Erik Markus on “podjacking”.

If someone is stealing your enclosures and using them to promote their own site in an RSS-feed it’s called “podjacking”. Eric Markus has written an article on “podjacking” worth reading.

I have no problems with podcast directories linking and pointing directly to MP3 files; but if someone were to hijack my shows I would react. Note to hijackers — I mention the Acecast name a couple of times on my shows, so you would have a hard time pretending it’s your show. Another reason to speak on your podcasts, rather then just do a mix.

Here’s a snip from the beginning of Erik’s article,

My first shows got barely a hundred listeners. But by last month, my audience was approaching 1500 people. Those may not be huge numbers, but I was proud of the relatively rapid growth in my audience. It came from a lot of hard work.

Then, out of the blue a few weeks ago, my audience collapsed overnight - it dropped by some 75 percent. My podcast had been “podjacked”.

If you’re involved in podcasting, you need to know about podjacking. This article will tell you what podjacking is, how to avoid becoming a victim, and how to take action if it happens to you.

Erik later states that,

As a podcaster, the URL you create for your RSS feed becomes the doorway through which your entire listenership arrives. Every single one of your listeners will come in through this doorway.

This is not entirely true for Acecast. I get around 10-15% of my downloads through the latest full mp3 podcast (mp3) link on the sidemenu (that link is not in my RSS feed). Give your listeners a chance to download your latest show directly from a prominent place on your website if you are a podcaster.

Thu, 22 Dec 2005

MXL DRK condenser mic with battery, cables and stand.

I wish this MXL DRK set (link to Millennium Music, do a google to find local suppliers or have a look at eBay for some great deals from the US) existed when I started to get my kit together. A decent condenser microphone, powered by a normal 9V battery (so need for “phantom power” from a mixer or preamp), a desktop stand and cables. All packed in a neat suitcase and ready to connect directly to your computer.

Looks like good value to me and expect to see more of these packages as podcasting takes (further) off.

Wed, 21 Sep 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

Rex Hammock on Apple and podcasting.

Rex is doing some long and frequently updated articles on the impact of Apple’s announcement on podcasting support in iTunes over at rexblog. He writes about Microsoft now joining in (“playsafecatching” anyone?), Sirius satellite radio and the iPod, advertising and micro-payments and more.

One thing is for sure — when Apple release the next version of iTunes, podcasters are going to get a bigger audience. And there are hard times ahead for companies and individuals charging money for their turbo-charged RSS-readers (with enclosure support).

Thu, 02 Jun 2005

Tod Maffin’s Podcasting 101.

Tod’s Podcasting 101: Illustrated Tips for Newbie Podcasters is a good resource for podcasters-to-be. Written back in October 2004 (the bronze age of podcasting), it is still valid today.

Tod gives advice on recording, mixing and a few hints about microphones. Since Tod works for a broadcasting corporation he is also in a position to give some tips on interviews.

Tod is now also a podcaster himself, and his frequent “vote for me” appeals are a bit annoying. I guess professional radio people get obsessed with numbers; here at Acecast there is no chase of the big numbers — this will become evident in the next show which will feature some fairly sinister electronic music only. Sorry — I am supposed to be all positive here, so please read Tod’s I Love Radio blog and the Podcasting 101. The “101” contains the following bit of advice which I took to my heart when starting out with Acecast,

Using your natural voice.

Something funny happens to some people when they get in front of a microphone. They suddenly start speaking in what they believe to be “radio voice” — usually coming off sounding like over-the-top newscaster Ted Baxter from the Mary Tyler Moore show.

The best voice you can use on the radio is your own. Speak the way you normally do. While you certainly want to speak clearly and perhaps gently emphasize some words, that doesn’t mean you should Punch! Every! Word!

So don’t worry about your voice. Focus on being able to read cold (without practicing first which, paradoxically, comes from lots of practice) and on your ability to find and tell a good story. That’s what matters.

Thu, 02 Jun 2005