Luminary Aims to Be the Netflix of Podcasts →

March 7, 2019 · 09:16

Brooks Barnes, reporting for the New York Times:

“We want to become synonymous with podcasting in the same way Netflix has become synonymous with streaming,” Matt Sacks, Luminary’s co-founder and chief executive, said in an interview. “I know how ambitious that sounds. We think it can be done, and some of the top creators in the space agree.” […]

Most podcasts are free, but the Luminary app — set to arrive by June — will focus on subscriptions. For $8 a month, subscribers will gain access to Luminary’s ad-free lineup. For creators, Luminary is offering large upfront payment guarantees in exchange for exclusive rights to distribute their work, reducing the risk of a concept and, hopefully, encouraging greater creativity and higher production values. Luminary will also pay creators bonuses if their shows reach certain listening thresholds.

As a creator, I understand that people just want to earn a living and this seems like a steady way to create podcasts professionally, even though I would not choose to go down this route myself. However, as a user, I am strongly opposed to walling off podcasts, which are fundamentally based on open standards, such as RSS. This is one of the best aspects of podcasts — all you need is your favourite show’s RSS URL and almost any podcast player will play it correctly (many of which are free, though you will have to pay for clients who have some advanced features).


Overcast — Info for Podcasters →

August 13, 2018 · 10:53

Marco Arment published a new page detailing what Overcast does and doesn’t do with your podcast. It also includes some technical information, which is worth reading, including a new upcoming feature:

In an update coming in fall 2018, Overcast will display a currency-symbol button that opens a payment, membership, donation, Patreon, etc. URL when present in the currently playing episode’s HTML body (“show notes”).

Use the rel=”payment” attribute on a standard HTML <a> link in an episode’s HTML body […]

If you publish your own podcast, make sure to read this.


Most Important Meal 36 With James Thomson — This Was Not a Podcast I Was Expecting to Hear →

June 1, 2018 · 10:55

James Thomson, the creator of PCalc, joins Truj and Brian to talk about the Full Scottish Breakfast! Of course, they are immediately sidetracked by sobering facts about the death of the banana, #TeamCrunchy versus #TeamSoggy, cannibalism thought experiments, and black pudding. Brian read all the Twilight books. Truj interrupts Overwatch. James couldn’t leave the table.

A surprisingly excellent episode with some blasphemy regarding food, which I’ll let slide because I was immensely entertained!

Regarding black pudding… We have something similar in Poland — it’s called kaszanka. Tried it once, hated it, consider it disgusting.

And in response to the banana thread — try the ones which can be found in the Caribbean, India, and many other places in the world, where they are grown. Since our trip to Martinique, I consider the bananas that we get here in Europe to be close to inedible.


Pocket Casts Addressing Our Concerns →

May 8, 2018 · 10:44

From Shifty Jelly’s blog:

That’s an easy question to answer for those that know a bit about the podcasting industry. The industry is amazing because it’s open. Anyone can publish a podcast and distribute it everywhere. No podcast is treated differently than another. However, “open” is not the default state of markets as they mature, as we’ve seen in other content businesses. When power is consolidated into the hands of just a few closed platforms, creators rarely win. And we care deeply about the fate of podcast producers everywhere.

It’s our mission to ensure that this doesn’t happen. If we succeed, we all benefit. If we lose, well, we feel it was a thing worth attempting. In the meantime there are some steps we need to take to get where we want to go, and we’ll talk about those when we’re ready. It’s early days, but we’re really excited for the future. Hope you all are too!

That’s what the guys at Shifty Jelly were doing before they were bought — building an open community around an open medium. I hope I’m wrong, but historically when a private company buys a product, it isn’t to further an “open” agenda, but to benefit their own product(s) at the cost of those who care that podcasts remain the way they are. Perhaps it’s the cynic in me, but while I believe everything they are saying now (I’m sure they believe it too), I’m willing to bet this will slowly change over time, as it has so frequently in the past.


Pocket Casts Acquired by NPR, etc. →

May 4, 2018 · 00:17

Chris Welch, on The Verge:

Pocket Casts, widely considered to be one of the best mobile apps for podcast listening, has been acquired by a collective group that includes NPR, WNYC Studios, WBEZ Chicago, and This American Life. “This unprecedented collaboration furthers public radio’s leading role as an innovator in audio discovery and distribution, while ensuring the continued support and growth of one of the most popular listening platforms on the market,” the companies said in a press release announcing the news. That team of stations and podcast producers are responsible for some of the format’s biggest hits like This American Life (duh), Serial, Radiolab, and Planet Money.

Moving forward, Pocket Casts will operate as a joint venture between the new owners. Philip Simpson and Russell Ivanovic, who formed Shifty Jelly (Pocket Cast’s developer) in 2008, will have unspecified “leadership roles.” The existing staff and development team is staying put. Owen Grover, a veteran of iHeartRadio / Clear Channel, has been named as Pocket Cast’s CEO. NPR’s apps including NPR One will remain in development.

Rest In Peace Pocket Casts, good luck Russell and Philip.

Everyone on iOS go get Overcast [App Store]. I have no clue what you should do if you’re on Android.


Wavelength for Micro.blog →

April 20, 2018 · 12:03

Manton Reece:

We’re rolling out a new hosted plan on Micro.blog to accommodate microcasts. When you upload an audio file to your site — either from the web, Wavelength, or a third-party app — Micro.blog will automatically create a podcast feed for your microblog. Listeners can subscribe directly, or you can add the feed to the Apple Podcast Directory and it will show up in popular apps like Overcast and Castro. Everything can be served from your own domain name, just like a normal microblog. We’ve been using this infrastructure for all the episodes of our weekly Micro Monday microcast.

New hosted microblogs with microcasting support will be $10/month. Microcast audio files will be limited to 20 MB. Existing microblogs hosted on Micro.blog can be upgraded to support microcasting for an additional $5/month.

It’s fascinating watching how fast Manton is innovating and expanding Micro.blog. I have immense respect for him and his project, especially since it focuses on utilizing open technologies. I hope his next logical step will be to offer support for longer podcasts.


February 23, 2018 · 11:43

I hate shaving. It’s just not a pleasant experience, despite me being extremely fussy about it — I use a MÜHLE R89 Grande with various accessories. It not only requires a shower beforehand, to properly moisten my skin and facial hair, but I just simply consider the next 15 minutes a complete waste of time. This is precisely why I simply love that Kelly Guimont and Don Melton have released their second1 episode of the Westworld Rewind podcast, in which they rewatch and dissect each character and event. Listening to them makes any chore bearable.

  1. Third, technically — there was a bonus one.

Westworld Rewind Podcast — Quick Thoughts →

February 10, 2018 · 13:40

I just finished listening to the first two episodes of Westworld Rewind, hosted by Kelly Guimont and Don Melton, and since Don asked for some feedback, here it is:

  • Please don’t put a timer on the episodes. I can listen to you guys talk all day long.
  • I might have welled up inside towards the end of the first episode by just realising there’ll be at least nine more episodes to listen to.
  • Everyone who has watched Westworld needs to listen to this.

Thanks guys! ❤


August 9, 2017 · 23:35

I listen to so many podcasts, that I’d prefer some of them to be daily shows. @ATPfm and @TheTalkShow come to mind first. At the same time, I probably should publish our podcast more often…


How to Sound Good on a Podcast →

July 3, 2017 · 12:13

Collin Donnell:

If you read this blog, you know that I do a weekly interview podcast called The Run Loop. The show (generally) has remote guests with different audio setups and level of comfort in front of a microphone, so I wanted to write a short tutorial I could send to future guests to prepare them to be on the show and get the best audio quality. I then realized it made a lot more sense to make that a blog post so that other people could use it as a resource as well. So, here it is. Following this should help anyone sound good on a podcast regardless of previous experience.

This is worth reading even if you know what you’re doing (or think you do) — lots of small details, which can make a difference.


Overcast 2.5 Is Out With New Features →

March 15, 2016 · 08:13

Marco Arment:

Overcast 2.5 is now available, bringing major under-the-hood improvements and some of the most requested features to my iOS podcast player.

The new features are: a new dark mode using the system font, audio file uploads, optimised battery life, a separate Voice Boost profile when listening via the built-in speaker, and many bug fixes. The first two are for patrons only. Speaking of battery life…

Some results were unsurprising: Compared to wired headphones, Bluetooth headphones cut battery life by about a third, while AirPlay cut it about in half. But the biggest battery drain is the built-in speaker, which is even more costly to the battery than AirPlay.

Marco’s battery results actually surprised me. I didn’t think that the impact on the battery by using Bluetooth headphones was so big.


I’ve used Overcast solely since its release and apart from one bug/feature1, it has been the perfect companion during my walks and runs. There are many other great podcast players out there, but Overcast’s simplicity, Voice Boost, and Smart Speed2 won me over.

Overcast – iOS – News – free

  1. When changing the sort options of a playlist, it doesn’t reorder the already downloaded episodes automatically.
  2. I run it at 1.5x.

John Gruber Scores Amazing Guest Interview on the Talk Show →

December 15, 2015 · 08:58

John Gruber:

John Siracusa returns to the show to follow up on Federighi’s segment on Swift. Other topics include Apple’s new Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6/6S, and our mutual (and perhaps futile) desire to head into this week’s premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens knowing as few spoilers as possible.

Also, some guy named Craig Federighi is on before Siracusa.


Instacast Discontinued; Parent Vemedio Out of Money

June 15, 2015 · 10:18

Benjamin Mayo of 9to5Mac reports that Instacast has been discontinued due to the simple fact that its parent company Vemedio ran out of money. Since the specifics are unknown at this time, I can only assume the main problem was lack of profitability. I could probably write many words on the subject of business models and so forth, but that horse has been beaten to death in various places on the internet many times in these past few years. What I would prefer to focus on are two subjects that I have already mentioned here.

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