PowerPress 6.0 Podcast Playlist.

WordPress version 3.9 introduced playlist. The implementation was not well thought out for podcasters. So Angelo has tweaked the code and when we release PowerPress version 6.0 in a few weeks podcasters are going to have dynamic playlist like the one below..

Not only that but it will support podcasters who use category, channel, taxonomy podcasting and host of other features. We are excited to demo it here and look forward to showing off our spin of the default WP Playlist Player.

Check out the implementation with video here.

Beta Version so if something does not quite work correctly we will have it fixed before release.

Podcasting News

pcn-itunesIf you have been reading this site for any given amount of time, you may remember that the first site my team launched in the podcasting space was PodcasterNews.com. It was a site that had at it’s peak over 100 podcasters covering the news of the day on a variety of topics. While the site never scaled to where it needed to be, it was the pre-cursor of Blubrry.com and everything else we have done.

With my teams permission, I have re-launched Podcaster News to be a site that covers news, reviews & general happenings in the podcasting space. We have a team of 6 writers to start and will ramp up from there. The team members are introducing themselves so as we get ramped up, I hope you check the site out from time to time.

Todd..

Stitcher Enhanced its Provider Portal

Stitcher logoStitcher has made enhancements to its Provider Portal. Details were explained in a recent email that Stitcher sent out to people who are currently providing content through Stitcher. At the time I am writing this, it appears that Stitcher has not yet added this information to their blog.

What’s new? The Stitcher Provider Portal will now offer content providers page links and player widgets for new and archived episodes. It also has embeddable Stitcher logos and icons. Stitcher also added Twitter functionality.

All listing from shared show pages and player widgets will count toward an individual content provider’s Stitcher Rank List. In short, Stitcher has given people a few more ways to bring listeners to the content that they have on Stitcher. It also will “reward” that effort by counting the visits through those sources as part of your Rank.

Another new addition is the “Stitcher Stat Facts”. Every month, Stitcher is going to provide figures and statics about Stitcher user behavior and demographics, listening patterns, and insights. People who provide content through Stitcher can use the Provider Portal, click on the “Stitcher Stat Facts”, and learn more about the audience they are reaching through Stitcher.

One Billion Podcast Subscriptions

One Billion Podcast SubscriptionsWhile some people have suggested that podcasting is a dying art, the data indicates an entirely different reality. Apple announced on Monday, July 22, 2013, that there have been more than 1 billion podcast subscriptions through the iTunes store. Thats a big number!

If you visit the iTunes store today, and visit the part about podcasts, you will see the image that accompanies this blog. It is part of Apple’s special promotion to commemorate the 1 billion podcast subscriptions.

The data from Apple notes that the 1 billion subscriptions are spread over 250,000 unique podcasts. The podcasts are in over 100 languages. More than 8 million episodes have been published in the iTunes store (so far).

Those 1 billion podcast subscriptions do not necessarily equate to the same amount of “listens”. Many people, myself included, have fallen behind on listening to the podcasts that they have subscribed to. Personally, I have more podcast episodes that are sitting in my iTunes, waiting for me to get around to listening to them, than is reasonable. My intent is to get to them all, eventually!

MXL BCD-1 Dynamic Broadcast Microphone Review

mxl-bcd-1In 2004 when I started podcasting my very first microphone was from MXL that paticular microphone I still have in my arsenal and pull it out when I have a guest in the studio.

Over the years I have owned a variety of Microphones, and have found by and large that condenser based microphones have always been better for me than a dynamic microphones. So when I received the MXL BCD-1 Dynamic Broadcast Microphone I was concerned that I would not be happy with it..

My first test with any Microphone is to see how it does plugged directly into my Mackie mixer with no per-amplifier in front of it. This will be the configuration most podcasters will use this mic in, at it’s price range of $170.00

My test at unity on the mixer with 4 inches between my mouth and the top of the mic was met with a raised eyebrow. It performed better than I expected. The sound was loud and clear straight down the middle, with great noise isolation from the sides.

The rugged build will sustain abuse in the broadcast studio and that is important as mics can last a lifetime. For a podcaster this is a great microphone that will not break the bank and perform at a professional level. I like the size, and weight best @ 1.25lbs and 6.2 inches long and 2.0 inches in diameter the mic comes with an integrated mount that fit all standard mic stands and desk risers. It is painted glossy black and very nice to the touch. The BCD-1 features a cardioid, dynamic element that features its own isolation to minimize noise and includes a windscreen

My general advise to anyone using a dynamic microphone that they consider a quality pre-amplifier between the mic and your mixer. This will keep you from having to crank the gains to high on your mixer, and introducing white noise or hiss. Those microphone amplifiers really make a big difference. Choosing the right microphone for you is like trying on shoes, y0u need to test a couple before you know what works.

This is a great addition to the MXL line and how can you go wrong at $170

 

MXL Microphones

mxlmic Mxl which had previously concentrated on professional audio products has begun to develop consumer level products. They have four Categories of microphones that they showed off at CES 2013.

The first category is the traditional microphone which is a condenser microphone. It is made for vocal live performances and studio work. This microphone is being refined but there’s nothing really new coming out on it.

The second category is the audio microphones for video. These microphones allow you to produce professional audio for professional video. Anyone who has watched a video with bad audio knows that good video means nothing with bad audio. The DSLR audio kit includes a wireless audio transmitter and receiver which is specifically made to record with a DSLR. It runs at 500 mg range which is a high enough range that it is noise resistant. It can run on either chargeable batteries or AA batteries. These batteries are user replaceable. It has a hot shoe adapter that goes on top of the DSLR. There is a lavalier mic included or you can use an XLR microphone. The kit also includes a shotgun mic that sits on top of the camera. There is both a wireless and wired version of the microphone. All controls are easily accessible. The total set runs $399 and is available through the MXL website.

The third category of microphones is a USB vocal microphone. These microphones are made to be used with tablets, desktops or laptops. They look like traditional desktop microphone. They are omnidirectional and are made for vocal recording to applications such as GarageBand. These microphones were made with podcasters in mind.

The final category was about pro audio for web-chat. This microphone is made specifically for web chat in an office environment. It is a boundary mic that sits on the desktop. It picks up audio in front of it up to 25 feet radius and locks the sound coming from the back. At this point time it is a wired mic however they are working on a 2.4 g wireless version. They decide to go with the 2.4 gig version rather than Bluetooth because the 2.4 gig version has a longer range. This microphone is specifically made to interface with a professional conference setup and not a phone. The wired version which is available now should run around $99 and the wireless version when available should be between $149 and $159. The final thing they talked about was the photographer’s essential kit. This kit includes a handheld grip where the DSL are goes on the bottom and on top is a hot shoe mount when you can put a microphone lights and a monitor. MXL is also working on a microphone that would plug directly into a smart phone either android or iPhone and then record the audio directly into the smartphone.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network and Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

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Padcaster iPad Studio Mobile Recording Setup

Padcaster Basic Setup

Padcaster Basic Setup

Put together a mobile video studio using your iPad with this unique solution from CES 2013. Chris Montera checks out the iPad Studio.

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John from Padcaster talks with Chris Montera about this mobile studio rig he brought to CES this year. You pop your iPad into the rig which has a lens adaptor and mounting screws for microphone, lights, and monopod or tripod. It can also be used in a hand held mode.

Because of the versatility of the iPad and installed software, the Padcaster rig becomes a complete studio with recording, production, editing and distribution all in one place. The lens adaptor allows for different lens configurations.

Video of Chris Montera by special arrangement with Health Tech Weekly (HTWeekly.com).

Griffin MicConnect for iOS at CES 2013

Griffin MicConnectJeffrey Powers goes all Pop Idol when he chats to Jackie from Griffin Technology about the newly announced MicConnect, which connects iOS devices to XLR mics with phantom power.

The Griffin MicConnect is a small brick adaptor with an XLR socket (input) on one side for the microphone and a 3.5 mm jack on the other to connect into an iPhone, iPod or iPad. A 3.5 mm socket provides for headphone monitoring of the sound source and for condenser mics, the unit takes two AA batteries to provide phantom power (48V).

(As an aside, I’m not 100% clear if this is iOS only – the 3.5 mm jack looks pretty standard and there’s no reference to special apps being required so if Android is your OS of choice, it might be worth contacting Griffin directly.)

Included in the interview is Griffin’s updated Mic Stand Mount, which is now compatible with all iPad models (not Mini), and unsurprisingly holds an iPad on a mic stand. Jeffrey reckons the MicConnect and the Mount are a great combo for the mobile podcaster. Pricing-wise, both the MicConnect and the Mount are $39.99 but the MicConnect won’t be available until June.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine for the TechPodcast Network.

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The GNC Podcast Story Started in October 2004

I have told segments of this story many times on my show. On June 1st 2004 I severely injured my spine in a swimming pool accident in Bahrain, that injury laid me up in the hospital their for 13 days. I was very lucky less than 3% of the people that suffered the type of burst compression fracture of their L1 vertebrae ever walk again. I was happy to be able to motor out of the hospital on my own two feet. Little did I know that event would change my life in more ways than one!

I came back to Hawaii and was laid up for 6 weeks recovering, after convalescent leave it was time to go back to work. I was still active duty in the Navy and the Navy fully expected me to do the job they where paying me for. I knew if I was unable to perform my job I would be medically discharged, and that was the last thing I wanted to happen.

Being I was still healing and going through physical therapy I was placed on Limited Duty, your not supposed to go on travel or do anything other than what the doctor instructs. I broke all the doctors rules and volunteered to manage P-3 aircraft modifications happening at L3 in Waco Texas. My boss agreed and let me go. I arrived in Texas in Late September wearing a clam shell body brace. It was still pretty hot that fall, and when I was not at work I hung out in my air conditioned hotel room to get some relief from the heat, I could hardly stand to be outside in the heat wearing the clam shell back brace.

I was spending a lot of time on the Internet in the hotel room, it was at that time I started to hear about Podcasting. Knowing my tenacity to talk and tell stories, I decided to start a podcast, in fact I could not move fast enough to get started It was almost as if I was drawn to it.

A Logitech mic purchased at Walmart across the street was all it took to get started. The first show I recorded on October 9th 2004 was about 40 minutes long from my hotel room. The first 2 shows where not podsafe, and had to be taken offline later as I loved playing some AC/DC non pod-safe music at the start of the show. In a very short period of time the show exploded onto the podcast scene. As near as I can figure it I was one of the first 20 or so podcast to launch. The show went from 400 listeners the first show to nearly 35,000 listeners in less than 30 days.  The show has never stopped growing and is what it is today. The first few years of what happened next has been a blur and simply incredible.

From there on it has been a Marathon. What’s amazing is how much ground we covered in such a very short time in those early years. Luckily for me and my pocket book my show, and RawVoice was cash positive almost from the beginning. Sponsors were and continue to spend money in the space it has been a crazy ride since.

My team at RawVoice has simply been incredible, we have had our ups and downs but we started with 5 and today their are still 4 of the core team members with the company, and whole bunch of great folks that work for us now and in the past.  It has not been easy but we have built some incredible products. The podcasting space largely fires on all cylinders today because of the Powerpress Podcasting Plugin.

I am proud of what we have accomplished as RawVoice Podcasters have earned millions of dollars in advertising revenue over the course of the past 7 years.  The service packages we offer provides distribution into a large segment of media devices.

There is a story I’d like to share that I tell from time to time. I know of a number of podcasters that earn well over $150,000 a year in advertising revenue per year. Those podcasters produce their shows week after week, and beyond the sponsor spot in their shows you would never know how big their audience is. One of them has joked privately we me that if his boss knew how much money they made podcasting, they would probably be fired as they make more money podcasting then they do their 9-5. While this may not be surprising today it sure makes me chuckle when the viability of the space is discussed. While not every podcaster earns that type of income I stand behind our choice not to cherry pick shows and give opportunities to all podcasters in the space.

Today podcasters are reaching millions of listeners daily, and the listener / viewers counts continue to grow despite what some naysayers portray. While this show on this site is one of 1000’s I feel pretty proud that from launching the show in a hotel room with a Logitech headset what has developed and what my team and I have accomplished since our inception. We are not done innovating and helping podcasters.

Here are a few more fun links I dug out of the blog here at GNC.

First Studio Gear Nov 2004
Portable Studio I travel with Today
The HD Skype Setup
The GNC Studio Setup Today

I plan on adding to the timeline over the next couple of months and want this post to act as historical document surrounding my involvement in the podcasting space and that of my team.

Image Microphone by BigStock Photo

Is Apple trying to kill podcasting? – How iOS6 Ruined my iPod Touch


Yesterday, I hurried home to upgrade my iOS devices to iOS 6, expecting it to go smoothly. I have an iPad (3rd Gen) and a 4th Gen iPod touch. I did the iPad first and was very happy to learn that Siri is now enabled. I spent some time playing with that on the iPad while my iPod updated. I knew I wasn’t going to get full blown Siri on my iPod, but I wasn’t expecting what I did get.

Let me backtrack a bit. I am an avid podcast listener (mostly audio podcasts). I drive a lot. I’ve put 10,000 miles on since June this year for a new business I’m involved with. So I have a lot of windshield time. That time is spent listening to podcasts and audio books. I bought the iPod touch because my old 30gig iPod just wasn’t cutting it anymore with a weak battery and lack of control though my car audio system (which has an iPod dock connection). The new iPod was perfect for my use. I would go though my podcasts that had been downloaded to my Mac and pick out the episodes I wanted to listen to that day and put them in a playlist. Then when I was plugged into the car, I would hit play and they would play, one by one, in the order I wanted them to. When I got out of the car, the playback would stop. When I got back in the car the playback would resume without me having to touch anything.

Much to my surprise, iOS 6 removed podcasts from the music app completely. At first, I didn’t think that would be a problem since they did include the new “podcasts” app. Surely Apple wouldn’t screw up podcasts! Well, they did. The problem with the new podcasts app is there is no way to do playlists. You can set it up to play all the episodes of a particular podcast (In the wrong order I might add) but there is no way to setup a playlist of episodes from different podcast feeds. The new “podcasts” app is NOT a great app. It looks like, to me, that Apple decided to force everyone to use this app instead of how iPods have worked since they added podcast support back in 2005.

Another thing wrong with the Podcasts app, for listeners, is that if the podcast isn’t listed on iTunes, and there are 1000’s of them that are not for one reason or another, you cannot easily find or subscribe to them inside the app. There is a way to do it, but it’s not easy. This is going to make it even harder for people to consume podcasts. This has been a problem from the beginning of podcasting and now, at least in the Apple world, it’s even worse.

In my case, I am trying out Downcast, a podcast downloading and listening app for iPod touch, iPad and iPhone. It still doesn’t have individual episode playlists, but it does allow me to make a playlist of the unplayed episodes of selected podcasts which should be OK. I will be testing this over the next few weeks and I’m sure I will find a way to do it the way I want.

I get the feeling that Apple wants to make it harder to consume free content on their devices in favor of the paid content they have in the itunes store. Shame on you Apple!