Mobile phone saves the day

May 17, 2009

Friday 15th May 2009, saw my trusty Nokia N95 come to my broadcasting rescue!

I’d been dispatched to cover the SPEA FIM motorbike trials practise day at Armathwaite near Carlisle. Primarily to get photos for the BBC Cumbria website. But whilst I was there, the opportunity arose to grab a couple of interviews that would do for the radio station’s output over the weekend.
But here’s the problem – stills camera, no video camera (that’s back at base) and no audio equipment either; so what should I do?

Well always with me is my Nokia N95, bought because of its all-singing, all dancing capabilities, so thinks I, might as well see if it is really any good when needed.

So … trots off to meet James Dabill, one of the world’s top trial riders and do a quick interview … with a mobile phone! But the phone won’t record more than a minute of audio (without buying extras – which I haven’t) so I’ll have to video the interview.

Phone to video mode, shot lined up, James told that it’s really top quality despite been just a phone! And off we go. One minute eight seconds later and we’re done.

Next it’s Garry Bingley, coordinator of the event, same thing line up the shot, guff about phone and off we go. One minute forty this time.

So photos done, interviews done, it’s back to base and see / hear what we have and is it any use?

And that’s the suprise – the audio was superb, as good as most of the broadcast kit we have at the radio station and very usable for radio output.  You can listen to the final piece here … Or watch the video from which the audio came from here … (Which is the same one as embeded on this page!)

Technicals: The video is shot as mp4 on the N95, the audio was ripped from mp4 to mp3, then converted to pcm wav, before been converted to s48 in the radio playout system!

The video here was shot and edited on the N95 – it’s actually  not bad at topping and tailing video pieces and joining them together!


  1. Nice one. Good to see that you got the shot.

    • I always try to get something! Just this was more unusual than most other times, which is why I thought I’d write it up.

  2. I thought all those extra features were put on mobile phones just to confuse the likes of me, now you say there is a real use for some of those features.

    • When I got the phone, I’d looked at all the features, reviews etc. with the intention of using it for this very thing – but 18 months later and it’s the first time it’s been put to test.

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