The Unskippable Episode – PCN 035

PCN iTunes artworkIn this episode, Shawn and Jen discuss the dream of all advertisers who place their ads on podcasts – the unskippable episode.

The advertisers are super interested in finding some way to know, for certain, how many listeners actually heard their ad (and how many skipped right over it). This motivation values ads more highly than the content of your podcast.

In addition, we give you a really good example of how to advertise your podcast without annoying people. It takes a little creativity, but has great potential. We also poke at the concept of getting to the top of iTunes.

Links mentioned in this episode:

* Podcasting Has an Ad-Skipping Problem, Too
By Stephen Perlberg on The Wall Street Journal

* May the Podcast Marketing Be With You
By Mathew Passy on PodToPod

* Podcasting and the Big Picture, Part 2: Simple Tweaks to Increase Your Traffic
By Blubrry Team on PowerPress Podcast

* Podcast stats: what we (don’t) know
By James Cridland on Asia Radio Today

* How to Take Your Podcast to the Top Rank on iTunes
By Podcast Engineers at Podcast Engineers

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.

Politics Inside Out Covers the Political Conventions

Politics Inside Out logoPolitics Inside Out is a new podcast on Marketplace, which is produced and distributed by American Public Media (APM) in association with the University of Southern California. The unique thing about Politics Inside Out is that it is a limited-run “pop-up” podcast that will focus on the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention.

Politics Inside Out is by Andrea Seabrook, Nancy Marshall-Genzer, and Katie Long. Andrea Seabrook is an award-winning journalist with more than 15 years focusing on government and politics. She joined Marketplace as its D.C. Bureau Chief and Senior Editor.

Nancy Marshall-Gezner is a senior reporter for Marketplace who is working from the Washington D.C. Bureau. She started with Marketplace in 2007 after writing freelance pieces for years prior. Katie Long is a producer for Marketplace. She plans news coverage for the daily show in addition to producing host interviews and series.

The first episodes of Politics Inside Out will be from the Republican National Convention (followed later by episodes from the Democratic National Convention). The purpose of this “pop-up” podcast is to make a show that is more timely than other podcasts have been. It’s going to include coverage from important political events as the events are happening.

According to Poynter the format of the podcast is based on Andrea Seabrook’s thesis for political coverage. She plans to find people outside the arenas where the conventions are being held take their questions into the convention hall. She’s also going to ask convention attendees policy statements and bring them back to the people outside.

The episodes will be posted before 4:00 in the morning on convention days, which will be a challenge for the team doing the interviewing, editing, and narrating. The point of choosing such a tight turn-around time is to get the episodes out there as quickly as possible. If Politics Inside Out gets 50,000 subscribers, there is a chance the show will continue after the conventions end.

Whooshkaa Makes Listening to Podcasts on Facebook Easier

whooshkaa-logoWhooshkaa is an Australian podcasting platform. It is the first podcasting platform to take advantage of Facebook’s new audio sharing technology. Whooshkaa solves a problem that people faced when trying to listen to podcasts on Facebook.

You may have noticed an annoying problem that happens when you try to listen to a podcast on Facebook. Once you scroll past that content – it stops playing. Whooshkaa is the first in the world to use Facebook’s audio technology for podcasting.

There is a rollout happening on Facebook’s app on iOS (that will be coming soon to Android). After it rolls out, Facebook app users will be able to press play on a podcast link within Facebook and will not need to launch a new window or new page. The podcast will play within the News Feed.

Facebook’s audio player (on the app) will be minimized to the bottom right hand corner of the app screen. This enables people to continue to scroll through Facebook and to keep listening to a podcast that is offered through Facebook.

Here are some things that Whooshkaa can offer podcasters:

* It is a free platform, so you will never see a hosting bill.

* Whooshkaa lets you monetize your podcast and generate revenue with each download.

* Whooshkaa takes care of the ads with messages that fit your audience, which leaves you to focus on the good stuff: creating your podcast.

* Share your podcasts on other sites using Whooshkaa’s embeddable player

* Import your whole back catalog quickly and easily and synchronize with iTunes

* You can record your shows with the support of Whooshkaa’s production team in their Sydney studios, or create your podcast at your place and upload it to Whooshkaa.

A List, a How To, and a WTF – PCN Show 034

PCN iTunes artworkIn this episode, Shawn and Jen discuss two articles that provide advice on how to start your own podcast. One is intended for those who are brand new to podcasting, and the other brings up thoughts of WTF.

We also review yet another list that is in response to the infamous one done by Collision Media.

Links mentioned in this episode:

* Amazon Wants People to Pay for Podcasts
By Joshua Brustein on Bloomberg

* The Top Woman in Radio Says Podcasting Needs More Women
By Valentina Zarya on Fortune

* How to start your own podcast without any experience
By K. Thor Jensen on Geek

* How to Start Your Own Podcast: Tech Talk with Marc Maron
By Josh Rosenberg on SPIN

* The Pod 11 – The most influential Entities in Podcasting
By Rob Walch on podCast411

ID3 Editor Mp3Tag Now Available for Mac

MP3Tag LogoIt’s a step in the publishing process that somehow, podcasters are still forgetting about; Adding proper ID3 tags to media files before uploading them for distribution. The common wisdom when it comes to ID3 tags has been to “just use iTunes.” And while Apple’s monolithic media management application does a fine job of tagging, it may not be the right choice for everyone.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to iTunes when it comes to ID3 tags. One such option, Mp3Tag was previously only available on the Windows platform. But the media-tagging app is now also available for the Mac.

Media creators who find the process of adding tags to be confusing and convoluted with iTunes will surely appreciate Mp3Tag’s minimalist approach.

Mp3Tag Screen

Mp3Tag works on the Mac using Wine, a type of emulator that allows Windows applications to run on other platforms. There are two versions of Mp3Tag available for download. One version comes without the necessary Wine software (for users who already have Wine running on their Macs) and another version of the app that has Wine built-in. (The Wine connection explains why, even on the Mac, Mp3Tag has a very Windows-y look and feel.)

Mp3Tag for Mac is available for OS X versions Snow Leopard thru El Capitan. It can be downloaded for free thru the above link.

Hat tip to Charles Wiltgen of the Farstuff podcast for providing the Mp3Tag screenshot.

Join the Podcast Brunch Club

Podcast Brunch ClubThe Podcast Brunch Club (PBC) was started by Adela. It is a community of podcast listeners. Every month, anywhere from 1-5 hours of podcast listening is posted for members to listen to and discuss.

It’s like a book club – but for podcasts!

The Podcast Brunch Club started in March of 2015. Since then, a new theme has been selected for each and every month. Specific podcast episodes that relate to the theme are linked to on the PBC blog. That makes it easy for everyone to find the episodes and listen to them.

The current theme, for July 2016, is “Happy Birthday, America!” The selection of podcast episodes includes one from Radio Diaries, one from In Theory, and another one from Stride & Saunter.

There are two ways to join the Podcast Brunch Club. You can join in person by filing out an inquiry form on the website. There are Podcast Brunch Clubs in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, D.C., Sydney, Australia, and Geneva Switzerland.

The Chicago Chapter meets for brunch on the last Sunday of every month. Want to start a Podcast Brunch Club in your city? Let them know on the inquiry form.

The other way to join the Podcast Brunch Club is online. The best way to do that is by signing up for the PBC newsletter. You can also follow the PBC on Twitter, friend it on Facebook, and bookmark the blog. Their blog and Facebook group are where PBC members can add comments and have conversations about the episodes of the month.

The Podcast Brunch Club was started when it occurred to Adela how solitary podcast listening is. That experience reminded her of when you read a great book and want to share your thoughts about it with someone else. Those who participle in PBC can share their thoughts about specific podcast episodes each month with a group of people who have also listened to those same episodes.

Blubrry’s Free PowerPress Sites Is Now Available

Blubrry logoThe WordPress website platform is often mentioned synonymously with podcasting. Podcasters need websites, and WordPress has all of the tools to help would-be web builders get to work. And while WordPress itself is fairly easy to use once its set up, getting that first WordPress site online and keeping it updated could be tricky for a novice user. That’s why media hosting and podcast services company Blubrry came up with PowerPress Sites:

Blubrry’s PowerPress Sites is essentially the “easy button” for podcasting. With a free Basic account, users get a hosted WordPress website (the perfect place for publishing show notes and a streaming version of your show via the PowerPress audio player) that comes with built-in subscribe widgets, website streaming capabilities, and other essential plugins. The sites are designed with search engine optimization in mind, and can be set up in five minutes so you can get your show up and running right away.

PowerPress Sites come with these features:

  • Site caching to increase loading speed
  • Add Google Analytics codes for web stats and traffic information
  • WordPress themes designed specifically for podcasters
  • New, unbranded Blubrry HTML5 media player

While the new PowerPress Sites is technically free (no additional charge), it’s only available right now to Blubrry media hosting customers. Current PowerPress Sites users will be able to set up their WordPress sites thru special subdomains created by those users ( Future updates to PowerPress Sites will allow for more customized, advanced features.

Check out the official PowerPress Sites page to learn more about the service.

Disclosure: Podcaster News Executive Editor Todd Cochrane is CEO of Rawvoice, the parent company of Blubrry, and I work part-time with the Blubrry support team.

AdsWizz Launched PodWave

PodWave logoAdsWizz, a leading technology provider of advertising solutions for the digital market, has announced the launch of PodWave. It is the first ad marketplace specifically created to meet the needs of podcasters.

The new PodWave marketplace provides its premium publishers with ad creatives specifically tailored to best fit podcast content. It also creates a dedicated venue for advertisers targeting the in-demand audiences of premium podcasts while providing them with detailed metrics.

National Public Media (NPM), the sales team for NPR and PBS stations and their digital offerings, will be working with AdsWizz to drive sales to advertisers and their agencies. Under the terms of the deal, NPM will sell PodWave inventory to advertisers, capitalizing on the large and growing podcast audience.

PodWave enables advertisers to deliver targeted audio ads tailored to listeners’ locations, listening devices, demographic categories and other profile elements, including the subject matter of the podcast. In order to provide advertisers with a messaging format that is consistent with the spoken word nature of podcasts, NPM will provide proven audio creative production services to PodWave advertisers. With this partnership, AdsWizz and NPM are enabling advertisers to easily achieve broad scale across the podcast medium

podToPod Newsletter Launches New Website

podToPod logopodToPod, a regularly published e-mail newsletter that rounds up noteworthy podcasting items from around the web recently launched its own website:

Hey podToPod subscriber,
As you may know, my name is Joe, and for the last few years I have had the pleasure of delivering the weekly podToPod Newsletter covering the Podcasting Industry. And now, I am super excited to announce some big changes for the podToPod brand.
You, a part of our dedicated audience, have asked for more, and after lots of blood, sweat, tears….and a whole lot of late night caffeinated drinks, I am thrilled to reveal to you the next phase of podToPod.
A brand new website,, which features news, events, resources for podcasters, plus a whole lot more features in the works. I’d really love it if you would head on over and take a look at the brand new “go-to destination for all things podcasting.”

This is great news for those of us watching (and reporting on) the ever-changing and expanding podcasting space.

The new podToPod site is covering podcast-related news, events, communities, and more. The website is being run by podToPod founder/curator Joe Berman as well as podcaster Matthew Passy. The pair has already added a lot of content to the site. If you’re a fan of the type of stuff we write about here at Podcaster News, then you’ll definitely want to check out podToPod.