Giving GarageBand podcasting a second chance

by Chris Adamson

In a previous blog, I said I had dismissed GarageBand as a podcast editor because of its seeming inability to generate uncompressed masters. Readers suggested I give it another chance.


Scott Bourne
2006-04-27 10:00:50
While I agree that in a broadcast environment, not working from anything but the uncompressed master is certainly a best practice, I have trouble seeing what all the fuss is about when we're talking about podcasting. This stuff is going to be scrunched down into an iTunes compressed file or a good old MP3 played at relatively low fidelity over typically not so great ear buds. The small amount of sonic headroom you'd give up to compression wouldn't be noticable to anyone but an audio engineer. I use GarageBand every day for podcasts and I have Logic, ProTools and FCP. It's just easier to work in GarageBand. Anyway, thanks for the hack. For the odd time I am doing something that needs to live uncompressed, I will get inside the package and go to work.
Mike A
2006-04-27 10:05:41
I really wish it were easier to get hold of the uncompressed edit though.

One of my main annoyances with Garageband particularly when working on normal band music is that the only way to get your music out is to send it to iTunes. I only want a quick mixdown that I can e-mail to someone, so why do I have to:

1. Export to iTunes
2. Convert to AAC/MP2
3. Find actual song file
4. e-mail

I want to be able to:

1. Click "Export to File"
2. Choose the options I want and hit Go
3. e-mail the file

Geoff Hankerson
2006-04-27 10:50:07
To get an uncompressed 16-bit aiff from GarageBand 3, delete the podcast track in GarageBand. Then the export to iTunes will send a 16 bit aiff file.

The only drawback is you lose your chapterized podcast. Since I distrbute mine in mp3 anyways, it's not a big deal for me. Still it would be better it you could just do File -> export and choose aiif or wav.

Chris Adamson
2006-04-27 10:51:50
Scott: you're right - the practice today is to crunch down to lo-fi. Heck, what I've been putting out right now has been mono MP3 at 64kbps (and I could probably use an even lower bitrate). But history has taught us that when you don't keep pristine originals, you often come to regret it. Like Warner Bros. cartoons washing and reusing cels - saving a little bit of plastic in the 40's and losing a collectors market later on. Or the BBC wiping the master tapes of the early "Doctor Who"s and losing opportunities in the later home video market. Or Hallmark converting the entire Filmation library to PAL and then throwing out the film negatives, so NTSC versions of "Fat Albert" and "He Man" have to be made from PAL masters and thus run 4% too fast. Anyways, my point being that we don't know for sure that we won't want higher-quality versions someday in the future, so it should be a good practice for everyone to keep a highest-possible-quality version for archival purposes. After all, burnable archival media is extremely cheap.
2006-04-27 10:56:45

I've had a lot of luck using automator for these tasks. I have a task in my workflow that takes an aiff file, archives it, opens iTunes, creates an MP3, and then moves it from the iTunes music directory to a directory where the original project exists. It's hacky and there really should be more automator actions built into all of these apps.


Chris Adamson
2006-04-27 11:08:46
Scott- Not to single you out -- you're being entirely practical -- but I thought of an example of what I'm talking about. Ron Moore's "Battlestar Galactica" podcast is apparently used as the commentary track for the DVD box sets, and they'd certainly want to master those from a better-than-podcast-quality source if possible.
Brad B.
2006-04-27 13:23:25
You learn somthing new every day! I've been using GB since it was first introduced and I JUST NOW found out that splits are non-destructive. I've never thought to drag the beginning (or end) of a split segment back out to see everything is still there. That's pretty handy info. Thanks.
Chris Adamson
2006-04-27 13:50:42
Brad: Yeah, isn't that awesome? Then again, it's such a QuickTime way of doing things: deep down, everything is a pointer, so the split isn't a run of audio bytes, it's just pointers into an audio source. Want to change the split, just move the pointers.
Keven Fedirko
2006-11-22 04:33:19
Tried the hack, and noticed that it's an AIFC file - what's the "C" for? iTunes shows it's only 705kbps instead of the typical 1411 of a CD rip.


2008-06-13 15:51:38
how do u get garage band so i can make my ringtones