After more than ten months of work (and waiting for third-party components), I’m thrilled to announce the release of a major update to The Levelator®. Version 2.0.3 for Windows and OS X is now available for download. Some of the changes include:
- A number of improvements have been made to The Levelator’s® algorithms based on sample audio files submitted by users. Most notably is a reduction in certain unnatural volume adjustments.
- libsndfile has been updated to version 1.0.21 which has fixed the following:
- 24-bit files are now properly supported.
- Soundtrack Pro 2 .aiff files are now supported.
- Adobe Soundbooth files are now supported.
- Unicode filenames are now supported.
- Very short source files are now supported.
- You can now drag/drop and audio file onto the application icon in the OS X Dock.
- The Levelator® now verifies that it has sufficient disk space for temporary and output files before processing the source file.
- ctrl-o/cmd-o (Open File…) now works after alt-tab has been used to switch applications.
- The .ini (settings) file is now deleted during installation in order to properly refresh the ‘news’ timestamp. (Fixed in Windows version only.)
- The formatting of error reports has been improved.
- Log files are now unique on a per-user basis.
We have confirmed that The Levelator version 1.4.1 does run under OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
CHI Conversations is a new channel from The Conversations Network, the home if IT Conversations. “CHI” refers to Computer-Human Interfaces and this new channel initially features programs produced by BayCHI, the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of ACM’s SIGCHI. BayCHI has been recording the speakers at their monthly Silicon Valley meetings for many years, but those programs (many with extraordinary presentations by some of the great technologists of our times) have gone unheard by the general public until now.
Those recordings would have been lost forever if it weren’t for the efforts of BayCHI’s Steven Williams, backed by the support of BayCHI’s membership and Board of Directors. Steve has single-handedly pulled together all of the bits and pieces it takes to create a new channel on The Conversations Network. It has taken nearly a year of Steve’s efforts to get to this launch, and we’re indebted to him for his perseverance. Steve is now serving as Executive Producer of CHI Conversations.
Along with the members of TeamITC including new volunteers from BayCHI, Steve plans to publish their new monthly programs as well as work their way through the archives of past-year’s recordings at the rate of two or three programs each week.
Bernadette Clavier, Executive Producer of our Social Innovation Conversations channel, says we just passed the one-million audio download milestone over there. Congratulatons to Bernadette, Leah Silverman and the rest of our SIC producers, writers and engineers.
I’ve just created two new Google groups for SpokenWord.org users:
- The API Group is where we’ll be discussing the design of APIs for SpokenWord.org.
- The iTunes Connector Group is for those who want to be alpha testers of a new utility we’re developing to sync iPod/iPhone/iTunes data (ratings, etc.) with their SpokenWord.org collections.
I encourange you to join one or both.
What an amazing Board of Directors we have. In addition to Jon Udell, David Weinberger and Jake Shapiro, today we elected Brian Gruber of Fora.tv to the board then spent the rest of our time in informal session. Discussion highlights included:
- PodCorps.org is not being used. We may put it into cold storage until we can find someone or some organization to champion it.
- What’s the 3-5 year strategy? Should The Conversations Network merge with another compatible non-profit?
- Our traditional channels (eg, IT Conversations) are solid and stable.
- SpokenWord.org is the future growth of The Conversations Network.
- How can SpokenWord.org best serve the public? Academia? The press/media? Libraries?
- Should we exercise more of our own curatorial control and influence? Serendipity only goes so far.
- How are we better than any other aggregator? Open APIs are critical to creating value.
- What benefit do we offer our content provider/partners?
Yes, we asked more questions than we answered, but that’s what a good board meeting is all about.
We’ve only been running our annual survey for a few days, but we’ve already had 389 responses. Some early highlights:
- 47% use iTunes on OS X or Windows.
- 63% subscribe to one or more of our RSS feeds.
- 89% are male.
- 41% have a Master’s degree or higher. (This has been consistent year after year and still surprises me.)
- 55% are in the U.S.
- 38% didn’t realize The Conversations Network was a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.