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The Season of Giving: Give Back To The Podcasts Your Love!

Podcasting really changed my life.

Encountering the voices of incredible people sharing passionately about themselves and what they love, gave me the strength to do it myself :) Thus, I've made it a priority every year to give a little something back to my favorite podcasters.

Last year a had a teeny bit more time on my hands and I was able to send my favorite podcasters a special recording of an immune system meditation that I felt would be helpful, if anything to help folks fall asleep ;) This year since I'm kinda pressed for time, I've chosen my 10 favorite podcasts and am in the process of gifting them with what they love the most!

The Best Way To Support Your Favorite Podcasters

I've decided to do two a day: one in the morning, and one in the evening. My total investment of time, 10 min! If you would like to gift your favorite podcast/podcaster try offering these absolutely free gifts!

  • Leave an iTunes review for their podcast or their podcast app– There is some sort of magical algorithm in iTunes that gives podcasts better accessibility when there is action on their podcast page. If you don’t have time to review, simply rate it.
  • Say Thank-You– It’s amazing how far a little gratitude goes. Tweet it, FB it, comment on their blog or send an private email. The power of thank you does wonders for the soul :D
  • Share the love– Even though those of you reading this may already be in the know of how AWESOME podcasts are, there are still an incredible amount of people that don’t. Let them know about it. I send people to specific podcasts almost daily if you can believe that! You can do it any way that floats your boat: tell someone individually, write a blog post about it, or simply do a little share on a social network. Here’s post I wrote for one of my most favorite podcasters in the world :)

So that’s it.

It’s the season of giving. As a listener give back!

Do you have any other sweet ways you've shown the love for your favorite podcaster? Share it!

BONUS Gift: If they do happen to have a podcast app. Buy it! I bought my first podcast app when I didn’t even have an iPhone ;)


Holiday Hours Heads Up

 

Happy Holidays from libsyn and Wizzard Media!

Thank you all so much for your support and for making 2010 a great year for our team.  We look forward to the new year, and all the exciting possibilities it will bring our industry.  Around this time we see a major surge in traffic due to people looking for content on their new devices.  We think this year will be as strong a year as any for growth and adoption of podcasting.  

Support for our services will continue to be available throughout the Holidays, however from December 23 to January 2 our support team will be working on a reduced schedule.   All priority issues will be addressed first but please allow for longer response times on requests.  This allows our team to spend some much needed quality time with our respective fams.  Rest assured none of us ever stray too far away from the job, someone is always watching the gauges.  As usual any system issues will be posted on the Support Blog.

We hope you all have a safe and happy holiday.  Ring in the new year right.  Onward and upward in 2011!

- Dave C, Dave M and Everyone from the libsyn and Wizzard Team

 

 


Promote Your App and Take Advantage of the Holiday Rush

The rush is coming, it's the most wonderful time for podcasters.  Downloads are usually up across the board come January, and I think its safe to say this season app hungry devices will be under a lot of trees.  So if you have an app with us, here are some great ways to put a little fuel on that yule log.  

1.  Promote Your App as an iTunes present - in the iTunes store you have the ability to "gift" apps.  Tell your fans to give the gift that keeps on giving: your app!  It's an inexpensive but thoughtful gift for your iOS loving friends. 

2.  New On Android?  Let the world know!  - If you have recently released an app in the Android marketplace and haven't talked about it on your podcast, you are missing out.  The Android platform is growing like crazy, make sure your audience knows that your app isn't limited to Apple's world any more.  If you'd like to sign up for an Android App for your show, click here.

3.  Put Shares and Stars on your Wish List - You've been a good podcaster, remind your audience that if they like your app, the least they can do is leave a good star rating for you, and tell their friends about your app.  That's two little things that go a long way to help your sales.  And you deserve it!

4.  Clickable Makes it Easy - Make sure you have put a banner, or at the very least a link in an obvious place on your web pages, blog entries, tweets, etc., so it is very easy for your audience to find your app.  

5.  Add Value - Change your app background to a holiday theme, add a blooper real, or a special holiday podcast message from you in your episode extras.  It's a way to reward your app supporters, and entice new customers.  Here's a detailed tutorial on changing your app background.  For episode extra ideas for your iOS or Android app, click here.  

We hope that you find these hints a simple way to take advantage of the rush of opportunities coming your way.  Best wishes to you all, have a fantastic New Year!   


Last Minute Holiday Gifts For Your Favorite Podcaster

Gifts xmas

I decided to put this little post together not entirely from a selfless point of view. Full disclosure: I am a podcaster and I would LOVE to get any of these for Christmas :)

Which is why I'm sharing them with you, not only for my own selfish little reasons (perhaps some of my family members might stumble upon this post), but I assume that these little gifts might make another podcaster out there kinda jolly :D

  • Audio-Technica ATR 288W Remote Mic: I've been wanting a wireless mic for quite a long time. I heard about this one from a review on The Nosillacast. It seems like a pretty good wireless mic, plus it’s not exorbitantly expensive.
  • Content Rules by CC Chapman and Ann Handley: Authentic. Compelling. Remarkable. Interesting. (Gripping, even.) Valuable. That’s the kind of content this book inspires you to create. Now, who wouldn’t want that?
  • Dropbox Pro 50 Account: I'd be so stoked to get this! With Dropbox’s functionality and the incredible amount of services currently supporting Dropbox integration, this service would make any content producer jingle their bells! If you don’t know about Dropbox already, you should check it out. They have a pretty awesome free plan.
  • Gorillamobile: This little tripod can come in handy when you are suddenly inspired to create a video podcast! Your mobile phone will be well supported and you can attach this puppy to almost anything :)
  • Fitness Ball: Leo Laporte uses one of these, so why wouldn’t you ;) All kidding aside, this is one of the best ways to keep your back and abs relatively strong throughout your day seated in front of your computer. This ball is not the cure for a flabby belly, but it can provide basic support and engagement for your core muscles so that you can continue to produce to your heart’s desire

I hope that you enjoyed browsing through these!

Here’s to hoping Santa brings you all that you desire and much more! May your families and loved ones be healthy and happy, and may you continue to enjoy producing work that keeps you happy and inspires those around you!

Happy Holidays!

Elsie


Tech Pulse Action Alert - Best Buy

I think the layout of a store speaks a great deal about a company's strategy.  It's definitely a barometer.  

Haven't been to Best Buy's stores in a good while.  I was there the other day to pick up the Michael Jackson Experience and wow have they changed the floor plan.  It's obvious, like Apple, they hire the best of the best to analyze and improve upon the layout and people flow of their monster stores.  Here are my take aways.    

- Gone are the cattle herding checkout lanes, once lined with shiny impulse buy items like batteries, candy, water, red bull and discounted video games.  Well they are not completely gone, but toned down to a civilized level.  I feel less like a cud chewer.

-  The new floor plan has that free-flowing rapture of the deep thing popularized in department stores, where you keep losing track of which way is up.  This intentional disorientation leads to those As the world falls Down feelings... You know what I mean Labyrinth fans.  

- Motion Control systems like the Xbox Kinect and Playstation Move both have big faux living room demo setups, but they are relegated to one of the far back walls.  This seems less than ideal for customer impact.  Perhaps Best Buy believes these will sell themselves based on consumer anticipation,  but it still seems odd when the Kinect is topping so many of the analyst's Christmas top seller lists.  Video Games aren't quite getting the VIP treatment this year it seems.  Although Wii pack-in systems were placed in a strange island near the entrance of the store almost acting as a visual barrier to make the reveal of the new store layout more grandiose.  

- Three new islands dramatically angled against the store walls yet parallel to each other are prominently featured in the center of the store.  These are the main attractions.  

- The first island is iPhone 4 dominated along with other Android devices 

- The second island is mostly Samsung Galaxy Tabs (all running Angry Birds) and a couple Google TV powered Sony Flatscreens 

- The Third island is not quite as focused, with some other Android tablets, and e readers.   

No iPads were found on these islands, however in very close proximity to the Tablet/Google TV island was an iPad kiosk. 

So what's this have to do with you guys, the Podcasters, the New Media Movers and Shakers?  Best Buy is betting that a big ol' consumer shift thing is reaching its tipping point this season and they are all in to make the most of it.  Best Buy is in the business of entertainment goods and services.  To them the new era of entertainment is all about the phones that barely get used as a phones, the tablet as the next big computer form factor,  and TVs that stream content from the internet.  Best Buy's CEO is conservative in his statements publicly, but I think the actions are speaking loudly here.  This is a mean product threesome that all get their power of attraction thanks to the wealth of content on the internet.  This puts podcasters dead center in the eye of the storm.  

...Also, they seem to be leaning on Angry Birds to move units and QR Codes on the walls for geek cred...

But it seems like we've got ourselves a sea change a happenin', at least at Best Buy in Pittsburgh.  So Surf's Up Podcasters!.

- Dave M
qrcode

 

 


What's The Story Behind Your Podcast?

I was flipping through the blogs I like to follow about social media and noticed a bunch of posts about the idea of story - your story, the story behind your business or your blog.  A few careers ago I worked on political campaigns.  I was new to campaigns and was sent off to a campaign training in atlanta.  I arrived at a conference center and we spent the entire first day telling and refining our stories of how we got involved in the campaign.  A big part of campaigning is connecting with people around a cause or an issue.  The best way to connect - storytelling.

Telling your story can be a powerful way to engage your audience - wether it be a campaign, business or podcast.  In fact, this blog is way for us to share the Libsyn story - our story, podcasting news and news about our customers too.  Last month, Dave Chekan wrote a great post about how Libsyn was founded which you can read here.  

What is the story behind your podcast?  Do you have an about page for your show?  Share your story below or a link to your about page.

Looking for some help in writing your story - check out some of these blogs post:

 


Easy App Promotion Idea - Advertising Your App in Your Past Episodes


Sales of apps soar pre and post-holiday due the number of new devices and iTunes gift cards given as holiday gifts.  Now is the time to prepare your audiences and to promote your app.

Here is a super easy way to spread the word about your app - Using the same technology that Wizzard uses for major brand advertisers like Coca-Cola, you can run a campaign for your app in your entire catalog of shows!

With our ad stitching system we can attach a very short producer read promo in the pre-roll position of your content for a time frame decided by you. 

TWO Steps to Start Your Advertising Campaign:

1.  RECORD Your Ad for Your App

  • Keep it short and sweet - 10 seconds max.  See the sample ads below. 
  • Record your ad in the same format that you use to record your show.
  • If you produce video you can use your show artwork as a plate (visual still).

***FYI if you happen to record your ad in GarageBand, please make sure to remove the 5 sec of dead air! 

2. SEND US Your Ad

  • Email your ad to Paul.Bruns@wizzard.tv and we will take it from there!

Sample Ads

Spot 1 Individual iPhone App - "For exclusive content, extras and more get the <ShowName> App today in the iTunes App Store."

Spot 2  Individual iPhone App & Google Android App- "For exclusive content, extras and more get the <ShowName> App in the iTunes App Store or Android Google Market."

Spot 3 Individual iPhone, Google Android App and Amazon Android App- "For exclusive content, extras and more get the <ShowName> App today in the iTunes App Store, the Google Android Market and the Amazon Android Market"

Spot 4 Podcast Box and Android- "For exclusive content, extras and more get the <ShowName> App today in the Adroid Marketplace or the Podcast Box available in the iTunes App Store."

A ten second spot is an awesome way to remind your audience about your app. Having this ad in your voice maintains and cultivates engagement with your audience. Who best to sell your app than you? 

Check out these fantastic ads produced by podcasters promoting their own app for inspiration! Click and listen :) 

Brain Burps About Books Ad

GamerTag Radio Ad

Craftlit Ad

Looking for an Android App or iOS App of your own? 

The Android version of the Podcast Companion App is now available as well as the iOS Podcast Box app! Check out the tour of both apps HERE 

To get your Android or iOS Podcast Box app submitted you just need a $20+/mo libsyn account.

You can easily upgrade to this level or if you are a new producer simply sign up for a new account HERE.

Once that is done click on the APPS button when you log-in to your account and provide and submit the information needed to build your app. If you have questions you can email appops@wizzard.tv. We'd love to hear from you!


Billing System Updates

We just wanted to give everyone a general heads up that we have implemented some automations in our billing system.  These are going live today and tomorrow, but we sent out an email informing customers earlier today.  More information is available on our support blog.   


Have Our Blog Delivered to Your Email

For those of your who prefer email to an RSS reader or if you just want to make sure that you don't miss one of our great, helpful, witty blog posts - you can sign up to have new blog posts delieved right to your inbox.  Just leave your email below.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Thanks for checking out the blog - please let us know what you would like to see more of here on the blog. Just leave a comment below.

-Lindsay


Fast Company on Kevin Smith and SModcast Podcasts

In the December issue of Fast Company famed director and libsyn customer Kevin Smith was featured in the article Inside Kevin Smith's Booming Podcast Business.  The article covers the interesting show dynamics that Smith has created around The SModcast Podcast Network.  Kevin Smith produces his shows in an old converted theatre called the SModcastle putting his own spin on live podcasting events.  The excitement of producing content on your own terms continues to drive serious artists to the Podcast medium.  Smith is doing innovative stuff with ideas worth pillaging so check out the article.  

 

Just for the record Cop Out was one of my favorite Smith movies this decade.  

Also Joe Mansueto, we have to be related.  I was pleased to learn that our last name means "Tame" rather than "Lame".  

Dave M


libsyn Podcast Audio Apps on Android Ahoy!

Today Wizzard announced the availability of new libsyn powered Android Apps in the Android Marketplace.  We first launched on Android with 15 or so video apps.  Today we are live with our audio version of the libsyn Podcast App that features full background multitasking and playback.  This isn't a quick and dirty port of the iOS app, we worked hard to make an Android friendly user experience because when in Rome...   

 

We also integrated AdMob into the platform which opens up all sorts of possibilities for our producers.   Check out the full release here.  Now go eat turkey!


39 Totally Creative Ideas To Add Instant Value To Your Podcast- Add iPhone App Bonus Content


Looking for some ideas to offer some freakin’ awesome bonus content to your audience through your new iPhone App? We decided to compile a list to help inspire you. A lot of the following list is absolutely inspired by your fellow podcast app producers.

We’ve grouped them to help you locate ideas for your particular show! Check it out :)

GENERAL

1. Downloadable Wallpaper

2. PDF of your show notes or transcripts of episodes.

3. Coupon codes for products/services/software.

4. Contests/giveaways for app owners.

5. Audio extras (extended episodes/classes/messages)

  •  Extended uncut episodes

6. Listener submitted extra content

  •  A review of a product for your show
  •  Artwork created specifically for your show.
  • Voice feedback from your listeners.
    •  Filmspotting plays some of their listeners feedback, plus an array of other bonus content ranging from five to ten minutes.
  •  Pictures that listeners have taken promoting your podcast, wearing your swag, or listening to your content.

EDUCATION

7. Supplementary mini tutorials

  •  The uLearn Chinese Podcast offers up mini supporting videos or key element documentation for some of their classes.

8. Extra Classes

9. Essential Reading lists

10. Short Quizzes

11. Answers to Quizzes

ENTERTAINMENT

12. Bloopers/outtakes/extra stuff

13. Extra movie/tv/book reviews (video, audio or PDF)

GAMING

14. In depth reviews or additional footage.

15. Game specific tips and hints.

16. Game or consul unboxing (video or pictures)

HEALTH AND FITNESS

17. App Specific On the Go Classes/Workouts

18. Mini Video Fitness Tips

19. Healthful Recipe Card

20. List of Healthiest choices for eating out

21. 5 Minute audio stress relief

22. Inspirational quote(s)

23. Mini guided audio or PDF meditation

BUSINESS

24. App specific eBooks

25. App specific coupons for your products

26. Extended interviews

27. Productivity tools reviews

RELIGIOUS

28. Scripture readings

29. Prayers

30. Inspirational wallpaper

31. Spiritual images (there are so many public domain images, a simple google search will give you a handful)

TECHNOLOGY

32. In depth product reviews or magazines (PDF)

33. Mini video software/hardware reviews

34. Sponsor coupon codes

35. Your Analysis

HOLIDAY AND SEASONAL EXTRAS

You can develop a wealth of bonus content simply by focusing on upcoming holidays or seasons. Obviously with the end of the year coming up you can offer so much to entertain, inspire, and inform your audience depending on the type of podcast that you have. You can create content aimed solely to entertain such as creating funny holiday videos or silly top ten lists, or you can prepare your audience for upcoming seasonal transitions, such as a checklist for preparing your 2011 tax appointment.

USE YOUR GUESTS TO INSPIRE EXTRA CONTENT

37. Say you have a guest on your show, why not publish their bio? Or even ask them one or two extra questions after you’re done with the interview and publish that as your bonus MP3 content.

COLLABORATE WITH OTHER PRODUCERS

38. Develop relationships with other content producers in your field and ask them to donate a little something as your app bonus content. It could be as easy as publishing one of their blog posts or videos on the app. It’s a win/win for everybody.

NICHE TOP 10 LISTS!

39. Share with your audience the things you have spent time learning in lists that are quick and easy to reference.

  •  Top ten yoga must haves for the stay at home Mom.
  •  Top ten best movies for the family this holiday season.
  •  Top ten ways to educate yourself for the upcoming elections.
  •  Top ten iphone app for the iphone newbie.
  •  Top ten must have gadgets from CES 2011.
  •  Top ten religious books to help connect you back to God.
  •  Top ten albums to get your girlfriend for Valentine’s Day.
  •  Top ten must listen episodes of the (insertyourshownamehere) podcast.

Don’t Forget! Let your audience know about your bonus content

Don't let your audience miss out on the great work that you do! Make sure that you tell your audience about it in your podcast, show notes or blog posts. A simple "App users check out the coupon in the extras for this week's episode," will do the trick. If you don't there's a chance your work will go unnoticed. That would not be cool.

We hope this was helpful to you! If you are struggling with the time involved in creating this extra content read our case study by a fellow producer who not only found the time but also value in producing some extra content.

For more information on how to add any of the extras above read this blog post that goes through it in more detail.

If you have any totally creative ideas, send leave them in the comments! We’d love to hear what you come up with to enhance the value of your app   - Elsie


Libsyn Podcast App - Now On Android!

We are happy to announce that Libsyn now offers an Android app, in addition to the iphone/ipod touch apps for podcasters.  

The Android version of Wizzard’s podcast Apps are compatible with all devices running Android OS 1.6 or higher, including popular phones from Sony, Samsung, Motorola, T-Mobile, LG, HTC and Dell. See a brief video demonstration of the new podcast App here. According to stats from Google, Gartner and Canalys - there are now over 50 million activated Android phones up from just 8.5 million at the end of 2009 - growing at a pace of over 200,000 new activations each day.

Here is a snappy little video where you can see the Libsyn Android App in action.


Happy Birthday, Libsyn!


Happy Birthday, Libsyn!

Liberated Syndication turned 6 today.  It's sometimes immature for it's age- throwing tantrums from time to time, getting in fights, and driving its parents crazy.  We've given up a lot of our lives to nurture our baby and watch it grow. Today we tip our glasses and celebrate the company that we have built and thank all those who let us wake up every day and make a living at keeping it going.

We haven't taken a minute to reflect on the events leading up to libsyn in a while.  2005 was the last post about it http://soundoff.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=31160.  The story of how it all started has been told time and time again (at least in my head to the faux reporters that have asked me) but since it has been years and many of you who are reading this may not have heard them, I'll spin the yarn one more time.

It was a warm Columbus Day (Thanksgiving to our friends up north) in 2004 when i was driving back to Baltimore, MD that I got a call from an old friend near and dear to me.  Dave Mansueto and I met in college at the University of Pittsburgh.  We helped each other out on our mutual vision quests over the years we spent together in Pittsburgh, but I had moved to MD in 2001 and we hadn't spoken for a while.  In typical fashion Dave was anxious and excited to tell me about a new thing going on involving radio and the internet and a whole movement we were missing out on.  He wanted to do it and needed help figuring out all the technical pieces to get it done.

We had started Emayhem together around 1998 or so.  It was an art collective / publishing platform created for Pittsburgh artists and musicians to share their work online.  It was myspace w/o the friends -about 5 years before myspace.  Emayhem was the thing that got me bad grades and introduced me to some of my lifelong friends and future business partners.  At the time it seemed like the thing you just did in college- which now sounds like a cliche. Anyways, experimenting with emayhem.com in 1998 eventually led myself along with my roomate and co-computer engineers Matt Hoopes and Paul Vitiello, to team up with a guy a met through emayhem Marty Mulligan to start a web design firm in 2000.  We called it webmayhem.  

Over summer break that year we leased our first web server, incorporated the company, and purchased a laptop with the proceeds from my collection of Transformers which I sold on Ebay.  We were on our way.  We failed to notice the bumble or the burst as we were chugging along doing small websites for small businesses while we finished up college.   By 2003 the burden of operating as a C-Corporation in the state of PA while Matt, Paul, and I lived in Maryland and Marty in NY became too much.  We had all kind of went our own ways with full-time jobs and doing the occasional web design job here and there to keep paying for the web server we were leasing wasn't making enough to keep the webmayhem dream alive.  In the late summer of 2004 the 4 friends and founder of webmayhem met in my apartment one last time to dissolve the corporation.  I would remain the sole share holder through the rest of the fiscal year and then in 2005 make the decision of what to do next with our remaining customers (who I failed to bill regularly) and our leased web server.  I remember using a little bit of the petty cash we had to go the grocery store and buy wine and some steaks.  Marty cooked up a dinner which to this day I still recall as one of the top 5 meals I've ever eaten.   We all shook hands after dinner and everyone went home.

Emayhem.com was still up and running through all of this and going strong. My old friend Dave was living in Pittsburgh doing all forms of theatre and performance.  He had a talk show which we filmed every week live from a bar and aired on public access.  He is the kind of guy you can't walk down the street with if you are in a hurry because everyone stops him to say what's up, or ask him to guest MC their event, or hook something up.  He is also a self-taught engineer who read everything he could get his hands on regarding computers, audio recording, video editing and encoding.  Dave became obsessed with getting his talk show online- in some form or another- and was constantly building onto his collection of antiquated Apple computers to get the job done.  I didn't know it at the time, but he was at the time /the/ archetypical podcaster.

Right around the time we were closing the books on webmayhem inc, we started to notice that our server bill was including this line item called bandwidth.  For the 4 years leading up to this we had never seen any charges for this and upon further inspection of our contract and digging around the account portal we discovered there was a cap on the amount of information that could be transferred between our web server and the people accessing it on the internet.  It was an outrageously high level (we thought at the time) and the fact that we were starting to go over it, now, as we were winding things down seemed outrageous.  With some help from our ISP we discovered these things called web logs and started to look at what files were being accessed.  Low and behold, the media files which users of emayhem.com had uploaded where kinda large and when they got downloaded it started to cost us money.  This sucks. Just as our site and our friends are starting to get popular, we're going to go broke and will have to shut emahyem.com down.

So back to the columbus day drive.  Dave was poised to start the Emayhem Radio Podcast and was asking me to help get him up and running. When I got home, I installed the blog engine bloxum and helped create my first ever RSS feed. I told him we could use the webmayhem webserver for a little while, but it was going to be shut down soon and was costing me too much money.  Come 2 weeks later we would be on the phone every night talking about what else we could add to the feed, a new website just for the podcast, and that we should renegotiate the server lease for another year and get a better rate on bandwidth.  I didn't see it at the time, but I was finally becoming business partners with Dave.  Emayhem was never incorporated and we never wrote for those grants we had talked about or became a non-profit.  The business model there was never clear, but as the month of October, 2004 came to a close we were rapidly seeing a need for a hosting service catering specifically to this podcasting thing.

I started to think up names for this venture.  To me, nothing can start if it doesn't have a name- and a name needs to have a meaning.  "Desktop publishing" had been around for a decade and I had been using the Internet since around 1992.  Blogging was pretty mainstream by now and Winer had penned Really Simple Syndication years ago.  The new twist, though, was this concept that the feed was now "carrying" media and anyone could syndicate a show- not just a written story.  A major hurdle, though, was that unless you were part of a university or had access to large servers that you could host relatively large files for free- it was still cost prohibitive to really do it.  This is when we first learned about these things call Content Delivery Networks.  CDNs, as they were, were networks of servers which distributed the demand for files by keeping multiple copies of the same file across all the servers.  This was like putting a bunch of batteries together to make a big spark.  Even if you had cheap no name batteries, wire enough together and you can jump start a career.   It was Dave's idea (the theatre student who rewired guitar amps for fun and would school my EE and CS friends on how micro-processors worked) to try and lease some cheaper servers and lace them together- instead of 1 larger, more expensive one.  Pulling this off would allow us to make the service be really cheap and liberate everyone from the cost prohibitive nature of self publishing.  Liberated Syndication was a really cool sounding name to me, and late one night I found libsyn.org and .com hadn't been taken yet, so I registered them.

The spark was there, but the fire didn't' start for a few more weeks.  I had been doing the leg work of keeping the Emayhem Radio Podcast's RSS feed up to date while working with Dave on ideas for libsyn here and there, but I had a demanding full-time job and a few other projects spinning around my head.  I had just celebrated my 1 year wedding anniversary and was finishing up a guerilla filmmaking feature.  Starting a hosting company just didn't seem that important at the time.

I definitely wouldn't say I was really following politics at the time.  Living so close to DC it's hard to avoid, but I hadn't seen the 2004 DNC speech Senator Obama had given (a video which later would end up being hosted by libsyn).  I vaguely remember John Kerry's campaign and everything leading up to November 2004.  But I do remember a lot of my friends being very worked up about everything.  Like many of my generation, come election day I didn't vote.  That evening, after all the smoke had cleared a sinking feeling set in, and a shameful embarrassment which felt like I had let everyone down over took me.  I remember an email thread between Dave and some mutual friends who were involved with the podcast.  Everyone was depressed.

The next day didn't feel the same.  It felt like a sobering moment of clarity (which was a strange feeling for a straightedge kid) and a sense of regret and resentment started to grow.  Over lunch I checked my email and Dave sent me a link to a post on the Guerilla News Network.  The Day After … Tomorrow so eloquently summed up everything I was feeling.  And most of all it ended with a call to action:

Never before has the security of our world been so reliant on the freedom of independent, investigative voices to unite the people against those who have nakedly seized the mechanism of American democracy. As the world’s dominant superpower, we have the enhanced responsibility of ®evolutionizing our media system because it is not only framing the debate at home, it is also doing it globally, and for good reason. The economic and political elites in America know that their survival depends on the rapid absorption of the propagandist media by the nations they seek to dominate and exploit. Fortunately, we have a new generation of independent journalists and citizen muckrakers who will use the unharnessed power of communications technology to fight and win this information war.

What are you waiting for?  

There isn't really anything more that I need to say after that.  That night it was clear that liberated syndication needed to be born and for the last 6 years we have put the majority of our efforts and focus into answering the call and doing what we can to level the playing field for a democratized media.

How we got from there to here is another long story, and maybe I'll document all the ups and downs for the future web startups someday.  For now, I'm going to drink a beer and smile about the good times (retaining a straightedge lifestyle through a web startup, reverse-triangulated merger, and becoming a public company is futile).

Here's to you, libsyn.

Love, 

Dave c. 

 


The iPad as a Communication Device

Here is an interesting video from the New York Times about how a nearly paralyzed boy has been able to use the ipad to communicate.  In the video his mother talks about the potential of the ipad as a more affordable device - where they can try lots of different programs.  


spooky podcasts


We thought we'd round up a few of our favorite scary podcasts covering the weird, wild, alien, dead, undead, ghosts, goblins and ghouls.  Its friday, you may need something to put you in the mood while preparing for festivities.  We like the Great Pumpkin as much as anyone, but here's some scary something elses:

Jim Harold.com - Jim has 3 different podcasts for all things paranormal - The Paranormal Podcast and Jim Harold's Campfire are audio podcasts.  The PAranormal Report is a video podcast that can be watched on JimHarold.com or through iTunes.

Anything Ghost Show - bringing you ghost stories from around the world

Undead Air - this is the official podcast of the Omaha Chapter of the Zombie Research Society

Happy Halloween!


Video from Podcamp Pittsburgh - Podcasting 101 and 201


Since we know that many of you don't live anywhere near Pittsburgh - we thought you might want to check out the video footage from the podcasting 101 and 201 sessions at Podcamp Pittsburgh. 

Podcasting 101 with Michael Sorg and Hutch Bailie

Michael Sorg produces the Wrestling Mayhem Show and Hutch Bailie is the guy behind Burghseyeview.  Both shows are hosted a Libsyn and have apps too.

Podcasting 201 with Michael Sorg and Douglas Derda

For the 201 session Michael is joined by Douglas Derda from Should I Drink That - Doug has been podcasting about beer since we met at the first Podcamp Pittsburgh back in 2006. 


BlogWorld Expo and a Good Problem to Have for Podcasters

BlogWorld Badge

Check out this post from the Hubspot blog - The State of Podcasting - which offers a nice round up of some of the talk about podcasting at the 2010 BlogWorld Expo.  Here at Libsyn we see tons of great podcasts every day and we love that we get to work with so many producers who are putting their hobbies, businesses and passions into a podcast.  So we are always happy to see more people talking about podcasting.

The Hubspot post also highlights one of the challenges of podcasting -

Webster asserted that one of the main problems contributing to podcasting's lack of growth is that of convenience. Because people have the option of listening to or viewing podcast content any time they want, they will often push off consuming that content until never. This means that great podcasts need to be topical and timely to help create urgency.  

In the most recent Edison survey on podcasting, the report found that age groups listening to podcasts have been redistributed to an older demographic compared to the previous year's findings. Sixty-four percent of 12 to 24 year olds don’t subscribe to podcasts. Instead, they consume content on demand, meaning they access computer-based players and listen to podcasts individually without subscribing.

 

This may seem like a problem, but its really an opportunity.  

 

At libsyn we have been working hard to build the technological bridges to audience.  libsyn3 at its core is about the new destinations for your content.  Podcasting News, a site all podcasters should bookmark, recently covered the Say media study which examines the one out of three people in the US that have dumped live TV for the internet.   These people are put into two groups: On Demanders and Opt Outs.  

 

On Demanders are the trailblazers that have been moving away  or severing ties from conventional media.

 

Opt Outs are the ones to watch.  They are the generation that do not watch live TV.  They are across the threshold, and we think they will be the ones setting the trends and driving the media culture forward from here on in.  

 

We are close to finishing the transition to the libsyn3 platform.  We are just as excited about the upcoming platform as we were when we launched the first all-in-one podcasting platform in 2004 (you can read about how we got started here).  We appreciate all of you that have stuck it out with us.  We are lucky to have your business, and we intend make it worth your while.  The wheels are in motion and the audience is growing faster than ever.  

 

If you are new to podcasting - welcome to Libsyn - you have come to the right place! We are the original podcast service and we have everything you need to start, promote and manage your podcast.

 


How To Add Your Podcast to a Blogger Blog

This little tutorial is assuming that you are hosting your files with libsyn and would like to use your existing Blogger blog instead of the blog that's offered as part of your libsyn account. Before we begin, let's quickly address your podcast's RSS feed. You have 3 choices:
  • You can use the libsyn generated RSS feed, which is automatically created when you open a libsyn account.
  • You can use your Blogger RSS feed.
  • You can burn your own Feedburner RSS feed.
For the purpose of this tutorial we are going to assume that you are choosing to use your Blogger RSS feed as your podcast RSS feed. Configure Your Settings
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Here is your Blogger dashboard. You begin here, and you will begin here every time that you publish a new podcast episode. The first thing that you have to do before you publish any episodes is to configure your Blogger blog to allow for enclosure links. In order to do this you have to go to the Settings tab.
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Once you are in the Settings page you need to click the Formatting tab.
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Once you are in the Formatting page, scroll down the page, about 2/3 of the way down you will come across Show Link fields. Click on the drop down menu and choose YES.
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Keep scrolling down that page and SAVE your settings.

Publishing Your First Episode

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Now you are ready to publish your first podcast episode! Go back to your Blogger Dashboard and title your episode. You will see right below the Link: field there is a link to Add enclosure link. Please click that.
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You will then see another box pop up under the heading Enclosures.
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It is here that you need to add the url for your mp3 file. Mp3 file links here at libsyn always start with http://traffic.libsyn.com/youraccountid/yourfilename. Go ahead and finish adding your shownotes, ie. composing your post and Publish Post!
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Here is what your podcast episode post will look like. As you can see from this screenshot, the link to the mp3 is nowhere to be seen, but it is in your feed. If you want to add an audio player to your post so that your podcast listeners can listen to your podcast straight from your site, you will have to add that separately. Please be asured that your podcast episode has in fact been published. If you would like to check to see if it's the case, you can use any RSS reader, get your RSS feed and add it to the reader. Your Blogger RSS feed is http://yourblogspotblogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default.
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The picture above is a shot of our first podcast episode as seen in Google Reader. That's it! Hope that was helpful! If you publish your podcast on Blogger and are hosted at libsyn, we'd love to hear from you. Why not share your experience with the rest of the community? Do you have anything to add to this tutorial?

libsyn Podcast App - A Quick Visual Tour

Your Podcast Now an App

Apps are the new mainstream method of media consumption on the go.  We wanted to quickly highlight all the benefits of turning your podcast into an app.   

Your audience is Always One Tap Away from your Latest and Greatest Content

With instantaneous app updates you publish an episode to your podcast and it is available to your fans immediately.  No need for your audience to sync to their computer, they just open the app to get the latest episode.

Instantaneous App Updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our App is Super Friendly

For on the go convenience the app launches to the latest episode with a big enticing play button.  This avoids confusing the user with overly complicated buttons and menus.

Our App is Super Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And if playback is interrupted by a call or shutting off the device, the app is smart enough to always pick up where the episode left off.  

Resume Playback

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's Your Experience

Apps are the perfect showcase for your brand.  You control the design elements, the background, the thumbnails, the features, and the extras that reward your customers.

Starring You!

Favorite episodes can get "starred" for later reference.  And for those times where a connection is unavailable or flakey episodes can be downloaded for offline playback. 

Always iOS REady, Background Playback a Go!

Let us worry about keeping you up to date and compatible with all the latest iOS developments.  We work tirelessly to take advantage of all the app platform has to offer.  As an example, with iOS 4 devices you can now listen to our app in the background while doing things like checking your email, or surfing the web.  Thanks to the newly added multitasking features added by Apple, this greatly increases the usefulness of your podcast app to your fans. 

Keep in Contact

New media is all about interaction and feedback.  The app amplifies your connections to your audience.  It provides one click access to connect with the show, and has viral connections to all the important channels like email, Facebook and Twitter. 

Getting Started

Our libsyn App accounts start at $20 a month with no setup fees and come with everything you need.  You customize the design, libsyn builds it and submits it to the App store.  We think that Podcast Apps are a fantastic way to take your show to the next level.  

Click here to sign up or learn more.  

Check out more Podcast Apps in the App Store.  

Free Demos:

Try the Podcast 411 Audio App.

Try the Danger Dog Video App

 


Podcast Artwork Support and Resources

Everybody loves pictures. I'm sure that you’ve had your attention drawn by them at some point during your day. Images are power. Images, design, color and graphics hold within them the power to convey distinct and compelling information. They have the strength to engage the viewer to step closer to the source or to push away from it. 

This is why your podcast artwork is incredibly important.

You may already have decided what you want your artwork to look like. You may have no idea what your artwork should look like. Following will be a few guidelines and important information to both facilitate your decision making process as well as refine your choices.

What is cover art and do you really need it? 

You don’t have to have cover art, but you are certainly loosing tons of benefits by not having it or not caring about it. Here’s what Apple has to say on their site

"Attractive and interesting cover art attracts new subscribers to your podcast. Podcasts must have good cover art to be featured on the Podcast main page or the Store main page. Most good podcast images include an image as well as a title, brand, or source name. A 300x300-pixel JPG is the recommended size and format. Using this relatively large format, the iTunes Store automatically generates the various smaller images you see in the podcast directory. Before you settle on the art for your podcast, you may want to review the Top Podcasts page and note the various elements that contribute to compelling art."

If you decide that you want to avoid iTunes all together, you may still want to spend time developing your artwork as a way to inform your listeners of what your podcast is about. The top question potential listeners are looking to answer when they  bump into your content is what is this about and is this for them? The easier you make it for your potential superfans to decide to subscribe to your content based upon your artwork, about page and Web site in general, the less work you will have to do all around to get your show out there.

Get them to hit the play button and engage!

While in your development process, no matter how tempted you are to include well-known brands or actors and actresses in your artwork it is a good idea to steer clear of this.

Monetizing a podcast with copyrighted artwork or selling products with someone else's work on them is illegal. It is so important to adhere to this as it could save you a lot of trouble down the road.

If you have further questions about ethics and design AIGA has published a very informative document which goes into great detail about this matter:  AIGA Design Business and Ethics 

Artwork Sizes and Resolutions

Not only is the look of your artwork significant, but also the size and resolution. Podcasters in general recognize the importance of their artwork, but often times forget to optimize the size and resolution.

Here are a set of important numbers for you to keep handy:
  • iTunes Podcast- 1400x1400 at 300 dpi
  • iPhone Display - 160 dpi
  • iPhone App Image requirement - 512x512 pixels at 160 dpi 
  • iPad Display - 132 dpi

You can see from these numbers, how much they change from device to device. Make sure that the initial artwork that you create is capable of being sized down, which means, making all your images large (1400x1400 at 300 dpi). It can always be scaled down.

You won’t waste your time having an image that large, in fact it may save you a lot of time in the future, specifically if you decide you would like to offer some shwag for your show: t-shirts, mugs, caps, etc. When it comes to images for print, bigger is definitely better. At minimum to get something printed you would need an image at 200 dpi, optimally 300 dpi (currently the safe bet print standard). Web standard is 72 dpi, although on most devices, especially those with massively powerful screens, that dpi looks fuzzy. 

What you should ask for when someone else is making the artwork for you. 

The original editable file. (You may not have the programs to open this file if you don’t have Photoshop or illustrator but if you have a graphic designer make changes down the road you will have this to send to them.)

A PNG and JPEG version of your cover art at 1400x1400 at 300 dpi and 300x300 at 72 dpi . 

Podcast Artwork Design Help

Here’s a list of some web resources to both hire a designer and create your own artwork. As with anything: do your research, ask questions and make informed decisions. We are not particularly endorsing any of these services, we are offering you choices so that you can begin or refine your journey. 

Here’s hoping this was helpful!

Please let us know if you have any other questions regarding this topic. If we don’t know, we’ll certainly go out of our way to get you an answer!

- Sarah, Elsie & Chuck from App Ops


Practical Ecommerce Reviews Libsyn


For the past five years the Practical Ecommerce blog has been covering all kind of websites and tools that might be of use to others in ecommerce.  They just posed a review of Libsyn and we are honored to be included on their list. 

Podcasts are a great way to educate and engage your existing customers in your brand.  And podcasts can be a great tool for getting more info about your products and services to potential customers.  Sharing knowledge about your products and industry can be a great way to establish your brand as an industry leader.

Check out the entire Practical Ecommerce review here.

We would love to hear more feedback on how we can make the Libsyn platform more useful for other ecommerce users too.

Also check out our App hosting plans - if you have a podcast for your brand you can easily create an iPhone/iPod app for your brand with a Libsyn App hosting plan.

 


How to Make Changes to Your App Once It's Live In The App Store


Did you know that once your App is live and available for sale in the App store there are many aspects of the presentation that can be changed in the Libsyn dashboard?  We wanted to clarify what you can and cannot do to customize the design and functionality of the Libsyn Podcast App that comes with our 20 dollar accounts.  

Dynamic Show Level Attributes - things you can change in the Libsyn dashboard

The following Show Level attributes can changed simply by going into the "Destinations" Section of libsyn3 and clicking on the "Podcast Companion App" in the sidebar.

  • Applicaton Background (the image seen in the app user interface)
  • Show Wallpaper  (promotional image users can save to their device)
  • Show PDF (A PDF to accompany potentially acting as a virtual "booklet")
  • Show Bonus Content (audio or video file representing the show i.e. Trailer, Overview, Promo, Etc)
  • Contact Info
    • Email Address
    • Website
    • Phone Number
    • Twitter Account
    • Facebook Fan Page Account

Dynamic Episode Level Attributes - these can also be changed in the Libsyn dashboard

These attributes can be changed dynamically whether publishing a new episode or editing older episodes.  These are modified within the "Publish" Section of libsyn3.

  • Episode Background (the image on the detail page of a specific episode) 
  • Episode Wallpaper (images specific to an episode i.e. holiday themed promotional images)
  • Episode PDF (A PDF virtual "booklet" specific to an episode)
  • Episode Bonus Content (extra audio of video specific to an episode i.e. bloopers, extended interviews, etc)
  • Episode Links -  For further instructions on using Links see How To Add Episode Links to your Podcast App.

 

App Attributes that Require Support

There are also some things that require intervention by libsyn support to alter.  This is because these items are "baked" into the app and require that the app team submit the changes to Apple.  

  • App Icon (the image for the App that appears on the users iOS device
  • Splash Screen (This is the first image that the user sees when the app is launching)
  • iTunes Description (The description of your App that is used in the iTunes Store)

Note: To change any of these three items the user must put in a request with libsyn support.  

We hope this clarifies how to best keep your App in sync with your show.  We think its an important part of keeping your App users engaged and loyal.  

Lindsay Patross

 


Rob Walch Interviewed on Technical Tidbits

Rob Walch, VP of Podcaster Relations for Libsyn and Wizzard, was interviewed by Debbie Mahler.  Debbie's show Technical Tidbits, helps listeners understand the difference between a technical "thingamabob and whatchamacallit." Check out the interview here.

Listen to internet radio with TechnicalTidbits on Blog Talk Radio

We're Going Camping, PodCamping

We are happy to once again be participating in this weeks PodCamp Pittsburgh.  We will be hanging out at the PodCamp activities all weekend long.  If you are in Pittsburgh - please stop by and say hello.

On Sunday at 1pm we will be hosting a session about monetization and podcasts - but lots of the info will be of interest to bloggers and content producers too.

Surefire Ways To Kill Your Ability To Monetize Your Podcast

Sunday, September 19, 2010 1-2pm 
@ The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

We will discuss various podcast pitfalls to watch for that can ruin your chances for making money with your podcast. This session will be geared to all levels of podcasting - from beginners to experts. While we will focus on podcast - this information is valuable to bloggers and other content producer too.

Facebook Event Here - http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=118963198159188

For more info on PodCamp Pittsburgh check out - http://podcamppittsburgh.com/ 

 


Tech Pulse Action Alert - Panera Bread

Take this with a grain of salt.

Then acknowledge that this post is one opinion of said writer and therefore does not necessarily reflect the opinions, policies, of Liberated Syndication AKA libsyn under subsidiary webmayhem.net or its parent company Wizzard Software.... Yada Yada, okay we good.  That'll be the rule for most of the posts I sign.  You can take comfort that there will be other contributors to this blog.  

I have these barometers I keep. Little measurements that I like to think indicate technology trends and within these unverified microcosms I sometimes draw sweeping conclusions.  

One of my barometers is Panera Bread.  If I checked in there on foursquare I'm pretty sure I would be mayor.  I'm a jerk, but not the only jerk that comes to some conclusions about customers in a place based on assumptions I make about the place and the prototypical consumer that I associate with that place.  

So one of my classes of barometers is "people places with wifi".  You can then drill down another level with "free wifi".  I think Panera is a complex place.  It is hard to pin down the atypical Panera customer.  I don't think you can, thats why its an interesting study.  So while I'm there to support their use of natural, hormone and genetically modified free chicken products I'm also there to see what kind of devices people use to do whatever they are doing with the free wifi.  Its located in Pittsburgh, in Shadyside not far from some universities, Pitt, CMU.  

So lately, last year or so its been dominated by netbooks.  And I really mean dominated, sometimes it could be like 100% cute little netbooks.  Classy looking students and professional types with sharp looking netbooks.  

Today I saw my first iPad in there.  It feels like a big deal.  I usually keep this stuff to myself, but I thought I'd share.  

 

Okay, now how bout you guys?  Do you have luddite friends, parents, or social circles that tip you off to the latest zeitgeists, memes, trends, happenings etc?  If you are reading this I assume you have to :)

 

- Dave M


Today Apple Releases some Very Nice Stuff! - $99 Apple TV: Podcasts Onboard

Apple had a doosey of a media event today, revamping much of its iPod lineup and even reinventing the Apple TV.  The Shuffle, Nano, and iPod Touch all got major upgrades as expected inline with predictions from our favorite rumor sources Macrumors, Techcrunch and Daring Fireball.  It was a very solid event streamed live for the first time in years, and the general consensus is that the updates were solid improvements across the board of the iPod line. 

For Podcasters, we think the one to watch for audience growth may be the Apple TV.  Long referred to as Apple's "Hobby" by Steve Jobs, that label was continued today as Steve's final reveal of the Apple TV was jokingly renamed "One More Thing Hobby".  The new Apple TV is a fourth of the size of the original and is aggressively priced at $99 dollars.  That is impulse territory.  Integration between iOS devices and the Apple TV has grown even tighter via what is now called "Airplay" allowing for content to be beamed from the iPad and iPhone to the Apple TV over wifi.  That may just be the sleeper hit for the device, bridging the divide between the personal and communal screens in a seamless manner.  $.99 TV episode rentals and Netflix integration are aimed at attracting a bigger user base for the device and we are happy to see podcasts get top billing along with Youtube and Flickr as seen in the Internet section of the interface below.  

Like the Google TV, the new Apple TV and its iOS siblings will only help to propel Podcasting further and further into mainstream usage.  

 

Good Day :)

 

-Dave M

 


Surefire Ways To Kill Your Ability To Monetize Your Podcast

Not all podcasters want to monetize their podcast. In fact a lot of indie podcasters start a podcast because they love podcasting, have an overwhelming passion for something and simply want to share it with the world. As time goes on (if they don't podfade!) their passion grows and they begin to mull over the podcaster golden question:

How can I make money doing this?

This post is not about monetizing your podcast. There are a gazillion ways and tons of folks that are willing to walk you through a myriad of models. The aim of this post is to provide you with a little simple checklist in order to save you some heartache IF you decide you do want to monetize your content from the beginning, even if that's not your initial intention.

4 Ways To Impede Monetization Of Your Podcast

  • 1. Use trademark images for your podcast artwork
  • 2. Use trademarked words in the title or subtitle of your podcast
  • 3. Use copyrighted music as your theme music, intro or outro music within your podcast.
  • 4. Read, sing or perform full or parts of copyrighted works.

(NOTE) Generally speaking if you have been given specific permission by owners of copyrighted material for your podcast you will be unable make money off of those podcast episodes. You would have to strip that material from all the media that contains this content if you want to monetize your work.

Podcast Content That Hinders Monetization:

  • Images or graphics of realistic violence
  • Sexual content or nudity, particularly in podcast artwork
  • High levels of profanity
  • Alcohol, tobacco, or drug use, particularly in podcast artwork

The beauty and power of podcasting is that you can say, do and create any kind of content that you desire. If you want to create an awesome podcast replete with sexual content, with lots of profanity and tons of illegal substance use, then go for it! Just know that your ability to find ways to monetize your podcast will be more limited, although not impossible. You just have to work a little harder to find the best match in terms of sponsors and joint ventures.

The whole copyright/trademark world, particularly for new media content is a bit complicated. The information seems to continually deepen and shift. It's up to content creators to choose to educate themselves and stay up to date on all this information.

Tools and resources that are necessary to have in your podcaster tool belt:

Websites and Documents

Copyright/Trademark Podcasts

Some of those podcast have podfaded but the information is still very good.

Bottom line:

If you have content in your podcast that causes you to wonder if you might infringe copyright or trademark laws, don't put it in! You'll save yourself a lot of hassle :)

Have you had issues with copyright material and have knowledge to share or have other resources that you'd like to let us know about? Leave a comment!

I'm sure as podcasters, we could all benefit from as much knowledge as we can.

PS.

If you are ready and optimized to monetize your podcast and take it to the next level we have podcast apps to extend your reach and monetization capabilities of your content and advertising programs available!

-Elsie Escobar


Podcasts on Google TV

It looks like podcasts are going to be a big part of the new Google TV platform.  According to NewTeeVee:

"Google TV will include a podcast directory, giving users the ability to subscribe to shows and have future episodes show up in the same list as their DVR recordings."

Anytime podcasts are getting top billing on a new platform we're happy.  Like you producers, we are always looking out for new opportunities that expand the reach of the podcasting platform.  


Wizzard in Bad Spelling/Grammar/Weird Name Round Up - libsyn emerges unscathed

In this age of the internet, Grammar is a hot button topic.  Advocates for upholding proper practice come in many forms including podcasts like Grammar Girl, and grassroots initiatives by Jeff Deck author of The Great Typo Hunt recently covered by NPR.  Dreck himself seems to be fine with the use of creative license in branding, and focus's his efforts on typos and unintentional errors.  

In a fun post last week by Erich Schwartzel the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette highlighted libsyn's parent company, Wizzard, for using intentional misspelling as a method for brand distinction.

"In Pittsburgh alone, the evidence is there in Wizzard Software's extra "Z," reCAPTCHA's runaway Caps Lock, Fooala's love of vowels."

The article mentions Wizzard along with other Pittsburgh local and national heavy hitter internet spelling/grammar offenders like eBay and Yahoo!.  The challenge of course is for these companies to elevate brand awareness above and beyond the bumps that come with stepping outside of the norm.

 

Can't help but think, libsyn dodged a bullet there. 

"LibSyn" sometimes, "libsyn" other times, the shorty name and url for "liberated syndication" has brought us interesting luck over the years.  The name penned by Dave Chekan was meant to convey the grandiose power behind the new media revolution while also catching the wind of web 2.0 catchy company names.  From this point in the company's history we feel like it was a fitting choice.

But while sometimes bullheaded, we aren't totally obtuse; we know its tough to spell.  Even in our internal company emails and you'll see many wild variations of the name.  That is also why we also registered libsin.com.... whoops, who let that one lapse?  Oh Well.

One of my favorite stories touched on in the article involves when in direct reaction to the overuse of "e" in things like "eMail, eMarketing, eCommerce, etc. brands names appeared sans "e".  Flickr, Tumblr. and even Twittr, which obviously added the "e" back later, are perfect examples of this.  I know this is probably old news for most of you, but I think its this kind of playfulness that illustrates a deeper collective thoughtfulness rather than somethin akin to the "devolution" of modern language. 

Early on when we were looking to raise some money to grow the business the general consensus was that we had to move out of Pittsburgh, and we had to change the name.  Having a lucky lunch at Sammy's Corned Beef with an industry mogul that was stumped as to why we'd chosen the name:  "liberated syndication", I said, "It's a grand ol' pitch of both new and old coming together", thusly the libsyn/liberated syndication dichotomy. 

We are not the only ones in the podcasting space with creative names, i'm thinking of podrac and blubrry of course.  Plus, I think its a pretty well established trend in experimenting with language and image that is definitely not exlcusive to the internet world: Just ask Prince.

As always we love the shout outs from our friends at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the article by Erich got us thinking and reminiscing.  We are happy to still be in Pittsburgh and living under the same banner since 2004.  libsyn is a name that many of you have chosen to be associated with and for that we are eternally grateful. 

-DaveM


Background Image Design Tips

You may have noticed that Google, Bing and AOL change up their home page images from time to time. Snowflakes for winter, shamrocks for St. Patrick's day, flowers for spring. You can do the same thing for your app.  Little changes like this go a long way to keep your audience entertained, engaged and invested in your content.  Check out these tips for creating a great background image for your app.

 

Keep in mind that the background image appears in multiple places in the app and is the default background.

Background Image Design Tips
  • The design should be simple so that the white text of the app can be clearly read.
  • When designing your background be conscious that the play button will obscure the center of your image.

Some Background Image Examples

app-screen-shots



Tutorial - Adding Episode Background

Another tip for Podcast App producers.  Providing special background images for specific episodes is a simple thing to do, but it goes a long way to make your audience feel excited about your App.  Not unlike the artwork in DVD menus; its about enhancing the experience of your show.  It's in the little things.  

Unlike the default background of your app which is set in the Destinations section, the Episode background is set right when you publish a new episode.  This image will appear only when your audience is looking at the detail page for that specific episode.  

 

So what's nice is your when you go from the episode list to that specific episode, you get a nice background fade in transition.  In this case it's beachy.

 

You can use the background to alert your audience that extras are available or just have fun setting the mood for your episode.


Cali Lewis on the Podcast App in the Latest GeekBeat.TV

In today's episode of GeekBeat.TV Cali Lewis, tech news superstar highlights the Podcast App.  GeekBeat.TV is a show that covers the latest and greatest in tech, gadgets and internet cool.  If you haven't yet discovered the show you are in for a treat! Cali is fun, thorough, timely, and always ready with the latest news and tips in the world of geek.  In fact in this episode there's a great tip especially for you Podcast App producers.  Watch the vid below for Cali's use of backgrounds to alert her app audience of bonus content.  

We are so excited to be working with Cali and GeekBeat.TV!  Get the Cali Lewis App at http://calilewis.me/caliapp


Tutorial - How to Add Episode Links to Your Podcast App for iOS

Here's a good hint for our Podcast App producers out there.  

For each episode you have the ability to offer links to related websites in the episode extras section. This is a great ways to share a link that you have reference in the episode or other links that might be helpful for your audience.
 

 Add Episode Links in the Episode Description

Including links with each episode is as simple as adding a link in the episode description. These links will automatically be included as an "episode link" in the "Extras" section of your app.

 

Edit the Episode Description

 

 

Add a Link - select the text that you would like to be the name for the link, and click the link button.  Then,type the entire url for the link in the pop-up box 



 

Publish Your Episode - click publish to save your changes and make them live.  If you click save draft - your episode will be saved under drafts and changes will not be made to your app until you click publish.

 

Any links in your episode description will be added as an episode link in your app.  You can add as many links as you would like to each episode.

 

That's all. Once you have published your app - your episode links will be live.  

If you have an iOS device and would like to check out our Podcast App download the free demo Danger Dog.  You can see the links in action on the episode entitle "Zen Time".


Retro - The libsyn Stroll 2005


It seems like yesterday, or a year ago...  But produced in November of '05 this video by Nathan Cornett and Andy Kelemen was released on our old old libsyn blog.  

Presented in stunning iPod 5GD (that's 320 x 213) Here's our first libsyn video promo: The libsyn Stroll

For full credits check out the original post about this fun vid with a "circa '93 pringles feel".

 


Baseball PhD on their iPhone App

Baseball PhD the show that helps you get a PhD in life through the love of baseball made a great video highlighting how they are using our podcast app.  This video gives a nice overview of the podcast app in action.....with a little bit o' help from our own Rob Walch.

If you are a die hard, soul fan of baseball, you have to give Baseball PhD a go. The host Edward, the co-hosts Mark and Farley plus their correspondent Bob and enthusiastic "Wise Guys" engage in some lively conversation full of baseball facts, baseball love and a handful of passionate opinions. I guarantee that if you listen to their shows even if you aren't a fan of the sport you certainly will want to go watch a ball game. If you are a fan of the sport, you'll probably end up planning a tour of the 30 major league parks!  Baseball PhD offers energetic and passionate conversations amongst friends as well as with baseball personalities who offer an array of fun facts and historical stories, plus tons of tips for the baseball tourist. 

If you are traveling around any part of the US for the summer, having the Baseball PhD App on your iPhone is a must. There is such a wealth of information regarding each major league park, plus it's surroundings. Even if you think you know everything about your local or favorite ballpark, you will learn something you didn't know before. 

Click here if you are interested in getting an app for your show.  Hosting plans start at $20 a month which include the media hosting and the podcast app.  

Get Baseball PhD in the App Store.  


iTunes Podcast Store comes to 67 new countries

June 29th 2010 will mark the 5 Year anniversary of iTunes v4.9 and as a Podcaster you may know that was when podcasting support was added to iTunes.  That is also when the iTunes Podcasting page was launched.  What you may not know is that over the past 5 years the iTunes podcast pages have only been available in 23 countries and those 23 countries represent less than 15 percent of the worlds population.  


Now almost 5 years since the launch of iTunes v4.9, Apple has just added iTunes Podcast pages for 67 more countries.  Including all 4 of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). These 67 countries represent over 4.3 Billion people - that is 64.2% of the worlds population - and when added to the pervious 23 countries a total of 78.9% (5.4 Billion) of the worlds population now is covered by iTunes Podcast Pages. (Population %'s according to stats from CIA Factbook).  



At Libsyn / Wizzard Media we think podcasters should be very excited about this increase in coverage.  As the worlds largest host of podcasts we are in a unique position to look at stats.  When we looked at May's download numbers we saw that 90.6% of all of our networks downloads came from the 23 countries that had an iTunes Podcast page, while only 8.3% of downloads came from the 67 new countries that had not yet had the iTunes pages just turned on.  And the Rest of the World (ROW) had just 1.1% of the downloads.  






Even though the new 67 countries have over 4 times the population as the original 23 countries, the new 67 had less then 1/10th of the downloads prior to getting an iTunes Podcasting page.  This shows the importance of having an iTunes podcasting page in a country for getting downloads from that country.  With 67 new Podcast Pages in iTunes stores around the world this is a great opportunity for you - as a podcaster - to increase your audience.  Getting featured in iTunes is a key way to do this.  As a podcaster it is important to know you will never get featured in iTunes if you have ugly artwork or worse yet no artwork at all.  It is highly recommend by Apple to have at least a 600 x 600 Pixel image referenced in your RSS feed.  This image can be larger but should remain a square.  If you are not someone that can create good looking artwork - then put out a call to your audience and see if one of them is willing to create artwork for your show. This is also a good time to look at your show in iTunes and make sure you have an accurate description for your show and it is in the right category. 


We at  Libsyn/Wizzard Media  are very excited about the new opportunities that have just been opened up with the addition of over 4 Billion new people being covered by iTunes Podcast pages.  We will post again shortly showing an update on how the new countries are doing for downloads pre and post the launch of iTunes pages in those countries.   



Podcast Companion App v1.7 Demo



This is an early demo of the 1.7 generation of our podcast iPhone apps.  This version supports iOS4 with a breakthrough feature for audio podcasts- background playback!

Now, for the first time we can run our apps in the background allowing listeners of the show the ability to multi-task on their iPhone or iPod Touch.  The 1.7 apps will also run on iOS 3.x but without the background audio support.

Apple started to accept iOS4 compatible apps last week.  We expect to start shipping 1.7 apps as early as next friday in anticipation of the iOS4 (and iPhone4) release on 6/24.

What's new in libsyn3?


We have been doing alot of work to overhaul our documentation and tutorials.  For both new users and those migrating into libsyn3, there will be thorough inline help when and where you need it along with written and video tutorials to explain some of the basic and advanced features of the new system

For the thousands of users which will be migrated over the course of the summer, we have put together the complete A:B comparison of the two publishing systems.  
http://docs.libsynpro.com/tutorials/new_in_libsyn3

Please feel free to engage with fellow podcasters on the libsyn forums (
http://forum.libsyn.com), in the comments here, on twitter, etc.  We want to make this transition as smooth and  non-interruptive as possible.

New libsyn.com homepage


For the first time in a long time, the public front page of libsyn.com is getting a face lift.  The previous design had been in place, more or less, since 2005.  With the public release of libsyn3 we decided to ditch the old page and replace it with something quiet, clean, and simple.  We even polished up soapy for the occasion :) 

Tutorial 1: The Quick Post

This is a 3-step tutorial on how to quickly post a file to libsyn3.  This is only really appropriate for those times when you just need to get a file up and able to be downloaded- but not published to any destination (rss feed, webpage, app, player, etc).

Step 1.
Click the Publish icon at the top of the screen.  Make sure the mode is set to basic.

http://assets.libsyn.com/images/imake/tutorial_1_ss_1.jpg

Step 2.
Scroll to the bottom of the view and click the harddrive icon to select a file.

http://assets.libsyn.com/images/imake/tutorial_1_ss_2.jpg
Step 3.
Without touching any other field in the form, simply click the green publish button and viola you are done!

http://assets.libsyn.com/images/imake/tutorial_1_ss_3.jpg

Your file is now available for download at http://traffic.libsyn.com/showslug/filename

Goodbye Hoopes, we'll miss you.


A real tear jerker



Libsyn3.4 hits the ground running


The focus for libsyn 3.4 is all about producer publishing. We spent this sprint making sure we make as easy a transition between old libsyn and libsyn3 as possible, welcome new users into a system that is ready for them, and just really think about the individual podcaster.

There are several areas which are getting the most attention:
Publishing form
FTP
"previous posts"
Language/syntax


Here's the stories the team is working off of:
UI Publish section modifications (LIBSYN-464)

Changes to the publishing section (now renamed "Publish") to reduce confusion especially for libsyn classic migrated users. All Items is now referred to in the classic libsyn syntax of "Previous Posts"

Goals:
1. Simplify publishing navigation and align naming with libsyn indie to reduce confusion, errors and need for education.
2. Allow for the removal of non-episodic media file clutter from within the posts tab addressing a top support complaint.

The 'new episode / post' button now becomes "new post" and moved to the top of the list of options on the left. When editing a post, instead of a second "create new" button being present, the new post button becomes "editing post" and is the button you would click to get back to the post you are editing. If you are editing and wish to start a new post instead, you must discard the post you are editing first. If you are creating/editing a post and select another post from the list you will be prompted to discard changes to the open post (only if any changes have been made).

To make things clean and easy, remove created date from previous posts and change release date label to "post date"

The publishig section shall have 4 options:
1) new post (editing post)
2) previous posts
3) drafts
4) FTP Dropbox / Queue

The filters for audio/video/text are moved from the left panel to a dropdown menu on the previous posts grid. In addition to filtering by media type, there are also options to filter by Download Only and Posts with destinations. DO refers to any file which has been published to only the simple download destination. Posts with destinations hides DO posts.

The specific use of such a categorization is to allow the publishing UI to filter out those items from the searching/displaying of posts based on what the user needs to get to.

The filtering options are:
- All Posts
- Posts with destinations
- Download Only (public folder)
- Audio
- Video
- Text Blog Posts

Drafts are no longer displayed along with previous posts, they are accessible via their own list.

FTP Dropbox / Queue is simply a rename from the "Unpublished Media"

-----------------------------

UI- Provide simple/advanced publishing workflow (LIBSYN-521)
For users coming from libsyn.com, or anyone else who does not need destination management or advertising options the basic mode will be the default view when creating a new post. For all existing PRO network users, the default option will be advanced. All new users across the board will get basic as their default view.

The basic view will consist of step 1 and step 2 combined together in a top-down single view. The producer should be able to toggle between basic and advanced modes while publishing. Whichever mode the user sets, it should be saved and used next time ("sticky").

The advanced view should have the steps numbered (1-5) to make it clear it's a publishing wizzard.

The basic view consists of:
Title
Description
Post Image
Category
Release Date/Time (sets all destinations)
Media File selection
iPhone Extras (if applicable)

------------------------------------

FTP README.txt (LIBSYN-520)
A read-only text file linked at the root of each users FTP login explaining how the FTP folders work. -
(contents posted in http://forum.libsyn.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=15442

------------------------------------

Asset Manager (Phase 1) (LIBSYN-527)
an FTP /assets is available to upload non-audio/video/pdf files

------------------------------------

Show-level + network-level Wizzard advertising feature (LIBSYN-525)
If the network is enabled with Wizzard Advertising feature (libsyn3, wm.wizzard.tv) In the advertising section the top entry is "Wizzard Advertising Program". The page simply explains the wizzard advertising program, provides contact information to learn more and a checkbox which sets the master show-level "enable advertising" feature.

When that feature is disabled, the advertising options of step 4 are disabled, and for each post the "Dynamic Advertising" section is hidden. The episode filters and ad slot features of the Advertising section are disabled as well.

For networks which do not have the wizzard advertising feature, all shows are defaulted to have the enable advertising on. For networks that do have that feature, all new shows default to enable advertising off.