A few days ago, I was perusing the internet looking for new sites that talk about podcasting and I tripped over this website that was talking about how you can host your MP3 Files on Google Drive. I jumped in Guns blazing ready to take out these charlatans for spreading wrong information. After my rant about being a violation of Google’s TOS and that it doesn’t support Byte Range Requests the writer asked a good question. Where is this information. So I was ready to drop some knowledge bombs on this guy. Then I learned something.
Can you host Podcast Files with Google Drive?
Google Drive does not support web resources that make use of server-side scripting languages like PHP.
But still I was surprised that you could share your files that publicly on a site like Google Drive. but then there was the Byte Range Requests. Google’s not going to support Byte range requests. So, maybe I could save some face still. So I uploaded an MP3. Shared that folder. Then opened the shared link.
Saw the file and started playing the promo. As the file was playing I checked to see if Google was doing byte Range Requests and sure enough they are! Google does actually allow for you to do this server function. So yeah you can host your files and share them but if you look at actual link it is not direct link to the file. So how is the writer of this article able to use this as an actual podcast host?
The steps are fairly simple.
- Allow a Google Script access to your Google Drive account. It will create a shared folder labeled “Podcast#########” the # is a string of numbers.
- Then you upload a file in that script.
- You then click a link to get the Direct link like https://googledrive.com/host/0ByneYj3oEthrTmdhNjgxX21ma0U/HayrollingPromo1.mp3 you then have to remember “https://googledrive.com/host/0ByneYj3oEthrTmdhNjgxX21ma0U/” or you will have a whole new folder you will have to deal with each time, you go to post a new episode .
So there is a lot of work to go into trying to host on Google Drive for free, and the work is just as difficult using Dropbox or even Skydrive.
Dropbox’s TOS reads as follows
You’re free to stop using our Services at any time. We also reserve the right to suspend or end the Services at any time at our discretion and without notice. For example, we may suspend or terminate your use of the Services if you’re not complying with these Terms, or use the Services in a manner that would cause us legal liability, disrupt the Services or disrupt others’ use of the Services. Except for Paid Accounts, we reserve the right to terminate and delete your account if you haven’t accessed our Services for 12 consecutive months. We’ll of course provide you with notice via the email address associated with your account before we do so.
Another way to put it is, if you cause to much strain on their servers guess who has lost all of files. So there are risks that are being taken by trying to skirt the system.
Should you host with Google Drive?
Just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. I take you, my ideal audience, seriously, and I have struggled to build a strong following. I wouldn’t risk losing to because a company, that has no problem shutting down a service (remember Reader), tomorrow. Not do I think Google is going to shutdown Drive? No they are making some money off of it. But all it takes is for people trying to share pirated software, and music to abuse the system and it is gone. I would rather apply my money to Libsyn or Blubrry
In closing you can do a lot of things you can chop a tree down with a sledgehammer and you can Use a hammer on a screw but it is not the best choice. With there being no free lunch, so you are paying in time and frustration when Google changes something and breaks your feed. In fact is you read the comments this is a common problem for many readers who did try this. I am not faulting them for trying to find a free solution to the hosting problem but I am finding out more and more, free is really expensive.
Listeners Email –
Just curious how you measure analytics on your podcast? Also, do you by any chance use podtrac/feedburner to give iTunes stats? It’s all so confusing!
Vanessa producer for Zestology
I started writing the response and as I kept going, I kept adding more information to the point that I asked if it was OK if I publish this for you to read. and Vanessa has graciously allowed me to share my response. So I wrote Using your Stats to find Your Listeners. Give Tony Wrighton and Vanessa I big hello and let them know you heard about them from Podcast Dojo.
The first episode of your show, oddly enough is a tough one to start, not just because you are afraid of what your voice sounds like or how bad your show will sound. What should the first show contain? Should you just jump into the content of your show as a whole, or would a good general introduction be in order? Do you tease who you are or just tell your whole story in that one episode?
What is episode 0?
Episode 0 is the, very first episode in your show listing. It is even before EP1, so it holds a special position of being in a position of no position. but it is also a strategy that many podcasters are using to point people to the introduction of Who the host(s) is/are, Why they started the show, What the show is going to be about, the topics and scope, and many other preliminary questions the host may believe the audience members may have about subscribing to the show.
I believe the introduction is a product of your society and putting out the customary greeting of “Hello! I am me and I want to get to know you.” There is nothing at all wrong with an introduction. In fact every podcast I have started has an introduction episode as its first episode. It is a means for the ice to be broken.
I use the intro as a means to tear down that first wall of suspsion, and for the host to extend that first relationship building handshake with a simple Hey how ya doing. This is why I am starting this show and I think your pretty rad (Do people even still use Rad?) for listening. Intro could be the imposter syndrome talking but if it helps conquer that particular fear than that is good also.
Now the Episode 0 also allows for people who don’t know you and will get you figured out along the way, to not be bored with your back story. Some Folks are don’t have time to listen to, why you started the show. They are just glad they found someone who might be talking about their favorite topic, and so they need to get the Show on the Road. Using an Episode 0 helps fix that problem.
With Episode 0 being in front of your “first” episode you can then put out the content that is meant for your show. This is helpful in a couple of ways. First of all iTunes. iTunes will not approve your show until you have at least one episode up, and if you have episode 0 and 1 up then people can get to know you faster if they choose or they can get straight to the sweet content and knowledge you are wanting to spread around. It can help with giving your audience what they want, and the ability to choose right off the bat.
So should you have an Episode 0?
Though I could say, “Yes make sure you get the episode 0 up and out before you do anything else.”
Yet the answer is no. If you don’t see the reason for an episode 0 then don’t do it. If you believe your episode 0 should tell your whole biography, as long as it is not too boring tell it. Tell it in a way that will truly engage your listeners. Share your story so it compels your podcast audience to tell their best friends about that insane event that happened.
What should you have in your episode 0?
If you do decide you want an Episode 0 there are some elements you might have listed in the show notes area.
- Your Promos
- Contact information
- Motto’s and other points that give people an idea as to who you are, and what you stand for.
- Links to your about page
Basically use this page as whatever way you feel it would work for your show.
The Patent Troll Personal Audio LLC has been defeated.
Blubrry is taking the reins to help Android users listen to podcasts.
Jeffrey Holbrook of The Daggers of the Mind Podcast and I had a great discussion on the site about Libsyn and WordPress You can join in the conversation. I enjoying the interaction and you guys are making me think which is what I love.
There has been a problem that Android users have suffered from since Android’s start. That problem being to quote Rob Walsh, “Google is not a podcasters Friend”. That is because Google doesn’t make it easy for podcast listeners to subscribe.
Normally a podcast listener on Android opens their podcatcher of their choice searcher for the podcast show they are interested in subscribing to. If they are not able to find it because of whatever reason. Then they have to do the multi-step trial of patients. Most podcast listeners give up before they even try these following steps. This is one of the reasons I do believe Google has failed their platform and not even tried to rectify the issue. This could also be the reason why listening to podcasts is predominantly Apples field and not more Android listeners.
The Traditional Steps were
- Find the website for the show
- Look to see if the RSS feed link is visible on the front page. If not, then the podcast listener may keep looking around till they find the rss feed’s address
- Once they have the RSS feeds address, the listener then copies the URL and pastes it into their Podcast manager.
These are way too many steps. The incredibly smart guys over at Blubrry have come up with a solution, and this solution is pretty innovative. The folks over at Blubrry have created the necessary protocols for podcast manager developers to add to their apps for the simple one click Subscribe on Android.
What it means for the Podcast Listener
How it works is easy. If your podcast player supports the Subscribe on Android, and you come across a podcast that has either the Subscribe on Android logo or uses the PowerPress WordPress plugin then when you click on the link, the podcast show will instantly subscribe in your podcatcher. Cuts out the hard work, by making it easier for you, the listener to subscribe to a show.
What it means for the Podcast Producer
Podcast Producers how you can help is by going to SubscribeOnAndroid.com and place your shows RSS Feed Url into the textbox press the “Subscribe on Android” button. If you scroll all the way to the bottom you will see Embed. Place that logo somewhere on your site, preferably in the same area as your other subscription buttons.. Even if you already use PowerPress. This will help the podcast listeners know that the podcast community is trying to help them by making it easier to consume podcasts.
Who supports the Subscribe on Android
As of the 10th of April Podcast Addict Version 3 is the only app that has the needed protocols but more will follow.
If you are a podcast manager developer
Then Subscribe on Android has the needed information for your app development so you can easily implement it into your app and help your listeners not have to work so hard. That information can be found under the For Developers section they lay out all of the needed details and by the looks of it it is only about 10 lines of code.
So give the guys over at Blubrry a big thank you! by using the Click to Tweet link below.
You record your podcast. You post it up, share it out to ALL of the social media sites that your audience is enjoying. Are they listening to your show? Are they listening how far along are they listening? How can I tell how many are listening?
Analytic and Statistical tools
Stats are a podcasters endearing frustration. We all look at them while some obsess and others just obsess at a lesser degree. And we should obsess about our podcast performance. Now to what level can be debated and we wont do that here.
What tools to many podcasters use to find out about their audience numbers? There are many and the common ones
The first tool is something all websites need to have in their arsenal. This can be Google Analytics or StatCounter this will let you know that there are people actually going to your web site and getting information. If you’re not getting any hits after the first month of opening the doors this will let you know that there is a problem you need to look into.
Also web Stat programs are good informing you of what your audience is wanting to know more about. If you look at the what your landing pages are, and combine that with the few keywords Google lets through, you can see what information the people coming to your site are after.
Now your WEB hosts stat program not quite the best because they show everything. Every little impression whether it is a spider crawling your site or a bot stuck in a loop. You can get many false bits of information. Good if you want an ego boost, bad if you want to help your audience.
Blubrry & Libsyn stats
There are several Podcast stat companies out there and there are more cropping up, but there are a few that are trusted in the community. Media hosting companies are pretty good in general but BluBrry and Libsyn both pride themselves in making sure to filter out the nonsense that can at times be generated because of bots and shady practices. Blubrry general stats are free but if you want to dig deep they are 5 dollars a month if you do not have hosting with them
Libsyn’s stats are for those podcasts that host with them, and are equally good.
Podtrac has positioned themselves as a podcast advertising firm but they have long been known for the free stats you are able to get through them. Compared to blubrry and libsyn their stats are good.
Feedburner was a blogging tool for people to be able to sort of track the people who subscribed to their RSS feed. The statistics it gives is there. I wouldn’t trust the numbers Feedburner says but as an RSS redirect I couldn’t recommend a better service.
Stitcher is a Podcast directory and Podcast player. This gives them a unique angle of being able to let you know not only when people listen to your show but you are also able to see how long they listen and where they dropped off in relation to the whole show.
Are they listening to your show?
Sweet, now you know about some of the services how do you tell if they are listening to your show? The easiest is to look at your Media hosts stats that are provided. This will show you that your show’s episodes are being downloaded. Yet these are not listens, and there is a difference between downloads and listens.
Downloads are the event of a mp3 file being downloaded. A listen is the act of a person consuming your content. Podcasters often want to use the downloads stats for advertisers and often with the easily obtained large download numbers, advertisers will think that the show is popular. Yet though there can be a large download number through different practices like Twitter Bombing, you can have very small number of listeners. So you want to look for the harder to find listens.
Other events that will trigger a download is Flash plugins, Autoplays, and bots. Flash auto loads the file to be ready if your listener presses play. Autoplays are an annoying way of getting download but because of the annoyance the vast majority of people instantly stop the player and though it registers as a download that person didn’t listen to the show. Then there are bots that request the file and will be triggered as a download, but I have yet have a bot buy anything from me.
Finding the elusive listener can be a little bit like being a Private Eye in that you are looking through your data over time. There are a few items that you want to look for in your stats the big list you want to employ is clients. When you go to your stats page there needs to be a clients list if you are not able to find it or your host doesn’t keep that stat. Then look to Blubrry’s Statistic service* it is only $5 and will give you all you will possibly need. Bluburry you are able to get a list of clients. This list of clients is will show you all the iTunes downloads, the Podcasts app downloads, the Pocket casts downloads, Zune, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and any other players that is available.
How I find my listeners is, I take all of these clients for a month and add them together minus the browsers and other clients that are not actual podcast players. Then average those out for four weeks. This will give me a rough idea of how many people are actually listening to the show. Then keep track of that number from month to month will give you a good idea as to if your listeners are increasing.
Why do I take the browsers out? I remove them because those are often bots hitting your site. Agreed there are actual listeners going to the site listening through the players I have on my site. But I feel those people are few and often they are just people sampling the show to see if it is worth them downloading. My actual browser listeners have a special place and they let me know they are listening by commenting on the site.
So are they listening to the whole show?
This is very difficult to show how far people have listened to a show. The best way to tell is to use Stitcher. This service is free to add your show and they give some useful stats for help to understand where your listeners are dropping off, and it will be just those people that listen to your show through stitcher not all of your listeners. So it will not give you a full idea of how people are listening to the show, but it will give you an idea.
So finding your listeners is possible in a way but getting that number is just part of the solution. Never put numbers over names getting to know who your audience is and what they do and how they use your information is the absolutely best way to find out who your listeners are. Also, when you put names over numbers you will cement you audience and help turn them into fans, and that is what we really want.
With the new version of Audacity out I thought it would be a good time to cover what is new in the new version 2.1. and refresh how I use Audacity.
Many of the improvements are you can now preview plugin settings for your audio on the fly. Now this isn’t all plugins but the Linux Audio Developer’s Simple Plugin API (LADSPA), Virtual Studio Technology (VST) and then for Mac user there is also Audio Unit but for the Windows units the first two work and it works great.
You will now no longer have Noise Removal which was a bit deceiving and improved its functions under the new name of Noise Reduction
Cross fading works a lot better now. Instead of way to many steps to get a good cross fad. You now select the two tracks at the point you want the cross fade to happen and choose Cross Fade. No longer do you choose the Cross fade out and the Cross Fade in.
You can Chain different Effects together.
There is an improvement to the Recording Meter bars. along with new spectral adjusting or editing.
You can now Truncate Detected Silence or Compress Excess Silence. Truncate Detected silence will remove sound down to 0.5 seconds while the compress will shrink silence that is crosses a specific threshold and shrink it be a certain percent.
You can read all of the release notes on the Audacity Wiki
In my research I found out Audacity has been around for 15 years!
So with the new improvements how does one use this audacity for their podcast?
For many people podcasting is done as inexpensively as they can and often the phrase you get what you pay for is also applied. Yet when it comes to Audacity it does still apply but more in the expense of time than quality. yet when it comes to the learning curve of Audacity it is step but not very high. So, you may spend a day learning the basics and then the extras are easy to figure out.
What is my Audacity workflow?
I have used Audacity two different ways Live to Drive in other words I have used my computer as the recording device, and recorded straight to Audacity and I have, and still do, import my wav files for editing and post production. For the Work flow I am going to cover what happens after the recording has stopped, and the editing is beginning.
Import extra audio and arrange
I bring in my intro outro and any other audio that I am going to use in that episode. I then name the Show tracks “Summary” and “Body” My intro track is Intro and outro is the same Each track will have a descriptive name so I can easily find it when I need to select it for editing.
I then arrange each track it the order it will appear so the Summary track is at the top and the Hayrolling trailer is at the bottom. This is to make it as easy to align each track with the next with out having to jump to the top then to the bottom and back and forth and start getting confused.
First effect I like to run is the Reduce Noise. It was Noise removal till this new update. To do this, when I am recording I give at least 20 seconds to record silence so I have any background and line hum showing up in the recording. In the Audacity editor select the the “silence” and open the Effects select Noise Reduction. In the window that opens up click the “Get Noise Profile” button at the top. Then close the Noise Reduction window select the track in this example case it would be the Body track, by double clicking. I would then reopen the Noise Reduction window and chose OK and the noise is then removed.
If the sound is not cleared to your likings then you can adjust your settings to your satisfaction. Most people are pretty satisfied by the default settings or adjusting the attack setting.
After silencing all of the noise in the background you will have lots of background space. Often times there maybe too much silence. There are two different ways you can take up that extra dead air by going to each spot and removing a portion of the silence, or you can use truncate silence.
Now silence is natural. There are normal starts and stops to your speech pattern and when removing all of the silence from your audio the sound hits a kind of Uncanny valley and become very unnatural. There for you want silence and even the pregnant pause is good from time to time. Dead air will get people attention. but if you …
Too much dead…
Air then you might want to remove some of that with Truncate silence. Now most of the time the default settings are fine for removing just enough silence, but with the new two types of settings the Compress Excessive silence would be the better choice. that way the silence is still in a natural rhythm but not too excessive. The duration is the threshold that any silence that is detected, and then it is compressed by however much percent is set. SO if there is Duration of silence that is 4 seconds long then it will be compressed to 20 seconds long. That way everything still has a natural rhythm and you don’t sound like a robot.
Now I use Chris’ Dynamic Compressor. This is when I use this effect after I have removed all background noise and taken out all excess silence. The reason is because at the end of the compression there are times I would get a strange amplification of sound and I was able to prevent that after removing all noise and taken care of the silence.
Change tracks from Stereo to Mono
Export to wav file.
If you want to keep your SEO ranking you might want to become mobile friendly. Google is changing their algorithm to place mobile friendly pages higher up on the ranking. With podcasting being a mobile medium, your site should be mobile too. Whether that is a responsive design or a mobile friendly
iTunes changes their specs AGAIN.
This is almost becoming a habit. the iTunes album art for podcasts has been changed to the max size of 3000 x 3000 pixels. The minimum is still 1400×1400 So you don’t have to change your artwork just yet but if you are tapped by iTunes to be featured then they are going to want a 3000×3000 image. So at least start working on getting it updated.
relatedLillian Yang over at Brand Bear the Cover Art Specialist would like to help you with your cover art.
A problem podcaster have is with their podcast feed being valid. You can use something like feedvalidator.org but it is a bit out of date and give a few false errors. A good alternative for Podcasters is Podbase it Checks to see if there is an RSS feed and how fast it responds to a request. Checks to see if it is a valid XML file and if it is an actual RSS XML file. It also checks your Sharing and SEO for the feed. Ten it also checks the enclosure tags to see if they are iTunes compliant. If there are any problems like the size being too big . Great service to put in your tool box.
Been a little while since I have done a review of a podcasting app for the Android OS and I will be starting up iOS reviews here soon but I will continue to focus on Android because they are so under used when it comes to podcasting, and I want the android users to know that they can listen to podcasts and they can do so easily with the right app. But this Android app has been around for a while.
Podkicker is a fairly well balanced app that is has many of the needed features for new podcasters to be able to subscribe and listen to shows. There is the great setting that allows to a file to be deleted after playing, and settings like downloading only when connected to a wi-fi access point. There are other features that are great for the dedicated listener. Like all auto play from cars and resume playing when an audio jack is reinserted. One of my favorite features. Unplug for what ever reason and the moment I plug it back in the app starts back up where I left off. Very handy.
Now I will preface this with I have gone to an iOS device here recently and so my mindset on where to find things are little different now. Like closing subwindows in the app tripped me up for a short while because I forgot about the back button. which actually surprised me because for the longest time I was always hitting the non-existent back button on the iPhone 6 but with the readjusting of my mind around how the old GS3 works I was able to find out how to unsubscribe to the shows that are already installed. Yes when you first install the app Podkicker on your Android device you will have about 8 shows that you are already subscribed to. You can unsubscribe to them if you want. They are some good shows quality and production is not bad so if you are new to listening to podcast you might find your first show in this list. Then again if none of these shows interest you then just long press on the show and choose unsubscribe and they are gone. No muss no fuss.
If you want to have the new episodes download automatically you need to go into each episode and choose the option for that particular show. I would actually like to see that set to auto from the start. Yet they do have Chromecast support if like listening from the Television.
I find podkicker to
- Starts with a show of some good starter podcast casts about GLobal news, history and the like
- Recognises rss feeds and will redirect an rss feed from the Browser to the app.
- Uses the iTunes directory so you have a large supply of shows to search through.
- Can import and export your subscriptions using OPML
The Not so Good
- Starts with a show of some good starter podcast casts about GLobal news, history and the like you are subscribed to the podcasts so you quickly have to learn how
- The navigation is not as intuitive as it could be. most everything you are going to need is found by long pressing the particular show.
- Would like to see an easier way to search for new podcasts
- Be nice of the downloads were set to automatic.
ad free $1.99
Download the Podkicker app
First OOPS! If you are looking for episode 30 that I was calling episode 31 just follow the link, and again sorry for the mix up.
There is a lot of discussion in the podcasting space about MP3’s and should they be encoded at 64 bps or 128bps while some people think 96 bits is what you need to use. Why are people talking about Stitchers audio quality being so bad? Why does Stitcher have such a low quality of sound? There are reasons for this. The debate is a good one to have because there are so many different variable that go into sound quality and size. There is the saying that you can not get something for nothing. The same goes for MP3s you have quality and you have file size. Both are important to the podcaster.
But we want the best quality of sound! You are correct. As a podcaster we all want to have the best sound we can possibly produce to make it to our fans ears. We don’t want to assault them with horrible audio. We want to show our listeners that we care about our show and at the same time about their delicate senses. What messes with the audio faster than a bad pre-amp? Compression, and getting that Frying Bacon Underwater sound gets more and more prevalent as you mash your audio file smaller. The Compression is done by the changing the different bit rates. The higher the bit rate the better the sound. When you have better sound you get listeners to stick with you longer and gather more value from your show.
There are many parts as to why file size is important to you the podcaster. Main one is your hosting service. Many if not all have a limit of one type or another on the size of your file. With Blubrry podcast hosting and Libsyn they both limit how much you can upload in a month. If you upload a 100MB file each week you would have to use Libsyn’s $20 plan to have enough space and hope that you didn’t go over that 100 MB in that month because you would not be able to upload that last file. Because of the limit.
If you have an account with a service like Spreaker then you are limited by the amount of space on the servers. So, after a while you have to start removing your back catalog to make room for new podcast episodes. So your audience misses out on the great content of your back catalog. So, you as a podcaster have to worry about your file size.
Then there is another aspect of the size you need to take into account, and that is your audience. The larger the file size the longer it takes to download. Now It may not be as big of a deal as it was back in 1998. When we used dial-up modems to get online and if you had a 5 meg file you were downloading it could take almost 30 minutes to download. That is if you had a good connection. Yet, Your listener who is downloading your file has limited space on their phone or other listening device. Also many people do not use Sprint and their unlimited plan. Most people in America have a tiered data plan so they are limited to a certain number of Gigs they can download. And if that person is on a shared data plan then even though they have 15 GB of data they can download through a billing period, there is the other members of the family who are also eating through the data. So, in the short form many people who are likely your listeners are going want to download your show and if you make your files too big then they will shy away from downloading your latest episode.
This also applies to those who are doing progressive downloading of your show. So if someone is listening to your podcast through the browser on their phone then they are downloading the show as they listen. This also eats up their data. So, you want to help your audience be able to consume your content.
This is one of the reasons why Stitcher has such a low compression for the shows it adds to their directory. Stitcher is sacrificing quality for size, but they do so in thought of most people will not be listening on studio cans.
64 bit Mono
96 Bit Mono
128 bit Mono
256 bit Mono
PowerPress got an update to 6.0.2
- Fixed bug where specific global podcast settings are not applied when podcast channel settings iTunes new feed URL or feed maximizer option were configured then deleted afterward. This only effected settings if you deleted the default podcast feed.
- Added wp-config define option
POWERPRESS_DISABLE_ITUNES_UTF8, when set to true PowerPress will not convert iTunes values to UTF-8. This is for the very small number of folks who are not using UTF-8 in their website.
- The subscribe shortcode embed attributes are now strictly enforced. If you enter a category or a podcast channel and it does not exist, the shortcode will be empty and will no longer fall-back to the main podcast settings.
- The subscribe shortcode embed specifying a category not displaying category fixed (thanks elembemedia for bringing to our attention)
- Subscribe links below player for category podcasts now works but only if you select 1 category. 2 or more categories complicates things.
- Added logic to fix situation with JetPack and automatic excerpts. Manual excerpts or regular content pages are not affected. (Thanks grahamharper for the details!)
- Added new “Having Issues?” option “Yes, excluding excerpts”, will apply player and links fix logic except when the_excerpt filter is called first.
- AudioObject and VideoObject descriptions are now set using the blog post if no itunes subtitle is set.
- Fixed Episode Titles bug, if you did not set a custom episode title the program title was not appended.
- Fixed “Feature Episode” bug, unchecking the option will now properly save.
- Fixed playlist player date attribute not applying when set to false (thanks trb310 for pointing out the issue!)
- Danish translation updated, thanks Team Blogos!
- Added new subscribe embed attribute “heading”, you can now customize the “Subscribe to” label, e.g. add “the” to the Subscribe to label
[powerpress_subscribe heading="Subscribe to the"
- Added new define
POWERPRESS_DEBUGfor PowerPress debugging.
Tool of the week!
Square Cash is a new tool for being able to allow your audience to donate money to your podcasting fund. The service is brought to you by the same people who brought you square. It will cost you 1.5% of the money that is transferred great way to send and receive money for services rendered or just for the coffee fund.
To sign up you have to have either an iOS device or Android powered phone.
You can see my page at cash.me/$podcastdojo and yes you have to have the Dollar sign($)
One of the most common questions new podcasters ask is
What Microphone should I use?
Often times podcasters will jump in to big long soliloquy of why this microphone is far superior to that microphone or you will have some old Radio personality or internet marketer who has spent the last 5 hours researching how to podcast and talks about the Blue snowball. There are several different types of microphones out on the market. There are Carbon mics, Electret Microphone, Ribbon Microphones, and Crystal Microphones the the most common microphones for podcasters are Dynamic, and Condensers.
What is the difference in microphones?
Condenser microphones are designed so that the diaphragm acts as a capacitor and changes the electrical frequencies sent to the mic. Because of how the microphone is set up it is very sensitive to a wide range of frequencies, and this is great for picking up the warm natural tones of a humans voice. Many ill informed Podcast Gurus, or Internet marketeers who have just quickly read up on podcasting, will suggest a condenser microphone due to this fact without taking into consideration the environment of MOST podcasters, and the environment of the podcast listeners. The common podcaster is recording at best in a closet and at worst in a bedroom with the kiddos playing in the next room. The podcaster will have 1 – 3 electronic devices around them and these will have hard drive noises, fan noises. Throw in the squeaky chairs and the family pet walking on hard wood floors. This environment is not conducive to quite recording using condenser microphones. Because they are sensitive. I often joke that they can pick up a mouse farting down the hall. Granted they are not as sensitive as a laser microphone, but in the realms of podcasting it is not far off. Condenser microphones, also typically have to have some sort of external power often called phantom power to be able to work. This will come in the means of having to have a mixer or from your USB plug. So it can be a challenge to have condensor microphones in a mobile setup.
Dynamic microphones are set in a little different style in that there is a type electromagnet in use. Basically when you speak into a dynamic microphone your voice or other sound creates the electrical current that is sent to the recording equipment. This type of microphone isn’t AS sensitive to outside noises like the Condenser microphone, and is a little more forgiving to the noises that a typical family house makes. Yes, there is a loss of frequency that are picked up but when you throw in where most people listen to podcasts, for instance in their car, on a walk or while mowing the lawn, then only the true hard core audiophiles will notice.
One part of microphone discussions that I don’t hear very much about is, the Pickup pattern or Polar Pattern. From what I see there are about 4 to 6 different Polar patters in microphones. These influence also what is picked up on your microphone. A Polar pattern is also known as directionality as in Omni directional or Shotgun.
As the name suggests this is all around pickup. You can be infront of the mic and it will pick up your voice. you can be beside the mic and it will still pickup your voice. You can even be behind the microphone and it will pick up your voice. Not the best solution for a podcaster. Due to the fact aht many podcasters podcast in a room that has walls. The walls and other flat objects reflect the sound back and the microphone will pick it up. So you will get this reverb or in other words you will sound like you are recording in a well. Many omnidirectional microphones are condensers
You have two areas that will pick up sound equally that is in front and in back. Ribbon Microphones will often have this Polar pattern. Great if you have two hosts and only one mic. Just make sure you have a breath mint.
As the name sounds this polar pattern is heart shaped, and is one of the best patterns for a microphone to pick up a person talking into it without having the rest of the outside world working in to the recording. Great example of a cardioid dynamic microphone is the Audio Technica ATR-2100 and ATR-2005
With Super and Hyper sub sets
These are some subset of the polar pattern that have a little more pickup behind the microphone. So super and even hyper is not that cool in the world of podcasting.
Almost all of the pickup is in front of the microphone while there are little zones that are at the sides this is normaly used by television and movies to pick up a mic that is over head. So if you have a video podcast this could be a good solution.
So what type of Microphone?
The one you like the most. Yeah I might cringe a bit when I hear someone bought a Blue Snowball but if they like the sound it produces then my opinion doesn’t matter. If you are able to test out different microphones then I would suggest you do so. Each microphone brand has its own particular brand of sound. Heil PR-40 does a better job of picking up the higher frequencies than a Shure Microphone. So test and listen.
If you ever come across a podcast that has an iTunes page but you can find the RSS feed use this site. Feed Flipper
Some of the links on this page contain affiliate links
One of the big questions that podcasters want to know is how to support their habit. How do I make money with my show? Making money can be a challenge. It is usually the biggest challenge podcasters face. How to make the ever elusive cash.
This is where some very smart people decided to take the crowdfunding craze and apply it to media creators and you have what was 4 sites that are down to 3 but these three sites
- Podfund – Very close to Kickstarter but… They are closed. This funding site opened their doors about the same time as Patreon
- Use WePay and very confusing as to how to set it up.
- Setups Donations or Goals
- Support page is broken
- at the end there were only 14 people that had used podfund
- After talking to the guys at podfund through twitter I found out that there is a new group that has taken over the site and are working on getting it back up and operational again
- Castbacker – new guy centered around only podcasting
- Uses Stripe – so you will need to set up that first
- For Podcasters
- Pretty straight forward for your fans to back your podcast.
- Patreon – currently the old guard for this field
- Most popular and has had the most success in helping fund podcasts.
- Tom Merritt brought most attention to the platform and is currently bringing in $14,444 dollars a month.
- You can set up Per episode or per month
- joyride – New Kid on the block
- Invite only
- they have some pretty big claims in being able to help bring money into your show.
You have blown through your 10 starter topics. You have a show due tomorrow. What are you going to talk about? There are ways you can search to conversation topics. You just have to get a little creative at times, while other options are very simple and can wield great results.
Brianstorm with Online community or groups
The idea for this very topic came from a Facebook groups. I I picked up last weeks topic up from a facebook group’s discussion about whether or not you need to have an RSS feed on your website. The topic captured the group so much there was lots of discussions on the topic and subtopics. Your topic is often talked about in some area of the internet. It is just a matter of finding these elusive people.
Don’t just target Facebook Groups, Google plus Communities, and LinkedIn Groups. Look to the different forums that are Centered around your topic, or if you are feeling really retro, you might check out different IRC channels. You will need an IRC client like mIRC or a web based client like KiwiIRC. There are times that you will find some great discussion on these early day chat rooms.
There are people gathered around the internet and they are talking about your area of expertise. If you spend a little time each day at a couple of these places you will be able glean some great information.
Brainstorm with Google Alerts
Want topics to be sent to your email on a daily basis? Or do you use and RSS reader and you would rather have that infomation appear there as it shows up? Then Google Alerts is a great tool to use. Google Alerts is a service that allows for you to get notifications of different search terms as they are found by Google. So, the moment Google indexes say “Microphones for podcasting” I will get an entry in my RSS reader Feedly and I can see if it is something that is worth looking in to. So, Start searching and turn it into an alert.
Brainstorm with your Guests
If you do interviews on your podcast then many times your guest will give you topic ideas. That you can either bring them back on and grow that relationship even more. Then again they may mention a person who might be of interest to interview. You can also ask your guest at the end of the show name three other people you should interview. Ask, it is quite possibly the most powerful tool when brainstorming. Ask your guest who you think should be interviewed, or what topic you think your audience would like to hear about?
Brainstorm with Your Audience
When it comes to wanting what your audience wants, there is no better source than your audience themselves. Your group has a rare insight into what they want to know and they are coming to your for that knowledge. So, they will tell you what they want many times in direct ways. Your podcast listeners will communicate their desires through email, comments, and phone calls. These may be low hanging fruit but then it may be a trend that you might start to notice and that is where the hidden gems and the power of your community comes into place.
Brainstorm with other people in your genre
Yep look to your competition. Listen to podcasts and read blogs of the same people in your field and topic of discussion. These people will many times bring up great topics just in passing without even thinking of how important it is for your followers. They could also talk about a great topic and you can then share that information with your audience. Or you can invite that person on to your show and forge a relationship with that thought leader.
What topics are your audience searching for? you might look to using a wordpress plugin like Swiftype. This plugin will actually give your search analytics to what people are searching for on your site along with a better indexing of your articles and show notes. Then there is Google’s analytics. This is the best analytics system available for the whole website. Now Google has turned off the keyword searching in whole but you can still pick out what people are after by seeing what you higher ranking pages happen to show up on your listings.
Social media in general
Try looking and doing searches for different phrases for your topic on Twitter or Google plus. With these floodgates of information moving at a continuous flow there are show ideas always running and you just have to do a search for yoru shows topic. You will find people asking questions making comments sharing articles with show topics.
Google has many great services and one of the best to show ideas is Google News. You can save different search terms in News and go back and see what is current for that specific topics from day to day.
You can also pull up an old trick may bloggers and writers use. Free writing is the process of you just writing and typing for the sake of doing so. As you write you mind actually opens up and wierd thought will come to the surface and with those thoughts hints to different topics can be hidden or even fully exposed to the world.
Use your material as inspiration
Many times while writing I have come to the next topic of discussion by working on another blog post or my shownotes. When writing you will start writng something and realise that it is a bigger topic than you were thinking and instead of spending 30 minutes on this topic you might just use that topic for next week and flesh it out even more
If all else fails go for a walk. Get your blood flowing with more oxygen in your blood it is bound to go to your brain and with the increase of oxygenated blood the ideas will increase.
Podcast.place – If you are going to be a consultant please show people that you know what you are talking about.