December 16, 2019

What is mic-check and how will you approach it?

Tim Abell @timabell

I logged this idea in my trello ideas board on 20th Nov 2019 at 20:23 pm, probably while listing to podcasts and trying to get an early night to get enough sleep with our small children waking us up regularly.

I've been mulling it over since.

What is it?

A simple web-page that allows you to record & play-back 15 seconds of your own audio & video to make sure your kit is working before jumping on a call.

What's good about it?

  • I know the tech is out there and not too hard to build with. (WebRTC for audio/video, maybe tailwind for design).
  • It's quite a simple product idea which could work well as a first side-income project. Basically just a couple of pages, a share link and a server.
  • It has built in virality - by having a "request a sound check" option people can spread the word
  • It has the potential to earn money - people who have a lot of podcast guests, or user researchers using lookback for remote sessions might pay to have their guests send proof of working sound & video before they spend their expensive time on the old "can you hear me now" routine.

Progress so far

I asked a question on MegaMaker slack which has a #podcasting channel which was a bit inconclusive. It probably jumped to quickly to the "would you pay me?" question.

I've sketched out a couple of designs and workflows in my physical notepad just to make sure I can imagine what the product might look like and what it would feel like to use and I think it's okay.

I opened the WebRTC home-page and established this won't be a five minute job.

I looked at Tailwindcss to try and work out if it would cost me money somehow.

Really?

I think there's a need, I've experienced it first-hand, and I think for some people it's a need that is irritating and has a real cost in time and maybe even lost recordings. You need blind faith you know otherwise you'd give up. Erm....

What now?

Now I need to work out how to test the idea's viability without building the whole product (again, ahem http://schemaexplorer.io/ )

I'm not sure how this is going to go, but I've started to ask mom-test questions. I'm not really sure how I can test this without building it because I think leading with a free thing that works is probably my best marketing.

If I managed to contribute a useful tool to the podcast or user research community I'd be pretty happy with that.

Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts. Don't hold back, I'm pretty thick-skinned these days. I'd rather hear the worst now than build it in ignorance.

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