Digital Audio World

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

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Blog Evangelist Holds Free Teleseminar

How's your blogging going for you these days? Do you have one? Are you posting regularly? Do you get the most out of your blog?

Free plug: Andy Wibbels and Sherman Hu are hosting a free teleseminar on blogging - particularly with WordPress. Do you use WordPress? I do (not on this blog, but on - and think it's great for a number of reasons. And I want to find out more about it, to see what I can REALLY do once I get up to speed on the true possibilities.

One thing I really like is the ability to post audio or video and seamlessly embed it in the page. Take a listen to the examples (and look at the seamless player) on a recent post I did demonstrating a handful of digital audio cuts that I recorded with my portable flash recorder, the Marantz PMD 660.

The 660 is the slickest recording unit I've ever used: high quality in a small unit; the audio is stored in digital files which are easily transferred to my PC's hard drive, where I can edit and post in a snap.

Andy and Sherman's teleseminar is coming up on Wednesday the 13th of September. You can sign up here: WordPress Essentials.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

iTunes Affiliate Program Gets Dander Up

Just thought I'd point you to a post on this blog regarding iTunes new affiliate program - which probably isn't going to do more than piss in the wind a bit. After noticing that they offer a whopping 5% (!) affiliate commission, it makes me wonder why anyone would bother? But I suppose some people will, regardless, because a nickle per song is better than nothing. But as The Work Better Weblog / iTunes Podcast Directory Strategy Divert and Distract points out - it doesn't do any good for the podcaster involved.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Zune from Microsoft Soon Come!

Can Micrsooft's 'Zune' MP3 player compete with iPod, or is it too little too late?

If you've learned anything over the years, it's not to bet against Microsoft. Deep pockets, yes. Competitive nature, but of course. Occasional slipshod approach to coming up with devices that the market reall wants, yes!

However, Zune may be a hit. Look at the notes from this story from FMQB on Zune.

Wireless music sharing, intended to be used as a social networking utility, will be included in Zune. Along with a 30g hard drive and some other cool features I've read about show the Zune to be particularly well-thought out.

Now, how will the marketplace respond? Geek love? or Re-Jection?
Radio Listening Decline Continues

Combined with stories that portray podcasting as an upstart that's stealing listeners from both satellite and terrestrial radio, comes the recognition from the industry that it ain't going to get any easier:

Report paints a 'depressing' picture for future of radio - San Antonio Business Journal

But it is all due to podcasting? I don't know. I've been a radio DJ and programmer since 1975 (having fleed radio in 2002), and it's always been my insistence that despite the convenience of corporate programming, not everybody wants to listen to McRadio. There are always folks who want to listen to something new and different - admittedly, the minority, but I feel that those numbers are growing.

And with podcasting offering more and extremely wide choices, those early adopters are pushing the edge, and abandoning radio without a look back. Radio is the loser here, but much of us in the trenches, answering the phones from listeners for years, heard the complaint first hand for years: corporate radio and corporate rock have always sucked, and probably always will.

And if the corporate powers-that-be don't see that, they'll at least have a good vantage point to see their listeners continue to wave bye-bye.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Kids Say: It's Okay to Copy CDs

Years of anti-downloading campaigning and lawsuit ball-busting by the RIAA have worked to decrease illegal downloads from the free-for-all from a few years ago. It doesn't hurt that there are now thousands of free legal MP3s available as well - and that iTunes is such a damn success.

But there's still one area where the RIAA isn't making much hay: CD copying.

A new study by the LA Times and Bloomberg indicates that teens still think CD copying is okay. It's sort of a time-honored tradition: make a copy of a song you like so your buddy will dig it, too.

The story in the LA Times looked at the legalities of CD copying by talking to a copyright expert from DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary: "A strict interpretation of the law says that if making a copy robs the marketplace of a sale, it is prohibited," said attorney Mark Radcliffe.

There's a big operative word in that sentence: "IF."

What IF you make a copy of a CD that you never had any intention of buying? Or a movie? Does that 'rob the marketplace' of a sale? I can think of dozens of movies or CD's that I wouldn't mind having in my collection but would never put on my "MUST BUY" list. Sorry, but I have groceries to buy and mortgage payments to make. So if the act of making a copy doesn't really rob the marketplace because you never would have bought the damn thing in the first place make the copy illegal?

Besides, what seems to be missing in all of this copyright hullaballo is the observation that passing music along on a viral path can actually lead to more sales?

Back in the late 70s and early 80s some record companies used to put a little icon of a cassette with a skull and crossbones above it with the warning "Home Taping Is Killing The Music Industry."

Funny thing, though. About that time the government came out with a study that said home taping actually encouraged sales! Seems that if you catch wind of a new artist or song from a tape that a friend gave you, and you like it enough you'll actually go out and BUY it. Which enlarges the fan base, and gives the artist more folks in the long run who will buy their new release - and dig through their catalog for gems they don't have in their collection.

It's interesting that kids think that CD copying is generally OK and not illegal.

But what's more interesting to me is that in the long run it is part of the viral marketing that grows fan bases and brings more people to concerts and back catalogs.

Also: this opinion piece from Peter Martin of Australia.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ziggy Marley: CD Review

I recently signed on as a contributor to, and just posted my second CD Review - check it out!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Memo to Sirius and XM Satellite Radio: Watch Your Back

Sometimes a technology is so good and cool-sounding that it jumps out in front of everything else and then - whoops! - it sort of vanishes when something else just tromples all over it.

Is it happening with satellite radio? New data suggests that podcasting might actually put a huge dent in satellite listening. Since it's so easy to take a podcast along for a ride in your car (and many people apparently are doing just that), they're foregoing listening to their satellite radio.

Sirius and XM radio are seeing their subscriber bases growing, but losses for the two are increasing, according to news reports.

It recalls the time when DAT (Digital Audio Tape) was the Next Big Thing, for oh, about 8 months back in the late 80s. Or was it the early 90s. Whatever. Once you could burn a CD, who the hell needed DAT? Nobody. It's a great technology, but it got shoved to the side of the road as another piece of technological litter.

Satellite radio is an uphill battle, anyway, in spite of Howard Stern's huge draw. Paying for radio? How dumb is that?

Sirius says they lost $237.8 million during the second quarter of 2006. That's an increase over the loss from the same period in 2005.

Let's look at it this way: either you pay for radio with a few hundred channels of fairly cool stuff, but you STILL CAN'T CONTROL EXACTLY WHAT THE CONTENT IS....or you download a podcast for free....or listen to local radio.

You may like the host on the satellite station that you're paying for, but there's always something on the terrestrial band which is at least listenable or comparable.

And did I mention that 99.999% of all podcasts are free? Yeah, many of them are supported now with advertising, but since your content is laser-targeted (you get to CHOOSE what to put on your iPod), chances are better than ever that it's something you'll want to listen to.

And with the price of entry for satellite radio at something like $150 a year, it's not going to grab everyone. No way.

And of course Apple's new iPod support in many new car models for 2007 will continue to eat away at that satellite support.

Check the story here from Podcasting News

Damn, I'll be those guys in the corner offices for those satellite radio companies are looking over their shoulders, wondering how they, too can start podcasting soon...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Podcasts to Become Easier to Transport

The news just keeps coming up roses for podcasters. After seeing the metrics of the number of podcast listeners rise in a number of surveys and examinations this year, now comes this - news that Ford, GM, Mazda and others will include iPod connections in their new model cars.

Which means that, not only will iPod addicts get to easily carry their tunes with them and listen on their car radio (many already do with third-party add-ons), but many podcasts will go along for the ride as well. So instead of listening to Bob and Tom on a syndicated radio show out of LA, I could grab the Chris Pirillo Show, Coverville, iMedia's cool media info podcast, something from Eclectic Music or...whatever. I may never have to listen to 'actual radio' in my car again.

Naturally, this bodes well for iPod, which hopes to sell more iPods for folks to toss into that new automobile. but that doesn't really bother me, though I'm not a big iPod fan nor an Apple fan. Steve Jobs and the iPod has truly opened the floodgates and brought the masses to podcasting.

When is this good news for podcasters gonna grind to a halt? I suspect it will be a looooong time.

Here's the story from Business Week which covered it a day or two ago: Have iPod, Will Travel.

Friday, August 04, 2006

World's Largest Arts Fest Podcast

Up until a few hours ago, I'd never heard of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Now I think I'm going to sell my house, rent my kids out for a month and head for Scotland's capital city.

No, seriously, even though at times the 'rent-the-kids' thing comes up, this is a month long festival, and this time they're wrapping up a ton of stuff in podcast form for the rest of the world that just by golly can't make it to Edinburgh in the next month.

"The Edinburgh Fringe Festival features 28,014 performances of 1,867 shows in 261 venues, and features an estimated 16,990 performers," according to the facts released recently. And a daily podcast tries to touch much of that, but those numbers begoggle the mind and numb the senses. I suppose being there in person would do much of the same.

Still, as podcasting goes, this should be a hoot. Head for the main site here: : official site of the edinburgh festival fringe.

Or go to the podcast page, which is hosted in conjunction with the Pocast Network.

I'm told "it would take you 5 years, 11 months and 16 days to see every performance back-to-back. Last year, the Fringe sold 1,338,550 tickets - the third time and third consecutive year that the Fringe sailed past the million-ticket barrier."

The Stage (a UK trade publication for the entertainment world) last year helped bring the podcast of the Fringe to the world, so with a year under their belt, these guys should have a ton of fun and really have their act together. Or not, depending...

It's on my iTunes subscription list. Is it on yours?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Publicity for Your Podcast

I've read Joan Stewart's newsletter for a few years now and it never fails to inspire me with ideas in insights into the world of publicity. Her website, the Publicity Hound, is a goldmine for anyone wanting to create good publicity on or off line.

Recently, Joan released her email class called 89 Press Release Tips. The tips are emailed out one a day for 89 days. Yeah, I know, that's almost three months worth of ideas, one at a time! It must drive her nuts! Or she loves it. Either way, the freebies can do nothing but help you, so if you think you need publicity for a podcast, newsletter, product, website yourself a favor and subscribe.