NAB '09: broadcast quality audio - on an iPhone!

I'm at the National Association of Broadcaster's annual trade show in Las Vegas this week for 2 reasonsMedia companies are a driving force for new, lower-cost, storage architectures.I produce videos and love all the toys.

I'm at the National Association of Broadcaster's annual trade show in Las Vegas this week for 2 reasons

  1. Media companies are a driving force for new, lower-cost, storage architectures.
  2. I produce videos and love all the toys.

Alas, most of the toys are too costly or solve problems I don't have. But audio problems are something every video producer has - especially if you like to travel light.

Why video sounds bad Video is easy: point and record. Audio is hard: extraneous noise; poor acoustics; technical problems and more conspire to ruin audio.

And it isn't easy to fix bad audio. Movies use ADR - Automatic Dialogue Replacement - to replace dialogue recorded on set with audio recorded later in a studio.

If $100 million Hollywood productions can't record great audio on set what chance do the rest of have?

Audio recording & editing in the palm of your hand Vericorder's Poddio and their $20 Mini-Mic can help. The Mini Mic - which doesn't fit directly into the 1st gen iPhone audio jack but worked fine with a Belkin headset adapter - won't solve Hollywood's problems, but it helps me with location recording.

But the really cool thing is that you can edit broadcast quality (44KHz) audio on your iPhone - other touch screen phone support coming - in seconds. Here's a (silent - NAB is noisy!) 53 second video of Vericorder CEO Gary Symons making an audio rough cut. You can also use the iPhone's "pinch" gestures to zoom in or out on the waveforms for finer control. There's a 2nd Fine Edit screen to finish the rough cut.

The Storage Bits take Gary says that with an iPhone, Poddio and the Mini-Mic he can do a voice over in 1/5th the time it takes with professional equipment. After trying Poddio myself I believe it.

The larger story is that the personal multi-media revolution is still young. The storage and bandwidth implications of hundreds of millions of people making and storing audio and video are staggering.

As Moore's Law continues to make devices more powerful we'll see even greater functionality and ease of use. Cool!

Comments welcome, of course.