Digital Audio World

Musings and information on podcasting, digital audio, online streaming audio and home studio recording from Tim 'Gonzo' Gordon of

Thursday, July 21, 2005

If you are a web surfer who takes feeds from RSS, can spot a phishing scam in an instant, and download a couple of podcasts a day - congratulations, you're in the MINORITY! Survey Results Show Most Americans Have No Clue About RSS is a new survey out. Even if you obsess over things like RSS feeds and podcasts, most Americans are barely aware of the terms and would be hard-pressed to try and explain them or even understand them.

So take it easy, podcaster, and slow down. The rest of the world still has to catch up with you!!

Monday, July 18, 2005

It's being said that the commercial podcasters are squishing the little mom-n-pop podcasters, thanks to iTunes. Just read this story here, from Frank Barnako. While he makes a point, he's missing the point. Internet Daily: Independent podcasters losing ground simply points out that with iTunes being used as a method of distribution and publicity that didn't exist before, the commercial podcasters are taking over the top listings.

No argument there.

But when he says "Shortly after the iTunes software update was released, I calculated that 47 of its most popular podcasts were produced by what some call "independents." That number now is 31, and it's dropping," it doesn't mean that the independents are losing steam or listeners. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see an increase in listenership in at least some of the independent podcasts.

iTunes is a huge commercial promotional tool from Apple. If they're going to promote podcasts, they're going to go for the ones that make sense - the big commercial shows, even though they've been around less and are probably a lot less entertaining. All they have to do for the 'little guys' is make is easy to post your podcast there and they're done enough. Now it's up to the independent producers to use that as a tool to promote their podcasts.

iTunes makes it easy to subscribe to and manage podcasts, whether it's CNN or 'The Tim Gonzo Gordon Show.' Any good independent podcaster will use iTunes for what it is - a tool to help your listeners and potential listeners subscribe and manage their podcast subscriptions. With 3,000 - 10,000 podcasts out there (who knows how many actually show up on a regular basis), it's a crap shoot. iTunes won't make or break the little guy. It WILL bring more people to the podosphere, which means more potential listeners for independent shows - which is the way it should be.

Years ago I worked for a popular AM adult contemporary news and music radio station in Portland, Oregon. Our competition on the AM band was another news station. Being the top two dogs in a battle which saw more and more listeners going to FM was a little disheartening, since FM was all the rage, and here we were sitting on a radio frequency band that was relegated to crappy music and sports and news. I recall my program director saying, "Yes, we want to beat them in the ratings. But we don't want to beat them so badly they go away. If we do that, it's bad for the AM dial and ultimately bad for us."

So the more people that come to the podcasting world, the more it will help the little guy, even if most of the buzz and news reports go to the corporate podcasters.

Yeah, iTunes is good for the little guy.

Friday, July 15, 2005

At last! A comprehensive report that actually addresses the question of whether podcasting can make money. Even with millions of people downloading podcasts every week...even with tightly-focused podcasts on everything from Frank Zappa to feral cats which create strong market there anyway for the average podcast to actually turn a buck with his podcast? Podcasting: Can This New Medium Make Money? comes from Wharton Business School. There's no black and white answer to the money question...but does that really surprise you? Check it out.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Apple - iTunes - 500 Million Songs Y'all get on down to iTunes and download a few more legal tunes...hey you could be a wiener!

No, seriously. A half BILLION downloads. That's darn near $500 Million dollars worth of music. All since iTunes Music Store signed on the internet April 28, 2003. As of today, that makes it 492,616,000 downloads in 806 days - or roughly 611,186 downloads a day on average. Those numbers are bound to change by the time midnight rolls around - as I write this update and correct a few things, the number is already up past 492,620,000...and counting.

So iTunes is celebrating with free iPod minis every 100,000 downloads, and the big prize of 10 iPods and 10,000 free songs. Hmm, almost makes me want to go grab some music from iTunes. Since I've never actually BOUGHT music online, I doubt I will. But hey, if 'These Boots are Made for Walkin' by Jessica Simpson rings your bell, go right ahead. D'ya remember the original by Nancy Sinatra, Frank's daughter, back in 1965? I do. I was just a li'l sprite, groovin' to the Beatles and the Stones. But Nancy was hot and sexy and with those boots that went halfway up her thighs I didn't know what to think with all those weird feelings...hmmmmm.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

It seems that everybody's jumping on the bandwagon: BBC NEWS | Technology | Podcasting set for 'huge growth'. Apple says that over a million people subscribed to podcasts in the first few days after the release of iTunes 4.9, which now supports podcast subscriptions.

I spent awhile this morning listening to podcasts at random on iTunes. With over 3000 to choose from, it's completely random! Accident Hash, Black Coffee Radio, Culture Cafe and a few others. I think almost all of the hosts declared 'it's our FIRST frickin' podcast!' - and it really showed. Yeah, they sounded saw and homey, amateur and cool and dumb and savvy all at the same time. That's what I love about podcasting - it's a little of everything.

It's also easy to test-listen to a number of podcasts once you get in the iTunes Store and find the podcast area. Many of them didn't appeal to me - not to worry, there are more listed right next to it.

And if you read the last post, you saw that I managed to get listed on iTunes. I still don't know if it's good or not, I think it's too early to tell. Need to wait a few weeks and sift through the metrics of the website and determine if listenership and bandwidth use increased exponentially or stayed the same!