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Fab, Linux Outlaws Podcaster

Fabian A. Scherschel, a university student from Bonn, Germany, is well-known in the Linux community in his role running the Linux Outlaws podcast with Dan Lynch. Fab reveals in this interview that he uses Fedora and the audio tools available in it for the podcast's recording and post-production.

Fabian Scherschel

Where are you from?

I was born in Duisburg, Germany and currently live in Bonn (which is about 100km further south).

What is your profession?

I am currently enrolled in university, studying Modern History, Politics and English Literature. I also work part-time in tech support.

What's your IRC nick?


When did you first learn about Fedora?

After stumbling into FUDCon from LinuxTag in 2009. I first tried Fedora 11 then and went full-time when Fedora 12 came out.

Many folks know you as a podcaster from the Linux Outlaws podcast. Do you use Fedora to produce any podcasts?

Yes. All the recording and editing on my end is done on Fedora, that includes the live streaming of the episodes. Our web servers all run CentOS now.

What applications in Fedora do you use to help produce your podcast? What does each app do?

I use Audacity for the heavy lifting in post-production and do all the editing in it. Audacity is mainly a wave file editor. From time-to-time I also do some recording or editing in Ardour which is a more full-featured digital audio workstation. We also recorded and mixed the intro music for the podcast using these tools. Since I'm also responsible for all the design and website work around the show, I use Inkscape and The GIMP a lot for creating graphics. I usually draw original designs up in Inkscape which is a vector graphics program and do the processing or general enhancement work in The GIMP since that is a raster-based tool. On top of that, I do all my writing and coding in GEdit which is the best text editor known to mankind and for surfing the web, which I do a lot especially to research topics for the show and to do the show notes, I use Chromium.

Where do you find interesting audio samples for your podcasts?

For sound effects, the best place to go is Project Freesound and we find nearly all the Creative Commons music we use on the show on either Jamendo or Soundclick.

Do you have any tips for enthusiastic future podcasters in using Fedora to create awesome podcasts?

All the tools you need are right there at your fingertips and they are all free as in freedom. My most important tip would be get a decent condenser microphone and a small mixer for about $150 together and feed that into your computer via a USB interface. That way you avoid a lot of problems with cheap sound cards (especially in laptops) and can get professional level audio quality without messing around with bad sounding headsets and such things. Beyond that you just need the commitment to keep pumping out shows on a regular basis. Oh yeah, and if you run into any problems with audio drivers or the like, don't be afraid to file bugs and ask on the mailing list. People in Fedora are incredibly nice and helpful if you can just muster the courage and ask them...

If I have a friend who doesn't use Fedora, can they still listen to your podcasts?

We distribute all of our shows in both Ogg Vorbis and MP3 formats. We prefer people use Ogg since it is the free alternative but should anybody find themselves in a place where that isn't supported they can use the MP3 feed instead. MP3 is pretty universal and should work on nearly any device that can play audio digitally.

Can you tell us about a recent podcast you made using Fedora? Where can we listen to it?

All the Linux Outlaws episodes can be found on linuxoutlaws.com, all powered by Fedora and CentOS. I often talk about Fedora topics on the show, we did a whole special episode on the release of Fedora 13 for example (Check it out here!)

Can you tell us about a hidden treasure in Fedora you'd like to share?

As a podcaster and somebody who listens to a few hours of podcasts every day, I think one of the coolest programs in Fedora is gPodder which is a very full-featured podcast aggregator that you can install from the main repositories. I also recently became very fond of drawing things in MyPaint which is an excellent artistic tool, especially if you have a pen-based drawing tablet.

Thanks, Fab!

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