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About the Audio and/or Video Recording of Presentations

List of Volunteer Recording Coordinators:

Legality and Obtaining Permission

The conference organizers are, in general, in favor of recording the sessions but we need each presenter to either sign a release or verbally agree on tape at the start of his session. Personally I think a paper release is better as it spells out the usage, and that such a paper should be included in the paperwork given to the presenters at the registration desk.

However, someone needs to coordinate with whomever has the list of presenters and check off names as forms are received, and nag those who haven't returned one yet. And indeed someone needs to be formal holder of those pieces of paper.

Technically speaking, I hope and believe that we can record *all* of the sessions and only remove those for whom we lack permission during the post-processing phase. It just makes life easier than trying to turn on/off recording equipment at the right time.

Distribution of Material

After post-processing, I presume the material would be freely available to the participants and to the public. Another possibility is to charge a small fee for the benefit of PSF or to keep it simple, just ask donations to the PSF if you enjoy the recordings.

No reimbursement of expenses should be expected. Everyone is donating their time and equipment.

Contact Information for GWU Staff

(someone has already been in touch with GWU. Can they post their info?)

The Manager of Audio-Visual Services for the Cafritz Conference Center is Anthony J. Arrington <>.

Duration of Recordings

There are a total of 26 hours of presentations, 10 hours the first two days and six hours on the last day. I don't think it worth the effort to start/stop the recording around lunchtime to save time.

There are three tracks, plus the open track, for a maximum of 104 potential hours of material.


Still undecided is who will step forward and help with the post-processing. I think it may be best to distribute the raw material to a few volunteers and competitively see who can produce the best work. Failing that, I'll be post-processing my own recordings.

The first step of post-processing will be to chop up the recording into presentations and tag them with information about the presentation.

The second step will be to adjust the signal for quality and clarity.

Approaches Taken

Some want to record just the audio and some want to record video as well. Some want to record by hooking into the room audio system "the board" and some detached. Now there's nothing wrong with some redundancy in case of mishap but obviously we can't have multiple people hooking into the audio system and trying to coordinate with the GWU staff.

I think there is no issue with having multiple free-standing recorders in the rooms and then perhaps sharing material afterward to obtain the best quality signal.

My Approach (Jeff Rush)

I know nothing about the issues of video recording and am just planning on capturing audio. I also am unsure of the capabilities of the room audio system, and besides I thought it a good idea to try to capture audio from the audience when the questions start flying. Perhaps foolish and noisy.

I don't particularly want to babysit a pointable microphone or start/stop recording for each presentation. I'd rather be off enjoying the conference. So my approach is to drop a "black box recorder" in the presentation rooms, leave them running all day and pick them up each night for storage and perhaps offloading if sufficient space/bandwidth can be found. I would place each box off to one side of the podium, with a stereo pair of omnidirectional mics clipped to the wall/curtain in some manner. From such a position I hope to capture both the speaker and audience.

Each box is a Kuro Box ( running Linux, with a 60 GB or larger harddisk. Plugged into it is an iMic USB audio I/O device from Griffin Technology. For microphones I chose the SP-BMC-3 omnidirectional. I have two such boxes; not enough to cover three tracks and the open talk area.

Still open is the question of capture sample rate, resolution and storage format (i.e. whether to compress and risk quality loss, or not). For those interested in the details, I'm using the PyALSA extension, and keeping it _very_ simple. The software will switch to a new storage file every few hours, so that we don't have to edit one huge file and provide some safety in case of file corruption/deletion.

(other approaches???)

PyCon 2005 - Anticipated Equipment / Owner

LD Landis <>

Nick Bastin <>

Mitch Chapman <>

Peter Kropf <pkropf at>

Jeff Rush <>

PyCon 2005 - Allocation of Responsibilities

PyCon 2005 - Availability of Recordings

To see what recordings are available, you can go to

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