindle Fire HD All the Time:

  • It turns my vehicle into a mobile university: This is the No. 1 reason why it is with me most of the time. By owning a Kindle device, I can turn on Amazon’s text-to-speech function and listen to books while I drive. I just finished reading/listening to The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (which turned out to be better than I initially envisioned). Whether I am in the Jeep five minutes or 35 minutes, I like having the option of listening to a book.
  • It keeps me up-to-date with my blog: I have a WordPress app that allows me to edit or create posts, check my site stats or do anything else I need to with my blog, as long as I have a Wi-Fi connection.
  • I keep my teaching notes on it: I teach an adult Sunday School class at Parkview Christian Church, and I send all of my notes to my Kindle device. I have a study Bible loaded on the Kindle, and I keep my notes for Sunday School on it.
  • I can capture thoughts using Catch app: When you start blogging, you realize how important it is to get your ideas down. With Catch Notes, I can do that. The free app allows you to write notes, record audio notes, take photos, set up reminders and create checklists. I used it the other day to jot some ideas down for future blog posts and a future book.
  • I can move my online reading offline: With Pocket, another free app, I can be reading something on the web and save it to read later. The app works across all sorts of devices. I can be reading something on the web at home, save it to Pocket, and when I sync my Kindle Fire HD, I will get a nice, readable version of the web page. It is important to sync Pocket’s content while you have Wi-Fi access. This is immensely helpful when researching. I have been using it to aid me in writing a book for mindreaders. It is invaluable.
  • I can keep up-to-date with all of my social networks: Again, as long as there is a Wi-Fi connection.

If you would like to purchase your own Kindle Fire HD, check out my affiliate link by clicking here. I recommend the 32 GB version because once you buy it, there is no expanding it. Might as well get the extra storage space.

The Kindle Fire HD  7 has been a great fit for me, but let me caution you by saying I made the purchase because I was an Amazon Prime member. It made sense to have a device geared toward watching the movies, TV shows and videos available for free to Prime members, getting the shipping discount from Amazon and the ability to borrow one book a month from the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

If you are looking for more of a computing tablet, then perhaps the iPad, iPad Mini or Google Nexus 7 are better options for you.

For me, it was the Kindle. You can see other reasons why by clicking here.

New “Wow” App Idea Sprouting Up

2012-06-02_1338649808My life’s goal has been a simple one: I wanted to get paid to write. I have realized this dream on several fronts since my first job at a newspaper in 1988.

Over the past several years,I have watched others start blogs,get on Twitter after me and become social media “experts” and build a national following. I have keenly watched what Michael Hyatt has been able to do with his blog, started reading his book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
and have followed much of his advice.

As I mentioned previously, several factors converged and led to the formation of this blog. In reading Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content,
the author infuses me with confidence,making me feel I can accomplish anything, and probably quicker than I imagine. In reading a Steve Scott ebook about writing a nonfiction book, How to Write a Nonfiction eBook in 21 Days – That Readers LOVE!, I have a blueprint for structuring the book and a timeline to get it done. In reading Hyatt’ s book, I am learning about coming up with a “wow” product, and his blog teaches you how to accomplish almost anything.

As I am digesting all of this information on my Kindle Fire HD 7, it dawned on me I could use an app to help me with what is swirling around in my mind. I jump over to the Amazon App Store to search for something, and I don’t find anything.

Could it be I have stumbled on a useful idea for an app? I might have done just that. However, I realized I needed to research this more because there might already be an app with the functionality I am looking for, but it is characterized differently than expressed through my searches.

I began writing this post on Christmas, reclining in a seat while others watched the L.A. Lakers game on TV. After doing more research earlier today, I discovered Google Play has something similar, and there seems to be a better version in the iTunes store, which is closer to what I was thinking. However, there is additional functionality I would like to see on the iTunes version.

At this juncture, who knows whether this idea will become an actual app. The fact there are only two products can mean one of two things: The concept in general is not needed, or the concept needs an idea like mine. Time will tell.