Team 1040 Podcasts: Vancouver Canucks Hockey Games

Rebecca and I missed the game last night between the Canucks and Oilers, and for good reason. Thanks to J.J from the Canucks Hockey Blog, I was able to get him to txt me the final score. 2-1 Edmonton for the final. Not the prettiest of games, and I’m sure we’ll discuss this on the episode of The Crazy Canucks that we plan to record tonight.

I did subscribe to the Team 1040 AM Vancouver Canucks Podcast that I stumbled upon a few weeks ago. At first, I thought it was just the talk shows that they do about the Canucks, which was completely true. They took “Canucks This Week” and sent it out via podcast, commercials and all. Not a horrible listen as you get a little caught up with highlights from Tom and Shorty.

To my surprise, after the first game of the regular season, all three periods of the game against Detroit showed up in my iTunes. These are exactly what you hear on the radio, but this isn’t AM radio quality. The sound is excellent. Dare I say it, but the commercials even sound better when it’s not coming across at 1040 kHz. Could have swore that I just heard some plastic crinkling in the background. Maybe it’s the sound of Larschied’s beer cups?

The downside is the size of the mp3’s. I’m listening to last night’s, final two periods right now. The 2nd came down at 128kbps, almost 58 minutes long, and 52.5MB in size. The end of the period just saw the audio go dead, so there was about 18 minutes of “dead air” as they transitioned into intermission. The 3rd period was even bigger, downloading a 256kbps mp3 at just over an hour in length and 113 MB in size. (Like the 2nd, the end of the 3rd period podcast had almost 26 minutes of “dead air” tacked on at the end.)

That’s a lot of space being eaten up on the hard drive of my laptop or my iPod, not to mention the time it takes to download. Perhaps this is something that can be changed in the future. I’m thinking that a standard of 96kbps would be an excellent sample rate. That would bring the size down considerable. (Hmm, maybe I should send Team 1040 an email with a link back to this post.)

Team 1040 AMListening to this as I write this post, there’s a commercial running for their podcasts. I should also mention that they do the same for the BC Lions, but I haven’t checked that out.

This would be ideal for someone who is a transplanted Canucks fan who wants some sort of play-by-play action to feed their need. Sure, it’s time shifted and you’ll have to do everything you can to avoid hearing the outcome of the game before you get around to listening to this, but there are some great advantages. Fast forward through commercials (standard TV break is two minutes) and skip the intermissions. There are kinks, but I’m sure they’ll get those worked through.

If you’re like me, you just want some recap on the action while going about your day. Sure, we got the score at the end of the game last night, but I would have never known how close the Canucks came to tying it up at the end of the 3rd with a pulled goalie. TV highlights can’t fill the void that Shorty gives you when the game is on the line in those last minutes before the final horn. Not too bad.

The Levelator is an interesting beta program

I have to stress that point. This program is in beta, so do not count on stability to be one hundred percent. If you are an audio nut, then you’ll want to consider adding Levelator to you audio editing tools.

Do you believe in magic? You will after using The Levelator to enhance your podcast. And you’ll be amazed that it’s free (for non-commercial use).

So what is The Levelator? It’s software that runs on Windows or OS X (universal binary) that adjusts the audio levels within your podcast or other audio file for variations from one speaker to the next, for example. It’s not a compressor, normalizer or limiter although it contains all three. It’s much more than those tools, and it’s much simpler to use. The UI is dirt-simple: Drag-and-drop any WAV or AIFF file onto The Leveler’s application window, and a few moments later you’ll find a new version which just sounds better.

Have you ever recorded an interview in which you and your guest ended up at different volumes? How about a panel discussion where some people were close to microphones and others were not? These are the problems the post-production engineers of Team ITC solve every day, and it used to sometimes take them hours of painstaking work with expensive and complex tools like SoundTrack Pro, Audacity, Sound Forge or Audition to solve them. Now it takes mere seconds. Seriously. The Levelator is unlike any other audio tool you’ve ever seen, heard or used. It’s magic. And it’s free. [gigavox]

I was half inclined to use this on the podcast that I released today, but time was a bit more of a factor. However, I did a slight trial run this afternoon and met some not so good results. I’m not saying this is a horrible program, but maybe you shouldn’t do what I did.

When it installs, try going with the defaults. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I didn’t want desktop shortcuts and all that junk. When it installed, I have no idea where it went, but some careful searching found it. On top of that, when I dragged the AIFF of the episode of RadioZoom I released today[rz#114] into the program, it hung. I tried to cancel it and quit out, but no going. That’s when it beach-balled and showed progress like it was doing something.

When I force quit out, and you can start to see the stupid things starting to happen, the program went away. Something somewhere was still doing something because my hard drive space was being eaten away. I even quit down to where no other programs were running and relaunched the Finder. Eventually, whatever it was, stopped and all my eaten space came back.

So, I stress that this is a beta version of the program, but a great concept for a utility. I haven’t had the opportunity to really see if it works, but I thought I’d pass on the word about this.

Announcing a new podcast: The Crazy Canucks

A few months ago, Rebecca[miss604] and I brainstormed an idea for a podcast that seemed too good to pass up. With the friends that we have been making in the world of blogging and podcasting, The Crazy Canucks was born.

We’ve brought together Vancouver Canucks Op Ed, the Canucks Hockey Blog, the Canucks Outsider, Miss604, and my adventures with RadioZoom into a podcast that is probably unlike anything you’ve heard before, and nothing like anything I’ve ever been apart of. And you don’t need an iPod to listen!

The Crazy Canucks

[krey-zee, kuh-nuhks]

Local Canuck Bloggers to Host a Weekly Roundtable Podcast this 06/07 NHL Season

Current album art: The Crazy Canucks podcastVANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (October 2, 2006) – Coming this October is a podcast the likes of which Vancouver has never seen. It will be a collaboration of hockey bloggers and the brainchild of a podcaster who all have one thing in common: The Vancouver Canucks.

The Crazy Canucks will be a weekly podcast about the team, the players, the organization and the league. Our goal is to have a fan’s point of view, since we’re not cable TV and we’re not local sports radio. Agree or disagree, leave us a written or audio comment and tell us how you really feel.

Listen and subscribe to the podcast, which will be available weekly on

For more information contact: feedback [at]

Look for the premiere episode to debut this week as the Canucks kick off the regular season on Thursday. Subscribe or listen directly on the website. It doesn’t matter how you hear it as much as it matters that you come be apart of the podcast. Afterall, we’re fans just like you.

Doing my part in documenting local history

Jason Vanderhill[flickr] is a guy I met at the Vandigicam event that Rebecca and I attened a few weeks ago to do a podcast[rz#110] during. A short time ago, Jason contacted me to aid him in a project he is working on with members of the Vancouver Historical Society. I wasn’t completely sure I was volunteering for, but the idea of lending my knowledge of recording in the field sounded like fun.

Turns out, the oldest film of Vancouver is the same piece of footage that I heard about from Dave Olson when we hung out during the Celebration of Light.

Last week, I was helped Jason capture some audio that is to go into a project about this film that was discovered in the basement of a house down in Australia. Nine minutes of a movie where William Harbeck[] put a camera at the front of a cable car as it goes through Vancouver in 1907. Very cool stuff, and it made me overly happy to have ventured over the Granville Bridge by foot on such a gorgeous day.

The film has been shown publicly, but I have yet to see it. I’m not sure what the whole plan is for the final project, but this is something I am very lucky to have a hand in. I’ll be sure to update here when I know more. If you can get a chance to see this piece of history, I’m betting that the images of Vancouver from one hundred years ago is a trip.

Compression is not in the NPR dictionary

Dear National Public Radio,

I really enjoy listening to your podcasts. Being someone who used to work in the network, I understand the content that you guys offer with your podcasts. The new is incredibly informative and a great addition to my playlists when I go running. The five minute updates clue me into news happening around the world that I’ll usually look into future among my many RSS feeds.

I also like the other content that you guys offer. The Whad’Ya Know stuff is great. I’ve been listening to Mr. Feldman for as long as I can remember. Although it’s just a small portion of the weekly program, his satire is quite humourus.

What I was to know is… why do I always have to crank up the volume when I listen to your podcasts? It’s annoying. I get that there is a certain “style” to the way NPR does things. I have also run into a number of arguments in the broadcast engineering world to know about the dislike for compression among public radio enthusiasts. To each their own, but this is podcasting we’re talking about.

When I’m in the shower, CNN podcasts are perfect. Once your news update hits, I get nothing but some mumbling. And if I decide to switch my playlist up when I go running, my ear drums get blasted when music follows said news update because I have to turn up your stuff just to understand the content. Listening to Feldman on the podcast produces some of the same mumbling followed by laughter from the audience. I completely miss what was funny and shouldn’t have to rewind to catch it.

And for the love of god, shorten up the intro and outros. That beginning music is one thing, but you can be way more brief in telling me thanks for downloading your five minute news summary. Perhaps it’s the ads that drive me even more nuts. The non-commercial rule of thumb doesn’t apply so much to podcasts, and I doubt the FCC is going to or can regulate that.

Just give me the news, and let me be able to hear it without having to crank the volume all the way up.