If you have a podcast, and you want to see it listed in podcast directories, my right sidebar will provide a solid base of links where you can register the site. You might also try this site, where I found many of the links in my sidebar.
Well, my first podcast is in the can. As I note at the end of the podcast, this was a lot harder than I had expected. Finding content was easy, but transitions are still a mystery to me, and I am not yet fully comfortable speaking in front of a microphone, but that will come with practice. In any event, it's almost a half hour (no, I am not changing the name to Office Half Hour and I am not doing this twice a week to make up), and you can see the topics in the program notes below. If you have issues that you want me address in future shows, please feel free to comment here or send me an email.
1:39 Mississippi & Louisiana: Our prayers go
out to the people who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina, including my
former co-clerk, Martha Young Curtis, and her family in New Orleans.
3:31 KPMG: The settlement
documents are linked on TaxProfBlog.
The WaPo article is here.
Floyd Norris’ column is here. For Larry Ribstein’s posts on corporate crime, see here.
8:12 Disney: The announcement for the Conglomerate Forum on
Disney is located here,
and all of the posts in connection with that forum are here.
My “Call to Arms” post is part of the Forum, but you can find the individual
12:01 Law School: Classes begin next week.
The NYT story about campaign contributions by law professors is here.
15:03 Cheese: I discuss Llangloffan Cheese (even though I don’t have the faintest idea how to
pronounce “Llangloffan”), which was the subject of a post on Conglomerate
and cross-posted on The
Cheese Forum. I also plays an old tune called “Llangloffan,” which is
used in a hymn entitled, “Rejoice, Rejoice,
After listening to a gazillion podcasts over the past few weeks,
one thing I want for Office Hour is quicker streaming on my PC. The long download times that are associated with most podcasts is annoying, and has actually caused me to move on to another podcast in more than one instance. I notice that Podcasting News offers a "Podcast" (mp3 download) and a "Stream" (via Streamguys). This is a very nice feature, and I wanted to offer something similar here. Meet the "Wimpy Button."
For those of you who stream to your computers rather than downloading to mp3 players, I will be publishing each podcast using a Wimpy Button, which is based on Flash technology. You can try it out right now. If you click the button below, you will hear immediately a track called "Judee's Tune" from Seismic Anamoly.
The biggest shortcoming of the Wimpy Button for my purpose is that the music stops when the page is reloaded or when you navigate away from the page. So if you listen to future podcasts using the Wimpy button, allow for a dedicated tab (Firefox) or window (IE). It also doesn't display the elapsed time as the file plays, a feature that would be available in the Wimpy mp3 Player. Unfortunately, that product requires php, which is not supported by Typepad. Oh well, I still like the button.
Looking at the rankings around the internet, podcasts featuring tech-talk, potty-mouthedcouples, Harry Potter, and music are the most popular expressions of the podcast medium at the moment, but podcasting is diverse and getting more so by the day.
A couple of things initially surprised me about the current state of affairs, but after some reflection, I have come to terms with these developments. First, despite the extreme popularity of political blogs, political podcasts have only a marginal presence in the market. I just checked iTunes top podcast downloads for Saturday, and the first political show comes in at #11 (the Al Franken Show). Is reading about politics more satisfying than listening to politics? Of course not. But why do people need a podcast when they can just turn on their radio? Ok, there are some good reasons for downloading a podcast rather than tuning in a radio, but the point is that political talk is widely available without podcasting. While political blogs are filling a niche in print media, political podcasts aren't filling a niche in audio. So it really should not be surprising that political podcasts do not dominate this space or that the top political podcast is a radio show that is simply time-shifting.
Second, I have been surprised (and heartened) by the poor production values of most podcasts. Of course, this is part of what we find endearing about podcasts. They are produced by ordinary people in their own living rooms (or offices!). Professional radio programs have taken to podcasting as a means of asynchronous communication with their audiences, but will they come to dominate the homemade programs? In some areas, like tech and music, I believe they will, but there will always be a market for potty-mouthed couples. Sadly.
You probably have heard of Skype, and you may even use it. As for me, between Vonage and Verizon, I don't have a lot of gaps in my needs for telephonic communication, but if I had friends or family outside the U.S., I would be all over Skype.
One of the most surprising discoveries in my nascent podcasting adventure is how many podcasters encourage their listeners to skype them. See here and here for examples that I saw today. Mind boggling. I am fine with deleting emails, but getting calls ... that is more "out there" than I am willing to go.
One of the surprisingly difficult aspects of putting this site together has been creating a list of my five favorite podcasts. Of course, no one is compelling me to do this, but like a blogroll, it tells you something about the person whose site you are visiting. I have been finding podcasts in various ways, but the Podcast Awards offers a nice list of podcasts, many of which were new to me.
At this point, my list of favorites is completely empty. I have flirted with adding a few podcasts, but I am not quite ready to commit. If you have favorite podcasts, therefore, please recommend them, and I will do my best to investigate them before Tuesday, my self-imposed deadline for completing the initial development of this site.
After much deliberation, I have decided to create a Feedburner feed for the podcasts. As I mentioned below, the podcasts themselves will be hosted at Libsyn, which supplies the rss feed. But Todd suggested Feedburner in anticipation of the possibility that someday those podcasts would move to another host, either because I move all of my operations to a single host (rather than having blogs on Typepad and podcasts on Libsyn) or because Libsyn doesn't survive past this initial development of the podcasting market.
I must say, though, that I am concerned by the possibility of Feedburner going out of business, and I believe the feed will displays ads, which may cause me to rethink this before the launch next Tuesday. My subscription doesn't show anything yet ... apparently, it's waiting for me to post my first podcast. But I think Feedburner makes whatever money it makes via advertising,
The main advantage of Feedburner is that I can change the underlying feed while keeping the Feedburner url constant. I also like the nice page that displays when you click the feed, which is so unlike the usual code that pops up when people click feeds. But if you have any thoughts about the merits (or de-merits) of Feedburner for the purposes I have described, I would certainly be interested in reading them in the comments.
A favicon is one of those little touches that makes a blog site more homey, so last night in a fit of insomnia (and while I was on the helpline with GoDaddy, but that's another issue), I created a new favicon for Office Hour. It looks like this
and you should see it in the address bar of your browser. If you are using Internet Explorer and it isn't displaying, just click on the current "e" icon and drag it about and inch to the right, then release. You might need to do it a couple of times, but then my favicon should appear. If you want to do this on your own site, you can find my tips at Conglomerate.
Podcast clients allow you to subscribe and listen to podcasts. Some of the best known (for Windows) are iPodder, Nimiq, and Doppler. You can also download podcasts using the iTunes jukebox or the NewsGator aggregator. Or many other programs. I have used most of the clients that I just listed, and each has its own fans, but I just discovered a new podcast client that is more intuitive and flexible than the others. It's called Ziepod, and it's free. It has an integrated podcast search feature that is powered by Feedzie, and allows for user ratings. If you are looking for a new podcast client, check it out.
I examined all of the hosting options that I found and ultimately decided to go with libsyn (liberated syndication). The first thing that caught my eye was unlimited bandwidth. Given that I have no podcasts available for download yet, it might seem a bit premature to worry about bandwidth, but a lot of podcasters out there are complaining about the costs associated with buying additional bandwidth.
The second thing I noticed was libsyn's archiving system. It makes sense, and even though I have read some complaints about their execution, this looks like it will work.
Which leads me to my third point: support. I don't know how they do it, but the folks at lisbyn are prompt and gracious and effective. This morning I emailed a question to the support team and received a reply within a half hour. Having an active user community is a plus, too.
Finally, something I didn't pay too much attention to until I did a test post this morning: ease of use. Uploading files could not be any easier. The files then appear immediately on my libsyn blog, and I will post all of the links again here, along with program notes.