Twitter announced that they are launching audio-only broadcasting on Periscope (on iOS). In other words, they are enabling podcasters to use Periscope as a way to do live podcasts for their listeners. It doesn’t appear that this was Twitter’s intended use for the audio-only broadcasting feature – but that’s how I suspect it will be used.
Richard Plom, Staff Engineer of Periscope, wrote the following on Medium:
Broadcasting with audio only in Periscope is something the community has been asking for, and have been doing already by covering the camera lens. Sometimes people are not comfortable being on camera, but they still want to broadcast and interact with others via Periscope’s powerful chatroom feature. It was requested that we build this feature for #HackWeek, but after some research and focusing on the core of the problem we realized we could get it done in three days.
His Medium post also has a brief explanation of how audio-only broadcasting on Periscope works:
The iPhone microphone produces the audio stream and we continue to use that as-is. The camera produces a video stream that we immediately discard, and instead we create dynamic video animations informed by the audio data that we render on the iPhone in real-time. The audio stream is sent to the audio visualizer renderer which takes the raw audio bits and generates the waveform and volume levels indicator. This new stream is sent to backend instead of the one from the camera.
And, there you have it. Periscope made it easy for podcasters who don’t use video to do an audio-only podcast on Periscope. I don’t think most podcasters will decide to switch to Periscope exclusively as a result of this new feature. But, I can see the Periscope audio-only broadcasts being used as something “extra” for fans to enjoy.
News items about SoundCloud are so repetitive, they’re starting to sound like a broken record. We’ve reported more than once about how either SoundCloud is rapidly burning thru the money it has, or that it’s taken on more debt in the form of venture capital. This week’s SoundCloud news is focused on the second of those two, as apparently Twitter has invested $70million dollars in the audio platform.
This fact on its own is amusing considering Twitter itself has yet to actually turn a profit. Also, this isn’t the first time SoundCloud and Twitter have been linked financially. In 2014, rumors began circulating that the micro-blogging service was about to buy SoundCloud. But that deal ultimately fell thru. Now the two companies have come back together. But this time, Twitter isn’t going for the full buyout.
Since its launch in 2007, SoundCloud has raised over $193million in funding thru a total of five investment rounds. The money has come from nine different investors, including Twitter. Historically, it’s been difficult for audio-streaming services to reach profitability. The biggest hurdle these kinds of companies must overcome is dealing with the licensing and legal issues that arise around streaming music. SoundCloud has even had to consider giving equity to the major record labels in order to keep them happy.
While it does provide services for podcasters, SoundCloud has always been a music-first platform. It’s hard to say what SoundCloud’s financial standing could mean for podcasters who rely on the service. But if the company doesn’t at least break even soon, SoundCloud’s future doesn’t look very bright.
iTunes. Love it or hate it, we’re stuck with it as podcasters. Of course, iTunes is great when it works. But what about all of those times that an iTunes listing isn’t updating properly? Or how about when you need to change an RSS feed that controls an iTunes Store listing? Yeah, there are resources out there to help with these kinds of problems. But isn’t it time for a dedicated iTunes user portal for podcasters?
I ask this question and read a little but of listener feedback on this episode of Podcaster News Show.
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We’re only a few days into a brand new year. It’s a good time to look ahead and make plans for the next twelve months. With that, I’d like to propose some new rules we as podcasters should stick to in 2015.
1.) Turn off autoplay. Setting your media files to autoplay artificially inflates your download statistics. It also creates a lousy experience for your website visitors because no one likes to get a surprise blast of audio when a new site loads. Just stop with the autoplay.
2.) No more shady iTunes review swaps. You know who should be leaving iTunes reviews? People who have chosen to listen to your podcast. Stop trying to game the system by taking part in review swaps. Ask your actual audience for reviews and take them to heart when they come, good or bad.
3.) Stop publishing bad shownotes. I saw some “shownotes” today that were a gobbledygook of topical keywords followed by a list of broken hyperlinks. We all know that shownotes are fairly tedious and boring. But if you’re gonna bother to do them at all, at least try and make them moderately useful. Your listeners will appreciate the effort and you’ll feel good for doing it.
Continue reading 8 New Rules For Podcasting In 2015
I had different intentions when I first thought about typing this post. I wanted to compose something critical. Maybe even a bit snarky. But after doing some research, I’ve found that I may be in the minority in my way of thinking here.
Let me explain.
I subscribe to the popular StarTalk Radio podcast. Traditionally, StarTalk has released one full-length episode a week for as long as I’ve been listening. But recently, they began inserting short “Cosmic Minute” clips into the main podcast feed. I was a bit confused when I heard the first one, as there wasn’t any warning that these clips would be coming. I shrugged off the first Cosmic Minute and moved on. Until the second one landed in my podcatcher. Then, I became annoyed.
I subscribe to StarTalk Radio to get the full-length episodes. Not these minute-long clips. Yeah, I know. StarTalk Radio is technically giving me more content that I already like, so who am I to complain. But Cosmic Clips are simply snippets of interviews that have already been aired on full-length episodes, some of which I’ve already heard. I just don’t really have any desire to listen to this repurposed content. In the future, when a Cosmic Minute clip announces itself in my headphones, I’ll just hit the next button. No harm done, right?
Continue reading Some Thoughts On Adding Random Clips Into A Podcast Feed
If you want to publish a podcast, media hosting is a big deal. You need a reliable place to store your audio/video files. And preferably, that storage system won’t cause you go to go broke due to high bandwidth costs. Over the years, a number of companies have moved into this field but most of them haven’t stuck around. Spend any amount of time in a public forum devoted to podcasting, and the question of, “Which media host should I use?” will come up. And a flurry of responses will follow. Perennial favorites in the media hosting game like LibSyn and Blubrry come up often during these discussions. But another company seems to be entering the conversation more and more as of late: SoundCloud.
SoundCloud was first conceived by its founders as an online collaboration tool for musicians. It eventually morphed into an upload-and-share service for audio. Thanks to its ease of use and social sharing features, the service took off with musicians. Its growing popularity caused some to dub it “the YouTube of audio.” Soon, podcasters began asking SoundCloud how they too could take advantage of the service. SoundCloud’s base offerings aren’t really good for podcasters, as they’re really designed for musicians. In response, SoundCloud created a program for podcasters which has never officially left the beta phase of development.
Continue reading SoundCloud For Podcasting: A Skeptic’s Point Of View