Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Personal Note About On Demand Podcasts

First of all, I hate the term "Podcasts" because real mp3 users don't own an "ipod". I own a sansa and all of the ipod users that I know are jealous when they see what this baby can do at a much lower sticker price (like record live FM radio and then drag and drop the files onto my computer desktop for example.)

More importantly, I would like to express my irritation about how alot of people post their sansacast (or zunecast if you're a microsoft slave) archives. It falls into two major categories:

1. If you are publishing broadcasts "on demand" then I, as your listener, demand that you provide me with a simple link (preferably on the same page as the archive list) to download your program as an mp3 file. Do not link me to a place where I can stream your broadcast. Do not link me to a place where I have to buy your broadcast. Do not link me to some other site that will only give me your broadcast if I fork over my personal information. Certainly do not refer me to *spit* iTunes.

I have now established a new policy: If you do not provide a simple, downloadable file that I can right click and save to my desktop for use with my media player than what you say must not be worth listening to. If you want to talk to me, come to the city square and be accessable to everyone. Do not make me climb the mountain to hear you.

2. If you are publishing broadcasts (take a moment to refer back to comment #1), please title your broadcasts topically in some fashion. I understand that you guys like to title your broadcasts by date for archive purposes, but you could go in and put in some descriptive text in any number of the file discriptions available in the mp3 format. You could tag the genre, artist, or album with words like "Epiphany 2 Sermon", "Baptism with Rev. Smith", "Election '08 Roundtable" etc. If you won't do this, then at least leave it unlocked so that I can do it manually after I download it. I have piles of piles of archived files that I have to actually listen to in order to find the one that I'm looking for. It makes sharing a particular program months later very hard to do.

I hope that you will take my comments to heart if you are trying to reach people with your ideas (theological or otherwise). Above all, keep the needs of your listeners in mind and focus on substance rather than style.


Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

Mike, I found this informative. I can only speak for my stuff at NR of course.

Re: #1, on those pieces of music that CPH holds a copyright of, CPH explicitly demands that I don't have a simple Save As... download link. They are content with the Flash Player which downloads and plays the MP3 but doesn't take you to another site to do it.

As far as #2, my "topics" are the same. Just the scripture and hymns are different. :)

Mike Baker said...


Few have a higher view of copyright law than I do. I agree that all Christians should comply with the demands of copyright holders with humility, gratefulness, and respect. Also, I did not have you in mind with this post. I have never had issue with your site.

I guess I should make a distinction here. If you have audio posted on a text-dominated blog that is not a big deal to me... I do it here on this blog. I am talking about people who are recording audio for us to listen to. They are the copyright holders and they want their stuff to be heard. All I am asking is for them to make it easy to access. Make it as easy for me to hear and share as someone who hears you over the radio.