Tag Archives: podcast

What's Your Favorite Podcast?

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People occasionally ask me what my favorite Podcast is. I really don’t have to think very hard about it. Hands down, it’s This American Life, hosted by Ira Glass. Each week, they choose a theme and then relate stories based on that theme. Sometimes, it’s one story, or it could be five. They are separated by acts. It is, by far, the most compelling audio program I’ve ever listened to in my entire life. I do enjoy Technology, but sometimes I need to escape it. I don’t honestly listen to many Tech podcasts. I live it! If there’s something I want to know, I generally find out from all of you.

For a long time, This American Life was only a radio show, one with a hard-to-describe sound, millions of listeners, and a bunch of awards. Then, after more than a decade on the radio, we started the television show, mostly because it seemed like it might be fun. We continue to produce the weekly radio show, which can be heard on more than 500 public radio stations around the country (find a station near you) as well as on this website, through our free podcast. The television show is on the Showtime network.

The radio and TV shows follow the same format. There’s a theme to each episode, and a variety of stories on that theme. It’s mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always. There’s lots more to the show, but, like we said, it’s sort of hard to describe. Probably the best way to understand the show is to start at our favorites page, though we have full guides to our TV show and our radio show, with clips. If you want to dive into the hundreds of episodes we’ve done over the years, there’s an archive of all our old radio shows and listings for all our TV episodes, too.

Even if you don’t care a lick about the subject matter, you’re still going to love it. If you’re a parent/guardian, you may want to consider using this as a teaching tool. It’s basically truth put into a storytelling construct.

I don’t care how old you are, or what country you may live in. You will love This American Life. You may look at the subject lines, and think it sounds stupid and you’ll want to skip it. DON’T! Trust me, you will get sucked in. It’s so compelling, I have to make the recommendation to all of you to check it out.


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Where do You get Your Information?

When you need to learn about something, where do you turn? Dan sent me the following email:

Many people use the Web for learning new things and broadening their experience, but I’ve gotta be honest… I’m a total junkie for learning more about anything interesting (even if I’ve never heard of it before). Chris’s operation has helped me get my tech fix most of the time, but I continuously explore new sources for learning. I thought I might share some of what I’ve learned.

Here is Dan’s Top Five List of Free General Information Resources

  • Media Websites A lot of radio and TV stations are starting to put their content online. I don’t always have time to listen to NPR when its broadcast live, but the local talk radio station here has links to all the podcast versions of their programs. Of course, some people have become averse to old media, but for many they’re still a good source of current events and information.
  • Video and Podcast Websites Holding up the cutting edge of media creation, websites like Chris’s are VERY useful for specific interests (Chris is one of the best examples). There are individually run sites (like GeekBriefTV or Robert Krampf) which provide a stream of useful and specific information. There are also group sites (like Revision3 or KoldCast) that offer a collection of sources in one place.
  • YouTube and Google Video Everyone uses YouTube and Google, and there’s a surprising amount of useful and educational information available. Google video tends to have longer videos like full documentaries BUT the ‘@Google’ presentations are also fantastic sources of information. Check that YouTube channel out if you’re interested in learning more.
  • iTunes U Released recently, the iTunes store now has a section of entirely free courses and lectures from a variety of sources. I haven’t explored this source very much yet, but it has a great deal of potential.
  • The Ted Talks This source really is in a league of its own. The TED conference is an incredible compilation of knowledge from an unprecedented number of areas and experts. The talks range from shockingly informative to down-right awe-inspiring. There are lots of areas to choose from and they’re great to send to friends that you know would be interested.

Live Streaming Tips for you and your Community

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Ian Quinn is the President of Products and Services with Lonick Internet Solutions. He has sent in a top five list of tips he compiled to help you have an excellent live stream.

  • Have a place to host your video and chat room. If you don’t need a chat room, don’t get one.
  • Make sure you have what it takes to be watched by complete strangers. If you can not speak in front of people at your school, job, or anywhere, then being an online streamer might not be the best for you.
  • Have interesting topics. If you are on a tech show and you are talking about wood cutting, or something completely off topic, you will lose your audience.
  • Make sure you have the proper equipment. If you have the money, spend it. A good start would be an external microphone that is not a headset, a webcam or camcorder with mediocre to great video quality, and most importantly, a computer that can run the software required to stream.
  • Get your name known. An easy way of doing this would be to “guest star” on a friends live stream and tell people where to find you.


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How to Build an Audio and Video Podcast

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I had a caller who asked me about issues he’s having with iTunes and his Podcast. It won’t accept his Podcast at all, despite adding it three times. He’s exhausted all the suggestions on Apple support at this point.

To give a bit of background, a Podcast is a collection of digital media files which is distributed over the Internet, often using syndication feeds, for playback on portable media players and personal computers. The term podcast, like “radio”, can refer either to the content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also termed podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster.

There are a couple of things that could be going on here. If the feed itself is not formatted properly, it could be rejected. I asked him if he had run it through an RSS Validator? If the feed isn’t valid, iTunes may reject it. If they’re rejecting it outright based on editorial principle, that’s a different issue of course. I’m sure my caller isn’t doing anything of that nature. He has run it through an RSS Validator, and didn’t appear to have any trouble.

He can see his Podcast show up, but it’s not being added to the iTunes catalog for other people to be able to view. Basically, he just has to wait on Apple to “flip the switch” and allow it. Unfortunately, it takes awhile. There are a LOT of people podcasting these days. That’s why I’ve kind of stayed away from it. I have a Podcast, yes. However, I do much better on places like Twitter or YouTube. There are literally just SO many people Podcasting… it’s oversaturated. There is just a much bigger and more dedicated audience on YouTube. The most active members of our community are the ones who are on YouTube. They’re the people who hang out in the chat room, and leaving comments on the videos and blog posts.

It’s no longer interesting to have a Podcast, because everyone is doing it. It’s also not easy to get anywhere on YouTube either, especially if it’s about Technology. Everyone is already doing Tech, so you better have a good, unique angle. The caller stated that his Podcast IS tech-related. He is subscribed to many Tech Podcasts, and follows many people on YouTube. It doesn’t matter where or how someone sees you, it’s that they DO see you. What’s his spin? What’s his catch? He stated he hasn’t really found his own way yet. He knows he has to find his own flavor, to attract an audience.

What it boils down to is the fact that no matter what you are planning to talk about, you better stand out. You need to have a “hook”, so to speak. You need to be original, and fresh… and new! That’s the way you’re going to attract… and keep… an audience.


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RathofMac WebcamMax How To Video

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RathofMac is a regular user in our live chat room. Many people have been asking how he managed to get his screen to look like mine. Here is a video he made to show you how he did it, and how you can do this, as well!

Follow along as RathofMac shows you step-by-step how to embed the black bars you have come to know and love. He has excellent screen captures, and explains everything perfectly.

If you would like a copy of the templates for the black bars, just send an email to RathofMac at: [email protected]


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Andrew Clark

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Andrew Clark of PodcastReady.com joined us at Gnomedex this year.

Podcast Ready provides software and services that remove the obstacles that currently limit the widespread adoption of podcasting, making subscribing, listening to and sharing podcasts easy and portable.
Podcast Ready’s patent-pending myPodder podcast management software transforms UMS-compliant MP3 devices (players that connect as universal mass storage devices) into independent podcast receivers. myPodder software is available pre-loaded on select MP3 players and by free download at our website.
Podcast Ready was founded in Houston, Texas, by Russell Holliman, an early member of the podcasting community, and Christian Rotzoll and Hagen Tönnies, students at Bauhaus-University Weimar in Germany. Building on his interests in RSS feed technology and podcasting, Russell Holliman was among the earliest to recognize the potential of podcasting and has focused on developing new software and services needed to take podcasting to true mass adoption.

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Nintendo DS Giveaway Guidelines

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – I am going to give away Ponzi’s white Nintendo DS to one lucky community member. Getting yourself eligible for this is a simple matter.

All you have to do in order to register is to download and register for iTunes. Once you are registered, you’ll need to subscribe to my Podcast. A Podcast is simply audio and video files that you get from your Producers, family or friends, and play on your computer or mobile device. My videos are uploaded to iTunes, among other places like YouTube.

Once you are subscribed, leave me a feedback rating. Once we hit 200 feedback ratings, I will give away the Nintendo DS. Now, I want your honest feedback, so I don’t care if you give me 1 star, or 5 stars. What matters is honest criticism and feedback.

I am not saying anyone “has” to download or use iTunes. It does have an excellent library and interface, yes. However, if you want to be in the drawing for the Nintendo DS, you’ll have to follow the instructions outlined above.

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Kosso Live At Gnomedex

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Kosso! Live! at Gnomedex!

The one and only Kosso is visiting us at Gnomedex.. Many of you know him as simply Koz. He is the CTO of podcast.com. There’s just not much I can say, other than check out his sites… you won’t be sorry.

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People Still Subscribe to MP3 (Audio) Podcasts?!

Color me shocked. Jack from Fosco & Jack’s Kickass Podcast is pleased as punch with our program, though he only listens to it (MP3 audio) rather than consuming its native format (MP4 video). His perspective speaks volumes for any audio or video ‘caster:

First, let me say that I really enjoy the content on your RSS feed and have both learned a lot and enjoyed myself greatly listening to the Chris Pirillo show. I usually listen to your show on my iRiver or on my Nokia mp3 phone (6133a if you are curious). Nonetheless I looked at the shows from today and see that the MP3 format I know and love is no longer included. Is there a separate feed I should use? Or (and please say no) is this format been no longer syndicated. This would be mean great sadness to me if it were true and I definitely hope you can help me with this simple matter as your show is one of few that I don’t miss an episode of. Thanks again, not only for any help you can be on this matter, but for your show.

First, let me explain to everyone that we have been producing videos with the full knowledge that some people are only interested in listening to our discussions – which is the prime reason I don’t do a lot of up-close shots in general (instead, choosing to refer to the screen). I treat the video segments like I’m in a “radio” studio – so the value of the video is in my presence as well as the live chat scroll. Little value is lost with audio-only delivery and subscription – which, by the way, has a completely separate feed (for MP3, as opposed to the regular show feed which is for iPod/PSP-compatible MP4 video).

I think it is crazy for all podcasts not to be available as an mp3 (audio only) format. I can’t tell you how many video podcasts I listen to that I’ve never even seen. I understand that some things might go over my head because of certain visual cues missing, but I usually find that the shows I enjoy are compelling enough even if I don’t see the video, such as yours. Why don’t people get that mp3’s are still king and that most people could be more likely listen than to sit watch. I’ve always felt this is true and thought that video podcasts who do not release an audio only format (Rocketboom, Scoble, Geekbrief, Ask a Ninja, Tikibar etc…) are missing out on a big audience by doing so. Learn from Diggnation, The Chris Pirillo Show, and from the CNN/FOX/MSNBC channels on my satellite radio in my car. Hell, even Howard Stern had a TV show at one point and yet the Audio version of the same content is what consumers were ultimately hooked on. Most of the time, the audio is good enough if the content is good to begin with.

Heh. He gets it – he understands what we’ve been doing and how we’ve been doing it, even though I’ve never gone through and actually explained the method to my madness. People who consume podcasts while driving can still enjoy our productions – and enjoy them on a completely different level if they choose to watch the archives later.

Moral of the story? Don’t let the medium destroy your message and alienate your audience.

Recasting the Podcast Caste

A few weeks ago, I started to redirect thechrispirilloshow.com, chrispirilloshow.com, and chrispirillo.com to a subdirectory of my blog – essentially putting everything me-centric on a single “me” URL (even live.pirillo.com redirects to a subdirectory of chris.pirillo.com). I’m pretty happy with the move, but I’m also considering merging the podcast blog with this personal one. Right now, I’m maintaining two separate installations of WordPress for each – leveraging traffic between them in a very clumsy fashion.

I’ve been producing more videos as of late, if you hadn’t noticed. I’d rather not cross-post them here, but I’d also like to keep them in a hierarchical universe of their own. The feed is completely separate, and would certainly remain so. Are the people reading my “vanilla” blog just as interested in the tech nuggets I’m serving up daily?

…or are podcasts dying?