We just shipped SquadCast’s v4 update! It comes with a bunch of upgrades, changes, and new features. On this episode, Zach and Rock discuss what went into this update. Shoutout to Dolby.io for helping us make this happen!

Some highlights of this update:

  • Dolby’s noise cancellation for in-session conferences
  • 1-click mastering for Pro Plans and up
  • Up to 10 people in a session for Pro Plans and up
  • Screen sharing and recording
  • Pronouns in the green room

Show Notes

Episode Transcription

Arielle Nissenblatt: [00:00:00] Hey, before we get started with today’s episode of Between Two Mics, I want to tell you about a show that I think you’re going to love, and it’s recorded on SquadCast. My name’s Arielle and I am the community manager at SquadCast, as well as the host of Feedback with EarBuds, a podcast recommendation podcast. Each week we share five podcast episodes on a theme, and each week’s podcast picks are curated by a different person. Anyone can create a list and you can listen to Feedback with EarBuds wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks.  [00:00:31][30.5]

Arielle Nissenblatt: [00:00:32] And just a quick reminder, if you want to create a little pre roll ad like this and you’re a SquadCaster, then we want to hear from you. We’ll put it at the front of our show. And if you want to submit one, all you got to do is go to SquadCast.fm/Share, and that’s where you can upload your audio. We’d love to hear from you, SquadCasters. Now let’s hit the tape on this week’s episode of Between Two Mics.  [00:00:54][22.0]

Zach Moreno: [00:01:01] It’s going to be great to continue investing in the growth of our mission to amplify collaboration, and we do that by building bridges to collaboration, but also removing barriers to collaboration. Welcome to Between Two Mics, the podcast that brings you remote recording resources from SquadCast.fm.  [00:01:23][22.4]

Rock Felder: [00:01:25] I’m Rock Felder, co-founder and CFO of SquadCast,  [00:01:28][2.8]

Zach Moreno: [00:01:29] and I’m Zach Moreno, co-founder and CEO,  [00:01:31][2.2]

Rock Felder: [00:01:33] On Between Two Mics. We bring you interviews with podcasters, experts in the field of remote recording. We discuss current events in podcasting and so much more.  [00:01:41][8.5]

Zach Moreno: [00:01:42] Twice a month you’ll hear a Founders’ episode. That’s just the two of us chatting about all things remote recording updates to SquadCast, what we’re up to and what we’re listening to.  [00:01:53][11.0]

Rock Felder: [00:01:54] The other two weeks of the month, we’ll bring you interview episodes. Zach and I will sit down with experts in the podcast space to discuss their companies, their podcasts, their thoughts on podcasting, creating content and more.  [00:02:06][12.2]

Zach Moreno: [00:02:07] The most exciting part. We’re recording all of this on SquadCast, the best place to record remote audio and video interviews in studio quality.  [00:02:17][9.2]

Rock Felder: [00:02:17] So let’s get Between Two Mics.  [00:02:20][2.8]

Rock Felder: [00:02:24] All right, Zach, another beautiful day in Oakland, California. How are you doing? [00:02:28][3.7]

Zach Moreno: [00:02:28] Great. How about you?  [00:02:29][1.0]

Rock Felder: [00:02:30] Awesome man. Really enjoying using SquadCast, version four. And that’s what we’re here to talk about today.  [00:02:36][6.1]

Zach Moreno: [00:02:36] Yeah, that’s what we’re using to record this. So super meta and awesome at the same time, as always.  [00:02:41][5.0]

Rock Felder: [00:02:43] What happened? What do we do? What’s version for?  [00:02:45][1.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:02:45] A lot. It is believe measurably our largest update ever to the SquadCast platform. I mean, we’ve done awesome things in the past. We’ve made big moves with adding video recording, with rebuilding the whole app. But I think feature for feature, this update is the largest ever and, you know, staggeringly proud of the team for putting in so much work in craft and love into it that I think is really, really paying off and showing.  [00:03:12][26.4]

Rock Felder: [00:03:12] Yeah. And I know you’re the CEO and so your job is to, you know, let folks know about our vision and how awesome it is and how it’s going to change the world. But you’re totally not overexaggerating that. This is probably our biggest update. And we’ve had some big ones. I mean, you know, V3 included video recording. That was a massive mountain to climb. And but this one, I think you’re right. And that’s what I’m I’m personally so proud of, is it’s a combination of big things. There’s a lot of big things in here. But then also there’s all these little things and all those little things to me really accumulate and matter to something really special. But there’s some big things, too. Obviously, and we we snuck a real big one in there right at the midnight hour. Pretty awesome. A big shout out to the team for making that push. I don’t know what the heck happened, but all of a sudden I just heard. Oh, yeah. And by the way, it’s going to fit ten people was like, whoa, let’s go.  [00:04:03][50.9]

Zach Moreno: [00:04:04] Yeah. And then just like the amount of time from when, like, the engineers first started to realize I was going to be like a really big possibility to, like, actually putting it into the app was. Yeah, very fast and awesome to kind of have a front row seat to. Oh, it turns out the layout from four to ten isn’t all that complex to work out with screen sharing and without screen sharing, which I guess spoiler alert. That’s part of this update. We added screen share and screen recording some new layouts to work around work and design into the app. And it’s just one of the the biggest parts of this update is exactly that. It’s bringing more people into the conversation to collaborate. One host and three guests has kind of always been the standard on SquadCast. And, you know, we really amplified that in service of our mission and and brought more forms of collaboration into the the cloud recording studio here on SquadCast so, invite nine people and record with ten. It’s it’s really great.  [00:04:59][54.8]

Rock Felder: [00:04:59] Absolutely. Yeah. It’s been interesting to see the response that we had when we made the announcement at the webinar. We’ll link to that in the show notes. The name of the webinar, breaking remote content barriers. But then also seeing the response on Twitter or the other social media channels was pretty funny, seeing folks like, well, what’s the use case for ten? So why don’t we do this for ten, Zach? We’re not just like adding it just to to add things unnecessarily. Right. Like what was the benefit in the reasoning behind that?  [00:05:25][25.9]

Zach Moreno: [00:05:26] There’s a couple different use cases. One of them is larger production teams like we have the privilege of serving like Vox and ESPN. And if you have two co-hosts and two guests, you’re at capacity. And there’s no extra seats, let’s say, for the producer or executive producer. Or maybe it’s like a PR person on the guest side that may or may not, you know, have their content, make it into the final production. But nonetheless, they have a legitimate reason to want to be present in the conversation. And because SquadCast records, everybody separately on independent tracks, you can totally just have somebody there even recorded and and then just not use their file if you if you don’t want their vocals or video in the final production. So just bring in more people kind of into the cloud studio and into the fold is the first use case. The second is, you know, shows that have multiple co-hosts and and want to have like more guests on the conversation in the recording. Granted, I think muting becomes more important and really just kind of being mindful of speaking over other people. But it is pretty shocking how many people request more people in the conversation. I do think like ten is a lot compared to four, but we wanted it to be more than enough, right. Where it’s kind of a no brainer. It’s more than you need and you can go up to ten. And I think it unlocks some really awesome creative use cases.  [00:06:49][83.1]

Rock Felder: [00:06:49] Absolutely. I think it also has just something that it’s a good illustration or demonstration of, like the evolution of the of the industry, how there’s more use cases, there’s more teams in different roles of collaboration going on now where, you know, when we first started, SquadCast like four was OK. And, you know, we wanted more. Right. Like, we our team was five and we wanted to have our meetings on SquadCast, but there was just reliability concerns and the uncertainty was just way too high. And talking to customers back then in, you know, 2016, 2017, they were like force more than enough for for what we need, and I can’t imagine needing any more, maybe six tops, but that’s so rare. Don’t worry about that if it’s not good for liability concerns. So we had always wanted to allow for more than just four people to collaborate. But yeah. So I guess what’s what’s the story behind that? Because like I said, we always wanted to, it’s not like we only wanted four and that we were necessarily handcuffed or married to that. But, you know, we switched providers. So that’s a big part of this update. But then, you know, what’s the story behind the code or the code story to go off a good friend, Noah Labhart, and former guest on this podcast. How did this happen? You, Hannah, Jean, Anthony, you know, you’re the engineering team. Something happen?  [00:08:01][72.3]

Zach Moreno: [00:08:02] It was a bit of a mistake. We were working on tracking down an issue with the how we enforce that cap of four people joining a session at one time. And we came to learn pretty quickly that a fifth person and a sixth person could jump in. And, you know, the engineers are engineers. So they’re like, well, let’s see how far we can push this. And very quickly, we got it up to ten. You know, I started doing some math in my head and like, what would need to change to make this happen? And, you know, let’s really test this to make sure before we try to productize it. And that’s what happened. And, you know, it worked out really, really well. And we were recording with ten people with audio and video in our how our cloud is set up with progressive upload and rendering happening in the cloud. We were very easily able to scale to have concurrent rendering at that level and all of those things that the app already excels at, quite frankly. And turns out it was just it was mostly just kind of the front end, the app, the pixels that people used that needed to be adjusted. Yeah. The limitations of the past that led to the max being four just thinking that far back, browsers were different, less performant, less support use with rendering real time video where less performant. You know, I guess thanks to Invidia and and our our friends, the cryptocurrency miners, for really pushing the possibilities of GPUs and the price down of those GPUs. And, you know, over the course of a couple of years, these things kind of distribute out into the world and supporting rendering multiple Real-Time video streams is much more realistic. So that’s really what unlocked it. And yeah, really stoked that the team wasn’t like, oh no. You know, they were like, yeah,.  [00:09:42][100.0]

Rock Felder: [00:09:44] Let’s go. Yeah, no, that was incredible. It’s kind of a micro example of what we’ve been realizing that technology is help leveling the playing field so that indie creators can actually compete with these large media companies when it comes to the quality of their show. And this is just a small example of the technology being able to help empower creators even more. And so that’s a good example that we’re in a much different place than when we first were building SquadCast, whether it’s from an industry perspective, like I mentioned, or a technological perspective like you mentioned. So that’s that’s really important to note and why it’s so exciting to be in the tech business, because as long as you’re OK with change, it’s it’s going to be all right. So then that’s all the innovators. Yeah, hold on. So we did talk about the ten people. We kind of danced around the screen share. But let’s just unpack what else is in this update. The big thing is that we’re have a unique collaboration with Dolby. We’re leveraging Dolby.io Technology for the in conversation, along with a few other things. And that technology is also allowing us to do the the ten person maximum. So what else is in there?  [00:10:45][60.9]

Zach Moreno: [00:10:45] Yeah, so there’s Dolby voice in the conversation. So that comes with things like audio leveling dynamically, which is improved clarity and quality and immersive experience with sound that moves around you a bit. Not to like a jarring degree. Right. But they call that spatial audio, advanced spatial audio and then just improved sound clarity through noise canceling and echo reduction. In the conversation are echo cancelation on SquadCast that operates in every participant’s browser. So this is also impacting and improving the quality of the cloud. Recordings are formerly called backup recordings. Those are also now recorded by Dolby. And if you have Dolby voice on or off, you’ll you’ll hear that difference, especially with a fan on in the background or a dog snoring behind you. Anything in your environment that’s not a human voice that’s talking close to a microphone. They are very good at separating those things out. And you can kind of think of this like Khrisp, Khrisp.ai. It was really popular, maybe still is. And but with Khrisp, you need like a subscription to that service. You need to run like this other app on your computer that you need a pre install that gets you like a virtual microphone. And there’s some legwork there. So this is built straight up into SquadCast and you don’t need to reroute or rewire any of your microphones set up. And it’s just a switch. You can turn it on and off. So I think that that’s really, really interesting technology. Of course, Dolby is, you know, the titan of sight and sound, and they bring a lot of that to the experience here in the conversation on SquadCast now.  [00:12:22][97.1]

Rock Felder: [00:12:22] Obviously, we were totally stoked to be in collaboration with Dolby, like you said, they’re they’re a Titan, a legendary company household name. But I think the thing for me was like, OK, I’m there. But like, how do we actually know that this technology is going to result in a better experience for our customers and their guests and their teams? And I think what sold it for me was, you know, our team member, our beloved designer, Alex, is a coral reef collector or there’s probably a better term for it. But anyway, she’s got a lot of coral and fish tanks.  [00:12:51][28.9]

Zach Moreno: [00:12:52] He calls himself a reefer. That’s what he calls himself.  [00:12:55][2.5]

Rock Felder: [00:12:55] Yea, he’s a reefer. Yeah, but not everybody. You know, some people might think that’s something else anyway. So it’s a little bit noisy and they’re not the most you know, it’s fine for meetings, but for like recording audio, it’s probably not the most conducive location. But when he flip that Dolby switch on, it was like he was in a completely different place. And I was like, OK, I’m sold. This is great. Now we can, you know, all the other bells and whistles that I’m sure you’ll you’ll cover. Those are great, too. But like, you know, if it really makes the experience feel improved and enhanced and all that stuff. And, you know, like you said, Khrisp.ai Is a pretty awesome tool, but it doesn’t necessarily integrate with everything. It works well, like in certain use cases. And don’t get me wrong, it works great. I’ve used it before, but trying to use it while recording on SquadCast, it never really worked out the way that I wanted it to. So, you know, probably no, no slam against Khrisp, but now to be actually having that in SquadCast to improve the in-conversation experience is really awesome.  [00:13:51][55.8]

Zach Moreno: [00:13:51] Well, Khrisp also affects the recording quality. The Dolby voice in SquadCast does not impact the recording quality. That remains unchanged because we don’t need to add some sort of signal processing like upstream in the signal chain to get dirty here for a second. Right. Like it happens just in the conversation. But the raw microphone stream, that’s still what we’re recording on SquadCast. And the the recording engine is stable and awesome and very high quality. And we don’t want any of that processing to end up in our in our final recording. So big distinction there. And it gives you this nice experience where you can have a flowing conversation without the background noise and have really great sounding source quality audio that you have come to know and expect from SquadCast. And moving on to to the next element of this, we also, if you do want to add some of that Dolby magic to the recordings that we capture on SquadCast nondestructively so you can make a copy of your source quality files and have those mastered for you with things like loudness normalization to the podcast industry standard of negative sixteen luffs, you can optimize speech and remove some background noise and remove, you know, sibilance, harsh sounds into the microphone. You can do all that stuff with what we’re calling one click audio mastering thanks to Dolby as well. So you have the option to do that. And as I said, it’s nondestructive. So you you still have the source quality recording from SquadCast. And we’ll give you another version of it that has that has some of those Dolby enhancements applied to it.  [00:15:24][92.8]

Rock Felder: [00:15:25] What do you think is the expected use case for this? Is this for someone that maybe to me it sounds like for someone that perhaps has more minimal editing needs or wants to spend less time in their DAW, that’s digital audio workstation, but like faster editing, more minimal editing needs. Is that the use case that that you think will benefit from this the most or what else comes to mind? [00:15:44][19.3]

Zach Moreno: [00:15:44] Yeah. When you talk to audio engineers and it’s like what do you do after SquadCast. You get that into like Pro Tools or Adobe Audition or maybe it’s like logic or something like that. What do you do to the audio? And a lot of them will be like, oh, I have these presets that I run the audio through and those do things that are kind of menial tasks that I want to apply to, like everything just to standardize and like level set everything. And then I start to go in and kind of like slice and dice and move things around and, you know, continue to add in more and more production value. But those are kind of like one off for that recording. But the first step of those production, those presets or VST plugins for people, people in the post-production world, and that’s essentially what this is doing, is like some of those VST plugins or filters that you would run the audio through to do things that you want to apply across the board to all the audio. That’s what this is for. And that is now one click in SquadCast before you download. You can just send it through Dolby and bring that into your DAW to then start to work with on a more specific basis for that recording the changes you want to make to it. So absolutely to save time, just like we have the mix feature through our friends at Auphonic. Now we have mastering through our friends at Dolby and hey, you can even work these things together and mix and then master and then use that in your post-production workflow or any combination in any order they’re in. It’s pretty flexible. So yeah, saves a ton of time in post-production. If you’re already doing that in your workflow or if you’re not doing that in your workflow, you might find it useful to have you and your guest at a constant loudness and your listeners, because that’s an industry standard. Evo Terra, our friend Podcast Pontifications will thank you for embracing the negative 16 luffs as audio standard.  [00:17:33][108.5]

Rock Felder: [00:17:34] That’s right. Something I’ll never forget from him. So thank you for that friendly reminder, Evo.  [00:17:39][4.7]

Rock Felder: [00:17:41] Let’s take a short breather. We’ll be right back.  [00:17:43][2.1]

Zach Moreno: [00:17:46] Hey, SquadCasters, while we’ve got you here, we want to tell you a little bit about our YouTube channel.  [00:17:50][4.6]

Rock Felder: [00:17:51] Since we released our video feature in January, allowing podcasters to record both their audio and video on SquadCast that we’ve been working hard to walk the walk ourselves. In addition to listening to this podcast Between Two Mics enthusiasts can also watch snippets of our show.  [00:18:05][14.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:18:06] We’re working with our friends, Tristan and Justin at Motion Agency.io to bring you highly produced, colorful and exciting video elements to further illustrate the points that we make with our guests on this show, we encourage you to check out our YouTube channel and to see how we’re experimenting with video and how you might be able to experiment with video, too.  [00:18:27][20.8]

Rock Felder: [00:18:27] So just head over to YouTube.com and search SquadCast.fm In the search bar. And please don’t forget to hit that subscribe button.  [00:18:33][6.4]

Zach Moreno: [00:18:34] Now, let’s get back to the show.  [00:18:35][0.9]

Rock Felder: [00:18:37] We just should be clear here, this the One-Click audio mastering is a pro plan and above feature. So the other features that we’ve been talking about, well, so is the 10 person max, but the the Dolby voice, the Dolby conversations, that’s all that’s an everybody feature, essentially, correct?  [00:18:56][19.1]

Zach Moreno: [00:18:56] Exactly. And same with our next feature Screen Share. That’s an everybody feature. And this being SquadCast, right? We’re a recording platform. So we’ve wanted screen share for a long time, but we wanted the ability to also provide a recording of the video of that screen. And that’s why we had a prerequisite of adding video recording to the platform before we could add screen recording to the platform. So screen recording landed at the end of January and then immediately we started working again with Dolby and adding screen share also meant adding screen recording and using our progressive upload and video rendering capabilities for the screen share recording. Screen recording, rather, is very similar to the experience that people have come to expect from SquadCast, where the videos render super quickly. They’re all recorded locally and uploaded in the background progressively. And that is a video. Anybody on a video plan on SquadCast. You get screen recording, but if you’re on an audio plan, you can still share your screen. It just won’t record the video of it. That’s just an upgrade click away if you’re into that. [00:19:59][63.2]

Rock Felder: [00:20:01] Can I come clean with you on something?  [00:20:01][0.5]

Zach Moreno: [00:20:02] Please.  [00:20:02][0.0]

Rock Felder: [00:20:03] So I was excited for the screen sharing, A. Because there was a few use cases, a few friends that I knew we’d make happy, like our good friend Bryan Barletta from the Sounds Profitable newsletter. You know, he sent us that email that was so funny, like, can you please, when’s screen recording coming or screen sharing all that stuff. And so, you know, to make some you know, folks like that happy is awesome. But for me, like, the big thing also was like, I can’t wait to, like, not have to meet on Google Meets or Zoom any more to meet with anybody, but especially our team. You know, it just felt so wrong that we have this remote collaboration platform that we’re all working on and we can’t even meet as a team on it just because of the participant maximum. But then also, like, you know, having the ability to screen share has become more and more convenient as we’ve been, you know, building this remote team. So I was like, OK, like, I love it for that. But I was very surprised, happily surprised at how many other folks like were stoked to see the screen share and screen recording features. But I was surprised. I do want to come clean on that. Were you surprised?  [00:21:04][61.0]

Zach Moreno: [00:21:04] Yeah. Yeah. And I’ve been using really like almost in every session, like, it’s awesome.  [00:21:08][4.2]

Rock Felder: [00:21:09] We just used it before we started recording, so.  [00:21:11][2.2]

Zach Moreno: [00:21:11] Exactly. And to see the team screen, you know, sharing their screen, working on something for SquadCast inside of SquadCast is the coolest thing ever. So yeah, being able to meet with the meet with the team, with the, you know, ten participants and then screen share with the team and then record all that, you know, in studio quality audio and video is just yeah, it’s the bee’s knees. I’ve been having a lot of fun with, with V4 and yeah we’ve been using it a lot. So with with screen share, you know, we want to give the real estate to the screen kind of the floor is the way we talk about it in our in our design team. And the layout therefore needs to adapt right where the videos of the speakers, the people get a little smaller and kind of move out of the way. So we’re screen share comes like new layouts for the real estate to share the screen. And of course, all that works on mobile, too. So you can you can see the layout adapt across all those different screen sizes. And yeah, it’s really, really awesome to see ten people and a screen like on your Android phone is really, really rad. Been having a lot of fun with it, you know. And other design improvements to the cloud studio include, you know, a refined recording button. We have these new network connectivity indicators in the upper left corner of everybody’s video. And you can kind of see people’s networks fluctuate, giving greater insights into the stability of the connectivity and troubleshoot in advance of anything there on the local level. And, you know, this next section really is all under the transparency and, you know, enhanced network resilience. Like some of that comes from partnering with Dolby for this unique collaboration, being able to add ten people to a conversation. Right. That adds a lot on the network. So we need to be able to to manage that in a sane way where people aren’t getting disconnected all the time. But then there’s a couple other things here. So like what’s your favorite part, Rock in this category of transparent connectivity and enhanced network resilience? What do you love about those enhancements that we’ve made in this update?  [00:23:12][120.6]

Rock Felder: [00:23:12] Yeah, I think we’re starting to get into more of the little things that really accumulate to really matter and just really making the premium seamless experience that we’re striving for. It’s hard to pinpoint one. I guess the sound check, I think that’s one that’s been a request for a while. And it just a lot of this has to deal with confidence and reliability and just the removal of anxiety and and uncertainty. Right, and so I think like just giving folks a way that they can confidently know that they are connected, that they will stay connected, that their sound and or video quality is going to be amazing, you know, and that’s just a really quick, automated way to do it. And it’s been something that folks have actually been asking us for for quite some time. I just believe our previous provider really didn’t give us, nothing against them, but they just didn’t have any functionality that made that path as as seamless as Dolby. Do I remember that correctly?  [00:24:06][53.2]

Zach Moreno: [00:24:06] Yeah, exactly. Being able to, like, quickly get an insight into each participant’s network status. And we brought that into a very minimal experience and green room that, yeah, we’re calling the sound check where you just click start. And this is all private, by the way. Nothing is uploaded or like saved as a file or anything like that is just for you. And you could just click start sound check and say, hey mic check. One, two, knock, knock. Who’s there? You see a progress bar for like a couple of seconds and then it just automatically plays that back with a preview of what you look like, what you sound like, and also that we picked up your equipment correctly and that that’s what you expected. You get some results back from that sound check. And one of those, my favorite is you can see what your network strength is and that’s doing under the hood. That’s doing a legit. You’re joining a test conversation, a sample conversation just as a solo participant. You’re just joining that for a couple of seconds and then disconnecting and then we can read off. OK, what’s the connectivity like? That’s really where the results come to life and be of service as like a proactive insight into your setup. Like, do I sound good? Do I look good? Am I. Is my connection strong? All in service of giving me confidence to go ahead and smash that join button and start that recording session with connected with everybody  [00:25:24][77.4]

Rock Felder: [00:25:25] That was clean. [00:25:25][0.1]

Zach Moreno: [00:25:28] It was fun to build to. I mean, I was surprised. This was one of the features, a set of features, really, that I was surprised at how quickly, you know, that that came to life and is just a really, really enjoyable experience. Like our UX team had a couple of different ideas for different ways we could do a sound check like that could happen in the studio after everybody joined. It could happen a few different ways that that could go. But I think being really, really minimal and as part of greenroom, like just adds a lot of character to the green room that was already awesome. So proud to be the first in in the cloud studio category, the remote content production category to to add anything like that as well. I think it’s real next level.  [00:26:06][38.1]

Rock Felder: [00:26:06] Right, right. And that’s I mean, that’s just what we do. We were the first to add backups and now it’s expected and normal and now progressive upload.  [00:26:13][6.1]

Zach Moreno: [00:26:14] Word up.  [00:26:14][0.2]

Is kind of becoming the same thing. So good job to you and the team for for keeping that going. So as far as the rest of these, again, I keep calling them little things. I feel like I’m not doing them justice because they’re making life better. And there’s so much I feel like we’re forgetting we’re going to forget stuff. There’s so many little things that just are all scattered throughout the app. You know, one of the things I love about, I’ve learned through these various iterations of SquadCast is how crazy previous versions, how quickly they start to look old. You know, it’s like what were we thinking? What would that color scheme feels like? It’s 1992 or something like what happened? You know, but at the time, it was the dopiest ish ever. So and not to say it’s bad, it’s just it looks retro. You know?  [00:26:57][43.5]

Zach Moreno: [00:26:58] We’ve come a long way, that’s for sure.  [00:26:59][1.3]

Rock Felder: [00:26:59] Right. Right, right, right. So what have these other polish and just better connectivity, network improvement. What other things should we discuss here before we wrap it up?  [00:27:08][8.4]

Zach Moreno: [00:27:08] I think one that’s not super sexy, but can really go a long way for people having a, you know, increased confidence in awareness into the state of their network as they have a long form conversation recorded in studio quality on our platform is we’ll warn of an unstable network and then give you actions that you can take, like learning more if you want to make an improvement, rejoining, if it is something where you go so far as to disconnect or just ignore it, because you can safely ignore it a lot of the time, because Dolby helps us just kind of automatically rejoin. And it’s a lot of times it’s like so fast you don’t even really know that you disconnected or anything like that. And it’s not really an interruption. It was just kind of a temporary. Networks reset themselves occasionally and they’re usually very fast at that. So before that might have led to a hard disconnect on SquadCast. Now it’s like a warning and you can ignore it most of the time. So that’s awesome. And I think is going to go a long, long way towards the the experience and reliability. Other things are: we added a new notifications menu so we have a way to communicate updates of the product updates to our community, stuff that we can collaborate on. Like we have a new SquadCast.fm/share, where if you record dope content on SquadCast, we’re happy to help promote that. And if you go to that URL, we’ll share that with our community and help everybody grow. So look out for that in the notifications menu, we have a new bell icon in the top notification throughout the app. We also did a couple of things that I believe go a long way. We added pronouns and we improved how we generate random names if somebody doesn’t give us a name when they join the session. We had previously done like a random adjective noun combo and those were all very positive and non gendered and curated by our team. But it still felt a little weird. We got some great feedback from people in the community of ways that we could do that better. And then also we’re proud to be the first to add pronouns to our our recording platform so that everybody can address others with respect. People can have their chosen identity and those are not dropdown menus. That’s a free form input where you can put whatever name and pronouns you like in there. And hopefully that helps people feel welcome across the board.  [00:29:28][139.8]

Rock Felder: [00:29:28] Yeah, it was pretty neat seeing Zoom do something similar with pronouns like a couple of days after we released this. I’m not saying that they’re following our lead, but that would be pretty awesome if they were. And although I am, I don’t know, I think this is an improvement with the random guest names. I really do. But it’s going to be a little sad to not no longer see, like, benevolent healer or something like that as a random name, but it’s probably best to put that away to something.  [00:29:55][26.4]

Zach Moreno: [00:29:55] Yeah, tenacious educator. There was a skywalker in there. There was some there was some fun stuff, but yeah, maybe maybe a little too much personality. So, you know, now it’s better. It’s like host and guest with some characters. We just need to make sure it’s random or sorry unique. So that way the filenames is more so what, what we’re interested in as a platform, not not giving anybody some sort of identity, just more so that we don’t want to have like two files with the same name, have a collision when we save those in our cloud so that everybody gets their files. And, you know, we found some ways to make improvements to that experience. And, yeah, I’m really proud to be the first in that effort again in our category. So I think I’d love to serve as inspiration to to the other platform providers to to embrace that as a standard. Really a lot of firsts in this update and other things as well. If I can just rattle off a few things like refinements to all of our modals, all of our menus to make them consistent across the app on different screen sizes. Hannah put a lot of love into like making sure that when people upgrade, proration works as expected for both the financial side and for the recording time and just performance all around. So many improvements made to the experience that I think all add up to what is our biggest update ever. So really, really proud of everything that went into this update.  [00:31:14][79.1]

Rock Felder: [00:31:15] Yes, very, very proud. Great work. Of course, it’s still how does this happen? But it still feels like we’re just getting started. We still got plenty of ambition and plans coming up. And of course, there’ll be a time and a place for us to disclose that. So maybe let’s play coy. Let’s be a little mystique, mysterious. What are we working on in V5?  [00:31:33][18.4]

Zach Moreno: [00:31:34] V5 is going to be a big one as well. So we have a lot of ambition and. [00:31:40][6.1]

Rock Felder: [00:31:41] Is there any other way?  [00:31:41][0.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:31:41] A clear path forward? No, there’s not, and.  [00:31:44][2.4]

Rock Felder: [00:31:45] Thanks for answering my rhetorical question. [00:31:45][0.1]

Zach Moreno: [00:31:49] So backstage is, is what we’re calling V5 and got a lot in store for it. And it’s going to be great to continue investing in the growth of our mission to amplify collaboration. And we do that by building bridges to collaboration, but also removing barriers to collaboration. And that’s going to come to life in V5 in lots of ways and is already, frankly, underway. So to come back to V4 for a second, we talked a lot about this Dolby collaboration. So there wasn’t a bunch of mystery, but we still found a way to add a surprise in there with the addition of ten participants. That was something we hadn’t talked about and.  [00:32:29][40.1]

Rock Felder: [00:32:30] A lot of fun, a lot of fun to do that. You all speaking about the engineering team, made that really special. There was the cherry and and cream on top of the already awesome dessert. That was before. I’m hungry.  [00:32:44][14.5]

Zach Moreno: [00:32:45] Yes, I’m here. So we’ll keep you in suspense. We’ll we’ll have some more to share on V5. But in the meantime, we hope you really enjoy all of the improvements that have gone into V4. And if you’re not part of the SquadPod community, you should join and collaborate with us and you get to see some sneak peeks of the stuff that we’re working on. One example is, is this V4 update. We had a kind of a mini launch of that a few days early for the SquadPod community. So if you want to find out some more information as to what we’re cooking up for V5 and beyond and everything in between, talk to the team. We have regular like a weekly conversations with kind of office hours, swag and fun stuff, tech, all of it. So, yeah, check out in the show notes the link to get into the SquadPod community.  [00:33:33][48.2]

Rock Felder: [00:33:34] Yep. We’d love to see you there.  [00:33:35][1.0]

Rock Felder: [00:33:38] Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of Between Two Mics,  [00:33:41][2.7]

Zach Moreno: [00:33:42] We hope you enjoyed our conversation. If you learn something or are we intrigued you a bit, let us know on social media,  [00:33:48][5.7]

Rock Felder: [00:33:49] You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn by searching for SquadCast FM.  [00:33:54][5.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:33:55] And if you want to show the podcast some love, you can leave us a rating or review wherever it is you’re listening right now.  [00:34:01][5.6]

Rock Felder: [00:34:02] This show is put together by us, Zach and RocK. It’s mixed and produced by Vince Moreno with help from Arielle Nissenblatt. Our logo is designed by Alex Whedbee.  [00:34:11][9.3]

Zach Moreno: [00:34:12] Since we’re a podcast about a podcasts, we want to shout out the brands and products that we trust. We’re recording using SquadCast.fm and here’s our current stack. For recordin: we’re using ATR 2100 Mics, Apple AirPods Max headphones, and Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interfaces. [00:34:29][17.1]

Rock Felder: [00:34:33] We edit the show on Adobe Audition in our hosting site is Simple Cast.  [00:34:36][3.4]

Zach Moreno: [00:34:37] That’s it for us this week. We’re back next week with more from between these mics.  [00:34:37][0.0]