Tag Archives: app

Get a Deep Discount on Hindenburg Journalist in Honor of World Radio Day

Hindenburg SpecialMost podcasters key in on one digital audio workstation and then use it, sometimes forever, unless they feel a specific need to try something different. (I’ve operated this way myself for over a decade now.) There can be some sizable roadblocks to adopting a new DAW, with getting over the learning curve and the potential expense of a new software package being the largest. But once in a while, a deal happens that’s so good, you can’t pass it up.

In honor of World Radio Day, the makers of Hindenburg Journalist, a full-featured digital audio production application, are selling the DAW for just $1.90:

At Hindenburg we always celebrate World Radio Day by collaborating with other organisations and offering radio producers discounts.

In 2017 the theme of WRD is “Radio is You”. A particular focus area is improving the collaboration between radio stations and the surrounding Civil Society, Non-Government Organisations and Educators.

As this is an area Hindenburg is particularly engaged in, we are teaming up with Cultural Survival to promote their mission to advance Indigenous Peoples’ rights & cultures worldwide.

In 2015, the World Bank adjusted the global poverty line figure to $1.90 per day per family of 4.

This means that a family must earn at least $1.90 a day to meet its most basic food, clothing and shelter needs. A family earning less is generally accepted to be living in extreme poverty.

It is estimated that half of the world’s population, about 3 billion people, live in poverty. Of that, at least 700 million people live in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.90 per day per family.

A large number of these families are Indigenous Peoples, who are furthermore often discriminated against and denied equal access to education, media and services in their home countries.

For the whole of World Radio Day around the world, from 00:01 in Kiribati on the Christmas Islands, to 23:59 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Hindenburg will proudly offer a full Journalist licence for $1.90*. We will match all income from those licences sales and donate all proceeds to Cultural Survival.

As per tradition there will also be big World Radio Day discounts on Upgrade Journalist to PRO and Journalist PRO.

Even if you’re happy with your current DAW, I strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of Hindenburg Journalist at this deeply discounted rate. Who knows? You may find out you really like it!

Uber Partners With Otto Radio to Play Podcasts for Passengers

Otto Radio App LogoUber, the popular ride-sharing service that pairs those needing rides with willing drivers, recently announced a partnership with podcast-consumption app Otto Radio to provide customized podcast playlists for Uber passengers to listen to during their rides:

The next time you request a ride using the Uber app, a playlist of news stories and podcasts, perfectly timed for your trip’s duration, will be waiting for you in Otto Radio. Once your driver has arrived, you can sit back and enjoy your ‘personally curated listening experience and arrive at your destination up-to-date about the things you care about most,’ the companies said.

Otto Radio is an aggregation service that sources audio from thousands of online news outlets and podcasts. The service is designed to give users personalized playlists based on their interests. The Uber-Otto tie-in will rely on information in passengers’ Otto Radio accounts, creating properly-timed playlists for the duration of passengers’ Uber trips. (It’s unclear if passengers will need to listen to these curated streams on their own mobile devices or if the audio will be piped in thru the vehicle’s speakers.)

Podcast producers who’d like to have their shows included in this program can use Otto Radio’s claim form to ensure they’re listed in Otto’s directory.

CBC Claims Podcast Apps Violate Copyright

CBC LogoThe Canadian Broadcasting Company, better known as CBC, was one of the earliest public broadcasting organizations to adopt the medium of podcasting. Many CBC shows have been available as podcasts for years. And while those shows are still technically available as podcasts, the CBC is now trying to block some podcast-consumption apps that carry CBC podcast feeds.

This was first reported on Reddit, where user dredmobius discovered CBC shows were no longer accessible within his podcast app of choice. dredmobius contacted the app’s developer, who said that the CBC requested removal of its shows from the app due to violation of copyright. (The name of the app in this case has not been released.) In the same Reddit thread, dredmobius posted a copy of the notice that CBC allegedly sent to the app developer:

I am contacting you regarding the unauthorized use of CBC’s podcasts that are being used in your <app name> app.
By using CBC’s digital services you have agreed to our our Terms of Use located at cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/termsofuse.html.
Under section 2(b) of these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from using our podcasts for commercial purposes without a proper licence from CBC.
I would ask to cease immediately the use of our unlicensed podcasts.
If you interested in CBC content and podcast, we can discuss a license fee model.
I would be happy to have a call to discuss further our content and services.

Twitter user @AvenSarah asked the CBC what was going on in with this situation. An official CBC account replied:

In the same Twitter exchange, CBC also linked to a recently published document on its website titled “Why CBC/Radio-Canada has terms of use for its RSS feeds.” The article points to some legalese in CBC’s online terms of use for its podcast RSS feeds, along with this explanation:

So why do we want to work with third-party podcast apps or aggregators to agree on conditions for distribution of our podcasts?

CBC/Radio-Canada relies on advertising revenue; we try to monetize our podcasts. Apps that sell premium accounts, or use in-stream or banner advertising for example, are earning revenue through the content they offer. As a general principle, we think it’s fair for podcast creators to be compensated in some way for the content they create.

But, it’s not just about the money. When someone offers our content to their audience without any relationship to us, we have no idea what they’re doing with our content. Are they copying our content to their servers and serving cached versions? What’s their business model? Do our analytics capture their traffic? Is there a competitive conflict between our ads and the ads being displayed on their apps?

Not having the answers to these questions affects our own advertising model, and the analytics that help us understand who our audience is. Our brand can take a hit too if aggregators are associating our content with something that we’re not comfortable with, such as recently, when our content was placed next to ads for pornography. We also have agreements we need to uphold – commercial music for example, and so need to know that any third-party use of our content honours those agreements.

In some ways, the CBC’s perspective is understandable. The organization wants to protect its ability to monetize its content, and it doesn’t necessarily want third-party platforms to run their own ads against CBC shows. Still, podcast RSS feeds live on the open web. They should be accessible to any device or application that can properly read them. The CBC can try and stop podcasting apps from syndicating its shows. But it’s not gonna be easy getting this genie back into its bottle.


RememberMe App Lets You Highlight Podcast Audio Like a Book

RememberMe appWe’ve all been there. You’re listening to a podcast or audiobook while you’re out for a walk or driving a car. You hear some amazing piece of information you’d like to save for later. But you’re just not in a place where you can easily take down some notes. Maybe you take a screenshot of your device’s mobile player at the time where you heard the audio you’d like to save. Or you try and make a mental note of this important location within the audio. But most of the time, you simply forget about it altogether. A new app called RememberMe that’s currently in development is looking to change that by giving you the ability to “highlight audio” for note taking in the same way you’d highlight text in a printed document:

You don’t have to pause your podcast, rewind, go to another app or notebook. One tap will save the last 30 seconds in audio and text.

Saves audio in text so you can review your important information later with out having to re-listen to the podcast.

Syncs with Evernote or Dropbox for safe storage, automatic organization, and easy retrieval and review.

The RememberMe app could prove to be a very useful tool for saving specific information from spoken word audio. The app is not yet available to the public but RememberMe’s developers are offering an e-mail signup for anyone who’d like to know about future updates.

Pocket Casts 6 Syncs Podcast Listening Across Platforms

Pocket Casts logoIt seems like a given that the iTunes desktop application and/or Apple’s Podcasts app for iOS are the default programs most people use to listen to podcasts. And while that may be true, a number of third-party developers have come up thru the years to challenge Apple’s grip on the podcast consumption market. Many of these non-Apple apps are designed to work on one platform. For example, Overcast is only available on iOS. Downcast is a little better, being available on both iOS and MacOS. With the release of Pocket Casts 6, app developer Shifty Jelly is bringing your favorite shows to you, regardless of which device you’re currently using. And the app is also sporting some new features:

  • Redesigned user interface: Shifty Jelly describes the new Pocket Casts interface as, “Simple to understand, easy to use,” and “It looks good as well.” Adding, “Many things can now be accomplished faster than before and it just looks and works so much better.”
  • Trim Silence and Volume Boost: A special algorithm ensures that podcasts are played back at a loud (but still comfortable) volume, making it easier to hear the overall production. This feature also removes excessive amounts of silence between speaking passages, effectively cutting out unwanted dead air.
  • Picture-in-Picture and Split-Screen Support for iPad.
  • Up Next: This feature makes it easier to decide which podcasts to play after the current selection.
  • Dark Theme: An alternative look for the Pocket Casts app that makes it easier to use during nighttime hours.

If you’re interested in trying out Pocket Casts 6, the app is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and as a web version thru the Pocket Casts site.

Bit Bandit Is a Handy App for Calculating Audio File Size

BitBandit LogoWe live in an ever-increasing world of “unlimited” services. But one place that utopian vision of “everything all the time forever” doesn’t really apply is podcast media hosting. That’s why it can be useful to know how big your media files will be before publishing them to the web. But the only method that’s usually available to determine file size is to simply encode a file and check its properties. That process works but it’s far from efficient.

Billed as “A bit rate and file size calculator for audio engineers,” a new mobile app called Bit Bandit can help you calculate file size before encoding:

Use it to quickly calculate the bit rate of a piece of audio based on its sample rate, bit depth and channel count. Display the results in units of your choice.

Bit Bandit can also calculate file size based on bit rate. Commonly used bit rates are included by default.

I downloaded Bit Bandit and did some testing. It has two sections. A Bit Rate section and a File Size section. The Bit Rate section is really more of a curiosity than anything else. But it might be fun to play around with if you’re a math nerd.

Bit Bandit Bit Rate
Bit Bandit Bit Rate Calculator

The File Size calculator found within Bit Bandit will definitely be of use to podcasters. In the example below, I told Bit Bandit to calculate the size of a file that’s 1 hour, 30 minutes long, and is encoded at 96kbps. The app told me that my file would be in the neighborhood of 63.3MB.

Bit Bandit File Size
Bit Bandit File Size Calculator

Bit Bandit is a free download for both iOS and Android. The app developer has suggested there will be a paid version of Bit Bandit with enhanced features in the future.

Ummo App Is Your Personalized Speech Coach

Ummo logoPeople don’t usually grow up with the notion that one day, they may spend countless hours talking into a microphone and thus, they should be constantly honing the craft of speaking. That’s why many podcasters, veterans and newbies alike, struggle with overused “vocal connectors” like umms, ahhs, and you-knows. Hang out on any podcasting-related message board for a day or two and a topic with the headline of “How do I stop saying ‘umm’ all the time?” is sure to pop up. Of course, some of these problematic vocal tics can be removed thru audio editing. But a better approach would be to avoid speaking them in the first place. That’s where the Ummo app comes in.

The first step in using Ummo involves creating a customized list of “filler words and phrases.” Next, press Ummo’s record button and begin speaking. The app will analyze your voice and provide a report based on customized metrics you’ve created. Ummo can also give you feedback on things like the loudness of your voice and your pace when speaking, as well as how clearly you’ve pronounced certain words.

Ummo offers these features to help you improve your speech:

  • Annotated speech transcript that helps you review your speech
  • Word frequencies and locations for your most-used words and your FillersPace and volume over time, at the word level
  • Length of pauses and where they occurred
  • See how close your pronounciations were to the average American accent

The Ummo app is available from the iOS App Store for $1.99.

Overcast 2.0 is Free for Everyone

Overcast logoWhen Marco Arment released the first version of his podcast-consumption app, Overcast, it worked on a freemium model where users could pay a one-time fee of $4.99 to unlock all of the app’s features. Today, Arment announced the release of Overcast 2.0. This version will be completely free, with all features immediately available to all users.

Arment explained the reasons for this change on his website:

Overcast 1.0 locked the best features behind an in-app purchase, which about 20% of customers bought. This made enough money, but it had a huge downside:

80% of my customers were using an inferior app. The limited, locked version of Overcast without the purchase sure wasn’t the version I used, it wasn’t a great experience, and it wasn’t my best work.

With Overcast 2.0, I’ve changed that by unlocking everything, for everyone, for free. I’d rather have you using Overcast for free than not using it at all, and I want everyone to be using the good version of Overcast.

Arment is now asking Overcast users to instead sign up for a voluntary monthly subscription to help cover the costs of upkeep and development:

If you can pay, I’m trying to make up the revenue difference by offering a simple $1 monthly patronage. It’s completely optional, it doesn’t get you any additional features, and it doesn’t even auto-renew — it’s just a direct way to support Overcast’s ongoing development and hosting without having to make the app terrible for 80% of its users.

If only 5% of customers become monthly patrons, Overcast will match its previous revenue.

The Overcast developer may offer special incentives for subscribers in the future. For now, he’s seeing these voluntary subscriptions as a true “patronage model,” where users are paying for the app itself and its continued development.

Overcast is available as a free download from the App Store.

The Shortest Podcast

Podcasts are such a varied medium. There’s very few rules or conventions defining what a podcast should be. There’s plenty of trends, so many podcasts are improvised group discussion, many have a specific niche to focus on, but the trends in terms of podcast length are all over the place.

Some podcasts are 20 minutes, some 45, some aim for an hour an episode, many go for 90 minutes and there’s even a healthy number that push three, four and five hours per episode. As someone who often finds themselves giving advice to aspiring podcasters, I usually tell new podcasters that they should aim to make their episodes no longer than it takes their listeners to listen to between episodes. This assumes that they’ve got other stuff going on in their day and other podcasts to listen to also. The bigger podcasters like Adam Carolla can afford to put out 90+ minutes five times a week because he has a dedicated fan base, but for your average podcaster, that kind of quantity is going to see their listeners miss episodes because other attentions take priority.

So that’s my rule for the maximum length of a podcast, but lately I’ve been struggling with finding a similar formula for the minimum length of a podcast. In theory it shouldn’t matter, in fact brevity could help you by making your podcast the go-to filler podcast for short listens. This has the flip side risk that your content lacks depth and therefore interest. It’s a tough line to walk, but recently I took the plunge when I fell in love with an incredible app that is driven by short form content.

For most non-Australian readers, if I mention the Omny personal radio app, you might not be familiar with it, they’re still growing and are slowly launching in new international markets. It comes from Melbourne-based 121cast, the makers of SoundGecko. Omny is a player that scrolls between short podcasts (under 10 minutes) music from your own library, music streaming services and also reads out events from your calendar, weather reports and more. All of this combines to make a highly personal radio experience.

When I discovered this app, I was preparing to launch my short-form podcast The Forgetting Curve. I later made an edited version of another of my podcasts to fit it in with the Omny format. I was nervous at the time about stepping outside of my 30-45 minutes an episode comfort zone, but with a tool such as Omny there, basically providing a shuffle button for podcast content, we have found the way to make short podcasts competitive with longer content.

If Omny is not yet available in your local App Store, then get in touch with them and tell them you’re keen to try it. I’d also highly recommend experimenting with the length of your podcasts. Edit a highlights episode regularly, or just segment your content to allow your listeners to fit you in here and there. Give your audience options and see what kind of length they prefer.

by Jackson Rogers