Video Podcasting Using Skype – B2B Example

Another great example of video podcasting using Skype from guest author Tom Parish. Tom presents a B2B example using the popular chatting, video and telephony software Skype which is available for Macs, Windows, Linux and smart phones.

Useful links:  Skype •  ECAMM

I have hosted a weekly podcast show at BMC Software for five years now and there are more than 200 episodes. This type of video podcasting is a highly informative conversation around IT thought leadership topics. Length is roughly 10-15 minutes. I get questions about how I produce these, so here is a short summary of what I do and how I craft them for the video aspects of the production. I’ll post another article on the particular style of show notes that we use and how that impacts visibility in the search engines.

Though the majority of the interviews are audio, listeners have expressed a growing interest (no surprise) for these to be in both video and audio. In the B2B world, experts in IT technology reside all over the globe, and the only reasonable way to capture their interviews is to use Skype. I’ve completed a lot of testing on how to capture thought leadership-style interviews from remotely located experts. These days you can’t send a video crew out, even if you work in an enterprise.

This last year I’ve experimented extensively with Skype and iChat video webcam recording for the remote caller. I typically use a local camera in the studio for my side of the video. It’s extra work but worth the trouble. I’ve also asked some people who were up for it to use their video camera and send me the files via DVD later (or FTP).

So as background, I use a Sony EX1 camera in the studio and convert both the camera’s video and the Skype video to Apple ProRes 422 so I can easily edit my video and the interviewee’s, despite the original files’ being from different video hardware. I’ll use the 720P setting at 30 fps. The conversion to Apple ProRes is an extra step, but it’s just the best way to do this for maximum quality and to simplify the editing process when you have video that is encoded from such entirely different sources.

As you can imagine I have no control over the mic that the interviewee is using. With Skype and iChat, the built-in laptop mic or headset is what you get and it turns out the quality is surprising good – better than a phone line. I just have to watch the levels and be careful how the headset mic is placed so there is not too much ’splat’ noise coming from the interviewee’s microphone circuit being overloaded. On my end, I’ll either use a Sennheiser wireless mic directly into the Sony EX1 (preferred approach) or the Sennheiser shotgun mic into the Sony EX1. I’ll always record an audio track of my side with Skype as a kind of sync track and backup if something goes wrong.

On a couple of a video podcasts I’ve used a USB headset for the audio on my side and it’s been ok – but not nearly as clean and clear as the higher-quality Sennheiser mics.

To see all the videos produced with the approaches mentioned here, visit TomParish.com/media

The topic of this particular podcast is “Enterprise Mobility Trends and Applications with Dan Turchin” and we used Skype. I only had video being recorded for his side – ‘only’ to maximize quality. To record Skype calls, I use a software package from http://ecamm.com/ which has worked flawlessly for dozens of calls. Recommended.

This article is cross-posted with permission from Tom Parish.  The original article of “B2B Example of Video Podcasting using Skype” is located at TomParish.com.

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