Tag Archives: skype

The Do’s & Don’ts of Optimizing Your Audio

Ensuring that your show has optimal sound quality is very important not only for your show’s success but for the enjoyment of your listeners.  We’ve put together a list of Do’s and Don’ts for you to make sure you have the best sound possible when you’re broadcasting:

Do

  1. The best way to dial in to your show is using a landline.
  2. When connecting via landline, use a high-quality phone and to speak clearly and directly into the handset.
  3. For premium hosts, the best way to dial is using our Direct Connect feature in the studio.
  4. When dialing in via Direct Connect or Skype, use a high-quality headset plugged directly into your computer. Using a headset also frees up your hands to manage the chatroom and switchboard.
  5. Use a hardwired Internet rather than a wireless (WiFi) connection
  6. Close out of all applications except for Skype and the BlogTalkRadio switchboard. For additional tips on how to host your show with Skype, view our Skype screencast.
  7. Schedule and host a test episode to check equipment and audio files for optimal sound output.

Don’t

  1. Don’t use a speaker phone – this can cause annoying echoes and feedback.
  2. Don’t use a cell phone – this can effect quality and lead to dropped calls.
  3. Conference multiple people in with Skype (on the host line) – this can cause degradation in sound output.

Bonus tip: If you are looking to further optimize your audio quality when dialing in using a phone, consider investing in a JK Audio Box. This is what the BlogTalkRadio staff uses to conduct broadcasts.

We hope these tips help you achieve the best audio quality possible! For more tips and tricks, attend BlogTalkRadio University, our free educational class series for hosts.

Free Skype Calls Make it Easy to Dial-In to Your Favorite Shows

BlogTalkRadio has released a new free feature to make it even easier for listeners to call in and participate in live shows. “Click to Talk” with Skype enables listeners to join the show simply by using a Skype-to-Skype call, which also means the call is toll-free.

Here is a step-by-step guide for using the “Click-to-Talk” feature:

1. Make sure you are logged in to your Skype account. If you don’t have one you can register here.

2. Log in to your BlogTalkRadio account and go to the Episode page of the show you want to participate in.

3. Click on the “Click to Talk” Logo shown below. (If you do not see this logo, try hitting control+f5)

Click to Talk with Skype

Click to Talk with Skype

4. When you see Pop-Up window, Click “Click to Talk” Logo again to automatically launch Skype call.

5. Click “Call” in Skype application to complete call to show.

That’s it!

We recommend that listeners use a headset when dialing to avoid echo and to ensure audio quality when participating in the show. If you should have any questions about the above feature be sure to contact us at service(at)blogtalkradio.com.

‘AskTheHost’ Lets BTR Audiences Say Good-bye to Long-Distance Charges

“This could lead to some very compelling discussion – imagine a talk show on international politics with input from around the world.”

That’s the thumbs-up verdict on BlogTalkRadio’s “AskTheHost” feature, from sway-holding weblog TechCrunch.

Launched today, AskTheHost makes it possible for BTR listeners to participate in any one of the network’s 450-plus live daily shows without wracking up long-distance calling charges – or even having a traditional landline or wireless phone.

Rather, the “one-click” Flash-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service lets them listen and call into shows directly from their Web browser. They only need to plug a microphone into their computer, log onto BTR and “dial in” via the AskTheHost widget.

BlogTalkRadio expects AskTheHost to spur a dramatic increase in its listenership and audience participation, both in the United States and abroad.

“Unlike other VoIP applications like Skype, no software downloads are needed to use AskTheHost,” says Alan Levy, CEO and co-founder of BlogTalkRadio. “Users can call into shows from anywhere in the world, from any computer that has an Internet connection.”

Blogtalkradio and Skypecast

Let me start by saying that this headline is a bit misleading. No , we are not combining forces or working together in any way. Lately, I have heard a fair amount about the Skypecast service, so I thought it would be a good idea to compare our services.

Let’s be honest, Skype is a multibillion dollar company that has more than 50 million users and unlimited capital. Blogtalkradio, on the other hand has been around for three weeks and without divulging the amount of invested capital, well let’s just say, it’s a lot less than $ 1 billion.

Around 6 months ago, while we were working on our platform, I took a look at Skype’s Skypecast service. My initial feedback on the service was positive. The GUI’s looked great, the colors and flow of the site was impressive, but a few things bothered me.

First, when I logged in, I would see around 4 or 5 shows “on-air”, however, very few of these shows had any particpant’s. I found that many, if not most hosts set up shows and simply never showed up. And when a host did show up, in my view the content was less than impressive.

Secondly, without live streaming and archiving of shows, the usability of the service is limited. I figured that even if the content was decent, most people would like to listen to shows when they get around to it. As one our hosts mentioned last night, we are living in an “on demand” society. Everybody wants everything when they want it.

Also, it troubled me that you have to be a Skype user to not only be a host but be a listener. I mean, what if someone with an interesting point of view wanted to host a show and didn’t have skype or any type of softphone for that matter? What if they wanted to host their show using a pots (plain old telephone service) line or mobile phone? Also, how many potential listeners would feel the need to download Skype.

Well, if you look at each of these points I have raised you will see that Blogtalkradio answers all of these questions and more.

At Blogtalkradio, our overriding focus is on driving content and creating an environment where the BTR hosts have something interesting to say and the platform to say it. While today, we are getting our share of less than stellar content, we will continue to work real hard on insuring that we attract the best content to BTR. Everyone can listen to BTR, but not eveyone can be hosts. Not because we turn people away from using our platform, it’s just that if you don’t have anything interesting to say, no one will listen. Pure and simple.

Secondly, from the outset, we wanted our shows to be available to be listenend to by an unlimited number of listeners. Although, we allow 5 simultaneous calls to be on-air at any given time, our service can in fact accommodate an unlimited number of listeners. To the Skypecast users that are approaching 100 listeners per show, we welcome you with open arms, because when you hit the big 100, the Skype service has hit its limit.

As you know from some of my prior posts, my background is in Telecom. As such, as we devised Blogtalkradio, we felt that it was crucial that both hosts and callers could use any phone to use the service. That’s right, hosts and callers can call into BTR using a land line, a mobile phone, a VOIP phone like Vonage or a softphone like Skype, yes Skype. There are no downloads required to use BTR and therefore it’s very accessible and easy to use.

Finally, unlike Skype, all of our shows are archived and can be listenend to at a later date. If there is an easier outsourced podcasting application out there, well I haven’t found it. And if you can find one, than please send me the link.

On an unrelated point, I will be on vacation the next week or so and therefore, to insure that my marriage stays intact, I will resume my blogging and blogshow after Labor day weekend.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and as always, see you “on-air”

Alan