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June 2005 - Posts

Are mashups podsafe?
Something I've been mulling over for weeks is the legal legitimacy of playing mashups in a podcast.  With the RIAA now having reached a position that the distributing of copyrighted music over podcasts, being downloadable MP3s, is not kosher, how does the organization feel about playing mashups, or DJ mixes?

Is this OK since the "original" song is tampered, being mixed and perhaps manipulated, or is a podcaster twice guilty by playing two songs at the same time?
Posted: Jun 30 2005, 12:52 PM by guam-aspdev | with 3 comment(s)
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Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes - June 30

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EPISODE #60 - I got into work waaaaaay too early, and so setup the recording equipment right off the bat, so you get a real-time look at what disorganization is really all about.  This one gets a little technical, but nothing you can't follow along with.  I talk at length and with some degree of expertise about the future of podcasting, and how iTunes and the forthcoming Windows Media Player will bring about a new "browser wars".  I also prove that it's not the wisest thing to slap yourself upside the head with a 600-page book while recording.
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Posted: Jun 30 2005, 11:46 AM by guam-aspdev | with no comments
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Syllabus for the university course on podcasting I'm going to teach

I've been working recently with my alma mater, the University of Guam, about developing coursework for a class on podcasting.  I was approached about teaching a continuing education class in new media, targeting mostly federal government, corporate, and other general students looking to expand their skill sets.  I threw together this course outline last night...comments or suggestions would be appreciated.  :-)


"Podcasting - Getting Involved with Next-Generation Radio"

Jason Salas, MBA, MCP, Microsoft ASP.NET MVP 

The class will be half lecture, half hands-on lab, facilitated by KUAM's Jason Salas, an award-winning author, journalist, radio show host, television anchor, software architect, philosopher, blogger, and podcaster. Students will surely enjoy Jason's passionate, entertaining, and humorous look at the next big thing for sharing information online and bringing your ideas to life.

Students will be presented with a high-energy, detailed, practical overview of podcasting, the platform for producing, distributing, and managing freeform digital audio content over the Internet. The intent would be to develop within the student an appreciation for the concept of time-shifted media, and implement it through podcasting in their own personal and/or professional projects to stimulate the success of the platform locally. 

At the end of the eight-week course (meets twice weekly for three hours per session), students will be able to conceptualize, produce, and maintain their own podcast using an "ideas in action" approach to media production.

Topics by Week

  1. What is Podcasting? Who can participate?
    • "Live, but not quite…"
    • History of time-shifted media
    • The theory of "The Last Yard"
    • Differences between podcasting & classical radio 
    • Costs / Barriers to Entry
    • Multimedia over multiple platforms
    • Impacts on mainstream media (MSM)
    • Regulatory environment
  2. Downloading podcasts / finding great content / subscribing to shows
    • Required resources
    • Using podcast directories
    • Using search engines & blogs
    • Your new best friend - the podcatcher
  3. Issues with Podcasting
    • Playing promos
    • Sound-Seeing Tours / Recording in public
    • Playing copyrighted music / podsafe music
    • Using profanity
    • The length of your show
  4. Recording your first podcast
    • Understanding MP3s
    • Setting up the recording environment
    • Recording the show / Developing your voice
    • Pre-production / post-production tips
    • Show optimization
  5. Making your stuff available to the world
    • Using FTP to put your show on a public Internet server
    • Publishing your first RSS feed
  6. Promoting Your Podcast
    • Using podcast directories
    • Swapping promos with other podcasters
    • Maintaining a blog
    • Interacting with your listeners (e-mail, digital voicemail, forums) 
  7. Podcasts as Revenue Stream
    • The podcast business model
    • KUAM's outsourced production/hosting/marketing strategy
  8. The Future of Podcasting
    • What about video?
    • How does this tie into satellite radio? What does this mean for mainstream radio?
    • Better software, "single-click subscription"
    • Regulations from FCC, RIAA, etc.
    • Turning podcasting into a serious business
Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes - June 29

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Leave me a voicemail, send me a shoutout, or make comments about today's podcast: 1-206-600-4JAS (4527)

EPISODE #59 - Topics Discussed:
  • New setup using the repaired Pioneer condenser mic, new style (hopefully new sound)
  • KUAM Kids apparently don't feel as strongly as I do about leaving the plastic on furniture (chair ruined)
  • Don't worry...I'm working on real sweet intro/outro music
  • Spent last night writing the syllabus for the university podcasting course I'm going to teach
  • My first reaction to MTV's "Britney & Kevin - Chaotic", it's The Dawn & Drew Show with video...just not as good
  • Big news: iTunes 4.9 released, but not officially (much in the vein of the Audible announcement, everyone told me this, too)
  • My thoughts on iTunes as podcast directory
  • My Garageband rant gets me a flurry of e-mail from Mac-heads about all things OS X-ish
  • Sans Microsoft: I've been doing a lot of non-.NET programming these days (J2EE, J2ME, PalmOS, bluetooth, BREW)
  • Thinking out loud...if I re-mastered/re-ripped all the MP3s on my iPod @ 64Kbps, I'd save half the drivespace - 2GB!
  • Apparently, Ron Correa's idea for NY Yankee Pod fell victim to podburn...bummer.  I dug his first show.
  • LISTENER E-MAIL: Why don't you drink Red Bull instead?
  • LISTENER E-MAIL: (Danica, - Anaheim) why did you announce your podcasting business plan when you've got local competition?  Don't you think that's kinda risky & foolish?
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Posted: Jun 29 2005, 09:40 AM by guam-aspdev | with 3 comment(s)
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Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes - June 28

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EPISODE #58 - It's me, your Prolific Pacific Podcaster

Topics Discussed:
  • I royally screw up the new intro music (which of course, I took from from Garageband)
  • Never, ever remove the plastic from ANY piece of furniture
  • Bob Barker has used the same mic for damn near 30 years
  • If BMW doesn't finish fixing my car by Thursday, I'm selling it
  • I brought in an old condenser mic
  • PodcastRigs.com - improve your sound 
  • JASON SINGS!  (and Fredalynn chickens out from the second verse of Amazing Grace)
  • There's a ton of stuff going on in my life that has nothing to do with KUAM!
  • I'm organizing a reunion for my volleyball team
  • I might teach podcasting or new media applications at the University of Guam
  • Heartbroken & crestfallen after learning of the $1,600/month rental price for my dream condo @ Garden Villa  Hotel in Tumon
  • Guess what I'm doing today?  Another career day speech!
  • I have a hot date this week w/two hot chicks...
  • Can't wait for the new season of Reno 911...don't ruin it for me!
    Hafa Adai & props to Michael Ian Black
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Posted: Jun 28 2005, 10:08 AM by guam-aspdev | with 1 comment(s)
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Praying for rain - .NET support for BREW?
I hate platform independence.

I'm researching development for BREW, Qualcomm's OS for mobile handsets, as I'm trying to hack together a streaming video application for players on CDMA mobile devices.  I realize most BREW apps are written in C, C++, or Java (and extensions are available for Flash and XML), but I'm still hopeful for the day when they'll have .NET support, or at the very least, support for C#.  Damn, this would make my life a hella lot easier.

I hate platform independence.
Posted: Jun 27 2005, 03:43 PM by guam-aspdev | with no comments
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Podcasters/bloggers: like it or not, you're part of the media (and MSM'ers, listen up, too)
One thing I've been thinking about lately is the role of podcasters and bloggers, as far as who's considered to be "the media".  With participatory journalism and citizen reporting giving potentially everyone a voice and presence, this inherently not only empowers them with low-cost production and distribution channels, tears down traditional barriers to entry, and gives them ability to have great influence; but also makes content creators role models, whether they know it or not, and regardless if they're willing to accept the challenge.

I realized this critical facet when I got into the mainstream media as a writer, web developer and broadcaster years ago.  I hated this aspect of the job, and didn't want it, truth be told.  But it's grown on me and I've learned to live with it, and even cherish it a little.  Someone at some point will undoubtedly ride on what you say, write or infer to the "T", so realize this - regardless of the type of content you produce.  And this certainly applies to new media applications, along with classical platforms.  And even though there's the indie attractiveness to podcasting (much less so with blogging these days, after MSM's embrace and implmentation of the platform), new media producers need to acknowledge that they're part of the media now, too.

And maybe you got into producing and releasing content through new media because you tired of the conformity and rules of the corporate game, and wanted more control and wanted to be more underground.  I've got news for you - you're still in the pipeline.  So go with it.

Surely, we can't hold the garden variety podcaster or blogger to the level of responsibility or liability that a professional journalist has, the big demarcation line between MSM and new media always seems to be credibility.  But, people producing content in new forms, even if they're the cast minority, need to realize that they're part of the media now, too.  I'm not encouraging conformity, just bringing a fact of life to light.  There's no real point to this, other than a request that the membership within the communications community be recognized.  The "media" as defined in the lexicon (at least in my opinion), includes podcasters and bloggers.  All of them.

And for the mainstream media jockeys - get with the program.  Our "industry" now includes thousands of ad hoc radio show producers at a phenomenally rate of growth through podcasting, and millions of writers through the ubiquitous weblog.  I want to strangle a "professional" journalist everytime they hate on an online content producer, denouncing their legitimacy.

New media producers are part of the game, too.  Get used to it.
Posted: Jun 27 2005, 10:39 AM by guam-aspdev | with no comments
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Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes - June 27

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EPISODE #57 - I get you caught up on what I did this weekend...was pretty busy & eventful, actually...

Topics Discussed:
  • Funny clip from Rock Cast (and I know funny)
  • Working on new intro music & segment segues
  • Glenn from Vallejo takes pity on me for my car woes
  • How I spent my weekend: setup a home recording studio on Saturday, worked on KUAM's first commercial podcast project on Sunday
  • Developing ideas for new podcast: "Jason Salas - Uncensored" (NOT worksafe/childsafe)
  • Falling in love with GarageBand on my dad's G5 & producing new intro music
  • Flirting with the voice behind Skype's echo service
  • I lost count on how many tmies people FWD'd me articles, PDFs, URLs about Audible's new podcasting initiative
  • The Denver Post will keep on truckin' with podcasting, despite anemic response
  • No, I did NOT bite Audible's business plan (I didn't even know about it)...ironically, I'm building the same platform for outsourced podcast production/hosting/marketing
  • Scott Flecther from PodCheck Week in Review talks about why podcasters don't say how many listeners they have
  • Bill from Mass. gives some tips on accurately equating how many downloads you've gotten
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Posted: Jun 27 2005, 10:14 AM by guam-aspdev | with 3 comment(s)
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The role of profanity in podcasting

As a professional broadcaster, the one thing that really attracted me to podcasting when I first got into the platform was the freedom with which content creators were able to use vulgarity in a show.  I'd listen to countless MP3s from people all over the world, some liberal, some reserved, but many unafraid to drop in a four-letter word every now and then in their dialogue.  And even if someone produces a show that's "child-safe/work-safe"...they still enjoy the freedom to use a potty mouth whenever they wanted, not having to worry about fines, suspensions, loss of license, etc.

It's part of what makes the platform so wonderful.

But just to be argumentative - is using strong language preferred with the indie nature of podcasting?  Just because we can curse, in lieu of federal or international regulation, should we?  Or, once the FCC sinks its teeth into the podcasting community, will only non-U.S. podcasts be able to leverage f-bombs like there's no tomorrow? 

My personal opinion on the matter, as I've mentioned many times on my own podcast, is that the use of vulgarity is that its best used if done sparingly and/or tastefully.  A lot of people cop the "If you're truly intelligent, then you don't need to use profanity to get your point across" attitude.  I couldn't disagree more.  The stand-up comedy of guys like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, early Robin Williams and Andrew Dice Clay was largerly predicated on the use of strong language, which added to the hilarity.  Bill Cosby shocked the world when he uttered the timeless "But what if you're an asshole?" in the classic performance of "Bill Cosby - Himself".  And no one can dispute the latter's intellect or character.

And to be fair to my time-shifted content brethren, I've yet to hear a single podcast that just curses non-stop for the sake of cursing.  The overwhelming majority of podcasters now are really smart people, so all the ones I've heard cuss to ultimately make a point.  Because as everyone knows, the f-word is the most flexible, most unversal adjective in the English language.  So there's a point to it.

In today's society - one I believe that's been warped primarily by reality TV and the widespread availability of multi-platform pornography - the use of profane language, regardless of message, establishes a connection to a certain younger demographic.  This is an audience that's perhaps too young to realize that "bitch" was once a word completely forbidden in any mainstream medium.  Now, it's so commonplace, censors don't bother bleeping it out, regardless of context.  It's a deliberate attempt to allow a listener to identify with you or to stress emotion towards an ideal that encourages sustained listenership.  And for the most part, it works. 

As as podcasting advocate, I believe we need to keep things edgier and more punk rock at this point, sans interference from Big Brother.  It gives the medium distinction, albeit making it a target for moral elitists (but with that group, what isn't a target?) 

Here's a great blog post on the topic with some interesting comments: http://www.corante.com/podcasting/2005/06/12/profanity_in_podcasting_what_is_its_role.php

Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes - June 24

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Leave me a voicemail, send me a shoutout, or make comments about today's podcast: 1-206-600-4JAS (4527)

EPISODE #56 - get an executive's look at my plans for turning podcasting into a profitable venture - THE PODCAST BUSINESS MODEL.  I started recording on a dual-lapel mic set w/preamp (I switch off to the tride-and-true Plantronics headset mic after a few minutes), so the sound dips for a bit but gets better. 

Topics Discussed:
  • I finally found some Clearly Canadian at the Micronesia Mall supermarket (man this stuff tastes like diet soda - YECCH!) 
  • I was going to do a sound-seeing tour of my podcasting presentation to management
  • Still got the loaner car...local BMW techs snapped a bolt on the shock tower (strut) while making adjustments.
  • Mindy and I got our plaques for the regional Edward R. Murrow awards we won, but we didn't make the cut for the nationals
  • My thoughts on how to make podcasting profitable
  • 2 special podcasts coming up this weekend for RSS subscribers ONLY (sorry blog downloaders)
(NOTE: I said this was recorded in stereo, and is was, but I changed it to mono during rendering b/c stereo would have taken hours to export.)

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Posted: Jun 24 2005, 11:30 AM by guam-aspdev | with no comments
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