A brick with 'SLACK' printed on it
(image: “SLACK”, by NottsExMiner: Posted here on flickr.com, CC-BY-SA, included because apparently every single web page now has to have some tangentially-related image stuffed at the top for no apparent reason.)
Too many things going on lately, I’ve been slacking on the blogs. I haven’t been idle, though:

I’ve been playing with the APIs for Jamendo and Freesound.org to try to better automate the finding, fetching, and properly-tagging (including applicable copyright license terms!) the local copy for use in podcasts. Having the appropriate information in real audio metadata makes it a lot easier to find compatibly-licensed sound and to find the necessary attribution information when the time comes.

I’m also quasi-professionally doing podcast audio editing and production on the side. As a moderately-skilled amateur rather than a “serious professional” I’m not charging much, but I am technically getting paid to do it, so I say it counts. Currently my sole client is a podcast being done by a couple of independent authors who chat about their current projects, then take a random “writing prompt” and try to whip up a short piece of fiction based on it, and then they each read out what they’ve come up with. If that sounds like something you may be interested in, that podcast is at http://impromptucast.com, its RSS feed for your podcatcher is at http://www.andivan.com/impromptucast-rss.xml, and for those of you stuck on stinky old iTunes, their iTunes page is at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/impromptu/id1280197831?mt=2. In addition to a basic intro and “outro”, they also asked me to come up with some sort of spoof-commercial to insert between the two halves of each episode, which has been fun. I’ll post those somewhere here when I get a chance – I’ve been meaning to put together a portfolio online.

Anyway, they each record their local audio as they chat online, then at the end they send the raw audio to me, and I synchronise it, clean it up and edit it, blend in intro/outro/”commercial break”, then export to mp3 (and flac for archiving and generation of opus and/or Ogg Vorbis audio as needed later) with complete metadata so they can post it. Then I generate updated RSS for their feed. If anybody else is interested in hiring some inexpensive help getting their podcast together, feel free to comment!

Working on that is what got me going on the API projects. I also whipped up a “complete metadata tagger for podcast files” to go with it – in case it’s not obvious, I hate when important information (e.g. licensing, source URLs, etc.) are left off of audio files.

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