Making a better audio shortcode for WordPress

The Logo for WordPress.

If you use WordPress, you can get a fairly basic embedded audio player by using the audio shortcode: [audio mp3="/path/to/file.mp3"] I didn't particularly like how it was styled so - because WordPress is so hackable - I changed it! Now my embedded audio looks like this: It gets a nice border, a title, displays any […]

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Why don't video calls have stereo audio?

Headphone box.

This is probably me being a bit dense. I'm on a video call with two other people. Alice is on the left of my screen, Bob is on the right. Why isn't the audio in stereo? (Zoom lets you send stereo audio - but only of you have a stereo microphone. Whereas I'm talking abound […]

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Review: Aftershokz Titanium Bone Conducting Headphones

Set of black headphones.

Welcome to the world of endless conference calls! My last pair of headphones broke after a few months of constant use, so I decided to treat myself to a new, sturdier pair. These Aftershokz are SEVENTY QUID! Which is about £40 more than I usual spend on a pair of cans. But these use magic […]

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Podcasts on Floppy Disk

Podcast on a floppy disk.

An old 3.5 inch floppy disk holds 1.44 MB of data. According to my calculations, that's 1,424 KB blocks. For a total of 1,458,176 Bytes. Once formatted as FAT, you end up with 1,457,664 Bytes of storage. But how much audio can a floppy hold? (Here I mean wave based audio of human speech. It's […]

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Inside a £30 record player

A circuit board.

I accidentally bought a load of vinyl records. So I decided to buy the cheapest, shittiest, turntable possible. This is the E1372. Made by Jia Yin King Technologies. This is sold under a variety of names and costs about £30 including postage from China. It's a plastic shell, motor, and ADC (Analogue to Digital Converter), […]

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Review: OpenEar Trio Bluetooth headphones

Flat headphones sat outside my ears.

This is a curious set of headphones. The OpenEar Trio by Shenzen Alex Technology. They're completely flat and designed to sit outside the ears. They're designed so you can hear your surroundings. If you're outside exercising, it's useful to hear cars creeping up on you. If you're on a conference call, being able to hear […]

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Review: Yanmai USB Microphone

An upright microphone.

We're in the age of endless conference calls. So I decided to spruce up my audio hardware. Sadly, I don't have the budget for a professional podcaster's microphone. Luckily, I was sent this cheapo model to review. And, I'm pleased to say, it's pretty good! Comes with a reasonably long USB cord, and a pop-shield. […]

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Wanted - audio output based on screen output for Linux

OS displaying a long list of options.

I think what I'm asking for is impossible... I have a Linux laptop with built in speakers and an external monitor with speakers. The laptop connects to the screen via HDMI. I have my Linux desktop set up for dual screens. If I drag a window from one screen to the other, I want the […]

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Removing default metadata from .opus files

Binary code displayed on a screen.

I'm trying to create some ridiculously tiny audio files. The sort where every single byte matters. I've encoded a small sample. But the opusenc tool automatically adds metadata - even if you don't specify any. Using the amazing Mutagen Python library I was able to completely strip out all the metadata! import mutagen mutagen.File("example.opus").delete() It […]

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Bouncing all my music down to Opus

Headphone box.

As much as technology marches forward, there are two truths I need to accept. File transfer speeds are always going to be slower that I can be bothered to wait My ears aren't going to get any better at hearing For years, I ripped all of my music as FLAC. I collected ridiculously high-resolution audio […]

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