In our last installment, podcaster Graham Scharf shared his secret for crystal clear messages using the Mighty Mic accessory with his iPod Touch or iPhone.
He explained the why anyone who wants to start podcasting should consider getting an external mic for the Apple iPhone or iPod Touch.
If you read Part I of the interview carefully, you also found the secret for how to make an iPod Touch into a full-fledged cell phone whenever you’re in a WiFi zone!
Today, Graham shares some of the tangible considerations you should go through when going to buy an external mic like the MightyMic.
What should you know before you buy an external mic like the MightyMic?
- Long podcasts are large files. If you record long podcasts (or anything else) at the highest quality, you’re going to have a huge file. That’s true with any mic, but it is good to know before you start if you have ambitions of long, high quality recordings.
- Volume input is a little low. This seems to be a universal complaint (from what I’ve seen) across audio recording apps and mics for the Touch/iPhone. I’ll tell you why it doesn’t bother me in the “how to use it” section below.
- Sound quality diminishes with distance. Again, this isn’t a unique challenge with the MityMic, but is something to consider if you want to record audio at a greater distance than across a table.
- MityMic does not have a headphone jack. If you want to listen to your recording before transferring to your computer, you’ll need to unplug the mic and plug in your headphones.
- It is a mono mic. You can’t record in stereo on the Touch or iPhone (regardless of the mic).
- Skype app has a strange bug. Although the mic works with the Skype app, for some reason you (or at least I) can’t turn on the speaker until the line is connected. In other words, you don’t hear the phone ring, but once the ‘call goes through’ you can listen on speaker, and speak into the microphone. If you prefer, you can adjust the volume setting to hold it up to your ear like a phone, or set it down on the table while you talk. (My guess is that this bug will be fixed in subsequent releases of the Skype app.)
If you are aware of some of the strength *and* limitations of any technology you are going to try out beforehand it usually helps to get the most out of the experience using it. For most, the notes Graham shares above are not deal breakers for anyone attempting to start their podcasting career.
If you’re interested in what the MightyMic literally looks like, here’s a quick unboxing video for you to see it for yourself:
In the meantime, what other pros or cons do you know about MightyMic or external microphones in general? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with other future podcast rockstars. . .
Graham Scharf is a father of two, and co-founder of Tumblon.com. He blogs on parenting, education and social change at Essential Questions and produces a podcast series for parents of young children. You can follow him on Twitter @tumblondad.