Tag Archives: podcasting

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Process Report CUNYcast

CUNYCast is an online experimental broadcast in the Digital Humanities. The CUNYcast site will model Ds106 Radio. It will also document the process, and create a “how to” manual for future CUNYcasters.  A link from the CUNYCast group page on the Academic Commons will lead people to an external site where content will be streamed. CUNYcast is a live online radio stream that anyone can take over and populate with their own DH audio radio broadcast. Cunycast is a non-archivable broadcast that will be accessible on the web. CUNYCast’s aim is to empower a DH guerrilla broadcast community.

Our team’s goal this week was to test an audio upload to Ds106 Radio, and begin to build out our WordPress site, while documenting and reporting on our process and our progress. *Note: although documentation appears here, it has not been verified between team members. Please do not attempt or post until we have completed final edits on the manual. Thanks!

Process Report 2/25/15:

Joy edited in-class audio from DH Praxis 2014-15, added music, and recorded an introduction.  James’s task was to upload that content in order to better understand how Ds106 radio works.

  1. Using edited audio recordings of our in-class conversations James converted ab .m4a, (advanced audio coding (AAC) file format) to an mp3 file.
  2. Using online converter media.io took about three minutes to convert, reducing its size from 28MB to 19MB.

Note: James chose 128kb/s as the quality, remembering that Ds106 radio has a 128kb/s stream. Next, we needed to figure out what would come first, the ds106radio how-to, Airtime, or Icecast? Airtime has a giant button on their landing page that says START NOW, so that seemed like a good place to begin. 30 day free trial, otherwise it’s 9.95 a month.

Question: If we do work with Ds106 we’ll have to get them to “grant a login, we think? Though it also possible that when we are preparing our radio station, it might cost us $10 monthly to maintain it via Airitme?

  1. Ds106radio is located in the interwebs, and how to access it via Icecast, it links to here: http://networkeffects.ca/?p=1478
  2. Download Icecast here: http://icecast.org/download/
  3. Start Icecast. It launches a console.
  4. Follow instructions by typing the address into Chrome.

Note: If I we were hosting Icecast via our local machine, this is how it would be controlled.

  1. Go to the Icecast installation directory and find a .xml doc.
  2. Open with my text

Note: This seems like it will be very important later, but we’re not sure that it will help complete the goal now. The next thing we attempt to try is looking at “Broadcasting Software” in the ds106radio how-to. We come across this document. We go for Mixxx; another broadcasting tool.

  1. Download Mixxx. Mixxx is 85MB: It does audio editing, mixing, broadcasting, recording.
  2. Enable Live Broadcasting

Note: It began importing James’s whole audio library. He loaded a song and just played with some dials. He encourages everyone to do this.

  1. Open up our cmd (command prompt and type in some commands for installing the codec:

Photo:James_Broadcast

Note: Watch for compatibility issues. We had a 64-bit version of Mixxx that was accidentally installing the 32-bit encoder. Some folders are inaccurately named. For Macs, this process seems smoother.

  1. Load up the audio for broadcast on ds106radio into Mixxx, by dragging and dropping. take
  2. Take the server info from ds106radio and put it into Mixxx:

Name: ds106rad.io / Server: ds106rad.io / Port: 8010 / Mountpoint: live / Username: source / Password: ds106 / Codec: mp3 / Bitrate: 128 (or less) / Protocol: Icecast2 / Stereo: Y/N

  1. Success = playing live audio from our class on Ds106

Process Report 2/28/15:

  1. This week Julia went to a workshop on “Bootstrap”http://getbootstrap.com/
    It is a model for a responsive website.
    2. This is our template:http://getbootstrap.com/examples/carousel/#
    Note: We have had some concerns with the constraints of wordpress. This will aford us more freedom although it may require a bit more now to update and change the site = More freedom less of a fancy wordpress back end.file structure
  2. Download Bootstrap; accessed here:http://getbootstrap.com/
  3. Use textwrangler (a bare bones html building editor) she saved the document as a .html file like (index.html).
  4. Place the file in the same folder on the desk top that held the Bootstrap.

Note: We are assuming that this series of files will be able to be uploaded to a server so they may become live. There may be a few steps missing that we’re unaware of since we’re not directly familiar with server setups.

5. Using Textwrengler to build the site; start with a blank text editor. Go to the template mentioned above (http://getbootstrap.com/examples/carousel/#) and open the site. It is a browser and look at the view page source option.

6. Copy and paste the page source from that page and place it into a plain text document.

Note: CSS of this document was all whacked out at first. The file connections to the rest of the folders would be different if they were sitting on the desktop.

  1. Go through the preliminary documentation to fix the <!DOCTYPE html> heading issues in the .html file.
  2. Screen shot of the website displayed in a browser on her computer. It is bare bones but it does display.CUNYcast_Web_SampleNote: Julia will next play with the style of CUNYcast site to reflect the new direction of the project. Barbara Kruger is a visual inspiration since we’re going guerrilla.

Please join us at our new twitter account @CUNYcast #CUNYcast
Also, we’ll be making our group page public on the commons this week.

CUNYCast PROJECT MAP

ABSTRACT:

CUNYCast is an online experimental podcast in the Digital Humanities.  Project organizers will record content, make it available online, document the process, and create a “how to” manual for future podcasters, eventually encouraging others to contribute to a network of podcasts. CUNYCast is free, open sourced, collaborative, interdisciplinary, and shared. It is more than a single project; it is an initiative that offers students and faculty the tools and knowledge they need to share their work through audio. It can be used in classes, workshops, clubs, or as a stand-alone project to enrich not only the community at the Graduate Center but also the community across all CUNY schools. A link from the CUNYCast group page on the Academic Commons will lead people to an external site where content will be hosted. Links will also connect participants to resources that encourage information sharing, and cooperative production through CUNYCast. The CUNYCast site will be hosted via WordPress, which supports audio, video, and a number of other easy to use plugins. It will also implement source code from ds106 radio, and be powered using Icecas; a streaming media server. CUNYCast can enrich the long commute to the city, whether it is by train or car, or can be enjoyed from the comfort of home, when one is sick and unable to get to class. It is a low cost project capable of producing content and knowledge for individual classes in the future while encouraging community connection. CUNYCast’s aim is to empower a DH community on demand; one that anyone can participate in.

USER STORIES:

Digital Humanities student:

In the new world of multimedia scholarship students are looking for new modes of production. They may ask themselves, “How can I reach a larger audience with my academic work and discoveries?” Publishing in academic journals is an integral part of academia but in an increasingly open source world how do graduate students reach out to wider communities to create digital content? A digital humanities student can tap into the CUNYCast web presence to learn how to make a high quality audio/digital repository. The student will learn different ways they can host their work, including requesting a block on the CUNYCast site. The student can also browse other CUNYCast programs (or more directly, ds106 programs) to see the open and conversational ways Digital Humanities scholarship shows a process-documented approach to scholarship. The WordPress production and code will be shared and easily accessible for student learning.

CUNY Faculty member:

The CUNY faculty member is interested in opening up digital publication opportunities for their students. Instead of a traditional end-of-class paper, the professor may want students to produce something that will exist online so that students can share their scholarship in a wider community and create their online academic persona. This faculty member would use CUNYCast to show students how to produce and post their podcast final project. The CUNYCast would also include documentation about the pedagogical practices being formed around digital media production in the classroom.

Outside Non-Affiliate interested in Podcasting:

Academic publishing and information has historically been a closed system where information seeking community members and independent scholars have to jump through hoops to get access to the most current and revolutionary scholarly work. This non-affiliate could look toward CUNYCast, and learn how to create his or her own online digital podcast publication. Here, they would be able to see how investigative and scholarly podcasting practices have their techniques outlined.

Technical Specs:

  • We are building an open online course in Digital Humanities. Documentation and technical explanations will be available to GC users via the Academic Commons.
  • Web hosting
  • Icecas Account
  • WordPress A/V Plugins, including Soundcloud
  • RSS
  • Airtime
  • ds106 Radio
  • Recording Equipment
  • Audacity (open source audio editing software)

Cunycast

Digital Humanities: Instilling Optimism in Academia

House of Leaves, by Mark Danielewski. Text no longer moves in one direction.

House of Leaves, by Mark Danielewski. Text no longer moves in one direction.

“I consider this mutability of language a wise precaution of Providence for the benefit of the world at large, and of authors in particular. To reason from analogy, we daily behold the varied and beautiful tribes of vegetables springing up, flourishing, adorning the fields for a short time, and then fading into dust, to make way for their successors. Were not this the case, the fecundity of nature would be a grievance instead of a blessing. The earth would groan with rank and excessive vegetation, and its surface become a tangled wilderness”

-Washington Irving, “The Mutability of Literature”

Studying Digital Humanities is something I never knew I wanted. Years after beginning my undergraduate career I cursed myself for choosing an English degree. Sure, I loved reading and discussing literature, but aside from pursuing a life in academia , what real-world purpose did it serve that I could parse the connection between the sarin gas attacks in the Japan subways in 1995 and Murakami’s depiction of time in A Wild Sheep’s Chase? Sure, I have a handful of sonnets memorized, and while they might be fun to recite in front of girls, they most likely won’t get any potential employers in bed with me. I had so many interests growing up! Why did I choose the one that—based on my limited knowledge of the job market—seemed so fruitless? In my free time I studied digital rights management, so why didn’t I change my major to law? When I was 13 I learned HTML while playing Neopets, so why didn’t I change my major to Computer Science? After writing a research paper on digital media, consumer convenience, and the future of software models, why didn’t I go for business? Finally, why did it take me so long to find out that Digital Humanities was a thing?

After finishing my undergraduate English degree (get this… you’ll never believe it…) I applied for a doctoral degree in English. Unbelievable, right? Despite my utter pessimism about the efficacy of studying text, I decided to study text some more. I believed that I would either end up a professor of English, or quit academia and get a job working in new media and digital software, parallel, yet distant paths. One day I would stray too far in one direction and the other path would be forever obfuscated, lost in a sea of software or perhaps a forest of leaves. Before hearing back from graduate schools, I filled my time by recording a weekly podcast about video game sub-cultures. A friend and I bought recording equipment, learned audio editing, studied distribution methods via RSS feeds, built a website, and wrote a list of topics that would last us over a year. We got together every week, and recording the show became a labor of love. Not only did I get to speak passionately about a topic I was enthusiastic about, but I became a participant in active conversations regarding e-sports in America, online streaming, and the efficacy of new business models for digital software. I worked for hours every week drafting show notes, learning history, and gathering opinions from experts to discuss and refute. This solidified that reading and writing text could not be my sole future. When I was contacted by a representative from the Graduate Center, it was to tell me that I was not accepted to a doctoral program, but also that I should consider a Masters track for Digital Humanities, as it seemed better aligned with my interests and work. I wasn’t upset, just intrigued. After reading up on DH, I realized I wasn’t just interested, I was already a participant. In fact, many people with my interests were already unknowingly participating in Digital Humanities.

Not only did Digital Humanities as a concept renew my interest in academia, it renewed my interest and optimism in English and Literature as a viable track of study. While text continues to be an important facet of humanism, there are many alternative media formats, such as films and games, that can speak on similar subject matter, albeit, without the seniority. Digital Humanities not only grants us a space to re-examine texts in digital formats and tools, but creates a bridge through which English might become a more multi-faceted, interdisciplinary track. After all, being able to read and write at the highest academic levels seems attractive when you consider just how much you’re reading and writing through social media platforms.

I believe that Digital Humanities has the ability to alter the approaches and pedagogy of not just English, but any discipline held back by the trappings of academia. Lisa Spiro states in her essay, “This Is Why We Fight” that “emphasis on specialization and professional authority clashes with the collaborative, crowdsourced approaches of the digital humanities”, and I believe this to be the definitive attraction to DH: it truly encourages an iterative, interdisciplinary approach, whereas many tracks and individuals intentionally alienate themselves in an attempt to gain absolute authority over their ideas. How does that better the medium? How can one learn and innovate if they shut themselves out from all that is available to teach?

There’s so much more to say, but this is already far too long. I have so many questions and so many ideas, all I can say for certain is I’m optimistic about the future.