Are Acecast podcasts “podsafe”?

The Wikipedia definition of “podsafe” is,

a track that is legally permissibly to play on a podcast, usually because the band or artist is not signed to a major label or the recording was made under the Creative Commons license.

Strictly speaking only music that has been explicitly licensed as free-to-play (ie a CC-licence or direct permission from an artist who owns the complete work) or where the copyright has run out (ie old recordings from can be labelled 100% podsafe. Playing tracks from your own CD-collection and then providing links to iTunes or Amazon for the song is not podsafe; but plenty of (high-profile) podcasters do this.

So what about Acecast? Well, I only play free and legal MP3s. Does that make my shows “podsafe”? I really don’t know or care. But I do know that you can safely download the MP3s I play for free in the knowledge that you are not breaking any laws.

New Acecast coming soon.

Wed, 24 Aug 2005

Warren Ellis is giving up his Mixtapes.

Warren has just announced that his 25th Superburst Mixtape will be the last. Shame. Even if Warren did not speak, it was one of the best casts out there and it did introduce me to Penny Broadhurst.

Acecast first mentioned the Superburst Mixtapes in March 2005.

Tue, 16 Aug 2005

Indie Podcasters vs Big Radio (Slashdot).

I think I’ve never linked to Slashdot on (everyone reads Slashdot anyway), but here at Acecast things are different. So this piece on podcasters vs big radio from Slashdot might be worth keeping in the list of resources.

Not for the usual bunch of foolish comments (podcasting is not audio-streaming or “internet radio”), but for this comment,

Unlike mainstream radio, there is room for indies to compete with the big boys (read the article). But there needs to be more growth in podcasting as a medium. The podcast I listed earlier is a good example.

Bitz of Brin is a podcast by a 13 year old girl. She doesn’t talk about sex or tech. She doesn’t play electronica or alternative music. She wants to be a singer and features a cover of mainstream pop/country stars each podcast. Her podcast doesn’t appeal to geeks interested in tech. Her music doesn’t appeal to the thousands of alternative music fans turning to podcasts for their anti-*IA fix. Her main audience, frankly, isn’t listening to podcasts. Yet her voice is unique and part of the whole underground podcast movement.

Being single-minded and unique is the point of Acecast as well. Unlike certain podcasters I have never chased the silly “vote for me” races on different podcasting sites, I am not envious of the podcasts being listed in iTunes, the fools competing to come top of the iTunes listing (with silly names like “— …. topcaster …. —”).

Acecast is simply an experiment in playing the best free legal MP3s. And looking at the number of downloads of each show it is a success already — without any iTunes listing.

Tue, 16 Aug 2005

John Gruber of Daring Fireball on podcasting and Apple.

This lengthy piece from John Gruber on podcasting is worth keeping as a podcasting resource. Among other things John writes,

And consider poor Odeo, a startup (co-founded by Blogger co-founder Evan Williams) based solely on podcasting. It’s downright amazing that Odeo — the first serious podcasting startup — was beaten to market by Apple. It’s not because Odeo moved slowly; it’s because Apple moved fast.

I never understood the point of Odeo anyway. Recording audio over the net seems a particularly bad idea.

The other bit of good fortune is the name: podcasting. Good fortune for Apple, at least. Clearly the “pod” in “podcasting” is about the iPod. Apple couldn’t have come up with a better name for this phenomenon if they’d gotten to choose it themselves.

True. When I decided on naming my podcasting experiment Acecast, I thought long and hard about finding a name that did not have the “pod” as part of the site name. My thinking last winter was that the term “podcast” might later be replaced with something else, and if I then used “pod” as part of the name the site would look dated [it does anyway. Ed]. I was wrong about the durability of the “podcasting” term — but I am still happy with the Acecast name.

There is some other goodness in there as well — on Apple’s strange RSS, support of podcasting in iTunes and the broken 3.1 iPod firmware (my advice is to stay with 3.0.2 if you want smart playlists to work).

Tue, 16 Aug 2005