podcasting trouble - compression???

my friends and i record a podcast together. we work from three different computers, since we’re in different cities, and we all use audacity. we start and stop recording at the same times using time.is and export our files as .wav files so we can easily send them around to be edited together. mine and my one friend, mark, always have our files lined up; however, our friend cole has a problem. while his audio file starts at the exact same time as ours, it ends up being 20 to 30 seconds shorter than the rest of ours. it’s really frustrating; it’s not like he’s cutting off recording early, it’s just that his file is finished quicker than ours! we think it may be a compression issue, since no matter what his files are always 360 mb while the rest of ours are around 600. his mic may have something to do with it, since it only allows him to record in mono and not in stereo, but we’re not sure. any help would make editing so much easier!

It could be argued you should all be in mono.

That would be the difference between 600M and 300M. He’s sending half the data for his mono show.

You got 2/3 lucky. That one recorder may be running slightly off speed. You can easily correct this in Audacity.

Figure out the difference between the two stop times.

Select the “bad” track by clicking just right of the up arrow. Effect > Change Speed. That tool has any number of different ways to type in the correction. Once you hit a golden correction, it should always be the same no matter how long the show is, as long as nobody changes anything.

And since I’m betting nobody paid a lot of money for precision audio recorders, it’s possible his is right.


By the way, the technique you’re using, each contributer records their own voice, is highly recommended, certainly better than trying to record a Skype feed, for example.

The only down side, as you’re discovering, is the process can be a little like marching cats.