Audio available:

I’ve added audio to my blog.  Click the arrow to listen to me speak.  (Yikes!)

So now you can listen to me as well as read, or maybe you can just listen while you do something else, and save a bit of time.  Maybe my voice will annoy you like it annoys my wife sometimes, and you’ll only listen once and decide to just read instead.

Whatever.  You now have choice.

For recording the audio, I’ve used a "try before you buy" version of Acoustica MP3 Audio Mixer.  It’s probably the easiest to use recording tool I’ve ever used bar my old cassette deck.  By that I mean, that while reading this back to make the recording you may be listening to now, I made a lot of mistakes.

No I’m not psychic, I just know I make mistakes.  The software allows you to quickly re-record the bits you’ve fluffed, cut the bad bits out and replace them with the good version.  While most recording tools can do this, the Acoustica interface is very simple to use, you just have to try it to believe it.

It also lets you put backing tracks on and generally mix and merge sounds, and each bit of audio can occupy its own track.

It has its own format for saving a set of tracks called a "Sound Group" and uses the .sgp file extension.  When you’re done editing it all, you can choose to save it as an MP3 if you like, which is what you’re listening to now.  Alternatively you can save it as a WAV, a WMA or REAL audio, but why would you want to do that when you have MP3?

It only costs $24.95, and I’ll buy a copy straight after posting this blog and adding the audio.

To add the play button above, I’m using the completely free WordPress Audio Plugin written by Martin Laine.  Thank you Martin, I’ll be making a donation shortly.  It’s also very easy to use, so I like!

The headphone / microphone combo is an old one which I think isn’t made any more, part of the Microsoft Sidewinder Game Voice.  The real manufacturer is Plantronics, so it’s pretty good.  Before I started using this, I tested out a really, really cheap one.  It cost me £1.00, that’s about $1.80 as I write, and the sound wasn’t too bad at all, but it felt uncomfortable sitting on my head, which is the only reason I switched.

I suppose the next step is to work out how to do the audio RSS feed. 

I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up the audio blog, I think I may find I write first and then add audio later when I have time.  We’ll see…