March 29, 2004
Or, Why am I a sucker for any event with "Thon" in the title?
AKMA had the fantastic idea to record chapters of Lawrence Lessig’s new book, Free Culture (made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 1.0 Creative Commons license) in mp3 format. Like a colony of ants, a group of people attacked the book in sections. Most of it has been recorded, with just a small effort on the part of each individual.
Here’s what we have so far:
Intro to the “Piracy” section (thanks for noticing this!): Chris Farmer, available here
Chapter with Governess and Bodice-Ripping: Halley (I want to hear this)
Chapter 5: AKMA (done — here it is, hefty at 15.67 Mb; anyone should feel free to compress it if you see a way to)
Chapter 6: Les Hall, Guan Yang
Chapter 10: Giles Hoover
Chapter 12: Dave Winer, available here
Chapter 13: Jeneane Sesssum
Chapter 14: Ted Fletcher
Conclusion: Enoch Choi, available here
Notes (ahem!): techt
Executive Summary: Halley “Executive” Suitt (no, it’s pronounced to rhyme with “root,” not “bleat”
Graphic: David Weinberger
For my part, it took several hours of work because I wasn't set up for audio recording. Most of the time, I played around with software, microphones and mp3 encoders in order to end up with a clear, manageable file. (And then Trevor got his hands on the mic and recorded songs about bananas and whoopie cushions for an hour.)
What I used:
Audacity worked extremely well for the recording itself. It's one of those applications which is fairly intuitive to operate as a novice, but offers many features for the expert. After a couple of false starts, it worked best when I read a paragraph, paused the recording for a drink or paper shuffling, then hit record again and did the next paragraph. I got through 80% of chapter without any major errors that way. But when I did make a mistake, it was easy to stop the recording, chop out the mistake and begin recording at the spot where I left off. Audacity mixed my final take seamlessly. I'm dying to take a crack at Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom with this software.
Audacity is great, but it won't get you to the end of the line. I had a perfectly serviceable WAV file at the end of the night, but it was 71.4 MB. A mite too big for the Web. The Alt WAV to MP3 & WMA Converter was not as easy to use, but it got the job done. My primary problem was that it repeatedly told me that my finished product would be 33MB. I spent a good deal of time trying to shrink that by playing with settings until I gave up and hit encode anyway. The file came out to 11MB instead. I don't get it, but I accept it.
The microphone was a chintzy little Compaq clip on that looked unassuming, but produced crystal clear sound with no background noise.
The file is hosted on SmelltheCandy.com (a side project in progress) with space and bandwidth provided by UltraCheapHosting.
The seltzer was Zazz.
The hour was late, and the girl was tired.
Enjoy... Chapter 9: Collectors