Thursday, 30 April 2009

AudioBoo on air?

This post is inspired by a tweet sent to me by @richardberryuk

He spotted that I'd been using AudioBoo and wanted to know if it would have any use in radio broadcasting.

I sort of replied, but the 140 character limit imposed by Twittter didn't really help me make a coherent response.

Hopefully I can fix that now.

If you haven't come across AudioBoo it's an iPhone app that lets you record short audio clips and and send them off to the internet - if Twitter is micro-blogging this is micro-podcasting.

I've really only played with it, but there are definitely situations where AudioBoo could help a broadcaster.

First of all what are the limitations? Well, at the moment it's iPhone only (although there is a beta test going on that lets you post Boos on the telephone). The built in mic on the iPhone isn't fantastic, but the one on the headphone lead is better.

The Boos are saved and published as mp3 files, which is fine for the internet, but some people may be squeamish about using such a lowly format on the radio (although I've filed quite a few pieces from home as mp3s and never had a complaint). The website doesn't allow for direct download of the mp3s, but does provide RSS feeds for each user and a button that subscribes to the feed in iTunes. Once you've downloaded the files in the feed it's easy to get them into your sound editing app of choice or load them up for playout.

There's an adage in photography that the best camera is the one you've got with you, and it may well turn out for radio reporters that the best recorder is the Boo they've got with them. At the scene of a breaking story if you've got AudioBoo on your iPhone you're ready to record interviews and send them back to the newsroom for broadcast. AudioBoo can also synch with your Twitter account and there are lots of options for for multi-media operations.

The Guardian used AudioBoo extensively in their coverage of the G20 protests in London, including this interview with Mark Thomas.


What about me? Well here's my first Boo interview, I don't reckon much to the reporter but the guest is great!


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