Losing Both My Mind and Data

Issues” by Giuseppe Milo on Flickr.
I’ve been doing more interviews for Comatose Podcast.

In the past we would come up with questions and send them off to the person who we wanted to interview. The interviewee would then record their answers on their own time then send us the audio.

This works great for us because our team is spread out around the world. It eliminates having to schedule for someone who wants have an interview that ends up being in the middle of the night for one of us.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are either uncomfortable or unwilling to record on their own.

So I decided to start recording interviews live. It’s easy to later edit the recording into our style, but actually recording the interview is a bit more difficult.

When it comes to recording over the internet, there are generally two options:

  • Record everything on one end, but suffer a loss in quality.
  • Record everything separately and then have the interviewee send us their audio.

The second option is by far the better option as far as audio quality goes, but it adds a few layers of complexity.

Fortunately, there are websites that do all the work for you!

Zencastr is the app I decided to use (because it’s free), and it eliminates all the complexities of the second option while providing the exact same results. Instead of having to explain anything, all you do is send a link to the person you want to interview.

I’m usually reluctant to rely on a third party solution for our recording needs, but I had used Zencastr to record in the past without any issues and thought it was easily the best solution.

So when it came time to interview Maverick Ice, I sent him the Zencastr link and we were connected. The recording and the interview started without any issues.

Maverick was telling me stories and answering my questions. We were having a great conversation as I worked my way down the list of discussion topics. Everything worked perfectly!

Until it crashed.
And all the audio was lost.
And Maverick didn’t have any more time for the interview.

Whenever something fails due to a technical issue it’s annoying. The feeling of not quite understanding why something doesn’t work can make you feel helpless. Fortunately, Maverick was understanding and we rescheduled for the weekend.

I wanted to be sure to have a backup on my end the next time we recorded, because losing audio is the worst thing that can happen to a podcast.

Fast forward to the weekend and we’re having the same conversations we had a few days prior.

Until it crashed.
And all the audio was lost.
And my local backup crashed.
And my internet connection died.

I was furious.

The worst kind of anger is when there is no one to blame. All that emotion can easily spill over and cause you to say mean things, but I didn’t have time to be mean.

I needed to get that audio for the shows we had planned!

In a series of frantic Twitter DMs I asked Maverick if he’d be okay to record the answers to my questions on his own then send the audio to me. Luckily he agreed and knew how to do it!

After all that work to try out a new way to do an interview, I had to fall back on our old way of doing thing — our old way of recording these interviews is designed to get rid of any complexities.

We finally got Maverick’s audio, but only after he answered my questions for the third time that week.
Written by John Bauer of Comatose.

Listen to Special Edition: Maverick Ice — All Lies Tell Men:

Comatose is a weekly series of amusing anecdotes, insightful commentary, and pithy stories. Every week three contributors are featured in short segments. The segments, though often unrelated, are tied together using music and narration to set the scene. Relax and enjoy the ride while listening to topics as varied as love, birthdays, and reciprocity.

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