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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 - 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 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
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.
Once you are in the Settings page you need to click the Formatting tab.
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.
Keep scrolling down that page and SAVE your settings.

Publishing Your First Episode

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.
You will then see another box pop up under the heading Enclosures.
It is here that you need to add the url for your mp3 file. Mp3 file links here at libsyn always start with Go ahead and finish adding your shownotes, ie. composing your post and Publish Post!
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
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