Collegiate Broadcasters has published an article on the legal issues of podcasting. It's nothing new from what has been covered already in past editions of Behind the Scenes but it makes a worthwhile review:
Finally! I'm back with another extended show, this time featuring everything you need to know to make sure your podcast stands above the others. You'll also get a tour of the latest changes to my podcasting rig and an explanation of why it's a complete waste of money (ok, so not quite) along with some more tips on finding legal music to include in your podcast. All this recorded over the span of six weeks with the least consisistent sound quality to date.
This week's contest: Two "mistakes" to discover in this show and the first one to post a comment below correctly identifying them wins a free t-shirt from the Podcast Shop. First, there is one topic mentioned in the show overview that isn't discussed in the show. Second, part of one of the foundation tips is definitely broken during the presentation of the tips!
My link disclaimer: While I can guarantee all content on godcast.org to be family-safe I can make no such guarantees for content linked to outside the site. The initial page that I'm linking you to should be fine but other than that, as always on the web, proceed with caution!
While we're on the topic of cool products, Samson Audio has a condenser mic available that plugs directly into a USB port. You get all the benefits of a condenser without the need for a preamp/interface/mixer with phantom power. Street price is $79. For more details check out Samson's site by clicking on the title of this blog entry or visit Sweetwater where you can buy it for $79 with free shipping:
Alesis have announced what may well be the ultimate podcasting mixers. Their new line of MultiMix mixers with Firewire offer the following:
Compact 8, 12 and 16-channel analog mixers and Multi-channel FireWire audio computer interface
MultiMix 8 and 12 have 4 high-gain mic/line (XLR and 1/4" balanced) inputs with phantom power, 2 stereo balanced 1/4" line inputs, aux send (can sent to onboard or external effects), stereo aux return. MultiMix 16 has 8 high-gain mic/line
100 28-bit onboard preset effects including reverbs, delays, chorus, flanging, pitch, and multieffects
3-band EQ per channel with high/low shelving and mid bandpass/reject
Separate 1/4" balanced main and monitor outs, headphone out
24-bit, 44.1/48 kHz operation with high-end A/D and D/A conversion through integrated FireWire audio interface using next-generation Dice II FireWire chip
Compatible with Mac OSX and Windows XP
Steinberg Cubase LE included
If all of this isn't enough to you interested, the $250 street price for the 8-channel model should be. Plus they look really cool. (Click on the title of this entry to see a photo.)
As you've probably heard already, according to a new survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project more than 6 million American adults have downloaded podcasts from the web. To anyone involved in podcasting this number seems extremely overinflated and it doesn't take more than a quick glance at Pew's survey results to realize that it is.
To begin with, Pew's survey only included 208 owners of iPods or MP3 players, which results in a margin of error on the survey results for this group of plus or minus 7.5 points. That means that when the report concludes that 29% of iPod/MP3 player owners have downloaded podcasts from the web it could be anywhere from 21.5% to 36.5%, or from roughly 4.7 million to 8 million people. (Assuming that you can extrapolate with even this degree of accuracy from a sample size of only 208 people, which i still find suspect, especially considering that the podcast numbers are based on a response from only 60 of these 208 people.)
Even 4.7 million is still high, given that Adam Curry's Daily Source Code (one of the most listened to podcasts) is only reporting a listener base of 80-100K, but if you look at the actual question that was asked in the survey then the high number starts to become more plausible:
"Have you ever downloaded a podcast or internet radio program so you could listen to it on your digital audio player at a later time?" (boldface mine)
In other words, this question is not limited to podcasts at all and therefore even a figure of 4.7 million, were it accurate, would not represent 4.7 million podcast listeners, despite the fact that Pew quite clearly claims that it does. Let's assume, however, for the sake of argument, that it did.
Obviously people aren't just listening to one podcast apiece, so assume even a conservative average of four shows per listener. With just over 4,000 podcasts in iPodder.org's directory, that would mean each show would have to average 4,700 listeners in order for the numbers to work out to 4.7 million total listeners. In February, the average number of listeners for the 1,750 podcasts hosted by popular RSS syndication service FeedBurner was 14-15. Has the listener base grown 31,300% in the past 60 days? I seriously doubt it. Let's assume for the sake of amusement that it has grown twenty-fold. That would put the current number of podcast listeners, still assuming each listener subscribes to an average of four shows, at a mere 300,000.
The bottom line is that no matter how much you manipulate the known numbers within the realm of reason, it is impossible to come up with anything that comes close to supporting what Pew is reporting. Not yet anyway. The time will come when the numbers ARE there, but how will the media respond then when we proudly present the same numbers they're trumpeting now?
Update (4/5): Others are also starting to question Pew's results, and Pew themselves are hedging against their original statements. See this article at Engadget, for example.
Update (4/9): Pew is now retracting their hedge statements. See this article at Podcasting News for details.
It's a new month, which means you can vote for Behind the Scenes again (or for the first time) at Podcast Alley using the convenient voting box to your right. It just takes a few seconds and it's all I ask of my listeners. Unless you have an overwhelming need to send cash. That's OK too.