Windows in the clouds

October 27, 2008

Windows in the clouds

Microsoft have launched a preview of their new cloud computing service, Azure.

Windows® Azure is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Azure Services Platform. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage Web applications on the Internet through Microsoft® data centers.

On demand computing means that you don’t need to download applications to your computer, you can just use them from any computer.

Some of the key features of Azure include:

  • Build, modify, and distribute applications to the Web with minimal on-premises resources.
  • Perform services (large-volume storage, batch processing, intense or large-volume computations, etc.) off premises.
  • Create, test, debug, and distribute Web services quickly and inexpensively.
  • Reduce costs of building and extending on-premises resources.

Well does this mean that now Microsoft has gone into the clouds, that cloud computing is mainstream?

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Levelling with Levelator

October 27, 2008

If you are combining recordings or have multiple inputs into a recording it can be a real nightmare to get the levels right. Now you could spend a lot of time and money mixing in the different recordings, however a quick and easy method is to use Levelator.

Levelling with Levelator

It’s software that runs on Windows, OS X (universal binary), or Linux (Ubuntu) that adjusts the audio levels within your podcast or other audio file for variations from one speaker to the next, for example. It’s not a compressor, normalizer or limiter although it contains all three. It’s much more than those tools, and it’s much simpler to use. The UI is dirt-simple: Drag-and-drop any WAV or AIFF file onto The Leveler’s application window, and a few moments later you’ll find a new version which just sounds better.

Find out more.

I used Levelator with my recent podcasts as it was proving difficult to adjust the levels within Skype for each participant. As a result some were very loud, others quieter.

What Levelator was able to do was adjust for those differing audio levels and bring the loud ones down and boost the quiet ones up.

Quite clever really.

As well as for podcasting, it could be useful after recording a classroom discussion for example that you want to podcast or distribute later.