- A computer with a place to plug a microphone in
- A microphone (some PC's may have a builtin microphone?)
- The computer must run some version of Microsoft Windows (I have tested it on Windows 95 and Windows XP), or Macintosh OS X, or some flavor of Unix
I have used the babbleback machine software on a P133MHz laptop circa 1997 and a laptop new in 2003. I have used the same cheap microphone on both computers and the results are drastically different quality. I'm thinking that most of the difference is due to a much lower quality sound card in the old laptop.
The quality problems I've seen manifest themselves with the following symptoms:
- Excess, staticy noise
- Annoying echo from the sound being played by the speakers being picked up by the microphone.
These problems are noticeable on my new laptop, but not nearly as bad. On the old laptop it is almost to the point of being annoying, but not to the point that my daughter cared at all.
If my daughter were young enough to be immobile, then the problems might not be so bad. Since my daughter is over two, she is very active. Sometimes she wanted to have it on when she was running around the room playing. In such a case the volume has to be turned up pretty loud. The high volume amplifies the noise and echo symptoms.
If my daughter would stay a small and predictable distance away from the microphone, then the volume could be reduced, but that's not the case.
Another note. On my P133Mhz laptop, the performance is not good enough to have the waveform display enabled. If you have an old computer, then you may need to uncheck the waveform checkbox. This will remove the waveform display.