Kevin Whitman's Blog

Tag: review

ÜberConference

ÜberConferenceConference calls have been around for a long time, but they aren’t that great. You have pin codes to enter, the controls are hard to use, not sure who’s all on the call. They are often confusing and most of them I played with in the past I just gave up on due to having a hard time to work them.

Well, ÜberConference aims to make us love conference calls, and so far I like it. It has a web interface where you can create conferences and invite people. As a bonus feature you can record calls to MP3 and download them. Conferences calls can be private or public, when made public a pin code is given for people who’s not invited. I can import contacts from LinkedIn, Google(I use these) and a few others.

People who’s in contacts show up with their name and some other details about them. It also seems to show social networks people have added if they have an account also.

The service was invented by the same people who invented Grand Central, which Google acquired and turned it in to Google Voice. Currently the service is free, but I think in the future they will charge for add-ons or maybe the whole service with different plans(Max people in the call, max call recording time, etc) but this is just speculation.

https://twitter.com/Keverw/status/205017720893345792
https://twitter.com/Keverw/status/205020310381146112

I never wanted to host a conference call before, but ÜberConference wonderful UX made me want to try it so I tweeted it out and a few people called in :). The call quality was excellent.

I think this service is worth checking out. Currently you have to ask for an invite, but I got it the next day, but you may not get the same results. I think this could be a real nice alternative to using Skype to conference a bunch of numbers together. So far this and Skype are the best conferencing products I’ve used, but ÜberConference is more aimed at phones so this could make a good replacement for businesses who do phone conference calls.

Disclosure: The ÜberConference link up top is my affiliate link. Each new user that signs up via this link will give me credit towards future features.

I got an iPad!

I recently got an iPad 2 as an early graduation present from my wonderful grandparents.

My iPad 2!This is my first tablet computer. After using it for a few days. It’s amazing. I haven’t been this excited about an Apple product since I got my first Mac. Continue reading

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11.5 review

Hello I recently got Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11.5 by Nuance to help me become a better writer by using my voice to write. It costs $89.99 on Amazon elsewhere it’s $199.00. They also have a Home version for $44.99 on Amazon elsewhere its $99.99. I love shopping on Amazon because of all the savings. I wonder why Best Buy is even still in business when Amazon is around.

Dragon seems to work way better than the built-in recognition by Microsoft on Windows Vista and Seven. I can’t believe how accurate this is out-of-the-box with only a little bit of training. I guess that’s because it uses its own database. It takes a little getting used to and learning, for example you have to say period when you want to place a period in a document. Also to delete all the text in an input area you have to say select all and then say press backspace. So it’s not exactly like talking somebody else because you have to say your punctuation out loud to it but it’s pretty close. Continue reading

Blue Yeti Review

As some people know I have wanted to start a tech podcast. Its something I talked about. So I decided to stop talking about it and start working towards getting it started. I’m starting a tech podcast called iGeekable. One of the things I needed was a great quality microphone, so I will sound like a professional and not just another kid starting a podcast. I started by asking some of my friends and got recommendations for Microphones. I already knew about Blue and was going to get a Snowball, but the Yeti also stood out. I then went to YouTube and searched for “Blue Yeti audio test”. I stumbleupon a video by tldtoday which has tech reviews. The video compared the Blue Yeti, Snowball and an Audio Technica AT2020. I also found other videos comparing mics. The Yeti sounds like a true winner compared to other mics. I then said “I gotta have that Mic!”.

The Blue Yeti MSRP is $149.99. I then started looking online to see where I can get the best deal. I checked Best Buy’s website and found it as I normally check the website and go to the store to get it the same day, but also not sure if a local store would have it as some stuff they don’t even carry. I checked Amazon and seen that it was $98.99 and ordered it. That’s like 50 bucks off! I don’t normally buy online and I hate waiting, I used the super saver shipping. I put my order in on August 15 and got in on August 18. So by waiting and not buying it at Best Buy and getting it same day I saved 50 bucks plus I didn’t need it right away as Chris’s MacBook Pro is having over heating issues and is in the shop so we could not start right away anyways. So I think I will shop using Amazon over Best Buy for now when I can save money, I still might go to Best Buy to check out a gadget before I go home to buy it on Amazon.

  1. Stereo is for Vocals, Choir and instruments.
  2. Cardioid is for Podcasts, voiceovers, vocals and instruments. I think I will use Cardioid the most often.
  3. Omnidirectional is for Conference calls, field recordings and events/orchestras.
  4.  Lastly Bidirectional is for interviews, instruments and vocal duets.
Another thing the box had on it that stands out is how it lists the definitions of Yeti. I think it’s really cute the way they did it. 
  1. Legendary ape-like creature who roams the Himalayas.
  2. An incredibly versatile USB microphone found worldwide.
I like how its a professional and serious microphone, yet they can have so much fun and creative with it! So I then unboxed it. I plugged it in to my laptop and adjusted some of the audio levels in Windows and put it in the Cardioid mode. I plugged in the headphones I ordered also. I could hear my computer and my voice! It was really simple to set up. I then made some Skype calls to people to ask them what they think of the Yeti audio and one person told me with my old mic i sounded like a 12 year old and with my Yeti i sound 48. That put a smile on my face. Below is a before and after comparing my old mic and new mic. I originally recorded theses are a test for iGeekable, was testing the audio player on that site.

I can tell right away that the Blue Yeti sounds way clearer!

Another thing about the Yeti is that it’s really sensitive. If I turn up my volume to 100% and the Mic is not even at 100% I can hear the television upstairs, I can’t really make it out but I can hear it. On my desk each time i type in the keyboard you can hear like lite hitting sound on the desk it picks up. Not going to blame that on the Yeti. I think i need to put the mic on another surface other than my desk, get a stand or find a workaround. Not sure what to do about that television that’s on all the time since I live with other people and can’t really kick them out. I live downstairs and there is stairs to the upstairs, not really a door between them to cut off sound. I am an audio noob that wants to sound professional. I don’t have a studio like the record companies have and I don’t want to go crazy spending money. I want to do it on the budget, so I need to find a way to isolate the other sounds. Not really sure how, if you have any tips leave them in the comments?

I give this Microphone a 5 out of 5. You can check it out at Amazon here.

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