Gabcast audio blogger service

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Gabcast audio blogger service

Gabcast is an interesting new service that lets you instantly create podcasts for your blog with integration with your blogging software. While, this in itself is nothing new, AudioBlog has been doing it successfully for awhile, the neat thing about Gabcast is that it supports calling their service both via the PSTN and VoIP. Yep, that's right, just launch your favorite SIP softphone and dial the SIP address: 422@sip.gabcast.com. They also support Pulver's FWD service (dialing FWD #702681). But most "geek of all", they even support calling via an Asterisk IAX trunk line! (for quick 3-digit dialing)

If you are using AMP (comes with Asterisk@Home), then simply create a Trunk and a Route. You do this simply by creating a trunk called "gabcast", then add a peer called iax.gabcast.com", and finally add a Dialing Pattern called "422" and then select the "IAX2/gabcast" Trunk Sequence. When you want to dial the Gabcast audioblogger service you simply pick up an Asterisk line and dial 422! Cool stuff. B) Really shows the power and flexibility of the Asterisk IP-PBX.

If you aren't using the Asterisk Management Portal (AMP), then you can create a dial command in extensions.conf like:

Dial(IAX2/iax.gabcast.com/gab)

Similar to the previous steps, if you want to dial 422 to access gabcast, then you would add something like this:
[internal]
exten => 422,1,Dial(IAX2/iax.gabcast.com/gab)

I should also mention they provide a free 800 number for U.S. residents to call the service free of charge. As far as I can tell from their website which doesn't mention any fees in their FAQ, their service itself is also free, where as Audioblog charges $4.95/month, but I'll have to confirm that.

[Hat tip to Ronald Lewis, a prolific audio blogger and VoIP-fan/consultant who pointed out the Gabcast service.]

Update:
I couldn't remember the other audio blogging service and Ronald refreshed my memory by mentioning Odeo. Then I recalled Eric's SIPThat blog mentioning Odeo and thinking it was cool.

Ronald also had some other interesting insights and reasons why he likes Gabcast vs. other audioblogging solutions. Here are his 5 reasons he likes Gabcast:
1. To my knowledge, it is the only podcasting site which uses Asterisk at the core (for recording from PSTN and VoIP). This alone instantly sold me.

2. You can podcast in two ways -- From POTS or a VoIP soft/hard client (via an Asterisk dialplan, FWD, etc.). Personally, I have an extension in Asterisk to connect directly to Gabcast via IAX. The recordings couldn't be clearer compared to POTS and cell users.

3. Free account holders can host conferences up to 3 (or 4) users. Users can also record these conferences as podcasts (group meetings, discussions, etc.) The conference rooms are actually virtual Asterisk MeetMe extensions. This is how I will interview Mark tomorrow (he'll be dialing through Gabcasts's toll-free POTS number).

4. It's uniform, and easy to use given all of its 'bells & whistles.'

5. It's fast. In under 3 seconds, Gabcast converts your episode from a native audio format (not sure if they're using GSM, Speex, Wav, etc.) to an MP3 for instant publishing.



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