B&H Photo Video Pro Audio - Podcast Factory
 
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By
Dan Canale


M-Audio -- The Pod Piper
Podcasts are everywhere. Everyone from the New York Times to Peruvian farmers are producing or consuming these downloadable audio shows (the farmers get dairy production info from the state via Podcast). Ski resorts use them to disseminate trail conditions, professors transform lectures into Podcasts, and cutting-edge elementary schools now record, instead of mimeograph, their parent newsletters.

M-Audio's Podcast Factory
Everything you need in one box.

 

While iPods are also widely diffused, until recently there's been a lack of products specifically designed for producing Podcasts. Enter the Podcast Factory which, as the name implies, is an all-you-need kit for recording, editing and adding music and effects to Podcasts using your Mac or Windows 98/2000/XP-based PC.

Everything you need is in the box:
 
A Dedicated USB Audio Interface
Connect this small unit to your PC or Mac via USB cable, plug in microphones or instruments and your hardware set-up is complete. The audio quality of this 24-bit/48kHz interface with pre-amp is far superior to most consumer-level PC sound cards with their limited, line-in inputs.
Dynamic Broadcast Microphone
The included broadcast quality mike comes with a desk stand.
Advanced Recording and Production Software
The heart of the factory is a "lite" version of the popular Ableton Live application. The lite version retains the sophisticated multi-track recording functionality of the full version but limits users to 4 audio and midi tracks. The software also includes sequencing tools, special effects, virtual instruments and much more.
Podifier Software
This application lets you encode your MP3 with XML metadata (title, description, copyright etc.) and save it as an RSS file (which lets subscribers to your Podcast automatically download new editions as they are posted).

M-Audio's Podcast Factory has an MSRP of $179.95 but is available for $149.00 on the B&H website (shipping is free).

B&H also offers a custom podcast kit for Mac OS X and Windows XP/2000.
 

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