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MP3ClampFirst 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.

Quality

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.

File size

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.

Samples

64 bit Mono

96 Bit Mono

128 bit Mono

256 bit Mono

Updates!

PowerPress got an update to 6.0.2

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 optionPOWERPRESS_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_DEBUG for 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.

iOS

Android

You can see my page at cash.me/$podcastdojo and yes you have to have the Dollar sign($)

Links

Ghost in the MP3

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Learn to podcast will help you become a better expert

You are hearing about podcasting more and more each day. Hearing about this person starting a podcast and that person is becoming very well known for his podcast. Should you learn to podcast? What should your podcast be about? Where to start? What questions should be asked? Is there money in Podcasting, if you are a business? I will aim at answering these. So that you may be able to make a good decision on whether you should invest in time and money to learn to podcast.

Why even start a podcast?

The reasons for podcasting is as numerous as podcasts. That’s because each person, and business have a very unique objective. Podcasts do create a few effects that people desire to achieve. First, learning to podcast will help you become an expert in your field. If you want to be a thought leader in a particular field doing a podcast is a great strategy. Podcasting is different from just blogging, though you will be blogging also. Your audience is able to hear the different inflections in your voice and know you are passionate about your topic. From that aspect, your audience will see you as the expert.

The other effect is that you want to work with your “Competition”.  You will have a head start on the others who are late to the game. Many times your “competitors” will give up just because they see that you have already started and are 5 shows in the can. More “competitors” will give up when they see that there are 50 shows available, and you will then find out that you don’t have any competitors. Even if there are other shows talking about your very same topic. You will find advantages in working with them. Invite them on your show. You will find yourself looking to talk to the people who are in your field sharing their expertise. In other words you ware helping your competition to help you. Many podcasters have started using the word Co-opetition. Because they are cooperating with the people who they are in direct competition with.  From these conversations most podcasters develop lasting friendships and bonds. So, Eventually you will see that there is no competition in podcasting.

With an engaged audience you will be able to find out who is listening. Learn about what your audience likes, the challenges they face, or in other words the most valuable data almost any advertising pays dearly for, and your audience is giving it to you for free.  Because you are giving them so much value in the information you are providing. The listeners to your podcast will find a way to pay you back, if anything to say thank you.

Learn to Podcast

Where should you start when deciding to podcast? First there are two basic branches of podcasting those who will PodFade, or podcasts that no longer are producing shows, and those that are still producing podcast shows on schedule. From these two there is a discernible reason for 90% of the shows stopping. Lack of passion and direction. This goes for shows that are created by the hobbyist and the business based programs.

So, you want to make the decision as to what you want your show to be about. What type of value are you wanting to give to your customers/listeners? How are you going to convey that passion, that drive you have, for whatever it is you are wanting to podcast about? Once you have narrowed that down and you know what your show is going to be about then you can learn to podcast. If you find your fire, the path will be lit.

Learning to podcast is not hard. Most people over think the topic or the show and cause paralysis through analyses. In other words, They never get out of the planning stages. With podcasting being as mighty of a media wave, that it is growing into. You want find out how to podcast to the best of your budget and ability. Don’t worry so much about the quality of your equipment. Yes, it is good to have good equipment but not as important as your message. Your message is your product in the podcasting arena. The most valuable item is your thoughts and views of your show. Don’t fall in to the trap of broadcast media. Trying to appease as many people as you can, it is better to podcast in as fine of a niche as you can. Doing this will create an audience that is more engaged than any television or radio show. With a very detailed niche your audience will find high value in each podcast episode you produce.  By providing your podcast audience with the value of your show, they will reciprocate that value back to you.

So, you have decided you want to podcast. You found your passion. you have gone as fine of a niche as you think you can. How do you start? How do you podcast? There are many ways you can get your show up and running. You can take a combination of two paths and both are highly recommended.

Self Taught

As many people, you can learn to podcast through the avenue of self taught trial and error. You can also gather information on proper podcasting techniques and practices by listening to other podcasters who talk about the craft, as in Podcasts about podcasting. These podcasters have great knowledge and insight about the world of podcasting. Their finger is always on the pulse of podcasting events, and have ways around common problems in podcasting.

The Assist

Having people help you learn to podcast is another way you can have consulting sessions with known Podcasting coaches or take online classes. Though online courses can, at times, be rather expensive, many people believe they have invested good money for the service and would gladly do it again. Online podcasting courses do help in getting the information you need and helping you learn to podcast quicker than listening to podcasts about podcasts.

The Hybrid

There is a 3rd way of learning to podcast and that is in a mix of the first two. You can join some forums about podcasting. Look for Meet up’s that center around podcasting and find people who can help you as you learn to podcast. These people will be able to give you fairly real time feed back as to what to improve.

Show Me the Money!

If you learn to podcast how rich are you going to get? If there money in podcasting? What is your ROI?

Answer in short…

You podcast, itself is not going to make any money. You may get a few dollars here and there but growing filthy stinking rich? Nope, that is a very rare bird to get. Adam Corolla, Leo Laport, these guys are able to make money from their shows because they brought an audience with them. Marc Maron again he had a comedy act before grabbing a microphone and recording.

For business’ this is a tough item to get around your head. And understood the old model of not interested unless it becomes an revenue stream means most businesses will not even try to podcast. This is good for you because podcasting is more of a value generator than a revenue generator. When you learn to podcast you are able to engage your audience, and do so in ways that you would never thought were possible. having your customers become fans. How many advertisers do you now can say you will develop a fan base? Not many if any I am sure. Yet, that is actually what happens when your business is podcasting about a valuable topic. Your listeners become fans. Fan want to buy your products and services. So No you cant make money off of podcasts but you can make money because of your podcast

For the individual person who is podcasting about what they like the benefits can not only be having people who are fans but but also your show can lead to dream jobs and opportunities never thought of before. Which can lead to an increase in money. This again is because you will be seen as the expert. You are able to share your knowledge with everyone else.

Now many people ask about sponsors. these are rare things at the moment also. This is because of the challenge of measuring the audience size. Analytic companies are finding better ways to measure how popular shows are becoming but even then the ad agencies are still running on the old models of broadcasting hitting millions of non-engaged audience members, instead of looking at hundreds of highly engaged listeners. So more and more are coming onboard that is still a little ways away. Most podcasters these days make a little money off of the affiliate programs. Which is another option you can go to help pay for your podcast.

When you learn to podcast  for yourself or for your business. It is good to have a clear plan of what your show is going to be about. Clearly define your niche. Learn from those before you, so you wont make any costly mistakes. Use the resources online while getting current up to date information from the thought leaders because even though they are your competition they will also be happy to help you. Learn to podcast, find that “Fire in the Belly” and tell the world about it.

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