Podcasting News and Information

Podcasting Will Never Die

April 23rd, 2014

Podcasting will never die. That’s a bold statement to open with, but in it’s true to say the soul of podcasting is a hardier beast than many give it credit for. There’s been an awful lot of talk lately about the patent trolls threatening the future of podcasting, but before that all the podcast chatter centered around the three words “podcasting is back”. The die-hard podcast fans, myself included, will tell you it never left, but it’s fair to say that podcasting is bigger now than ever before.

So why are we threatened by patent litigation? If it came to pass that syndication of audio through a single URL, i.e. an RSS feed, was a violation of a patent and infringements should either be ceased or be prepared to pay the price, would this spell the death of podcasting? Take a moment to imagine all the podcasters out there right now. Imagine the passion it takes to record a regular podcast for little-to-no gain and more often than not, at a personal loss. Imagine the industries that are seeing a whole new market for their microphones, headphones, software and apps. Imagine the audience that has seen a whole new content stream from their favourite creators mouths to their ears spring up with rich, regular content. Now turn all of that off.

Just take a moment to think of those passionate podcasters, who tomorrow are unable to distribute their podcast to their fans. Imagine those microphone manufacturers who saw that potential industry disappear overnight. Think of the world where lovers of on-demand audio, are suddenly left without their beloved voices and their preferred medium. Now the real test, imagine a world when one of those people, cut off from podcasting as we know it, doesn’t find a way around it.

The problem of the patents is a uniquely American phenomenon. Although I will admit that I would be inconvenienced a little by the worst case scenario, the patent would not affect podcasters operating outside of the US. Theoretically, based on past events, anyone podcasting from inside the US, using a non-US host could still fall afoul of the troll, but the most obvious workaround for the rest of the world is to switch to a hosting provider based internationally (which would be a boom for whoever is first at bat).

There’s way more to it than that though. Although I love to sing the praises of Australian podcasts, I won’t pretend that the biggest producers and consumers do not reside somewhere between the Pacific and the North Atlantic. So, what do all the American podcasters do? Well, find a way around it. I’m not going to pretend to understand on what basis the podcast patent is supposed to restrict usage, but let’s look back a decade or so and you tell me what podcasting was then. Go back a couple more and tell me your experience of the internet. Look how much it’s changed in such a short time. Do you think podcasting will be unchanged ten years in the future? Try 20 years, will you even recognise podcasting to be anything like the delivery method we use today?

Not to say that we shouldn’t fight the patent troll, obviously many people and their business would be hurt by an unwelcome decision, preventing that is a worthy cause. It should be considered, however, that should we end up with victory, how long will we continue to use the disputed medium?

A conversation I had with some Australian podcasters recently was discussing the dilemma of breaking your podcast’s release schedule. In theory, with the syndication format, this won’t be an issue, as your listeners don’t need to tune in at a certain time, they’ll automatically receive your content when it’s published, but in practice that’s not how it works. Any podcasting coach will tell you to be regular and be consistent, you will create a habit in your listeners and you will grow your audience. So then, the syndication is not the factor that we desire. It’s the ease of access for our audience.

Take, for example, YouTube. Which bears little resemblance to podcasting in it’s delivery method, but it’s far-and-away more popular. Why? Because your average podcast listener could care less about RSS feeds and the details of the patent that is being fought for so strongly, they just want to hear your voice. As long as you are producing quality content then you will be heard. That is why podcasting will never die. You can take away our RSS feeds, but you can never take our content. Podcasting will find a way. As long as there’s a microphone and someone who wants to listen to your opinions, there will always be podcasting.

Joshua Liston, a serious name in Australian podcasting has recently launched his sixth concurrent podcast, Social Audio Think Tank, exploring why content is king and the tech stuff should come second. Full disclosure, I’m a co-host, but he’s the driving force behind it, so check out his other podcasts as well.

By Jackson Rogers of OzPodcasts.

EFF Challenge Of Podcast Patent Approved By Patent Office

April 22nd, 2014

EFF LogoThe Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has won a small (but significant) victory in its challenge to the so-called “podcast patent” claims of technology company Personal Audio. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has found that the EFF has provided sufficient prior art evidence in its case against the podcast patent.

In October of 2013, the EFF filed a petition of inter partes review (IPR) with the PTAB. The EFF explains:

“The IPR process provides an expedited means for the patent office to take a second look at a patent it has already issued. This kind of challenge proceeds in two steps. First, we file our petition. Then, before the IPR actually goes forward, the PTAB must decide whether our petition establishes a ‘reasonable likelihood’ that we would prevail. If we did not satisfy that standard, our petition would simply be rejected.”

“In our petition, we argued that Personal Audio did not invent podcasting and that parts of its patent should be declared invalid. We presented evidence relating to Internet Pioneer Carl Malamud’s ‘Geek of the Week’ online radio show and online broadcasts by CNN and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Back in February, Personal Audio filed a response arguing that we were unlikely to prevail and urging the PTAB to reject our petition. The PTAB has now found otherwise, ruling that EFF has established a reasonable likelihood of success.”


Tim Ferriss Launches Tim Ferris Show

April 22nd, 2014

Tim Ferris ShowNew York Times Best Selling Author Tim “Four Hour Workweek” Ferriss has launched his own podcast. After appearing on many podcasts over time, he got to see how easy it was and decided to launch his own.

He is also working on television show, and figured this would be a fun way to keep in touch with his audience. Here is the description of his podcast:

Tim Ferriss is a self-experimenter and bestselling author, best known for The 4-Hour Workweek, which has been translated into 40+ languages. Newsweek calls him “the world’s best human guinea pig,” and The New York Times calls him “a cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk.” In this show, he deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use. Listen to over 15,000 radio shows, podcasts and live radio stations for free on your iPhone, iPad, Android and PC. Discover the best of news, entertainment, comedy, sports and talk radio on demand with Stitcher Radio.

His first episode he interviewed Kevin Rose (Kevin is a tech entrepreneur who co-founded Digg, Revision3 (sold to Discovery Channel), Pownce, and Milk (sold to Google). Since 2012, he is a venture partner at Google Ventures.).

Find it in iTunes

Find it in Stitcher


Posted by Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting

Issue 2 Of Podertainment Magazine Now Available

April 22nd, 2014

Podertainment LogoPodertainment Magazine, an e-periodical focused on podcasters and podcasting, has released its second issue. The magazine is now available for download thru the iTunes Store. Issues can be purchased individually or as part of a subscription.

The latest issue covers a wide range of topics:

  • * How to create a podcast recording studio with iOS.
  • * Patreon crowdrunding for podcasters.
  • * Improving your podcast’s episode tittles.
  • * How to use a Feedburner redirect without using the Feedburner website.
  • * Rethinking conventional wisdom about podcasting.
  • * The importance of “unique listeners.”
  • * Several articles about techniques to help monetize your podcast.


Bossjock Demonstrates “Frankenskype” For Mobile Podcasting

April 20th, 2014

Bossjock LogoBossjock Studio, developers of the popular Bossjock podcast-production app for iOS have released a demo of a mobile podcast production setup they call “Frankenskype.”

There are two topics of discussion that come up frequently on podcasting-centric forums: 1.) How to record Skype calls. 2.) How to produce mobile recordings. It looks like Bossjock  tried to solve both of these problems by bringing Frankenskype to life. To elaborate, Frankenskype isn’t a product so much as it’s a technique for using battery-powered mobile gear to record both ends of a Skype call into the Bossjock app.

The demo uses an iPhone, an iPad  and the 9-volt powered ART USB Dual Pre along with an Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit. Frankenskype breaks down like this:

  • * Camera Connection Kit plugged into iPad.
  • * USB Dual Pre plugged into Camera Connect Kit.
  • * Analog microphone (the demo uses an ATR2100, but almost any mic will work) using an XLR cable plugged into one input of the Dual Pre.
  • * Audio cable from the iPhone’s headphone jack connected to the other input of the USB Dual Pre.
  • * USB cable from the Dual Pre connected to the Camera Connection Kit on the iPad.


Fanscribed Is A Free Podcast Transcription Service

April 19th, 2014

Fanscribed artworkFanscribed is a newly revamped service that provides free podcast transcriptions. Fanscribed describes itself as a “crowdsourcing ‘transcription engine’ designed to help your fans work together to create professional-level transcripts for your podcast.” So, if you’re a podcaster looking for transcriptions of your show, you ca use Fanscribed to gather a pool of your fans together, and those fans can collaborate over the Fanscribed website to make those transcriptions.

The service is currently in beta. And it really is free. Fanscribed states in the blog entry linked above, “We understand that many podcasts cannot afford transcriptions, even those that are funded by producers or advertisers. For this reason, we will always offer free use of our transcription engine to create public transcripts of podcasts!” Fanscribed is leveraging the power of crowdsourced labor to make the service free to podcasters. (It’s implied that the people actually doing the transcriptions are doing so as a token of appreciation for the podcasts they love.)