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October 2014
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shortorange cloud based podcast playerThere is easy and then there is ShortOrange. ShortOrange is a be anywhere podcast player that is easy to figure out and use. If you are new to podcast listening this is a easy way to find out if you are going to want to listen to more.

Why is Shortorange a good podcast starter app?

First it is easy and straight forward. There are not any extras with this other than you can share these shows with friends and listen. There is an iOS app for an easier time to pull up. The Podcast manager itself is light and since all podcasts that are being listened to are stored online they do not take up any space on your device whether that is a computer or a phone. It streams the shows directly to your device.

This podcatcher is also cross-platform. That means what you have on your iOS device will also play on your desktop. The shows you have subscribed to will only have to be subscribed once.

You can search iTunes directory, is a big… HUGE plus for Shortorage because the majority of shows are on iTunes. That way you will not have to do much searching. If you do have a show that is for some reason not on Itunes then you will be able to add it to your list of shows by using the RSS feed.

Drawbacks

The big advantage is also it big draw back. The fact that the shows are not downloaded can mean that from time to time you will not be able to listen to your shows or if you are on a tiered data plan on AT&T or Verizon then you will be consuming your allotted data and could end up with a larger phone service bill than normal. So if you do use this I do recommend that you make sure you have a WiFi connection at hand.

All in all this podcatcher is great and I applaud the team that created it. good job!

Use ShortOrange 

 

Some people like challenges. Some people are truly nerds for the whole experience. If you want to do a podcast manager in one of the most aggravating and slow means, then try doing it command line style. Yep like the old DOS days, No User interface just type the command and letter her rip! If you are up and like that type if frustration you are either have self hate issues or you like to use Firenze, the command-line podcast and news aggregator. admitted I didn’t go very far into this app just because I don’t care to take a step back in tech. Firenze does have a UI but it is very basic and though am impressed with the number of features, this is not for a beginner. dont really know if it is for advanced users.

You can set conditions for downloads
You can manager your ID3 tags
You can split the mp3 files into different increments. Say you want an hour long show split into 30 minute pieces this podcaster will do it.
Firenze allows for setting of maximum simultaneous downloads.
You can access protected feeds
Also Firenze allows you to synchronize to your MP3 player
Allows you to import an OPML file
There are more command you can use than I would even know what to do with. This would be a great podcast manager if they improved the user interface

Download Firenze and learn all the command line codes on their site

HermesPod the light fast podcatcher for your windows computerWant simple? Want easy? Then HermesPod could be for you. This little program is quick, and easy to use. Dont try to find any extra bells and whistles this program doesn’t them. It is built to be easy. This is a interesting no Bull means of getting the latest podcast episodes that you want to listen to. You can have the MP3 files download to your computer and from there transfer them to what ever device you choose and beyond that… Yep that is about it. The config section shows just how easy it can be with only three options. What device you want to listen on. What folder do you want the shows save to, and if you pay something we will get rid of the ads

The Manage subscriptions is great. There is no in your face listen to this podcast advertisement it is enter the RSS feed and off you go if you don’t know the RSS feed there is a browser in the program so you can go to the website of your favorite podcast click a button and it will find the correct RSS feed. There is a recommended podcasts for those who are just starting out with listening to podcasting.

After downloading your shows, you will want to play them on something. You can link your favorite mp3 player to HermesPod or you can sync the shows to your portable mp3 player or phone or whatever it is you like to use.

Good points of HermesPod

Easy! The number one complaint many people have about podcasting is the difficulty of listening to shows. This podcast manager does a good job of keeping the learning curve small so that the new people are not scared off.

I like the browser search feature in this Podcatcher because many people are comfortable in using a browser and to just hit a button and poof wala! people are able to get the rss feed with out really having to know what an RSS feed is or what it does. Perfect job executed in that matter.

Bad Points of HermesPod

The lack of portability the big drawback. It is easy, and good for the office but you are tied to that one place. That is the worst I can say about this little program.

The Podcast addict podcatcher app for androidWe are still looking for the best podcast manager a beginner could use that would prove to be easy for them to learn how to use and make downloading the podcasts they listen to eay. I find myself looking at an app through the eyes of a person who is subscribed to almost 100 different shows. Now granted many of the shows I am subscribed to have pod faded but still it makes finding a Podcatcher very challenging. I look for an app that downloads automatically so I don’t have to think about it. I want my shows to, just be there. I believe that many new podcast users want that same convenience. I would like to be able to easily manage my shows so that they are in what ever playlist I choose.

Podcast Addict is a solid podcast player but it is not easy to use. you have Categories and they are the categories that the show is found under. You can put shows under different categories if you choose. This is good especially when you consume lots of podcasts.

You are able to get auto-download and configure many key points.For example, you can only download over wifi orif you want to stream your podcast you can do that only over wifi too. Though I was not able to get the Podcast Addict to auto download the three test shows I used. Now that could be because there was no “New” episode to download. The download was good. The playback sound was as expected.

A great little feature that I was able to find was that you can search through the iTunes catalog of podcasts and retrieve all of the popular shows. because many time many of the big celebrities don’t realize that there are people who don’t use iPhones and that podcasts are consumed else where than in the iOS ecosystem. Not many, but a few.  This Podcast manager allows for android users to expand their field of shows.

Many podcast managers these days offer the ability to automatically clean up any listen to shows after you have taken in all the great information they share. Podcast Addict is no different. You can actually set it to delete shows you have listen to unless they are marked as favorite. because there is always those couple of shows that you have to share with all of your friends at nauseum

There is one big draw back and that is in the area of play lists. There is a play list but there is only one though this will work for a new podcast user, but for an avid podcast consumer You are not able to break the podcasts into different play lists.you only have the one and you can rearrange the list so you have your favorites first but I like to listen to one play list that is centered aroudn a spacific topic at a time.

This podcatcher is good, but it could be a little easier to use. some of the features are not as straight forward as they could be while some features are very welcome. Not a bad podcast mamager for the field of free.

Download Podcast Addict

DoggCatcher is General Podcatcher and News aggregator for Android

When it comes to podcast managers there are several around. One you don’t hear much about is the Podcatcher known as Doggcatcher. This is a premium app for the android phones. One of the reasons I started using Doggcatcher is because I was having problems with my main podcast manager. So, I started looking around I had heard people mention DoggCatcher a few times and wondered how well it works.

I first tried the out my podcast and checked out to see how everything works I was able to download and play so I downloaded and played one of the shows that I was having problems with, and it worked, Great! So off I went assuming that this podcatcher worked like my old one. My first lesson in changing over podcasts. Then found out that you can’t just migrate over shows in to Doggcatcher and expect them to be in order. I knew this but was not fully ready for the number of hoops I was going to have to jump through just to get my shows in the order i wanted to have them play.

What I was expecting to do, was setup some type of category or playlist and add my shows to that playlist and the podcast manager would take over and automatically add the episodes to the list in the order of oldest to newest and away I would go!

Not quite that easy. Especially if your are in the truck driving profession, like I am currently. The biggest issue I have with Doggcatcher is that there are a few extra steps that I was not aware of, till I had to figure out the problem while driving down the road. Let it be known that trying to figure out why your shows are not playing in the assigned category is not easy, especially when you are driving. Yet, when I was able to find a place to stop and look I found out that you have to add all of the podcasts shows to a category, and then add those categories to a playlist. After that, any shows that were already downloaded didn’t automatically get added to the playlist, so you have to add those orphaned shows to a list. Big pain in the tail

These extra steps and hoops I find to be a bit of a problem for the new podcast listener. These are the people who are hearing the word podcast and have decided to see what the hubbub is all about. Using something like Doggcatcher is going to prove to be a  little too challenging for some new people who will give up because of the difficulty of getting the shows to play the way that they want.

 The Good aspects of DoggCatcher

OPML – If you are a big enough podcast listener you know about OPML files. These are files that are great if you consume lots of podcasts it is basically a bookmark page of all the podcast RSS feeds you listen to, and DoggCatcher allows for the import and export of these OPML files trust me it helps

Plays all mp3 files – I have a few feeds that I thought had pod faded but come to find out they haven’t. Great!

Chromecast – If you are a fan of Chromecast, Doggcatcher has the ability to stream your podcasts to your television.

The Bad aspects of DoggCatcher

The steps to take to set up your shows you are subscribed is challenging  to say the least. The multiple steps to setup your shows so that they will be played according to the category you have chosen.

The verdict of Doggcatcher

Great app but not for the beginning listener. It could be a bit of a frustration and cause new listeners to give up on listening to podcasts.

Juice the Podcast ManagerMany of the old school podcast listeners know of this Podcast manager. Juice is the podcather you used, if you didn’t want to have to wait for the colossal download that was, and still is, iTunes. You could download this program in no time flat with it only being 6.3 MB in size instead of dialing in, yes some of us still were dialing in for a while, and downloading iTunes all night long.

So if this program is so old that it was around during dial-up days why review it now? That is ’cause it  still works. Juice is a podcast aggregator, and that is what it does well. Though the app has not been updated since April of 2013, it still holds up, though the design is a bit dated.

The Features of Juice

 

Juice is Open source so you can download and use it for free under the GPL
Juice is not just english it supports more than 15 languages
Juice is designed to manage podcasts
Juice has a built-in directory so if you are new you will not have to go very far to find your first podcast to listen to.
Juice has auto cleanup, so once you listen to an episode of your favorite show it will be deleted instantly. that way you are not clogging your hard drives up with old shows.
Juice has centralized feed management so you can subscribe or unsubscribe to podcasts without having to do any technical acrobatics.
Juice is accessible for blind and visually impaired users now this feature is only for the windows version but the developers of Juice care that much.

Though this podcast manager doesn’t have much in the way of extra features it does do what it meant. Juice allows for you to download and play podcasts is it the best for a beginner? There are other podcasts managers that can do this better and are easier to use.

Download Juice

 

You can synce your podcasts with DropboxSay you are wanting to listen to podcasts at work but you don’t want to have to copy and sort through all of the podcasts you listen to, or for another reason you need to have some podcasts episodes that are automatically uploaded to dropbox after they are downloaded.

You can do this with iTunes and a small add-on called Dropbox Folder Sync

First download  Dropbox Folder sync

This add on will help in linking your podcast download folder to  your Dropbox folder. Just click the orange “Download” button on the left download and install. Once installed, go to your iTunes podcast folder this is normally

C:\Users\<user name>\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Podcasts\

Right click on the Podcasts folder and you will see the option “Dropbox Folder Sync” choose “Sync with Dropbox” and all the podcasts in that folder will be synced to Dropbox.

Now if you don’t want all the folders listed in the Podcasts folder. Then instead of selecting the podcasts folder just choose the shows you want synced and right click go to “Dropbox Folder Sync” and choose “Sync with Dropbox”. Then every time you grab new shows, Your dropbox will be updated and they will be dropped when you remove them.

That should get you going without having to go search for the shows again and try to sync your shows if you do not use the iPhone Podcasts app.

Remember this is for being able to consume podcasts don’t try to use Dropbox or Google Drive or any other cloud storage as your media server.

Show notes should be used if anything for their seo Show notes, this is almost every podcasters bane. The number one part of podcasting that no one likes seems to be writing show notes. Why? Well from my guess most podcasters don’t like writing. Hence the reason they are podcasting, that way they  can create content with hopes of not writing as much. So if all your content is spoken shy should a podcast worry about show notes? Why should you worry about show notes? I would put show notes in the category of discoverability. The notes that are put out, help search engines like google, bing, yahoo, to find out if your show is what their searchers are looking for. It allows for people to evaluate whether you are going to be giving them good information.

What do show notes need?

Minimum length of show notes should be about 300 words. The more words you write ,the better, but do not write for Google or any other search engine. People who write just for SEO will eventually get hit with some update. You are seeing people talk about the penguin update and how it has messed up their seo strategy and needing to spend many hundreds if not thousands of dollars to correct what was broken with a Google update. That could all be alleviated if they had tried selling to a person instead of an algorithm.  When you do write, write to your audience and share the needed information Give details about what is going to be in you show

What do you not need to put in your show notes

In this episode… Many new podcasters will start off with the phrase “In this episode…” somewhere in their show notes.  It really doesn’t help with explaining what it is an episode most people who find your podcast episode’s show notes will quickly find out that this is for a podcast or at least some type if episodic content. Why some people don’t do show notes

  • I have heard, “I don’t want to lose listeners because they are getting what they need from the show notes.” This says I don’t have confidence in my material. I don’t believe my show is good enough for people to be interested in every episode. IF that is the case relax. Work on your material and improve it each episode. but keep putting out good show notes
  • Other people think that they are not good writers, and there for don’t believe they should subject people to what they wrote. If you are not a good writer again relax. Keep writing your writing will improve with each time you write.
  • The Notes takes too long / or too busy to write. Yes notes can take a very long time to research and write and at times the show notes can take a very long time. But the end results are well worth the time, the frustrations, and fingers tied up in knots.

Growing your audience takes work, not just time taken into recording but to type out well thought out show notes.   Examples of good show notes
The School of Podcasting – Well this is done by a master so it is always goood to show the best example of show notes
Strange Worlds Travelogue – Great extra bits about the show and explains about what the episode is about.
Examples of not so good show notes
Smodcast – really doesn’t tell you anything about what the episode contains.
What to Think – The notes touch on what is going to be talked a bit but lacking in detail and makes it difficult for search engines to use that information for potential audience members who could trip across the site.

Podcasting News

Blackberry podcast directory is gone. Blackberry has taken the submit a podcast page down and if you go to the actual catalog page it is gone too. So it looks like Blackberry is hurting pretty bad and is starting to shut down some services. There for the link has been removed from the approved directory listing.

Comment question

Margaret Bartley asked a question on the Podcatchers page, and she is wanting to know if there is a podcatcher that allows for people to edit the id3 Tags and the file names so that the episodes she wants to listen to again are easier to find.

Links Mentioned

Audacity
Podcast Review Show – Special Mouse
WordPress SEO by Yoast
MP3Tag

What do you need to know about video podcastingCan Videos be Podcasts?

Yes, As long as the media is delivered via RSS, then it is a podcast so in a way and in definition you can actually have a PDF podcast if you chose to have one. Now, many people are just beginning to understand what a podcast is and how it actually works, but they have tied everything to just audio. This does, at times, cause some confusion and misinformation is spread around. There are many great podcasts that are video only podcasts. While some podcasts have both an audio and video feed. In other words there is an RSS fee that supplies just the Audio version of the Show and another feed that has only the video of the show. This is all contingent on your preference, and also what your topic is.

Why would you want to do a video podcast?

You might want to start with, do you have detailed information that is better told through showing? Does is pass the Easier to Show Test, if it is easier to say “Here, Let me show you.” Then you probably want to have a video podcast or at least a video episode of so that your audience is able to see and fully understand what you are telling then. Many times if your going through many steps of “Do This, Then This” A video of what you are talking about helps your podcast audience out tremendously. The phrase a picture is worth a thousand words truly is evident when you are walking someone through a step by step tutorial showing them a very technical topic.

So with a video podcast you actually share more information than you can, with just audio. You can post photos of your topic or you can add animation that will explain the topic in a simpler term than you could with just words.

As the host of the show, many times we want to give our audience our information in all the different channels they could possibly want. You might find out that you have an audience that doesn’t listen to audio all that often,. Yet, they watch videos non-stop. In that case you might want to start a podcast, as an effort to reach those specific audience members that normally wouldn’t listen to your show.

If a podcaster puts out one video a month their audience grows faster than if they are just audio. They grow even faster still if they put out a video along side their audio episodes.

Why would you not want to do a video podcast?

If you are using Libsyn as your media host you are typically able to get by with a $15 plan of 250MB for your one hour show. An hour-long audio podcast will be in the ball park of 45 MB. Now, if you were to do a video in standard definition then you are going to need about 350MB. So with just one video episode you have gone over you allotted upload for a month. Or in other words Video has more data, each pixel that is on the screen for that 1/26 of a second and takes up space on your hard drive. So Video is very expensive when it comes to hosting.

Videos also take up more space on your audience’s listening device. There for if they get behind their storage on their phone or iPod will start to disappear because your videos are taking up that space. The first place I free up are the unwatched videos that are taking up my precious space. The File size also becomes a factor when people are concerned about their bandwidth consumption. If you are on Verizon or AT&T you are on a tiered plan so it can get expensive if you go over your allotted bandwidth.

These days most people catch up with their podcast episodes when they are doing something else. Whether that is Washing the dishes, Mowing the lawn, or driving to work, your audience is normally doing something else with an audio podcast. They will not be able to listen as easily when there is a video playing. Often people will stop and watch the video when they are done. So unless you have really good content then people are normally not going to “get” to your show because they will have more pressing fires to put out.

When you are creating an audio podcast you realize that the recording is the easy part and for every minute of audio recorded is 4 minutes of other work associated with the show. That includes editing, uploading, show notes and marketing.  Now take that and double it. It becomes a 1:8 Ratio of work and most of it is in the editing.

Alternatives to Doing a video podcast

Youtube Free and is the second largest Search engine on the net. People are very active on Youtube.

Google Hangouts actually ties in to YouTube but at the same time give you the ability record and post at the same time.

Also thanks to the following Reviewers

Meatsnack2345 – *****: Great help in wanting to produce my own podcast

Social Strategy Podcast – *****: This is a great podcast. The intro music alone is worth a listen. Once you’re past that the information’s great and delivered in a way that keeps me engaged. Keep it up and can’t wait to hear more.

Commenters

Thanks to

Curt Nelson
Soulspotter from Soulspotter.com
Jake
Jef

Finally an explination

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