PoducateMe: Practical Solutions for Podcasting in Education
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RCA (phono plug)
This is a popular connection type found on a wide variety of consumer electronics,
including stereos, DVD players and computers.
High-quality microphones usually feature a balanced multi-pin audio connector (typically
3 pins, but also available in 4 and 5 pin configurations) known as XLR. This type of
connector is very durable and provides superior rejection of electrical interference.
Figure 9: XLR cable and port connectors
Figure 9 illustrates XLR connectors. The female end of an XLR cable (A) attaches to the
male connector of an XLR microphone. The other end of the cable (B) plugs into a device
(such as a mixers) XLR port (C). The port shown above is also known as a combo jack.
This style of port is also called a hybrid because it can accept either an XLR or a 1/4
USB and FireWire/IEEE 1394
For many podcasters, USB and FireWire connections offer an attractive means of
plugging equipment into a computer. Devices connected to USB and FireWire ports are
hot-swappable, meaning you can attach and detach components without having to
power down your system. In most cases, you can even easily swap gear between
desktop and laptop and from a PC to Mac and vice versa. Also, depending on your
configuration, USB and FireWire devices may operate off power supplied by your
computer. This handy benefit eliminates the need to utilize a cumbersome power brick
and/or engage in a prolonged search for an open AC outlet.