The Wisdom of the Collective GeekDad **Updated**

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AudioAudio

Ok.  I need help.
I’m calling on the collective wisdom of the readers of this blog.

I need to take the audio CD of my church’s weekly sermon, add a quick musical intro, tweak the bitrate to get it to a manageable size (in MB), and save as an MP3 so it can go on the church website.  Simple enough?  Tying it back to being a GeekDad, I want to be also be able to help my kids add a bit of audio to school projects (now that the school-year is here for my kids) when appropriate – you know…voice-overs and sound-effects for video projects and things like that….

I’ve tried
Audacity – see the graphic (a GREAT and flexible program), but I’m getting distortion a few minutes into the audio file that I can’t seem to get rid of….I’ve even tried different CDs with the same result – the distortion isn’t there on the CD or when I listen in Audacity, only when I save the file as an MP3.  Doing a bit of research it seems to be a known issue in Audacity.

** Update ** — I’ve had a couple people ask what some of the specifics on my Audacity setup are.  For the audiophiles, here you go:

  • Audacity 1.2.6 w/ LAME encoder 3.97
  • Project rate is set to 44100
  • A WAV file of the recording sounds fine
  • I’m exporting to MP3 with a sample rate of 22050 Hz (to help with the size)

So, I’m willing to go the commercial software route – I’m just clueless as I’m very, very new to this.  I run a Windows system and am looking to spend less than $100 (if possible).  The requirements:

  • It needs to run on XP (hat tip to Mac fans – yes, this is very easy on a Mac –
    I don’t have the cash for a Mac….it is after-all back-to-school time, so after new clothes, backpacks, school supplies, school fees, etc….I hope there’s enough money for gas in my Mini Cooper to get me to work….but I digress),

  • it needs to let me set the bitrate and other typical settings,

  • it needs to import the common audio file types,

  • it needs to export to MP3 format.

Please leave a comment if you know of a software package that might work for doing what I’m trying to do and you’ve had experience with it.  I’ll follow-up in a few weeks with the results.  I’m also hoping to get this into a true podcast format for our church – which could come in useful if Chris and folks at Wired give us the go-ahead for a Geekdad podcast….stay tuned?

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