200: The Podcasting and Anniversary Episode


00:00:00   [WAVES CRASHING]

00:00:03   [MUSIC PLAYING]

00:00:06   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 200.

00:00:18   This is our podcasting extravaganza.

00:00:20   And you know what, Jason Snell?

00:00:22   We can now ring in.

00:00:24   We can hear the waves.

00:00:25   We can hear the oceans.

00:00:26   Because it is the Summer of Fun!

00:00:31   Summer of Fun is back and it's bigger than ever.

00:00:34   Boy oh boy have we got a huge Summer of Fun plan for you this year.

00:00:38   Have we measured how big the summer is versus last year?

00:00:41   And are we sure that it's gonna be bigger this year?

00:00:43   I think it's gonna be bigger.

00:00:44   It is bigger in its planning and execution.

00:00:48   This is true. Not necessarily in length.

00:00:50   We have been planning the Summer of Fun for months now.

00:00:53   It's also big milestone-wise.

00:00:54   It is.

00:00:55   as many people out there may know, you're gonna get married this week.

00:01:00   Yep. Yep. But nobody wants to hear about that, Myke. What's the smell?

00:01:06   #SnailTalkQuestion comes from Kyle and Kyle wants to know, "For your various projects,

00:01:14   is there a specific time that you aim for when publishing?"

00:01:18   Oh, this is an interesting question. So I'll tell you first, back in the day when we were

00:01:25   at IDG when we were publishing lots of stuff at IDG.

00:01:29   We often posted things at like 11 in the morning Pacific,

00:01:35   which is like two in the afternoon.

00:01:37   And we did that largely because

00:01:40   that was when peak traffic was.

00:01:42   Like for whatever reason, 11 a.m. Pacific to Eastern

00:01:45   was like peak traffic time,

00:01:47   every single day of the week, during the week, weekdays.

00:01:50   And so what you wanted to do was post web stories

00:01:52   like in the morning or up to that point,

00:01:55   but what you didn't want to do is post them later because what would happen is the people

00:01:58   on the East Coast would go away and they wouldn't see your stories. So the last thing you want

00:02:02   to do is post a really great story at three in the afternoon Pacific on a Friday, right?

00:02:07   No, nobody's. That's when bad things happen. You post stories then because companies release

00:02:13   news about terrible things that they want nobody to notice because it's on a Friday

00:02:16   evening. That's a real thing. The Friday evening news dump is a real thing that happens. So

00:02:21   For podcasting though, it's funny,

00:02:22   and I'm curious what you think about this too, Myke.

00:02:25   I'm not sure that specifically when you post it

00:02:30   is super important.

00:02:33   The only ones that I think about it are timely shows.

00:02:38   When I was doing "Clockwise,"

00:02:39   I would hear from a couple of people

00:02:42   that it was their regular commute home podcast

00:02:45   on Wednesdays.

00:02:46   And so if we were late

00:02:49   and they kind of missed their commute home,

00:02:52   they were sad about that.

00:02:53   And that was a podcast that we usually could get up,

00:02:55   I could get up at like 10, 10 30 in the morning,

00:02:57   Pacific, which means it was on everybody's podcast players

00:03:00   in the East Coast when they were going home.

00:03:02   But that's more about training people

00:03:05   about when your podcast gets released

00:03:06   than like the actual time of it.

00:03:09   So I don't know, do you think that there's like

00:03:12   a golden time to release a podcast?

00:03:14   - Not like a specific time every time.

00:03:17   So like, for example, if we are launching a new show, we tend to do that even

00:03:22   between 10 and 12 a.m.

00:03:24   So 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

00:03:26   Eastern Time, because that we find to be like a golden hour of time where most of the

00:03:33   markets you're trying to get to will be awake and paying attention.

00:03:36   Right. So, you know, you'll get Europe because it's still kind of late afternoon.

00:03:40   San Francisco and like California and all the West Coast are just waking up.

00:03:44   Waking up.

00:03:45   and the East Coast is kind of like getting on with their day.

00:03:47   So you have a chance of like getting to people that way.

00:03:50   That's our belief. It's worked for us so far.

00:03:51   It's just a good time.

00:03:52   I don't want to release things at weird times for everybody.

00:03:55   So we do it at a mostly convenient time for most people.

00:03:59   But when it comes to like each individual episode,

00:04:01   like every episode of Upgrade, for example,

00:04:03   I don't think that there is a like specifically

00:04:08   for any show a really good or bad time.

00:04:12   I think that, you know, people build these shows into their lives mostly in a certain

00:04:19   way, I think.

00:04:20   So my feeling is just, you pick your time and you stay consistent with it.

00:04:24   That's the key, right?

00:04:25   That's all that matters.

00:04:26   Which is funny because we are going to talk a lot about podcasting after we talk a little

00:04:29   bit about this podcast reaching 200 episodes, but I think that is one of the keys.

00:04:33   We'll just, you know, spoil it for later, which is consistency is the important thing.

00:04:38   Like I said about the people who built clockwise into their Wednesday afternoon drive.

00:04:42   home. Like the point was we released it at a certain time every time and they integrated

00:04:47   it into their lives at that time. And you know you could choose what you want to do

00:04:52   but consistency I think is important. The only other examples I've got are for stories

00:04:59   like on six colors and things like that sometimes you've got an embargo sometimes a story has

00:05:03   to go but 4 a.m. or 6 a.m. or 9 a.m. and you wait. Occasionally it'll be really late in

00:05:08   the day and I'll be working on kind of a big story like a product review or something and

00:05:12   And I will show it to people. You get those links every now and then, where I'm like,

00:05:16   "Oh, here's this review that I'm going to put out tomorrow." And I decide I want to

00:05:19   kind of sleep on it. I want to let people read it, see if they've got any issues, if

00:05:23   they think there's something stupid that I said or there's a mistake. And because I figure

00:05:27   like launching again a big story late in the day is probably a bad idea, so I do go for

00:05:33   morning.

00:05:34   Also, my incomparable default—like, my podcasting defaults in general, there are two things.

00:05:39   I either do it in the morning, like I do it like nine often, eight or nine a.m. Pacific,

00:05:46   is when I will, if a show is done and I just need to put it out, I will often do it then

00:05:52   because then I'm awake, I can promote it socially.

00:05:55   Oftentimes with these podcasts, we have the ability to sort of set them to release later

00:06:02   and so you do that and I often set eight or nine a.m. as the time.

00:06:07   The only other timing that I usually do for podcasts is if it's a podcast we're posting

00:06:11   same day, it's literally you edit it and then you post it and it's immediate.

00:06:17   And that happens a lot.

00:06:18   That is by and large what I do with the vast majority of my shows is they are edited and

00:06:25   published from the moment that they end.

00:06:28   So the time varies, but it's relatively the same.

00:06:33   If you were paying attention, I bet upgrade is posted around the same time every week.

00:06:37   Yeah, if you went back and looked at the timestamps, you would find—and that's a function of

00:06:40   us recording it at the same time every week. It's not a release time, it's all based

00:06:45   on the fact that we record it. Download is the same way. I actually give myself a little

00:06:48   time after we record before I start editing, because I mostly—it's like, I can't

00:06:52   bear to edit this right away, I'm going to walk away for an hour or two. But I bet you

00:06:56   that it is largely posted at the same time. Even the incomparable, which gets recorded

00:07:01   because it's a panel show all sorts of different days, all sorts of different times, but I

00:07:06   have a specific time that I edit it every week, and that's why you usually see it on

00:07:11   a Saturday sort of midday Pacific. Sometimes not if I've got other stuff going on on the

00:07:16   Saturday, but that's usually when I do it, and it's entirely a function of that I get

00:07:22   up in the morning a little bit later on a Saturday, wander into my office, and edit

00:07:27   the podcast and then it comes out and I can move on with the rest of my Saturday sort

00:07:31   of late morning or midday.

00:07:33   So that was a fantastic question for this episode sent by Kyle.

00:07:36   If you would like to send in a question for a future episode, you can just send out a

00:07:41   tweet with the hashtag SnellTalk and we'll pick it up.

00:07:45   So yeah, as we mentioned, it is episode 200 and today's episode is all about podcasting.

00:07:50   We decided we wanted to do a podcasting special and considering we decided on that topic and

00:07:55   And it's episode 200. Please allow us, dear listener, to be a little bit meta and talk

00:08:01   about our show for a few minutes. So I figured that, you know, I would expect that there

00:08:06   are a lot of people that have been listening since the beginning, but not everyone. I mean,

00:08:10   I know that's the case because of the way that our numbers have grown over time. So

00:08:14   I kind of figured it might be worth rehashing a little bit and almost as if we were rebooting

00:08:20   the show with what our origin story was. So like, how did Upgrade come to be? And I want

00:08:26   to hear it from you really, because you are the impetus of why the show exists. Like,

00:08:32   I didn't pitch Jason Snell, you didn't pitch me, but it came from you.

00:08:37   Yeah, so when I was at IDG, I felt very strongly that the people who worked at IDG who were

00:08:45   being paid to be writers and experts on tech stuff, that they should be doing podcasts

00:08:57   for IDG. And the problem with that was that IDG was a company devoted to selling web ads,

00:09:04   basically. And so while we did podcasts, they were never really a priority, and they also

00:09:09   were never really a money generator, which is why they were never a priority. So we ended

00:09:13   up in this weird situation where, I mean, the one that everybody who was around then

00:09:18   remembers is Lex Friedman, who ended up doing a podcast called "Unprofessional" with Dave

00:09:23   Whiskus for a while, and the whole idea there was literally baked into the premise was "Lex

00:09:28   can't do a tech podcast." So this is a show that's about everything but what Lex can't

00:09:34   talk about or he'll be fired, which was not really true, but that was the idea, is, you

00:09:39   know, we're we're we're we own your tech savvy and knowledge as a publishing company. And

00:09:45   so you know, we wanted to keep it separate now. I've thought about that a lot and and

00:09:50   you know, I think there's a really strong argument to be made now that that was a dumb

00:09:55   policy because the company was never gonna do it. I think I was just hoping that I could

00:09:59   drag that the company into believing that podcasting was a thing but the reality is

00:10:04   like it's a big publishing company even a network as successful as something like relay

00:10:09   to them would seem like a chump change, right?

00:10:13   'Cause they wanna make million dollar deals

00:10:15   and things like that, right?

00:10:16   And so it's one of these cases where

00:10:18   even though there's a perfectly great business

00:10:21   to be made there,

00:10:23   that company was not ever going to focus on it.

00:10:26   So for whatever reason, what that meant was

00:10:28   that with Chris Breen doing the Macworld podcast

00:10:31   and we started, that's the origin of Clockwise

00:10:34   is that I wanted to do another podcast.

00:10:36   And so Dan and I just started doing Clockwise

00:10:39   under their auspices.

00:10:41   And we never, you know, I watched as people

00:10:45   who are kinda like me, were doing these podcasts

00:10:49   on their own and having great success.

00:10:51   And I kept saying to myself, well, if I leave here,

00:10:52   I wanna do that.

00:10:53   I wanna do something like Hypercritical

00:10:55   or the talk show or whatever, right?

00:10:57   I wanted to do a show like that.

00:10:59   And so when I realized that I would be leaving IDG,

00:11:02   I had that moment where I thought,

00:11:03   okay, well, I wanna do a podcast, damn it.

00:11:05   now is the time I'm gonna do that podcast.

00:11:07   And I thought, well, I want it to be,

00:11:09   my initial thought was I want it to be like,

00:11:13   hypercritical and build and analyze and like that model.

00:11:19   Dan Benjamin is a person who is like,

00:11:23   representing the audience and guiding a conversation.

00:11:26   And there's the other person who is the tech writer,

00:11:30   media personality kind of person,

00:11:33   who it's sort of their show,

00:11:34   but then there's another person there who makes it work.

00:11:37   'Cause I really believe that's the trick

00:11:40   of this kind of format is that you've got that,

00:11:42   you build a relationship and you have the back and forth.

00:11:45   And I think it's good.

00:11:48   So full credit to, I mean,

00:11:49   Dan and John being a great inspiration with "Hypercritical,"

00:11:53   which is a show that I absolutely loved.

00:11:55   And Dan and John Gruber, it's two Dan and Johns.

00:11:59   Well, yeah, right, with the original talk show.

00:12:01   So that idea of a show.

00:12:04   And you guys had launched Relay FM

00:12:06   and I had been listening to you guys do the prompt

00:12:10   on five by five.

00:12:12   And I was listening,

00:12:13   I think I was listening to an early episode

00:12:15   while I was driving back from product briefing

00:12:18   at Infinite Loop and I took a picture of like the prompt

00:12:20   on my radio, on my car dashboard

00:12:23   as I was driving on Infinite Loop,

00:12:24   which led to the whole riff about me-

00:12:26   - And then you became power sliding Jason Stone.

00:12:27   - Me power sliding around Infinite Loop

00:12:29   and across the Golden Gate Bridge and all of that. And you and I had done some podcasts

00:12:33   together and I talked to Steven at least once sitting in for you, I believe, on your old

00:12:40   podcast. So there was a bunch of connections there and as somebody who appreciated the

00:12:44   work that you guys were doing and had just watched Relay get launched, I thought that's

00:12:51   where I want to be. And so I contacted you, I believe, although it might have been you

00:12:55   and Steven, but at some point it was you and Steven, at some point it might have been just

00:12:59   you. And I told you something that I literally told nobody else except for my family, which

00:13:06   was I'm leaving IDG in a month and I want to start a podcast and I want it to be with

00:13:10   you. And so I brought it to you and I pitched you and said, let's do a podcast, you and

00:13:16   me. And to my great relief, you said, yeah, let's do that.

00:13:21   I didn't react that way. I mean, I don't remember what I said, but to put it into context a little bit,

00:13:27   I think relay FM was a week old when you got in contact with this idea.

00:13:32   Probably.

00:13:32   So it, well, I mean, part of the reason that I know this is, um, when you announced that you were leaving IDG,

00:13:42   I was at my granddad's funeral and that was only a couple of weeks after our company had launched.

00:13:51   So like it was like a whole there was like so much going on in my life at that moment.

00:13:56   But to have I mean we were it was about I would be surprised if we were around for more than a

00:14:02   week when you when you kind of reached out because of the way the timelines work. And it was there

00:14:08   was honestly that was one of the greatest things that happened to us starting out because it was a

00:14:14   validation of what we were doing. You know, we had just started this thing and we were trying to make

00:14:19   it a real deal, me and Steven. And then, you know, if you imagine, right, you've got this

00:14:24   this network and at the time it was it was me and Federico and Steven and we also had Brad and we

00:14:32   had Casey Liss, right, so we would do an analog to Pan Addict. I was doing my interview show and we

00:14:37   were doing what was the revival of the prompt which is connected and me and Federico were doing

00:14:43   our first video game show on Relay FM to give a cool virtual. They were our five shows

00:14:48   and then you came in and were like, "Oh, by the way, I want to bring Clockwise over and I want to start a show with you."

00:14:53   So these were like two shows and I mean we were working it out and we knew how big a deal this was gonna be for us.

00:15:00   It was just like such a no-brainer at the time and we were like, it was amazing. Like that the way

00:15:06   the timeline of all of that worked out was just so

00:15:09   unbelievable for us at a time that was so important and I still to this day

00:15:15   Say that one of the reasons that I'm sitting here right now is because of upgrade

00:15:20   Because in our community, you know like in the mostly Apple focus technology community

00:15:27   Your validation of relay FM that early on I think really helped a lot of people pay attention to us

00:15:35   Because so early on in the company

00:15:40   It's you know, you you had you could have gone anywhere and done this you could have done it on your own

00:15:45   You have so many options, right?

00:15:48   Lex Friedman still gives me trouble every now and then for not contacting him and saying, you know, hey

00:15:53   Maybe I could anchor a tech

00:15:55   Attack podcast for for mid-roll. He every now and he's like why didn't you I mean it's it's good-natured

00:16:01   But he's like you didn't even talk to me Jason exactly could have done like how the talk show is, right?

00:16:06   Like the talk show is just on Daring Fireball and you are obviously starting in Six Colors.

00:16:10   Yeah, but that's part of the point is that I didn't want to, I felt like I didn't want

00:16:15   to mix the media like that, right?

00:16:18   And also I didn't have, Six Colors was going to be new, so launching a podcast on a place

00:16:23   that didn't exist before is not the same as launching it inside like Daring Fireball,

00:16:27   whereas having a podcast network, because that's to this show's credit that we got to

00:16:31   be we had to launch it not out in the void, but as a part of this growing collection at

00:16:37   Relay. So I hope that it helped both. I see your point, though. Like if I provided some

00:16:42   validation by like, well, there's this new thing called Relay FM. We'll see what it's

00:16:45   going to do. And one of the first things that it does is I exit IDG and say I'm bringing

00:16:50   my podcast with me and starting a new podcast at Relay. At the very least, that gave Relay

00:16:54   a little momentum. And that's great because that was part of what I wanted to do.

00:16:58   Because I think, you know, we had all of our launch stuff and people were excited and there

00:17:02   was a bit of buzz about it. And then as soon as that starts to die down, we get this, you

00:17:06   know. So I think it really helped us out very early on. The timing was kind of, kind of,

00:17:10   and we've had a couple of moments like this over the history of our company. But this

00:17:15   was the first one.

00:17:16   When you added Grey and Merlin and John.

00:17:18   And John Siracusa.

00:17:19   That was a great moment.

00:17:20   You know, reconciling the differences in Cortex in one day. That was, that was really fun

00:17:23   too.

00:17:24   Those are test shows though, Myke. Limited run, only about 10 episodes.

00:17:25   summer pilots, who knows if they're gonna stick around.

00:17:28   - The other weird thing I wanted to mention

00:17:30   that people may not remember,

00:17:31   which is how the show started, which is,

00:17:34   we all agreed in email and stuff

00:17:36   to like start this sort of mid month.

00:17:39   And then what happened was there was an Apple event,

00:17:44   which was literally my last full day on the job,

00:17:47   September 9th when they announced the new iPhone

00:17:50   and the Apple watch, right?

00:17:51   and I was doing, there was that day,

00:17:56   the next day everybody got laid off and I left.

00:17:59   And the day after that I flew to Portland for XOXO,

00:18:02   which was super weird.

00:18:03   And then I came back and launched Six Colors

00:18:06   like the day I came back, which was the 16th.

00:18:09   - We have the timeline now, right?

00:18:10   So September 9th, we launched Relay FM on August 18th.

00:18:15   So it was just three weeks after our company

00:18:18   that upgrade began.

00:18:20   - Right, and I was emailing with you in August about it too.

00:18:22   So yeah, that was the, it happened really fast,

00:18:27   but it happened faster than we expected

00:18:29   because at some point I said to you

00:18:31   after I had gotten my product briefing,

00:18:33   'cause that's one of the funny moments about that is that

00:18:36   I knew that I was leaving the next day

00:18:40   and I got, for the first time in a couple of years,

00:18:42   I got the advance briefing for the iPhone.

00:18:44   I got handed an iPhone and said,

00:18:46   this is under embargo until next Tuesday.

00:18:49   And I actually said to the PR person

00:18:51   who I worked with for a very long time,

00:18:53   who is no longer at Apple, I said to her,

00:18:55   "I got something to tell you."

00:18:57   She's like, "No, no, no, no, no."

00:18:59   And I'm like, "Yeah, this is,"

00:19:00   I said, "Tomorrow's my last day,

00:19:01   but we'll take care of this."

00:19:04   So I ended up in this really weird situation

00:19:06   where Apple doesn't give products to companies,

00:19:09   they give products to people.

00:19:10   And so I had this moment of like,

00:19:11   "Well, you gave this to me to review for Macworld,

00:19:14   but I don't work at Macworld anymore,

00:19:17   so what am I gonna do?"

00:19:19   and I ended up making a deal with the people

00:19:22   who stayed at IDG, and I said, "I'll tell you what,

00:19:25   I'm gonna give you this review for free

00:19:27   in exchange for plugging my site."

00:19:29   And they said, "Sure, that's great."

00:19:31   And it turns out, because I was barred for several months

00:19:33   from being paid by them.

00:19:35   We had, you know, I had a severance agreement,

00:19:38   and I had to truly be severed for a while.

00:19:41   And then my column that I write every week

00:19:43   started the day that I was out of that severance agreement.

00:19:48   Like, 'cause I talked to John--

00:19:48   - They always wanted to be in the snail zone.

00:19:50   - Yeah, I talked to John Phillips, he's like,

00:19:52   "Yeah, we want you to do a weekly column

00:19:53   and you can start it on February 18th,"

00:19:55   or whatever it was.

00:19:56   I'm like, "All right, let's do it."

00:19:57   And then, and we've done it ever since.

00:19:59   So that was the horse trading for that one.

00:20:01   But then I, then I email you and I say,

00:20:03   "Okay, I got the iPhone.

00:20:05   We should do an episode of upgrade about the iPhone

00:20:09   to drop as episode one,"

00:20:13   which we weren't intending to do.

00:20:15   Originally, it was just gonna be,

00:20:15   we'd do an intro episode when I was back

00:20:17   and you were back and we were gonna all make it work.

00:20:19   - And then I was going to Italy.

00:20:21   - Yeah, and I was in Portland, right?

00:20:23   I was headed to Portland and also trying to launch

00:20:25   my new website in this whole, it was bananas.

00:20:28   So I believe we recorded it like before I went to Portland

00:20:33   after I'd had the phone for it for part of a day or a day.

00:20:36   And we talked about the iPhone and then we timed that

00:20:39   to drop at the embargo time so that all of a sudden

00:20:44   my review dropped, Six Colors is launched

00:20:46   because I launched Six Colors with a link to my review

00:20:49   on Macworld and a reporter's notebook

00:20:51   with more iPhone stuff.

00:20:52   'Cause I figured, this is why I didn't take a break

00:20:55   after leaving my job, it's iPhone, it's the most important

00:20:58   and most talked about product of the year.

00:21:01   There's never gonna be a better time to launch my site,

00:21:04   even though it's ridiculous 'cause I'm launching it

00:21:06   several days after I leave my old job.

00:21:09   And then upgrade number one also launched at the same time.

00:21:11   So it was this kind of triple whammy of stuff that happened.

00:21:15   is a it was you know in hindsight I told people this it was not anything I would

00:21:21   choose to do but given the circumstances they were all exactly the right things

00:21:25   to do there was nothing better than saying hey not only do I have a new

00:21:29   podcast but I have my you know I will talk exclusively about my review that

00:21:35   was under embargo where I'm one of a handful of people or you know a dozen

00:21:38   people or whatever to get one and it's on that podcast like that was too too

00:21:43   good to pass up but it was just bananas because of our travel schedules and all

00:21:50   the other timing and that so that's how so upgrade number one is really weird

00:21:54   because it's like a pre-taped episode and we don't really know what it's gonna

00:21:57   be I think I edited it I think oh yeah it's a whole thing and yet it's got the

00:22:03   theme music and everything so obviously I had Chris Breen working in the

00:22:06   background on getting me a theme song. I'd never heard the music. Right you heard it on the

00:22:10   The first time I ever heard the theme music for our show was when the episode was published.

00:22:15   Not how we usually launch a podcast, but we had to do it.

00:22:19   There were extenuating circumstances, and it started a tradition that we have on this

00:22:23   show, which has happened a number of times, that I don't know of any other podcast in

00:22:29   our space that does this, which is embargoed product release episodes.

00:22:36   We did it with connected one time when Federico got the 12.9 inch iPad.

00:22:41   But we do that on upgrade.

00:22:43   You have access to products from time to time and if you do we will record an episode in

00:22:48   secret and publish it.

00:22:51   One of the things I remain very proud about this show is that we do that and we're able

00:22:55   to do that because for reasons I'm kind of unsure about nobody else does it.

00:23:00   Everybody has podcasts now but they make YouTube videos, they write articles but they never

00:23:06   have these embargo things.

00:23:11   I wouldn't say never, but it's much more rare than you would think. And the other aspect

00:23:16   of it too is even outside of embargo, we have with this show tried to make it a little bit

00:23:20   more about seeing if we can hit an Apple product event especially right after it happens, which

00:23:29   is something that we strive to do even if we have to move the recording date a little

00:23:32   bit and that leads to a little inconsistency in our recording time sometimes, but I would

00:23:37   much rather tell people about the Apple event that I just attended on a Tuesday evening

00:23:43   rather than wait until Monday rolled around again to do it because...

00:23:46   We like to be first. It's something that we consider to be important.

00:23:50   And while consistency in podcasting is important, I think the great advantage of podcasting

00:23:54   is you can drop an episode whenever you want. And so we make that effort. So I don't think

00:24:00   That was all part of our, I mean,

00:24:02   we didn't really have a game plan when we got started.

00:24:04   We had this idea that it would be kind of,

00:24:06   we'd have some topics and we'd chat,

00:24:08   and then all of a sudden it was,

00:24:09   it's a product review embargo

00:24:11   and all of this other stuff going on.

00:24:13   So we've kind of made our way.

00:24:15   And 200 episodes later,

00:24:17   it's different from what we originally intended,

00:24:21   but that's gonna happen anytime you do something,

00:24:23   is that it's gonna evolve over time,

00:24:26   and in this case, over almost four years.

00:24:27   - I did wanna talk just before we take a break.

00:24:30   I did want to talk about just a touch on the way the show has changed from my

00:24:34   from the way that I approach it, from my opinion of how the show is.

00:24:38   I saw somebody describe this recently about a lot of the shows that I do.

00:24:43   And it also applies to the shows that you were mentioning before,

00:24:46   like the five by five shows of having an expert and an enthusiast.

00:24:50   And I always play the enthusiast role in these types of shows, you know,

00:24:54   like with you, with Gray and, you know, like on remaster with Shaheed,

00:24:59   who is like an expert, right? Like he's a developer.

00:25:01   Like, and I've always enjoyed playing that role as kind of being the voice of the

00:25:06   audience. And,

00:25:07   and mostly because I tend not to have as much experience as the other person,

00:25:11   you know, the pen addict is another great example as my cohost.

00:25:15   And when this show started, it was 100% that it was, uh,

00:25:19   I am going to get the opinions out of Jason, right?

00:25:22   Like Jason's going to have the opinions and I'm going to talk about them.

00:25:26   And part of it for me and why I felt pretty comfortable, um,

00:25:29   doing that is I didn't feel comfortable enough to be able to stand toe to toe with Jason

00:25:36   Snell and give my opinions about what Apple's doing because I just didn't really feel like

00:25:41   I had the credibility, you know, to be able to do that, to be like, no, Jason, I think

00:25:47   you're wrong. I think they're going to do this. Right. Like it's like, how can I argue

00:25:50   with that experience? But over the multiple, the many years that we've been doing a show

00:25:56   together. My opinions have changed and now I feel like the show still has a lot of that

00:26:02   but it's different in that I will debate with you and give my own opinions.

00:26:06   I agree, we might even draft things from time to time.

00:26:08   Yeah, exactly, the draft is a great one but I just feel like now I am much more confident

00:26:13   in my own opinions than I was previously and that again has come with experience because

00:26:17   I've been doing this for like eight years and I've been doing this show for like four

00:26:22   years. Like I feel like at this point I kind of have something to say.

00:26:26   Well exactly and we also build a rapport over time right? Like at the beginning

00:26:29   where it was it was that model I mean we all remember who listened to

00:26:33   Hypercritical that there were episodes where John would go start going on a

00:26:37   rant and it was unclear whether Dan was still in the room. He may have gone to the

00:26:43   bathroom maybe making himself a sandwich you know and that was part of the format

00:26:46   and it was it was fine because Dan's role there was not to share the spotlight

00:26:51   with Jon so much as to kind of prod Jon and steer the show like where it needed to go.

00:26:59   And that's a logical starting point. But over time, I think with any show, it's going to

00:27:05   evolve and the relationship between the people. And so you're right, like your experience

00:27:10   grows, your confidence grows, our rapport grows, and the show becomes something different.

00:27:16   And you know, and I think that's I think it absolutely has evolved and I think that's

00:27:21   good. We should also say one of the rules that we decided at some point along the way

00:27:24   is that I was going to be on every episode. So we do have these guest episodes, we're

00:27:28   gonna have another one in a couple of weeks. So that is one thing like, like, yeah, it

00:27:34   is still it, you know, hashtag Snell talk, right? So that there's that aspect.

00:27:39   The show remains anchored around you. And I'm always happy to do that. Like, we serve

00:27:45   our own roles. So like for example I put the document together but you're

00:27:49   generating a lot of the content that I'm building from right like and you know

00:27:53   and and as well like this it's just a difference in our styles which we're

00:27:56   gonna get to in a little bit about the way that we put shows together but and

00:28:00   I'm always and I'm always happy to have that the upgrade is anchored around you

00:28:04   because I have other places you do that's that's exactly it and that's

00:28:09   that's one of the one of the things that we have to keep in mind is that some

00:28:13   people, it's tricky, right? Some people listen to the show and listen to

00:28:16   Connected and listen to other stuff we do and other people don't. And so you

00:28:21   don't want to not cover something but at the same time, I mean this is why we do

00:28:25   follow out, and at the same time you also want to give the, let the show be the

00:28:30   show it's going to be. And, you know, Connected you are going to be

00:28:33   participating with those other two guys in a different way than the way we do it.

00:28:37   But the way we've done it has evolved over time, which I'm happy about because

00:28:40   I am happy to just sit and talk. I mean, that makes your edit really easy when you edit the show.

00:28:45   When I just sit and talk for six minutes about some topic and you're like, again,

00:28:50   you may be making a sandwich, the old Dan Benjamin sandwich. So that happens sometimes,

00:28:56   but other times it doesn't. And over time, I think it's evolved that way. And I think it's good.

00:29:00   But that's natural because one of the things I wanted from the beginning was I wanted to have

00:29:04   a show that had that kind of rapport and it takes a little bit of time, but I really like those

00:29:09   shows. And to be honest, because the Macworld podcast was very much an anthology, and even

00:29:15   The Incomparable is very much an anthology. I'm on almost every episode, but the panel

00:29:19   circulates. And I really wanted to do a show with follow-up. A show where from week to

00:29:26   week it was the same people, and they had that shared experience. Because I always felt

00:29:30   like those were the strongest bonds you could make with a podcast. Is if you had the people

00:29:35   who were the same every week and the format was the same more or less every week. And

00:29:39   ironically, even though I believed that, none of the podcasts I did were that. So I wanted

00:29:45   to do that and that's what it is.

00:29:46   It is kind of funny, like, if you remember way back in the beginning, so much of our

00:29:52   show was follow-up. You were like wild for it.

00:29:55   Oh yeah.

00:29:56   Right? Like, you were so excited about it.

00:29:57   It's like catnip.

00:29:58   We did way too much. And now, you may or may not have noticed, listener, we barely do it.

00:30:03   I mean, there has to be a really good reason for us to do follow up now.

00:30:07   We have to say something spectacularly dumb for that to happen, but it does.

00:30:12   It's all it happens.

00:30:13   A story must have had to have changed significantly.

00:30:16   And the reason for that is because, again, you obviously have noticed this, Upgrades

00:30:20   kind of moved into a different format, which is segment based.

00:30:23   We are a very segment heavy show.

00:30:25   And that's just because over time, that has kind of been the path that we have fallen

00:30:30   into.

00:30:31   We both really enjoy that because it allows us to talk about a bunch of different things

00:30:35   and the advent stuff like chapters and things like that has really helped make that kind

00:30:40   of a better format for us.

00:30:42   But we've done more than enough navel gazing.

00:30:44   Nobody wants to hear any more about this, Myke.

00:30:47   I don't think so.

00:30:48   I mean, I could continue talking about it all day, but we should actually go on and

00:30:52   do what people have been asking for, which is to actually give them some tips and some

00:30:56   advice about how we produce podcasts and how they can learn from them.

00:31:00   But before we do, let's take a break and thank our first sponsor of this week's episode,

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00:32:31   So let's start out when we're going to give our little podcasting masterclass here today

00:32:37   by talking about the thing everybody wants to know because everybody needs it.

00:32:41   Let's talk about our gear.

00:32:43   Now it is worth noting that we are going to talk about what we use, then we're going to

00:32:48   talk about what we recommend.

00:32:50   If you don't have a podcast or you're just starting out, you've been doing it for a little

00:32:54   Pay no attention to what we're saying about what we use,

00:32:57   other than the fact that we're telling you what we think about these products.

00:33:00   Because these are products that me and Jason now own

00:33:03   after having done this for multiple years.

00:33:05   They are significant steps up from what we're going to talk about in a few minutes,

00:33:09   which is going to be what we recommend for somebody who's starting out

00:33:12   or is pretty early on in their process.

00:33:15   Honestly, personally, I would say that you probably shouldn't really own

00:33:20   basically any of the stuff that we're going to talk about

00:33:22   unless your podcast is making you some money of some kind

00:33:25   from somehow.

00:33:26   - The fact is there is something,

00:33:27   and I think partially it's aspirational,

00:33:29   and I think partially it's people who are enthusiastic

00:33:31   about technology, like to hear about gear

00:33:33   and what people are using.

00:33:34   Like every time I take a picture of my desk, right,

00:33:37   everybody's like, "Oh, what's that?"

00:33:38   - Everyone wants to know.

00:33:39   - I can't tell you how many people have asked me

00:33:41   how many people have asked me about the arm

00:33:43   that my iMac is on.

00:33:44   Like, "Ooh, what's that?"

00:33:45   And it's like, literally the answer is

00:33:47   it came with the desk,

00:33:48   but I have figured out what model it is,

00:33:50   and I send that to people.

00:33:51   So people want to know even if they're not actually going to buy that stuff and that's

00:33:56   fine so we'll do it.

00:33:57   So let's start with the most important thing which is the microphone.

00:34:03   So I use a microphone called the Neumann KMS 105.

00:34:08   This microphone was recommended to me by the microphone angel/devil that is Marco Amand

00:34:16   to the point that I arrived in Marco's house at one time and he sat me down in front of

00:34:21   of his computer and he put headphones on my head and he said speak into this. 20

00:34:25   minutes later I had ordered all new equipment because the Neumann KMS 105 is

00:34:31   the one thing I don't like about this microphone is it looks like a singer's

00:34:36   microphone and it doesn't look like a podcasting microphone because it just

00:34:40   looks like a regular microphone and I wished it looked slightly different I

00:34:43   don't know why but that that really bothered me initially. It looks like it

00:34:47   looks like you should be on stage singing because that's kind of what it's

00:34:50   made for instead of it being like you're in a radio booth somewhere.

00:34:54   Right.

00:34:55   And the two things, I don't know enough about this microphone to explain what's good about

00:35:00   it. I will put in the show notes a link to Marco's microphone mega review guide so you

00:35:05   can get an idea of from somebody who knows what they're talking about with this stuff

00:35:09   because I don't know any of the terms for this stuff. But I can tell you the two reasons

00:35:14   I love this microphone and the two reasons that I use it. One is it does a very, very

00:35:19   good job of not picking up background noise. I have to be really in front of this microphone

00:35:27   to talk into it. What I'm going to do right now is I'm going to move my head slightly

00:35:31   to the left. I'm not going to take it further away, I'm just going to move it to the left.

00:35:36   So now I'm talking like this. The only difference is I've just moved my head slightly. And you

00:35:40   can hear a huge difference in the microphone because it does a very very good job of picking

00:35:44   up just what's in front of it and does a good job of not hearing the rest. And there are

00:35:48   There are terms for this but I'm not going to bore you with those terms because also

00:35:51   I get them confused and I'll get them wrong.

00:35:54   The other thing, and the main reason that I love this microphone and the reason that

00:35:57   as soon as I used it I wanted to buy it, it does a better job than any microphone I've

00:36:03   ever used of giving me what I consider to be an accurate representation of my voice.

00:36:10   When I use the Neumann and I hear it in my head and I'm listening to it later, it sounds

00:36:16   to me like the voice that I know and that's why I like it. I spend so much time listening

00:36:23   to my own voice. I want it to sound normal and with the with this Neumann microphone

00:36:29   it does. So I get the the experience and the feeling of oh that's my voice which is important

00:36:34   to me.

00:36:35   It's good. I know you love it. It is number two in Marco's rankings mostly because even

00:36:40   though it sounds better than the number one pick it's many more times expensive than the

00:36:45   Yeah, and I recommend, I completely understand why Marco ranked to where he did because like him,

00:36:52   I believe it is better, but the amount of money more than the Shure Beta 78A, it is not that

00:37:00   amount of money more for most people. It's only worth that money if you're in the situation that

00:37:04   we are where it's like, I have a business that is this, I can spend money on equipment and I get

00:37:11   a marginal, like, better difference, right? And that's what I feel like. So I feel like it gives

00:37:18   me just enough. It gives me just what I'm looking for. And I'm, because I spend so much time looking

00:37:23   into it and this microphone will, if I take care of it, last me probably 10 years, it was worth

00:37:27   the investment for me. So mine is the Shure SM7B, which is also a pricey mic, although not as pricey

00:37:35   as yours, and ranked 16th in Marco's survey, which I find funny.

00:37:42   The bottom line is I think it sounds good with my voice, and I don't have—Marco says

00:37:47   it unforgivingly picks up any room echo or background noise.

00:37:50   I haven't really found that to be the case.

00:37:52   That said, my office does not have a whole lot of echo.

00:37:57   It is sort of accidentally pretty well soundproofed and pretty well echo-proofed.

00:38:02   approved. Just again, I don't have any foam up there, but I've got curtains and

00:38:05   I've got insulation in the ceiling that's actually stapled in in these

00:38:09   sheets. So it's a really not very reflective thing. And I've got a bunch of

00:38:16   stuff on the walls and carpet on the floor and it's just it's not. But I find

00:38:20   it my favorite thing about the SM7B is that it is, unlike yours, a studio

00:38:26   microphone. It comes with its own mount, so it mounts on a boom arm. It's

00:38:33   got its own mount, it's got its own, including the hardware of where you plug

00:38:37   in the XLR cable. It has built-in internal kind of bump protection, shock

00:38:44   mounting, and it's got like a windscreen plus internally plus the

00:38:50   external windscreen that you can put on. And I like it a lot and I've gotten

00:38:56   really used to having it and I can get very close to the microphone and

00:39:01   that's usually what I do when I'm speaking on it is my nose is often

00:39:05   touching the microphone, or at least the foam outside of it when I'm talking.

00:39:09   I'm that close to it. And yeah, so it's good. If I had to do it all over again,

00:39:15   I might just buy one of the Shure Betas because they're cheaper and they do

00:39:19   sound very good. The reason that I don't, and I have a Shure Beta 58, I don't have

00:39:25   the one that Marco likes a little bit better, but I have the 58A and it's a

00:39:29   good microphone. But like yours, it's a handheld microphone, which means if I do

00:39:32   that, I've got to put a shock mount and a windscreen and I have to

00:39:39   add all these other things to turn an on-stage singer microphone into a

00:39:44   studio microphone. And the thing I like about the SM7B is it's already got all

00:39:49   that and it's a very clean kind of thing. It's just right here. And

00:39:52   And since I bought it, I use it and I like it.

00:39:55   So I have no desire to change it,

00:39:58   even though I think that sure, I could probably,

00:40:00   sure, I could probably have saved money

00:40:03   by buying some other kind of a setup.

00:40:05   But I'm okay with it 'cause I think it sounds good.

00:40:07   And I like how it looks and that I don't have to fiddle.

00:40:10   I always was like having like,

00:40:12   if the shock mount is weird or the windscreen falls off

00:40:16   or things like that that I was messing with.

00:40:18   And with this thing, there's nothing to mess with.

00:40:19   It's just right here on the end of the arm

00:40:21   and I can slide it away and it's super convenient.

00:40:23   - So we both use the same USB interface.

00:40:26   So this is, so both microphones that we own

00:40:29   are XLR microphones.

00:40:31   So they need a box in between the microphone

00:40:34   and the computer to plug it in.

00:40:36   They are analog signals that need to be converted

00:40:38   into a digital signal.

00:40:40   So we both have a product called the USB Pre 2

00:40:44   by a company called Sound Devices

00:40:47   as our chosen USB interface.

00:40:50   can you explain why we both use this?

00:40:52   - Marco? - Yeah.

00:40:54   It's the same deal.

00:40:55   He had done the research for us.

00:40:58   - No, I mean, there are reasons.

00:41:00   It's built like a tank.

00:41:00   It doesn't require any special software.

00:41:02   It's got like dip switches and buttons on it.

00:41:04   So there's this feeling like

00:41:05   it's probably gonna last a long time.

00:41:07   It's a hard like metal shell.

00:41:09   It's made so that you can take it on the road as a musician

00:41:12   or anything like that and have it be in a case

00:41:16   and moved around and bashed and things like that

00:41:18   and it'll still work well.

00:41:20   Also, it is going to, for microphones that don't output

00:41:24   as much gain, like the one that I use,

00:41:29   you need one that's more powerful

00:41:32   and that is not gonna just make everything hissy.

00:41:34   And so that's actually one of the knocks against the mic

00:41:37   I'm using is that it really requires

00:41:39   a more expensive audio interface like that.

00:41:41   I did a story on Six Colors about cheap audio interfaces.

00:41:44   I feel like, and we'll get to this in a minute,

00:41:46   but I feel like if you start with podcasting,

00:41:48   you should buy a USB microphone. If you decide to get a little deeper, there's a much greater

00:41:53   selection of these XLR microphones, but at that point, the USB is not in the microphone

00:41:58   anymore, which means you need a box that connects the microphone via the microphone plug, the

00:42:03   XLR, and then connects the computer via a USB cable, and is the one that's mediating

00:42:08   between the two. And there are a bunch of boxes for under $100 that are fine, or that

00:42:16   are under $200 for sure, but a lot of them are around $100. And those are the ones that

00:42:21   you should buy probably if you go into an XLR microphone, not the $800 box that we bought.

00:42:28   But that said, it's great. But it is great and it knows it and that's why it's so expensive.

00:42:35   - Yeah, I have a recommendation and a little bit for one that I actually think is better

00:42:40   for most people, but we'll get to that in a moment. We talk about our headphones. I

00:42:45   the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro. Why do I use those? Because Marco I'm gonna put them on my head. I

00:42:50   mean I told you this was going to be a thing. Oh boy. My entire, from what I'm speaking to,

00:42:56   to what goes into my computer, I bought it all at the same time. Because I basically sat down

00:43:02   in front of Marco's setup and I was like this is perfect, like this is exactly what I need.

00:43:07   And I'd been kind of like flirting with buying some new stuff for a while and then this was it.

00:43:11   and I like over the ear headphones, that is my,

00:43:15   that's what I feel more comfortable with

00:43:18   when I'm recording, I like the kind of,

00:43:20   not like, it's not sound, you know,

00:43:22   it's not like sound isolation in like the,

00:43:25   it's not doing any noise canceling or anything,

00:43:27   but I like that it just keeps things close

00:43:29   and what I hear the most very clearly is my own voice.

00:43:33   I don't like earphones that go in my ears,

00:43:37   I find that to be very uncomfortable.

00:43:40   me and Jason are in the exact reverse with this. So I like over the ears and the Beyerdynamic

00:43:45   are, for me, I find them to be extremely comfortable over long periods of time which is important

00:43:52   to me. I was using the Sony MDR750s before this which I know a lot of people use and

00:43:58   like but over multiple hours they would start to actually hurt my ears because they kind

00:44:03   of rested on them a little bit but these Beyerdynamic ones, the cups are very large and they go

00:44:08   go all the way around my ears, it's actually resting on my head, and I find that to be

00:44:12   way more comfortable.

00:44:13   Yeah, I hate headphones.

00:44:15   That's the bottom line, is it makes my ears all sweaty, and I feel the pressure on my

00:44:24   head, and I don't like them.

00:44:25   I don't like them, I've tried different kinds, I've never liked them, I've used them from

00:44:30   time to time, I don't like them.

00:44:32   Let's just be clear.

00:44:33   I first tried canal phones, basically, in-ear monitors,

00:44:39   and was ruined forever, essentially.

00:44:43   And for many years now, I've had custom --

00:44:47   they're like silicone.

00:44:48   Instead of the little rubber tips that go on

00:44:50   that you pop on and off of a lot of these kind of headphones

00:44:54   that go in your ears, mine are silicone,

00:44:56   and they're from a mold of my ears,

00:44:58   so they're the exact shape of my ears.

00:45:01   And so I put that on and then I put that in and it's completely isolating

00:45:05   to the point where it's dangerous if you're walking around outside because

00:45:08   you literally can't hear anything

00:45:10   and

00:45:11   except what's going through your headphones.

00:45:14   So right now at my desk here, I have Ultimate Ears Super

00:45:19   Fi 5 Pro

00:45:20   in-ear monitors. These have been discontinued, but I still have them and

00:45:25   they still work. So that's what I'm using. The best equivalent now is

00:45:28   probably the Ultimate Ears 900's

00:45:30   which they still sell. Ultimate Ears is one of these companies that got bought

00:45:34   out by Logitech and Logitech hollowed it out from the inside to create a consumer

00:45:39   product brand just like they did with the Squeezebox that I loved back in the

00:45:42   day. So, Ultimate Ears... - Man, Logitech just... they break everything you like. - They do.

00:45:46   So, Ultimate Ears... if you go to ultimateears.com you'll get a flashy ad for a

00:45:51   bunch of little Bluetooth speakers that they are calling Ultimate Ears. That's

00:45:55   the branding. Fortunately, they apparently recognized that they were also making a

00:46:00   lot of money selling headphones to musicians because that's the primary

00:46:04   audience that ultimate ears had sort of a consumer brand but also had a high end

00:46:08   for musicians brand and if you go to pro.ultimateears.com it'll actually show

00:46:13   you the headphones they do still exist at Logitech hasn't killed them yet and

00:46:17   the 900s there are kind of like it where they want to make they want to take your

00:46:21   your ear molds and make like custom monitors where the the whole shape of

00:46:26   the product is actually custom I don't like those as much because they're like

00:46:29   a hard, they're almost like a hard plastic, and they're not, for me, they're

00:46:33   not nearly as comfortable as the silicone ones that I've got, so, which

00:46:38   have more flex in them. But it works for them, and that's great, but the 900s are

00:46:44   kind of like that, and if these die, I might get those. I also have a separate

00:46:48   set of these custom earphone sleeves that are, that work with etymotic

00:46:51   headphones, and I have a set of those attached to my other set of, because the

00:46:58   the shape of the opening is different, right? So they're not interchangeable, but I got

00:47:03   a set that matched the size of etymotic headphones, and those are the ones that I use as wired

00:47:09   headphones on an airplane or something like that, or mowing the lawn, and they're really

00:47:14   great at blocking out all the noise. And so, yeah, and those are from ACS, and we'll put

00:47:20   a link in the show notes. There's, acscustom.com actually has a whole custom earphone sleeves

00:47:24   thing where you go, again, you have to go to like an audiologist basically and have

00:47:29   them make molds of your ears, which is a weird process. They put foam in your ears, and then

00:47:34   you have to sit there and it sounds really weird for a few minutes, and then they pull

00:47:37   them out and they send them out. And then they, I think they 3D scan them and then they

00:47:42   can generate, because when I bought my second set, they just had a file of the scan of my

00:47:50   ears and they just made a new set for me with a different opening shape for the

00:47:54   etymotics. So I love them. They're pricey. They're not for everybody, although I

00:47:59   will say that I like them so much more than I liked it when I was using the

00:48:05   little kind of one-size-fits-all or you know two sizes fits all in-ear and I get

00:48:10   when people say they don't like you in-ear headphones because they're

00:48:13   uncomfortable because they can be uncomfortable over a long period of time

00:48:16   it's absolutely true and if you're not using customs like I am they're totally

00:48:22   more uncomfortable because they're not the right shape so I get it but for me I

00:48:27   would never ever ever use anything else I love them I use a headphone amp and

00:48:36   not everybody needs one of these with the USB pre 2 but for some reason for me

00:48:40   when I try and plug headphones in I get a lot of interference no matter what

00:48:44   headphones I use, I don't know what the situation is there. I know it's not just a me thing

00:48:49   though, I know some other people that have it, but I know a bunch of people like you

00:48:52   who just use the USB pre 2. And I use by the unfortunately named Sheet company is how I

00:48:58   will say it, I use their Magni product which is just like a very simple headphone amp but

00:49:04   it does a really good job of cleaning up the audio signal that comes from the USB pre 2

00:49:08   me. And I use a boom arm, so my microphone is connected to an arm which can be articulated

00:49:15   so I can move it up and down and around and it's connected to my desk. It keeps the desk

00:49:19   free as well so I don't have a stand on the desk. Mine is made by a company called K&M.

00:49:25   The actual product is just a name as a list of numbers, so you'll find a link in the show

00:49:29   notes because it won't help you.

00:49:30   Yeah, so mine is the Heil PL2T. Very exciting in that it is a boom arm that you can stick

00:49:36   a microphone on and it's clamped to the side of my desk which means that when I'm done with a podcast

00:49:41   I can push the microphone away and it goes away and then it's not in my face. What I like about my

00:49:47   boom arm which I didn't have for my previous one it actually has an integrated XLR cable in it

00:49:53   so I don't need to do any kind of cable wrapping or anything like that. The XLR cable is built

00:49:58   into the boom arm itself I really like that. Yeah that's nice mine is not like that but mine is

00:50:04   it's got a little trench in the in the middle of the arm where you run the cable and then you snap

00:50:12   a little plastic thing on top. This is what I upgraded from. So it's fine, it does it and the

00:50:18   cable doesn't get in the way. Mine broke though, so like my higher one broke and so I needed to

00:50:24   change it and I went with the K&M one because I'm going to have a little upgrade. So Jason,

00:50:28   What do we actually recommend that people buy? You mentioned USB as a good starting point.

00:50:35   Yeah, there are lots of good USB microphones out there. I wrote a piece that was on Six Colors

00:50:41   called "A Podcast Studio for Under $100" because I was trying to figure out a way to get podcast

00:50:48   recommendations out there and have it be a reasonable price. And the microphone that I've

00:50:53   I've been recommending to people lately is the Audio Technica ATR2100 USB. For ages,

00:51:02   I was recommending the Blue Yeti. And I used a Blue Yeti for a long time.

00:51:08   So did I. Many years. Yeah, but what I've been convinced of now,

00:51:12   because many of the people who, you know, I edit podcasts that they're on, the problem

00:51:17   is that the Yeti is not great at rejecting room noise and echo. It's not. It's neat looking,

00:51:25   it's sturdy, but it is actually very heavy and very large. Those are not necessarily

00:51:33   assets, and they do break too. I wouldn't say that they're super reliable, but they

00:51:38   have a hardware mute button, which is their best feature. I love that about it. But they're

00:51:42   not really great if you're in an echoey environment. And the fact is that I could use one for a

00:51:46   a long time because I wasn't in echoey environments

00:51:49   with lots of background noise.

00:51:50   And so I got away with it in a way

00:51:54   that I think a lot of people can't.

00:51:55   So I'm generally recommending the Audio-Technica ATR 2100 USB

00:52:00   which is a weird microphone.

00:52:03   It looks like a handheld microphone.

00:52:05   As we record this, it's actually down to $64.

00:52:10   Sometimes I think the list is 79.

00:52:12   It varies on places like Amazon in the US.

00:52:15   I think in the UK it's more expensive.

00:52:17   There's some weird distributor thing

00:52:18   where they crank up the price on it.

00:52:21   But it, so it sounds good.

00:52:23   It's much better keeping out echo and background noise.

00:52:26   It is, it's got some unique features that I like about it.

00:52:30   It is a USB microphone

00:52:31   that is shaped like a handheld microphone.

00:52:33   So there's a headphone port on the bottom

00:52:35   and a volume slider and a USB mini, I think,

00:52:39   mini USB port on the bottom of the microphone.

00:52:42   so you can plug it in to your computer directly.

00:52:46   It also has an XLR port on it,

00:52:48   so if you're in a situation where you actually need

00:52:51   to use a USB interface box with a microphone,

00:52:54   you can plug it in to the USB interface box.

00:52:58   It makes it versatile.

00:52:59   It's one of the ways that I can get away

00:53:00   with recording a podcast on an iPad or an iPhone

00:53:05   is that both of them work at the same time.

00:53:08   So if I bring in an audio recorder attached via XLR,

00:53:11   I can record my microphone while it's attached

00:53:14   to an iOS device, which is a neat trick.

00:53:18   It is an edge case, but it is a neat trick

00:53:21   and it's a pretty good deal.

00:53:22   So that's the one that I'm recommending right now

00:53:26   is the ATR2100 USB.

00:53:28   There are other options.

00:53:30   There are a lot of good options,

00:53:31   but I think given the price and the versatility

00:53:35   and the size that this is probably the best option.

00:53:40   And while it doesn't have a mute button,

00:53:42   it has an on/off switch that works as a mute button,

00:53:45   basically, when you're using it.

00:53:46   If you flip the switch off, then nobody can hear you.

00:53:50   And then you flip the switch on and you come back.

00:53:52   - So that is a really great recommendation

00:53:54   for if you're starting out.

00:53:56   It's a really great recommendation

00:53:58   for if you're looking for a USB microphone,

00:54:00   which you should be when you're starting out.

00:54:01   But when you're ready to make a jump up,

00:54:04   I wanna make a recommendation for a microphone

00:54:07   that I really like a lot.

00:54:08   is the Shure Beta 58A.

00:54:11   It's like the baby cousin of the 87A,

00:54:14   which is an excellent microphone, but is more expensive.

00:54:19   The 58A, these are what we use whenever we do live stuff,

00:54:23   because they're about $150, so they're not cheap,

00:54:27   but they're nowhere near the price

00:54:28   of our typical microphones.

00:54:30   So if one got broken or something like that,

00:54:32   it wouldn't be the end of the world.

00:54:34   And it also makes it easier for us to really

00:54:36   found to own like four of them or whatever that Steven will bring around

00:54:39   in a lovely Pelican case. I think I've got four there's also a knockoff that's

00:54:43   the Pyle and those cost like 20 bucks mm-hmm and I've got two of those and they

00:54:50   sound really good if they they they're knockoffs which means I don't know they

00:54:54   might you they might be of variable quality and they might break. My

00:54:58   expectation is those those microphones are made in the same factory worthy. I

00:55:03   I think, yeah, I suspect that they're the same product and that there is a company that

00:55:08   when at night when they're not making Shure betas, they're making the Pyle PDM, whatever

00:55:13   it is.

00:55:14   We'll put a link in the show notes, but I have those two and those are those are super

00:55:17   cheap and I have four real Shure beta 58As and then I have a couple of those Pyle mics,

00:55:23   but honestly, they all work and they're all really good and it's not as expensive as the

00:55:28   better Shure beta mic that Marco likes, but they're very good.

00:55:32   a little bit pricey, but it is a good microphone. And if I was doing really good step up. Yeah,

00:55:38   it is the step up pick now with the sure beta 58 a which you and I own and really owns.

00:55:44   We have many of these in our collections. You do need a USB interface and I will point

00:55:49   out another story that I wrote on six colors, which is a review. I did of low cost USB audio

00:55:53   interfaces actually went on Amazon and ordered like eight USB audio interfaces or something

00:55:57   and reviewed them all and kept some and sent some back. And there are a few that I can

00:56:02   and you may want to recommend one too, I don't know.

00:56:04   But the ones that I like the best,

00:56:06   Tastam makes one that's called the 2x2.

00:56:08   It's got inputs for two.

00:56:09   - I use that.

00:56:10   I have one of those, I use it and it's great.

00:56:12   - Yeah, and most microphones will work with it just fine.

00:56:16   It is often available for 120 bucks.

00:56:20   Right now, as we record, it's 150 bucks,

00:56:22   but you can watch the prices there.

00:56:24   They also make a 1x2, which is $99 generally.

00:56:29   and I didn't review it, but it's probably quite similar.

00:56:32   My only issue there is you lose some flexibility.

00:56:36   One of the nice things about XLR

00:56:38   is if you get a two-microphone box,

00:56:41   it means you can get two microphones

00:56:44   and do two-person podcasts or interviews or things,

00:56:47   and that's awfully nice,

00:56:48   but you could get a one-microphone box if you wanted.

00:56:51   I also liked the Presonus Audio Box,

00:56:54   which is usually more expensive than the other options,

00:56:57   which kind of knocks it down. Although it's $140 right now when I look at it.

00:57:02   And the Macchionics Blackjack 2x2, which is often cheaper, when I reviewed it, it

00:57:09   was $100, but now it's $200. So these all go kind of up and down, and

00:57:12   they're all pretty good. They all have different, like, hardware layouts. Like, a

00:57:16   couple of them are very, sort of, all the controls are on the front. The Macchionics

00:57:20   Blackjack is more like a mixer, so it's got a bunch of knobs. You plug the

00:57:25   microphones into the back and then it's got a bunch of knobs kind of at an

00:57:28   angle it's just a different kind of thing so people can look at that article

00:57:31   those three were all pretty good the focus right scarlets I've heard people

00:57:35   like I tested them and I thought they were really bad and had like

00:57:39   interference problems and stuff but but anyway there are microphones you can you

00:57:45   shop around and maybe you wait a little bit you can probably find a microphone

00:57:48   for or a USB box for around a hundred bucks maybe a little bit more and then

00:57:54   And that's what you plug the Shure beta into.

00:57:56   - So I wanna make a recommendation for a product,

00:57:59   which is, again, it's up on that scale a little bit.

00:58:01   You'd be going a little bit higher.

00:58:03   It's kind of around the $400 range,

00:58:07   which is the Zoom H6, which is a field recorder.

00:58:12   The reason I recommend Zoom,

00:58:14   the Zoom's versatility is what makes it so amazing.

00:58:16   - It's amazing.

00:58:17   - You can use this thing, I mean, with a H6,

00:58:20   you can get, how many XLR inputs you got in the H6?

00:58:23   - You get four, right?

00:58:24   - You get four plus that you can buy an adapter

00:58:26   that makes it six.

00:58:27   - So that's kind of why it's called the six.

00:58:29   - Yeah, well, it's weird though,

00:58:30   because the way they do it is you can record six tracks,

00:58:33   but by default, it's sort of like you can have four XLRs,

00:58:36   and then there's a little microphone attachment on the front

00:58:39   that has like a left and right microphone.

00:58:40   And the idea there is that that's your six tracks,

00:58:42   but you can pop that off and they sell a two XLR add-on,

00:58:46   and then you've got six.

00:58:47   They also make an H4, which is the same deal.

00:58:51   It's fewer inputs, but it does that very soon.

00:58:54   - Which might be a good idea.

00:58:55   - And it's a great product.

00:58:56   And I was gonna mention this too.

00:58:58   It's funny that you put it in here

00:58:59   'cause it is one of those things where it is a weird product

00:59:02   and it gets overlooked

00:59:04   when you're talking about USB interfaces

00:59:05   because it's a portable recorder, right?

00:59:07   Which I wanna recommend as a portable recorder.

00:59:11   Like if you go around in your recording podcasts,

00:59:14   getting one of these Zoom recorders,

00:59:16   they record on an SD card and they have XLR inputs.

00:59:19   so you just plug in, or a microphone,

00:59:22   they also come with their own microphone

00:59:23   that you can just put in somebody's face.

00:59:25   And this is what radio reporters use and all of that.

00:59:27   But if you're doing live shows,

00:59:28   or if you're just interviewing people out in the world,

00:59:31   you bring your microphones,

00:59:32   your XLR microphone that you use for podcasting,

00:59:35   you bring it with you, and maybe you've got a spare as well.

00:59:37   And you can do an interview anywhere,

00:59:41   and the battery life is really good,

00:59:43   and you can store a whole lot of audio

00:59:45   on one of those little SD cards.

00:59:47   But I think the reason you mentioned it, Myke,

00:59:49   is that if you plug it in to your computer via USB,

00:59:53   guess what, it becomes a USB audio interface.

00:59:55   - Yep, so you can record to it via SD card,

00:59:59   you can record with it via USB,

01:00:02   you can record with it on battery power,

01:00:04   you can record with it plugged in.

01:00:06   - Yep.

01:00:07   - It is, its versatility is incredible.

01:00:10   And you know, this might be,

01:00:12   if you're buying an XLR microphone,

01:00:15   I really recommend taking a serious look at this,

01:00:17   because the Zoom's versatility means

01:00:20   you only need to buy one product

01:00:22   and that product might last you

01:00:23   in any situation you wanna be in.

01:00:26   Like I own a Zoom and we own,

01:00:29   I own one and Steven owns one as well,

01:00:31   because if I'm traveling anywhere to do any type of show,

01:00:34   it's always recorded on the Zoom

01:00:36   because I know the Zoom is gonna get it right

01:00:38   every single time.

01:00:40   Those things are amazing.

01:00:42   - We're laptop running software

01:00:44   that's recording and all that,

01:00:45   like the software could record wrong,

01:00:46   the inputs could be wrong.

01:00:47   When you have a dedicated recorder,

01:00:50   all of the fear really goes away

01:00:53   as long as it's got power or battery.

01:00:55   It just, it's not a problem.

01:00:58   And the only thing is, I will say it is,

01:01:02   it's a little bit weird in that like when you plug it in

01:01:05   to use it as an interface,

01:01:05   you kind of, you still have to like turn it on and say,

01:01:07   please put this in USB audio mode and all of that.

01:01:10   So it's more fiddly than a regular-

01:01:12   - It's a little set up every time.

01:01:13   - Yeah. - Yeah.

01:01:14   - But it is super versatile.

01:01:16   The H6, again, is one of those things that like,

01:01:19   I bought an H4, which is a lot cheaper, it's 200.

01:01:24   And I really liked it.

01:01:25   And then I realized I was doing podcasts

01:01:27   with six people or more,

01:01:29   and that they made one that I could record six microphones,

01:01:32   and I bought more microphones, and I bought the H6,

01:01:34   and I sold off the H4, because the H6 is about 350 bucks.

01:01:38   It's not cheap, but it is so versatile.

01:01:40   And if you ever expect to leave your room

01:01:44   and record podcasts out in the world

01:01:46   or go on trips and talk to people.

01:01:48   Like it is a spectacular piece of technology.

01:01:52   And I remember, I was telling Stephen Hackett this

01:01:54   not too long ago,

01:01:55   I remember the first Compact Flash based recorder

01:01:57   that we got at Macworld.

01:01:59   It took like, I wanna say, I don't think it was,

01:02:02   maybe it was four double A's, four double A batteries.

01:02:06   And you could record for about 40 minutes

01:02:08   and then the batteries were dead.

01:02:10   And the Compact Flash card could hold, you know,

01:02:13   a couple hours, and that was it.

01:02:15   Today, with these Zoom recorders,

01:02:17   if you put four AA batteries in these things,

01:02:19   they'll go for like 12, 15, 20 hours.

01:02:22   I don't know, it's a long time, a very long time.

01:02:25   And those SD cards will hold days of audio.

01:02:31   So you can literally just keep recording things

01:02:33   and never erase it, and it would be a long time

01:02:35   before the card filled up.

01:02:36   So it's pretty amazing how the tech has advanced

01:02:40   on audio recording stuff.

01:02:41   and it's worth keeping in mind, especially if you're not recording podcasts on Skype

01:02:47   but you're just doing things in person with people, you don't even need a computer setup

01:02:51   then. You need microphones and a recorder. And do it that way.

01:02:55   Alright, let's quickly blast through the software, because I feel like I have less to say on

01:02:59   the software because it's too complicated to get into in detail. We both use Logic Pro

01:03:07   10 for our editing. I think we have both used GarageBand, GarageBand, that's what you should

01:03:12   start with, but it gets to a certain point if you're dealing with lots of tracks, so you've got

01:03:16   lots of little clips that you want to put in that you need something that has a bit more versatility,

01:03:21   a little bit more reliability, and that's when Logic steps in. But there is a huge learning curve

01:03:26   for Logic. I recommend finding a company that has a course on it and taking a look at those courses

01:03:35   to try and help understand how to use it because it is difficult because it's not made for

01:03:38   podcasting it's made for music creation so you kind of have to bend it to your will a little bit

01:03:43   but it is great. We both use audio hijack from Rogomiba as a way to record our audio coming in

01:03:52   right now both me and Jason will be doing this where we are recording our local track and

01:03:57   recording the skype track independently so we have those for backups and we have them in case

01:04:02   we need them. And I think, I know I do, I believe that you do, I use two different pieces

01:04:08   of software to record my voice whenever I'm recording so I have another backup. And for

01:04:14   me Audio Hijack is my backup but the recording that I will use comes from Ecamm Core Recorder

01:04:20   for Skype. This is like the software that's been around forever. It will just record Skype

01:04:25   calls for you, it has some little tools to help you export the audio into loads of different

01:04:28   formats and it's rock solid for me and I love Ecamm.

01:04:32   For me, Call Recorder is basically my backup, because a lot of times I'm recording in, like,

01:04:38   Call Recorder records lossy, and it generally doesn't matter, or I have it set to lossy,

01:04:44   but I'm recording like a WAV, just a completely lossless file on Audio Hijack.

01:04:48   But either way, I have two, and the reason is that, you know, one is none and two is

01:04:52   one, basically.

01:04:53   Things fail.

01:04:54   I've been bitten by a hard crash, where even though it was recording my audio to disk the

01:05:00   whole time the file was still unrecoverable. That's a QuickTime format problem that a call

01:05:05   recorder has. Whereas if you're writing out a WAV or an AIFF to disk, it's just the raw

01:05:11   audio data and it can be recovered after a hard crash. So we do that and we record each

01:05:15   other on the Skype, coming from Skype as well on a separate track because what if one of

01:05:20   us forgot to press record or loses their file in some way? You've got a backup and backups

01:05:26   are really important to podcasting because mistakes happen.

01:05:32   Even the most—we just recently did a Total Party Kill episode where one of the most experienced

01:05:38   podcasters and podcast editors, Erika Ensign, her computer crashed, or her Audacity—because

01:05:47   she uses a PC—she was recording on Audacity and it crashed. And they've got a crash recovery

01:05:53   feature, so she opens it up and says, "Would you like to recover the file?" And she says,

01:05:56   and nothing happened. And so she lost her entire audio track. So that episode, those

01:06:02   series of episodes, she's cut in from the backup because we had a backup of her over

01:06:07   the internet and that's what we used. So, you know, belt and suspenders.

01:06:12   - Yep. And also as the audio editor, you use the Skype track to help line up with the track

01:06:19   from the other person as well. - Right. Timing is very important. So you

01:06:21   use that to line up when everybody's talking, especially if you've got many people talking.

01:06:25   I also use very frequently another application from Rogue Amoeba called Fission.

01:06:30   Fission, I use it for two different things.

01:06:33   One, it is an incredibly fast and efficient file format converter.

01:06:37   So sometimes someone might send me an MP4 and I need a WAV so I can do the editing that

01:06:42   I want to do and the way that I want to do it and Fission does a very good job of that.

01:06:46   It also is, it will also allow you to edit MP3 files without re-encoding them.

01:06:53   if you want to edit an mp3 file an application will encode it into something else and then

01:06:57   encode it back into mp3. So it's like a lossless mp3 editing application. So sometimes I've

01:07:03   had this where like maybe there was a bit of silence at the end of a file and I don't

01:07:06   want to open up logic and edit it and bounce it again or something like that. So I can

01:07:10   just open up Fission, chop it out, save it, and it's done. And so I really like it for

01:07:14   those two features.

01:07:15   That Fission is how Myke at the movies over on the incomparable happens. Literally I take

01:07:20   the mp3 of upgrade or analog and strip out the rest of the show and leave the mic of

01:07:26   the movie segment and that way I'm not re-encoding the mp3 or anything like that I'm just pulling

01:07:31   out the stuff that is not the mic of the movies and then I resave it with new art which it

01:07:35   supports mp3 art and all of that and yeah yeah rogue amoeba has got a lot of great stuff

01:07:42   and they do have a bundle too if you want to get a bunch of this stuff including ferrago

01:07:47   which is their soundboard app that's new and Loopback, which is a great utility.

01:07:53   Which is witchcraft. Yeah, that lets you create sort of like virtual

01:07:56   inputs and outputs and route sound between different apps in different ways. It's kind

01:08:02   of hard to describe it. It's a feature that probably should be built into the OS, but

01:08:06   it's not. And so, Rogomiba built it, and it's great.

01:08:09   Yeah, it's wild that you can't do a better job with this stuff on Mac OS.

01:08:13   I don't, yeah. Yeah.

01:08:14   Rogamiva had to come in and fix it. I use Adobe Audition. I use Adobe Audition for sound, like

01:08:24   volume level matching. He has a great tool for this to match loudness is what it's called.

01:08:29   So I will just drop all my tracks in there and I match it to the same level so everybody's

01:08:34   audio is the same. I use this feature instead of compressors. This is just a thing that I do

01:08:41   and it works fantastically. It's an extremely expensive audio processing and leveling utility

01:08:47   that you're using because most people will just edit their entire podcast in Audition. I know a

01:08:51   bunch of people who do that. It's also very good for that. I don't because I've optimized myself,

01:08:57   I feel like, with Logic to the point where I can't imagine that I would become faster. I can't bend

01:09:02   my brain. I cannot bend my brain around compressors. I've never really understood them and it doesn't

01:09:07   no matter how many times I try and learn,

01:09:08   I just can't seem to get what I want.

01:09:11   This allows me to do it very quickly.

01:09:13   It saves me time every single time I'm at an issue.

01:09:16   - I have a hard time with compressors too.

01:09:18   And if there's a podcasting expert out there

01:09:20   who wants to send in a great resource

01:09:22   that simplifies how compressors work,

01:09:24   I'd love to hear it

01:09:25   because I have struggled with them a lot.

01:09:28   I will say the compressor that I'm using now is not,

01:09:33   I think a particularly good piece of software

01:09:35   in that it seems really inefficient.

01:09:37   It crashes on iOS for me, but I am using it a lot

01:09:41   and it's called CorfPresser,

01:09:43   which is a super weird name for a product from Clefgränd,

01:09:47   which is a company in Sweden.

01:09:49   What's good about it is that its interface is like a tube.

01:09:54   (laughs)

01:09:55   It's really simple.

01:09:56   Basically, you have an input, compression,

01:09:59   and an output level, and you just,

01:10:02   you make those bigger or smaller, and that's it.

01:10:04   And that has been very useful to me in being like getting the sound I want,

01:10:10   which, because a compressor basically is another way to make, it makes, it can make

01:10:15   loud sounds and quiet sounds sound closer to each other. It reduces the

01:10:20   dynamic range, and that's a way to match levels from people that is

01:10:25   different from using Audition, which is what what Myke uses. So I'm using

01:10:29   Core Presser a little bit now to do it, but that's one thing that I want to

01:10:34   I want to be better at and do better kind of audio magic.

01:10:37   Because the last thing you want is for a loud person

01:10:38   and a quiet person in a podcast.

01:10:40   You want them all to sound the same level.

01:10:42   Oh, and I should mention Forecast by Marco Arment,

01:10:44   who starred in a lot of these things here.

01:10:46   He built Forecast and it's actually publicly available.

01:10:48   And I think we both use that to encode MP3s and tag them

01:10:52   and do our chapter markers.

01:10:53   We mark, in Logic, we actually mark set markers

01:10:57   and then you export the file as a WAV,

01:10:59   which I like to do anyway,

01:11:01   because that gives me an uncompressed master file

01:11:04   that I can save of like, this is the master of the podcast,

01:11:07   and then I can encode MP3s off of that.

01:11:09   And I use forecast to do that.

01:11:10   It picks up those markers,

01:11:12   makes them into MP3 chapter markers,

01:11:14   automatically knows that this file is called the incomparable

01:11:16   and puts the incomparable name on it

01:11:17   and puts the art in it and all of that,

01:11:19   which is very convenient.

01:11:20   So that's a great app.

01:11:21   And it uses the eight cores on my iMac Pro

01:11:24   to crank that thing out in no time.

01:11:27   I also use Marco's command line utility sidetrack

01:11:30   to line up all my files.

01:11:33   it's not available publicly.

01:11:35   I hope one day he releases it publicly.

01:11:37   I'd like a UI on it too, but...

01:11:39   - I have a UI.

01:11:40   - We've talked about like getting another developer

01:11:43   to secretly write a UI to the secret product.

01:11:45   I hope it gets released sometime, but...

01:11:47   And the other thing that I use is a bunch of things.

01:11:50   A lot of them started with the stuff

01:11:52   that Marco handed me actually,

01:11:53   but it's a lot of shell scripts,

01:11:55   which seems super nerdy.

01:11:56   And I'm gonna make it nerdier by saying

01:11:58   that I actually wrap them,

01:12:00   shell scripts or Apple scripts,

01:12:02   around an automator plugin.

01:12:04   So now it's super nerdy, but here's the,

01:12:06   the end result is that when I want to convert a file

01:12:09   into a WAV, I just select it in a finder

01:12:12   and do like command shift W or command option W,

01:12:15   and it makes a WAV of that file.

01:12:17   And what it's doing is these are automator,

01:12:20   they're services plugins.

01:12:22   So they're plugins for the finder that run a script.

01:12:25   And I've got a bunch of them.

01:12:26   I've got one that does sidetrack.

01:12:27   I've got one that generates WAVs.

01:12:29   I've got one that extracts track one

01:12:31   from a call recorder dot MOV file and outputs it as a wave so that you're getting—because

01:12:36   call recorder will have two tracks, the person talking and the other side of the call. I

01:12:41   only want the first track usually, so I've got a script that does that. And it's generally

01:12:45   using FFmpeg in the command line to do that, and FFmpeg will talk to LAME if it needs to

01:12:49   encode it as an MP3. Also, when I'm sending files off to a third-party editor, to somebody

01:12:55   like Jim Metzendorf or Erica Ensign or Steven Schapansky, who are people who edit podcasts

01:12:59   for me. I don't want to send them giant WAV files, so I have a finder script that

01:13:05   basically uses ffmpeg and lame to generate a high bitrate mp3, which is a

01:13:11   much smaller file, and then I just instead of encoding them manually, I just

01:13:16   use that script and it does it in the background in the finder, and then I drag

01:13:19   those files into Dropbox and they get the files. So there's a bunch of stuff

01:13:23   that is, you know, it's super nerdy but at the same time it's incredibly useful. I

01:13:28   I just had to set it up myself because,

01:13:30   fortunately, the Finder lets you do that,

01:13:32   lets you have these kind of like automation plugins

01:13:35   that in the end just feel like features of the Finder

01:13:38   that I wrote, I guess,

01:13:41   but it was worth the little bit of effort

01:13:44   to figure out what the command should be

01:13:46   in order to get the result,

01:13:48   which is that it saves me a lot of time

01:13:50   in processing files in the Finder.

01:13:52   And speaking of which, before we go,

01:13:54   I wanted to talk,

01:13:55   this wasn't even in our outline originally,

01:13:56   but I think it's worth at least talking about briefly

01:13:59   how we do our workflow.

01:14:00   Like how does the show get made

01:14:02   when two shows love each other very much?

01:14:04   How does the show get made?

01:14:05   And it has to do with like files,

01:14:11   especially this big audio file.

01:14:12   So for me, I'll go first here.

01:14:15   For me, I get the recordings from whoever I'm doing

01:14:18   and then I will convert them all to WAV.

01:14:22   I will use sidetrack on them to get them to align.

01:14:25   I'll use iZotope RX6, which is a product we didn't mention,

01:14:29   which is like magic audio processor.

01:14:33   There are a bunch of versions,

01:14:34   some of which are very expensive

01:14:35   and some of which are cheap.

01:14:36   I use their spectral denoise plugin

01:14:38   to remove background noise from everybody's tracks

01:14:41   if people are in loud environments

01:14:42   with air conditioners or heaters

01:14:44   or water heaters or whatever.

01:14:46   Removes hums, I can actually remove room echo

01:14:49   with their de-reverb plugin, which is amazing.

01:14:52   And so I use that to process those files too.

01:14:55   and then I get them all into Logic.

01:14:56   And the other thing I'll say is I have a full,

01:14:58   I have a zip file for each of my podcasts that I edit.

01:15:00   This is the one that CGP Grey discovered that I did this

01:15:03   and he was like, "That's a great idea."

01:15:05   And I think he does this now.

01:15:06   I basically made a generic project for each of my podcasts

01:15:09   that's got like the files where they need to be,

01:15:11   the music, the music's in the Logic project.

01:15:13   And then I just quit out of that generic file template

01:15:17   and I zip that folder

01:15:19   and I keep it as a template zip on my desktop.

01:15:23   So I'll double click on Incomparable

01:15:25   and it'll open an incomparable folder,

01:15:28   and then I'll drag the files in there,

01:15:30   sync them, denoise them, and all of that.

01:15:32   And if I'm editing it right away,

01:15:34   I'll edit it right away and then file it on my Drobo

01:15:37   in a folder for whatever podcast it is.

01:15:42   If I'm not editing it right away,

01:15:43   I have a different folder that's called Works in Progress,

01:15:45   and it goes in there, and that gets backed up

01:15:49   and all of that, so that I've got access to that stuff.

01:15:53   And it's also kind of like a reminder to me

01:15:55   that these are still in process.

01:15:57   These are still not, these are still pending.

01:15:59   And then for my really timely podcasts,

01:16:01   I have a, on my server, I have a Hazel script that fires

01:16:05   that will delete projects after some period of time.

01:16:10   So like, if I'm doing a, like download, I edit.

01:16:15   After two months, the download projects get thrown away

01:16:17   because I don't need all the master tracks

01:16:19   for a timely news-based podcast.

01:16:22   whereas the incomparable I keep forever.

01:16:24   - Yeah, I don't really have a ton to say on this.

01:16:26   I don't have anything smart going on, right?

01:16:28   Like I have a similar thing with you

01:16:29   where I have Hazel dumping out the projects.

01:16:31   - How long do you keep your projects?

01:16:33   - Like a couple of months.

01:16:35   I don't remember the exact amount of time,

01:16:36   but not even that.

01:16:37   You know, the only logic files that I keep are Cortex

01:16:41   and they're just stored in Dropbox.

01:16:43   - All right.

01:16:44   - Because we actually pass the show backwards and forwards

01:16:47   in Dropbox during our project editing.

01:16:50   So they're already there.

01:16:52   So it's just a case of selective syncing them away

01:16:55   from our machines, which we do.

01:16:57   I actually have a folder that I put past projects into

01:17:00   on the Dropbox website, and then they just disappear

01:17:02   from both mine and Greg's machines

01:17:03   'cause we selective synced that folder away.

01:17:05   - That makes sense.

01:17:06   - And because I have a terabyte of Dropbox space,

01:17:09   which I'm never gonna use, it will just serve as a place

01:17:12   to store our files for the time being,

01:17:14   and then I have backblaze pointed at that, right?

01:17:17   So it's backing that up.

01:17:18   But for basically every single one of my shows that I'm editing, I don't really need to keep

01:17:23   the logic files for them, honestly.

01:17:25   They never need re-editing or anything like that because they're by and large weekly news-based

01:17:32   shows.

01:17:33   If I ever need a clip from them, I'll just grab a clip from the MP3.

01:17:35   It's going to be absolutely fine.

01:17:37   So I don't really have anything like, I don't have a server, I haven't got all this stuff

01:17:41   because by and large, every show that I edit is published as soon as it can possibly be.

01:17:48   So like there isn't a case of like banking stuff or whatever.

01:17:50   But if I ever do have to bank anything for a trip, I just put it in Dropbox.

01:17:54   So it's accessible everywhere and it's backed up and it's versioned on Dropbox and all that

01:17:59   kind of stuff.

01:18:00   It works well for me.

01:18:01   Sounds good.

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01:20:29   Should we talk about money? Money, money, money. Yeah, let's do, yeah, baby, let's talk about,

01:20:34   yeah, sure, why not? We should. Because this is something I think like we have to talk about the

01:20:39   practicalities of monetization. I think that that is an important thing to talk about. And as we

01:20:42   know, monetization is what happens when a wizard appears and taps his magic wand and turns a person

01:20:47   into a bag of money. So there are many ways, there are a handful of ways that you can make money

01:20:56   doing a podcast. But before I talk about any of my opinions on any of these things,

01:21:00   let me talk to you about the realness of this for a second. If you are starting out a show or you're

01:21:06   early on in a show, please don't do that podcast just for the idea that you're going to make money

01:21:10   or that you want to make money. Because the thing is, this might feel like a small industry,

01:21:17   but it's not. It wasn't five years ago and it's certainly not now. There is and there will always

01:21:24   be more people looking to get sponsors on their shows than there will be sponsors, because

01:21:29   those things just grow at the same time. Yes, there are more companies sponsoring now, but

01:21:33   there are more shows with vaster audiences with larger requirements for budgets and stuff.

01:21:38   So the economy of our industry has remained mostly the same, even though things are boosting.

01:21:44   You know, like you're seeing numbers like, "Oh, this amount of hundreds of millions

01:21:48   spent every year but it's working in scale as it has been for the last few years. So

01:21:55   all of this is to say it's really hard to get a sponsor on your show and it's really

01:22:00   hard to get those relationships, keep those relationships and make it something that's

01:22:04   worthwhile for you. So please don't assume that just by starting a podcast you'll make

01:22:10   it big and you're going to make money. One thing we're not going to talk about today

01:22:15   is how to grow audiences.

01:22:16   And the reason for that is, who knows?

01:22:19   It's really hard.

01:22:20   And I have no real tips for you.

01:22:22   The tip that I'll give, which is the same

01:22:24   that I'll always give, which no one ever wants to hear,

01:22:26   is keep doing it.

01:22:27   Keep showing up and keep doing it.

01:22:29   Because you'll learn and you'll get better over time,

01:22:32   and the better you get, the more likely you'll be.

01:22:34   And honestly, one of the things is most people give up.

01:22:37   So if you keep going, you have a better chance,

01:22:39   your odds increase, 'cause most people give up.

01:22:41   So if you just don't give up, that's how I did it.

01:22:44   I was recording shows for many years and no one cared.

01:22:47   I just didn't give up.

01:22:48   - And it's not a guarantee that not giving up

01:22:50   will make you able to make a living doing podcasting.

01:22:54   There's no guarantee there.

01:22:55   - It won't make any money.

01:22:56   - But if you don't give up, you at least,

01:22:59   you can't win if you don't play, right?

01:23:01   And it's so true that so many times,

01:23:04   we see these announcements about like,

01:23:06   "I'm doing this podcast, I'm doing this podcast."

01:23:07   And the fact is most of the time, it doesn't stick.

01:23:10   It just doesn't stick.

01:23:12   So being consistent, part of being consistent,

01:23:15   we always say be consistent, is to keep doing it.

01:23:18   Like every week, same time, keep going.

01:23:21   - So when, when shall I get sponsors?

01:23:23   This is the thing that people ask me all the time.

01:23:25   When, when shall I get sponsors?

01:23:27   Like first question, you know,

01:23:30   how long should your show be around for?

01:23:31   I think that you should have a show,

01:23:34   have a little bit of a history before you try

01:23:36   and grab some sponsors in,

01:23:38   even if you've got lots of downloads, you know,

01:23:40   people say, how many downloads should you have?

01:23:42   I mean this number changes a lot.

01:23:44   I mean I find that to try and go in cold to a company now

01:23:48   of any kind of size, you're probably looking

01:23:50   at the 15 to 20,000 downloads per episode.

01:23:53   This is, you can get sponsorship on shows

01:23:57   that are smaller than that,

01:23:59   but if you're going in on your own,

01:24:01   and that's, you know, you have just have this one show

01:24:03   and it has that amount of money,

01:24:05   at those amounts of downloads, you know,

01:24:06   that's gonna make people turn their head.

01:24:08   If you go in and say I have 8,000 downloads,

01:24:10   which is an incredible number to have,

01:24:12   but it's hard for a sponsor to just to commit

01:24:15   the time required for the return

01:24:17   that they would get on that one.

01:24:18   You need to have a larger audience to go in

01:24:21   and do this kind of thing on your own.

01:24:22   Even if you have those numbers,

01:24:24   and again, those numbers are not hard and fast,

01:24:26   that's just from my personal experience

01:24:28   of doing this stuff for the last five years or whatever

01:24:33   at a serious scale.

01:24:35   When regards to how long your show should be around,

01:24:38   think that it's important that it is likely that you will have established a relationship

01:24:44   with your listeners. And this can take a little bit of time. That time varies, show to show.

01:24:48   The reason I say this is because my personal theory is that people only support shows with

01:24:55   coupon codes and stuff like that, support the sponsors of shows that they like, of shows

01:25:00   that they think fondly about. And that comes with having a relationship with the listener

01:25:04   and that usually comes with a thing over time. You'll notice as a podcast listener, you hear

01:25:10   similar sponsors on many shows. So when it comes to you buying your product from Acme

01:25:18   sponsor, you will probably enter the promo code of the show that you film most fondly

01:25:22   for. So I think it's important that you have given time for your show to really build a

01:25:28   relationship with the audience before you try and pursue this route.

01:25:32   But yeah, the downloads thing, it's difficult.

01:25:35   It changes a lot.

01:25:36   It can be less, it can be more.

01:25:38   It really depends on the companies that you're going to.

01:25:41   It can be difficult.

01:25:42   - Well, and the scale, as podcasting has grown,

01:25:44   the scale has changed too.

01:25:45   Like there was a podcast ad company

01:25:48   that I worked with for a long time.

01:25:50   And when I started with them, like they were saying,

01:25:55   they wanted shows in the 20,000 and up range

01:25:57   or 25,000 and up range for listeners.

01:26:00   And now I feel like they're only really focused on shows

01:26:05   that are 75, 100,000 and up from there

01:26:10   because there's money to be made there

01:26:12   and there are now podcasts that are that large.

01:26:14   And so, 'cause I hear this from people too,

01:26:17   I'm like, "Oh, my podcast, I'm gonna start it.

01:26:20   And when can I make money?"

01:26:21   And first off, like you said,

01:26:22   it's probably not the right approach to make something

01:26:26   about something you love and be excited about it

01:26:28   is probably the way you should start.

01:26:31   And then beyond that, it is a challenge.

01:26:34   You do it for a few months and you think,

01:26:37   well, look, I've got 3,000 downloads,

01:26:38   so now I should be able to bring in the money.

01:26:40   And it's like, probably not.

01:26:43   It takes time and it takes a lot of audience growth,

01:26:45   unless you've got a super niche topic

01:26:47   where there are advertisers falling over themselves

01:26:51   to reach those people, those plumbers or whatever it is,

01:26:54   very specific, unless it's that,

01:26:57   then that's not gonna be good enough either.

01:26:59   So it's hard.

01:27:01   - So this is, you know, then people say to me,

01:27:04   shall I be part of a network?

01:27:05   And being part of a network can help

01:27:07   because networks have an overall larger reach

01:27:10   than single shows, right?

01:27:12   So you can take 10 shows that have 10,000 downloads

01:27:16   and you have 100,000 and you can spread it across

01:27:19   and that can help kind of the buying power

01:27:21   or the selling power, but it's not 100% necessary.

01:27:25   Networks cannot guarantee you any growth.

01:27:27   They mostly will not guarantee you any money, right?

01:27:30   Like you're mostly still in the same situation

01:27:33   and being part of a network,

01:27:34   you will gain some things and you'll lose some things.

01:27:37   And depending on who you're working with,

01:27:38   depending on how you are as a person,

01:27:40   this is not a hard and fast rule.

01:27:42   Also being a part of a network, an established network,

01:27:46   is not an easy thing.

01:27:47   I can guarantee to you every single podcast network

01:27:49   that exists gets more pitches than they can process.

01:27:53   And a lot of these are just people that are, I believe,

01:27:57   straight up just Googling the term podcast network

01:27:59   and sending an email to all of them

01:28:01   because I get those pitches.

01:28:02   I get pitches from people that I know of

01:28:05   that have no idea who Real AFM is.

01:28:07   We also get a lot of pitches.

01:28:09   If you're ever gonna pitch a podcast network,

01:28:12   have a show that already exists first.

01:28:14   - Right.

01:28:15   - Prove that you can do this without the requirement

01:28:20   of being part of the network.

01:28:21   That is my advice to you aspiring podcasters.

01:28:25   Don't pitch and just be like, "I wanna make this show.

01:28:28   Can you help me make this show?"

01:28:29   Because I don't think really,

01:28:31   unless you have a very large existing audience

01:28:34   of your own in some other avenue,

01:28:35   I don't think any podcast network

01:28:37   can necessarily find that to be appealing.

01:28:40   What you need to do is to show, I have an idea,

01:28:43   I can execute on the idea and I'm reliable.

01:28:45   And then also, you know, we always ask for demos as well.

01:28:51   That's the thing that I always ask for,

01:28:52   'cause I want to know what the show's gonna be like

01:28:54   before we would ever even begin to consider

01:28:57   adding a show to our roster.

01:28:59   And we ask for demos from friends.

01:29:02   Like if Jason came to me tomorrow

01:29:03   and said I have an idea for a new show,

01:29:05   I would ask him to make a demo of it.

01:29:07   Because that's just how we work now,

01:29:09   because we want to make sure

01:29:10   that the show has the right sound to it.

01:29:12   We did that with Download,

01:29:14   and Download had one of the co-founders of the network on it.

01:29:16   - Yeah, we did that with Liftoff too.

01:29:18   "Lift Off" was a B-side that was basically the pilot

01:29:22   for "Lift Off," and that's how that happened too.

01:29:25   But yeah, there was an unaired episode of "Download"

01:29:27   that was done about three months before "Download" launched

01:29:29   that's got, I think, Yasmin and Christina Warren on it.

01:29:33   And that was our proof of concept,

01:29:38   not only to show that here's what the show would be to relay

01:29:43   but also for us to have that moment of like,

01:29:45   what do we want to do here? Is this right? And it was very useful to do that. Clockwise,

01:29:51   we did two.

01:29:52   It also helped you combat episode one disease, which is a thing that many podcasts suffer

01:29:57   from, which is where the first 45 minutes of the first episode of your show is introducing

01:30:01   what the show is. And there's like all that awkwardness and stuff like that. And so trying

01:30:05   to iron some of that out before episode one is also a good thing for you.

01:30:10   The other way to make money is crowdfunding. I don't really have a lot of experience with

01:30:15   I know patreon can be successful but honestly seems like it is as hard as it is with podcast sponsorship

01:30:22   To be successful, but the difference is you can make a little money on patreon way easier than you can make a little money

01:30:29   with sponsorship

01:30:31   Because a show that has 500 listeners could get 10 of those people to kick in five dollars every month

01:30:37   And you've made a little bit of money so that can be a good thing to do

01:30:40   We roll our own of a membership system with member for the incomparable does the same

01:30:44   I only recommend rolling your own when you're a scale already that exists. You may as well

01:30:50   just use something like Patreon. And of course Kickstarter is an option, but that kind of

01:30:55   only really works if you're coming from something first where you can have an audience of people

01:31:00   that you can point to the Kickstarter campaign.

01:31:02   So I've got a little experience with this, which is to say, I think for small podcasts

01:31:07   that have small but fervent audiences that crowd funding or member, you know, direct

01:31:13   support in some form is the way to go. Because when you look at what in the ad business they

01:31:19   call CPMs, which is the cost per thousand, so if you've got a 5,000 person podcast, then

01:31:25   it's like how many dollars for that 5,000? So if you've got a $10 CPM per thousand, that's

01:31:32   a $50 ad that you're running on your podcast. Whoo, we're making $50 a week now. That's

01:31:38   not nothing. It's also not a lot. That's beer money, basically. And what I realized with

01:31:43   a lot of the incomparable podcasts, like Total Party Kill and Game Show are good examples

01:31:46   of that. We don't have huge audiences, but they're really enthusiastic. And so we did

01:31:51   a membership system, and I will tell you, those podcasts make way more money from direct

01:31:55   support from people who listen than they were ever going to make from ads. Plus, it allowed

01:32:01   me to sort of like get us phased out of the ad business because occasionally we'd have

01:32:05   our schedules get all messed up because, "Oh, an ad came in this week. We have to drop an

01:32:08   episode this week and I've got to insert this ad into it and it's for 70 bucks or

01:32:13   something like that. It's just like it wasn't it was totally not worth it. It

01:32:16   made the show worse and there was an audience that was really enthusiastic

01:32:20   about it who was willing to give money to support it. So I do think that that is

01:32:25   if you again don't jump the gun here but if you build up an enthusiastic audience

01:32:30   and it doesn't turn into a huge hit this stuff I think is a way better source

01:32:35   than kind of like holding out for a very cheap, crappy ad because, you know, ads in podcasting

01:32:42   are great. We have them here. It's what pays our salaries. But for small podcasts, it's

01:32:47   not always the right approach.

01:32:48   No, and you're completely right. Don't launch episode one with your Patreon campaign.

01:32:53   Yeah, yeah, exactly. And if it's a Kickstarter, it's the same idea, right? Like, have something

01:32:57   established already that you've proven and have a proven audience for if it's a new season

01:33:04   of your podcast via Kickstarter. Have something to go first that people can bank on and they

01:33:09   trust you and they're enthusiastic about what you're doing and then they're going to give

01:33:12   you money.

01:33:13   Let's go to our #askupgradequestions. We have got lots of these. We've been getting lots

01:33:18   of these for quite some time since we started talking about this stuff. So let's start trying

01:33:24   to knock through some of these. First question comes from Steve. I'd love to hear about how

01:33:28   you structure your podcast and share notes as you're recording. Can I take this one?

01:33:32   Because this is something I care about a lot. Preparation, I believe, is one of, if not

01:33:42   the most important thing into making a good podcast. No matter what type of show you do,

01:33:48   I believe some form of preparation is imperative to it. So for all the shows that I do, by

01:33:56   and large, I have outlines. And these outlines detail all of the topics we're going to talk

01:34:01   about and I also write a lot of my notes in. Some of them are written as I'm gonna say

01:34:07   them. Like that line and I also write a lot of my notes in, I just read that from the

01:34:12   outline because I wrote it earlier today. Because there are some things where it's like

01:34:16   I know I want to say something in a specific way and it will help me talk about it and

01:34:20   it will give me prompts to then kind of talk a bit more extemporaneously. I put all of

01:34:25   that stuff in because I believe that the show, then the shows that I do, are more than just

01:34:30   the time I'm sitting in front of them. It's like all of the time that I spend thinking

01:34:34   about the show I want to have all of my thoughts and notes detailed out so I'm able to go over

01:34:38   them in my head before the show so I'm writing them all out it means I'm more likely to remember

01:34:43   them and it also means I can refer to them when I need to and I can keep track of what

01:34:47   we're doing, I can keep track of where we are in the show, what we have left, I can

01:34:51   estimate time, it helps me make sure that I can cover everything that I need and that

01:34:56   That kind of heavy outlining I think is important for the types of shows that I mostly do which

01:35:01   are information based and news informed in a lot of instances, topic based, that kind

01:35:06   of thing.

01:35:07   You know there are some shows where like you want to have the entire thing written out

01:35:11   beforehand because it's a performance more than the conversation.

01:35:15   And there are some shows where you might just want to have five bullet points of things

01:35:18   you want to talk about.

01:35:19   But preparing for a show, making sure that you know kind of what are the things you want

01:35:23   to talk about.

01:35:25   some room to go off into the weeds where you need to and to allow you to think on

01:35:29   your feet where you want to but I believe that preparation is so important

01:35:33   because people are giving you their time they are saying I'm gonna press play on

01:35:37   this thing and I want to be entertained. Respect them by having done some work

01:35:42   beforehand to make sure that you feel that before you sit down in front of the

01:35:45   microphone that you've done everything you can to make sure that your show is

01:35:49   gonna be as good as it can be. So for this show and for many shows we have a

01:35:53   a Google Doc that is completed before the show begins. We're both in there changing

01:35:58   and amending things on the fly. I've been moving stuff around and we do that quite a

01:36:02   lot. Jason's writing me little messages in the Google Doc right now. Google Docs is the

01:36:06   best for this because their collaboration features are... nobody is even close to them

01:36:12   in being able to do this. I cannot record without a Doc now. I love it. It works for

01:36:18   me so well. I think it's very important to have something like this.

01:36:21   Yeah, with download, we have a rundown that we actually share with our guests, which is

01:36:28   a Google Sheet that's got links to the stories we're going to talk about, which is cribbed

01:36:32   from how Lee LaPorte does all of his shows where there's a giant document. The difference

01:36:36   is that we will trim it down to like three stories, whereas the Twit Sheet has like 80

01:36:41   stories in it, and then they just sort of feel their way. We pick beforehand and we

01:36:45   limit it to three or four stories.

01:36:47   And then we actually have a script that we work on

01:36:52   that is more of what I'm gonna say

01:36:54   to introduce each of the segments,

01:36:56   and that changes from week to week.

01:36:57   And we go back and forth with that,

01:36:58   Steven and I, we're both working on that.

01:37:00   So there's prep.

01:37:01   I mean, I don't prep for the incomparable this way,

01:37:05   'cause with the incomparable,

01:37:06   a lot of the prep is literally watching the movie

01:37:08   or reading the book.

01:37:10   And I will take notes sometimes when I'm watching a movie,

01:37:13   and I'll think in advance about sort of like the ways

01:37:15   I want it to go, but I kind of want it to be

01:37:17   a free flowing conversation.

01:37:18   But for something like "Lift Off" or "Free Agents"

01:37:21   or any of the other podcasts that I've done,

01:37:24   there's a document, it's generally a shared Google doc

01:37:27   that has everything in it that we're gonna discuss.

01:37:30   And again, it's not a script,

01:37:31   we're not reading words off a script when we do it,

01:37:33   but we are making sure that there are points we wanna hit

01:37:37   and that we cover them,

01:37:39   and then we know when to move along to the next thing.

01:37:41   So Chris asked about podcast hosting services, which we use, any tips that we have,

01:37:47   preferably without a huge investment. I'll tell you podcast hosting is cheaper than you think it

01:37:53   is. This was one of the things that was really surprising to me. Podcast hosting, I mean,

01:38:00   you can get it for dollars a month, like very small amounts of money and still get pretty good

01:38:09   good service, it's pretty good bang for your buck. And there are a few different companies

01:38:12   out there and I kind of wanted to just give a real brief overview of the ones that exist.

01:38:17   So like for example Libsyn is the company that I mostly use for all of our show hosting.

01:38:24   They have a plan that starts at $5 a month you know and then they go all the way up to

01:38:29   $75 they have a bunch of different plans. I would say their $20 a month plan is the

01:38:34   best plan, it gets you lots of statistics and for a show that's publishing weekly you

01:38:39   you get 400 megabytes a month that you can upload.

01:38:42   And that does a really good job for us.

01:38:44   Libsyn are rock solid.

01:38:46   They have been around for as long as podcasting has existed.

01:38:50   Their statistics are industry acknowledged.

01:38:53   They've gone through some changes recently.

01:38:55   So they could have been a little bit better communicated,

01:38:57   but that's just an ax I have to grind.

01:39:00   But they're making their system even more accurate

01:39:03   to a standard that's been created.

01:39:04   There's like a body that's come together

01:39:06   to try and help companies align their statistics

01:39:10   because statistics measuring is very difficult in podcasts

01:39:14   because it's one of the things that makes the industry great

01:39:17   that like there's no data that is widely available.

01:39:20   It's just kind of like measuring pings

01:39:22   to a file and a feed, right?

01:39:23   It can be really difficult to accurately measure.

01:39:25   And now a bunch of companies are coming together

01:39:28   to try and create an industry accepted standard.

01:39:30   Libsyn's design of their system is very bad.

01:39:35   that like their visual design and their UI

01:39:38   is not nice to look at.

01:39:41   I know lots of people, including Jason,

01:39:44   who uses Libsyn's FTP uploading

01:39:47   so he does not have to deal with this system.

01:39:49   It could do with some love in a lot of areas, I think.

01:39:52   - Yeah, it's not perfect, but it's a good deal.

01:39:56   And the other thing is they provide

01:39:58   a blog-style interface at Libsyn,

01:40:03   which means if you don't wanna set up

01:40:05   your own website for your podcast, you don't have to. You can use their blog and point

01:40:09   people at that, and it'll have a list of your episodes with show notes and all of that.

01:40:13   But you can also not use their blog system and have your own site somewhere. And like

01:40:19   Relay and The Incomparable, like we have shows at Libsyn, but we have Relay.fm and TheIncomparable.com.

01:40:27   And so you can do that too. I have a friend who does a Libsyn hosted podcast and they

01:40:30   have a WordPress site for it. And that works fine. They can do it that way too. And you

01:40:34   can use their RSS feed or you cannot use their RSS feed if you want. So you can kind

01:40:39   of pick and choose. But they do offer, it is full service, like they will give you a

01:40:42   website and an RSS feed for your podcast that will go to iTunes and all of that and hosting

01:40:47   the files all in one package for a pretty good deal. So yeah, that's why we use them.

01:40:51   David: My recommendation is if you have a website of your own and you need someone to

01:40:55   host the file for you and you're going to generate your own RSS feed that people subscribe

01:40:59   to then Libsyn should be who you use. If you want to have a company also provide the website

01:41:04   in RSS for you I recommend using Simplecast because their design overall is way better

01:41:11   looking it's way more modern, they have really good looking web pages and the websites that

01:41:17   it generates are much much nicer, they do a great job here. Their system is simpler

01:41:22   hence the name but has most of what you want it has good statistics and stuff like that

01:41:26   but it's not as powerful and as tried and true as Libsyn but their overall design chops

01:41:32   are way better. They're also fairly priced. I will recommend or I will suggest I will

01:41:39   highlight Anker here. Anker have been a sponsor of relay.fm so I'm going to mention that up

01:41:43   front but we put our money where our mouth is. We host subnet which is Stephen Hackett's

01:41:48   daily tech news show that's hosted with Anker. They have free unlimited storage right now.

01:41:56   I don't really know completely what their monetisation scheme will end up being but

01:42:00   right now they are free. They have analytics, they have free tools, their iPhone apps are

01:42:05   very good and they have great distribution. They will distribute you to Spotify and smart

01:42:09   speakers and stuff like that. But Anker are more new in this space and they're kind of

01:42:15   building out tools and the podcast hosting goes along with that. As I say, I have used

01:42:21   all of these and I think that they all have their merits and that they all have areas

01:42:26   where they could improve. I think that really it just comes down to your preferences, what

01:42:31   you're looking for. Do you want nice design? Do you want to pay nothing? Do you want people

01:42:37   with a lot of experience? I think we've stacked up how these companies work and you should

01:42:43   choose what you want based upon your priorities.

01:42:45   Steve McLaughlin And I should say, if you've got a server,

01:42:50   which a lot of people do have, I mean it's not like everybody's got a server, but people

01:42:55   listening to this show, you may have a server with, again, a sometimes sponsor,

01:42:59   Linode is a good example, but there are a bunch out there where you may be paying

01:43:03   to have a Linux server somewhere in the cloud. You may have a lot of network

01:43:08   transfer that you get every month that you're not using, and yes, you could host

01:43:13   your files yourself. If your podcast becomes wildly popular, that will

01:43:18   become a problem quickly, but for small podcasts, if you've got that space, that

01:43:25   that disk space and network transfer space free

01:43:28   on an existing server that you control, you could do that.

01:43:30   That's actually what a lot of the shows

01:43:32   on the "Incomparable" are doing,

01:43:34   and that's actually kind of how the "Incomparable" started,

01:43:36   is that my friend Greg Noss had a Linode server

01:43:40   with a bunch of extra transfer,

01:43:41   and we were, for a little while,

01:43:44   able to serve everything off of that.

01:43:46   Eventually, we moved, and now a bunch of shows --

01:43:48   the bigger shows are on Libsyn,

01:43:49   but the smaller stuff is still on the Linode.

01:43:52   You have to build your own RSS feed,

01:43:54   but if you use WordPress, you can set up a WordPress blog

01:43:56   with, like, the PodPress plugin, I think,

01:43:58   and then you just kind of put in where the file is,

01:44:00   and it generates RSS.

01:44:02   So there are lots of ways to do it.

01:44:04   But I wanted to throw that out there,

01:44:05   that you may not even have to pay anybody

01:44:07   to serve your files for you

01:44:09   if you're somebody who's already got a file server

01:44:11   on the Internet that's got enough bandwidth

01:44:13   and transfer time in order to serve those files.

01:44:18   So something out there for people

01:44:19   who might be nerdy enough to have their own server.

01:44:22   All right, so next up, we have a question from Jonathan.

01:44:25   Jonathan wants to know, how do you optimize a podcast

01:44:27   for different podcast apps like show notes?

01:44:29   Links are supported in Overcast,

01:44:30   but not in Apple podcasts, for example.

01:44:33   I don't see this as our responsibility.

01:44:36   We publish things to the accepted standards

01:44:40   of the RSS feeds for podcasts,

01:44:43   and then it's up to the podcast apps

01:44:45   to how they want to interpret that.

01:44:46   We have an RSS feed of all of our links in,

01:44:49   and all third-party players show it well,

01:44:51   but it seems like some apps from large companies,

01:44:55   they don't wanna do that.

01:44:56   I don't understand why.

01:44:57   I think it's because most large shows

01:45:00   don't have detailed show notes like we do.

01:45:02   That this is, show notes are a very like,

01:45:06   the ye olde podcast mentality, right?

01:45:11   So you'll get a lot of third party apps using them

01:45:14   because they're made by wonderful tech nerds

01:45:16   who've been around for a long time.

01:45:19   but a lot of larger apps, larger companies,

01:45:22   this is not just that this isn't a thing on their radar

01:45:24   because a lot of the shows that they're looking to target

01:45:27   mostly just don't really do this

01:45:29   other than just like a description.

01:45:31   So I don't do anything specific.

01:45:33   We make sure that they look good and that they work.

01:45:36   After that, we set it and forget it.

01:45:38   And that we publish our shows in the same way

01:45:42   with the notes as we will always do in our RSS feeds

01:45:45   and then how they're displayed

01:45:46   is kind of up to the app developer.

01:45:48   I mean, it's literally HTML,

01:45:49   so we're literally putting hyperlinks in there,

01:45:51   and Apple Podcasts chooses not to render them.

01:45:54   They discard them, and that's their --

01:45:56   - Used to. - I don't know.

01:45:57   That's -- but it's not -- you know, if --

01:46:00   I'll put it this way.

01:46:01   If somebody came to me and said, "Oh, actually,

01:46:03   I figured it out.

01:46:04   If you change your feed here,

01:46:05   and then they will also show up in Apple Podcasts,"

01:46:08   of course we would do that,

01:46:09   but there is a limit to what we're able to support technically,

01:46:13   and it's up to the app developer.

01:46:14   And so they made a change, and that's just how it is.

01:46:16   And, you know, that's, but you do react.

01:46:20   Like, I mean, chapters is a good example

01:46:22   where more apps had chapter support

01:46:25   and we were more motivated to put chapters in.

01:46:27   You can go back to the upgrade archive

01:46:29   and find the episodes where we say

01:46:30   we're never gonna do chapters.

01:46:32   And now the episodes have chapters

01:46:33   and that's 'cause the tools have improved

01:46:35   and the coverage among our listenership has improved

01:46:37   in terms of who's using apps with chapters in them.

01:46:40   But at the same time, you know,

01:46:41   like Apple podcast doesn't support it.

01:46:43   So, oh well, like it's just not in there.

01:46:46   and we move on.

01:46:47   There's only so much we can do.

01:46:49   - Rob wants to know if we have opinions of services

01:46:51   like Cast or Zencastr.

01:46:54   Rob's starting a podcast with a couple of friends

01:46:56   and wanted to sound better than Skype.

01:46:58   What do you think?

01:46:59   - I've got two things here.

01:46:59   First off, Skype is in large part just a transport medium.

01:47:04   You could literally record a podcast with your friends

01:47:06   on a conference call on your iPhones

01:47:08   because ideally what the people are gonna hear at the end

01:47:13   is a recording from everybody's microphone locally.

01:47:17   That's how we make these podcasts.

01:47:19   Is that it's everybody,

01:47:20   it sounds like everybody's in the same room

01:47:22   because we're literally recording ourselves in our rooms

01:47:25   and then putting those together.

01:47:26   And the use of technology so that we can hear each other

01:47:30   and react to one another is just ideally,

01:47:33   just like a phone call.

01:47:36   And you don't use that audio at all.

01:47:38   Now, sometimes that happens

01:47:40   and that's why you've got a backup recording

01:47:42   like we said earlier.

01:47:43   So Skype is not really ideally relevant here.

01:47:47   You just need to pick something that works for you.

01:47:49   And it could be the phone, it could be Skype,

01:47:50   it could be Discord, it could be Slack,

01:47:52   it could be FaceTime,

01:47:54   it could be whatever you want it to be, a Google Hangout.

01:47:57   But ideally you'd record your own microphone locally

01:47:59   and use those as the source

01:48:00   and then just record your kind of conversation

01:48:02   as a backup ideally.

01:48:04   Cast and Zencastr are apps that work in Chrome.

01:48:07   They don't work in Safari for various reasons

01:48:09   involving standards that Safari still doesn't support

01:48:12   even though they sort of do, but they sort of don't,

01:48:14   not enough of these apps to use them,

01:48:16   but you can download Chrome and use them.

01:48:18   And what they do is they provide a audio

01:48:23   so you can have that conversation.

01:48:27   And they use the browser to record your local audio for you

01:48:31   and automatically upload it to the server.

01:48:33   So I use Cast every week for TV Talk Machine

01:48:36   because Tim Goodman is never going to record

01:48:39   his own microphone successfully and save it

01:48:42   and send me the file in a timely fashion.

01:48:45   It's never gonna happen.

01:48:46   Like, I know it, he knows it, it's just,

01:48:48   it's never gonna happen.

01:48:49   So for the first few episodes,

01:48:52   it was just a Skype recording.

01:48:53   And then I started using Cast and like, it works great.

01:48:56   It records him locally on his computer

01:48:59   and uploads the file in the background to me.

01:49:01   And Zencastr does the same thing.

01:49:03   I'd actually say, if you wanna try this

01:49:04   and you've only got one or two people,

01:49:06   I think there's a free tier for Zencastr

01:49:08   where you can have two or three people on a conversation.

01:49:10   It's worth doing.

01:49:11   Above that, you gotta pay, and on Cast, you gotta pay.

01:49:14   So you can look into it.

01:49:15   But I think they're great if everybody's got a computer

01:49:19   with Chrome on it.

01:49:21   I will say, the more people you get, the worse it gets.

01:49:25   'Cause as much as we complain about Skype,

01:49:27   the thing about Skype is Skype is a service

01:49:29   that's built to be resilient.

01:49:31   It does a lot of things.

01:49:32   You send your files up,

01:49:34   and then Skype is sending a mixed-down version

01:49:36   of the audio of the whole call just to you.

01:49:40   Whereas something that's using a browser,

01:49:42   everybody's downloading a bunch

01:49:43   of different audio streams separately,

01:49:46   which is more bandwidth intensive.

01:49:49   So if you've got five or six people on the call,

01:49:51   things start to fall apart really fast,

01:49:53   especially if somebody's got a bad connection.

01:49:56   Also, Skype does a lot of processing.

01:49:58   They take out background noise,

01:49:59   they level the audio volumes of everybody.

01:50:02   So when I talk to Tim on Cast,

01:50:04   I can hear he's quiet and I can hear a lot of background noise that I never hear when

01:50:09   I talk to him on Skype. Now it's there on the recording and I have to take care of it,

01:50:13   but Skype can actually be a more pleasant conversation if you've got a large group of

01:50:16   people because it's trying very hard to make it audible behind the scenes. So the short

01:50:22   version is…

01:50:23   - Please try your best to not use the Skype call, right?

01:50:25   - Exactly.

01:50:26   - Like as to what you released to the world.

01:50:27   - You should never do that. It should be a backup. But sometimes it happens. Sometimes

01:50:32   have somebody who has to call in on an iPhone or something, it's like they can't

01:50:34   record on their iPhone. So we'll make it work, but it's not ideal. So I would say

01:50:38   if you've got people who are tech savvy enough to record their own microphone

01:50:41   and put it in a Dropbox file or something like that afterward, you don't

01:50:45   have to use Cast or Zencastr, you can just use Skype, because the end

01:50:48   result is not going to be--or Discord or whatever--because you're not going to use

01:50:52   that audio. You're going to use the audio that you record yourself. If they're less

01:50:57   technical and you're worried about it, I would say, "Yeah, use Cast or Zencastr

01:51:01   because you're gonna get their audio file without them doing anything, which is brilliant, right?

01:51:07   With these limitations that doesn't sound as good and you can't have a lot of people on the call,

01:51:11   I would say you should still probably use something like AudioHijack to record both yourself

01:51:16   and them just in case something happens, because that's happened to me with TVTM where I've had a

01:51:21   browser crash and the file got lost, but I was using AudioHijack as my backup and so I still

01:51:28   had it. So that is, you should always do the belts and suspenders thing, but I think those

01:51:34   apps are great, and I especially think they're great if you've got guests or co-hosts who

01:51:39   are less technical and you know they're just not going to do all the steps that you need.

01:51:43   If you've got guests a lot, I think it's totally worth it. Like, that's the best thing ever.

01:51:47   You've got a new guest every week, rather than trying to walk them through how to record,

01:51:51   you can do that. I recommend podcastguestguide.com, which Antony Johnston put together. It's got

01:51:57   step-by-step instructions about how to get your guest to record their audio and then

01:52:01   send it to you. It's great, but if you have a low confidence in your guest being able

01:52:07   to do that, in these browsers they literally just click a link and suddenly you're talking

01:52:12   and you press a button and suddenly everything is getting recorded and uploaded to the server

01:52:17   of the service that you're using. It's brilliant. So those are your options. You've got lots

01:52:22   of options.

01:52:23   break we're going into the home stretch. Jason, Corey asked that you have spoken

01:52:28   about using Ferrite a bunch for portable podcasts on iOS but it seems that it's

01:52:34   still impossible to podcast using iOS only. Are you still using Ferrite and do

01:52:39   you have any tips on portable podcasting? I'm still using Ferrite. I love Ferrite.

01:52:43   It is the best deal, it is the best value in audio editing and especially podcast

01:52:49   editing that exists. I actually had a friend say "alright I'm getting

01:52:51   frustrated with Audacity or GarageBand. I've had a few people say this, "What do

01:52:59   you think about where I go from here?" And it's like, "Wow, there's Logic, which costs

01:53:02   a lot of money, and Audition costs a lot of money." And I said, "Well, do you have a

01:53:06   recent iPad? And do you like your iPad? Because you could get Fairride for 20 bucks, and it

01:53:10   does it all." It's a great deal. You've got to have, you know, a relatively recent iPad,

01:53:15   although it works on the iPhone, too. So I love it. I think it's a fantastic piece of

01:53:21   software I would love to have it on the Mac because it does everything I

01:53:25   needed to do. Whereas Logic does everything I needed to do and like 10,000

01:53:29   other things that I don't need it to do. Sometimes I press the wrong key and

01:53:32   it does that and I don't know what to do because I don't know what mode I'm in

01:53:35   now and it's really weird. So I love it. Impossible to podcast using iOS only?

01:53:40   It's not impossible but it's hard. That's the problem because Apple has not put a

01:53:45   lot of sound stuff. We talk about audio hijack and loopback bringing features to

01:53:49   the Mac that it probably should have. iOS has got nothing. You can't, Rogue Amoeba

01:53:55   can't write an app to bridge the gap on iOS because apps aren't allowed access to the

01:54:02   audio stuff. And so until that changes, which maybe, I don't know if it'll ever happen.

01:54:08   At this point I'm kind of beaten down about whether they're ever going to add more sound

01:54:12   access to apps in iOS. But until then, you've got to jump through hoops. So there are a

01:54:16   a bunch of different ways to do it. Like the most common way to do podcasting on iOS is

01:54:21   and you risk if everybody's on iOS you really risk not having a backup. But if you've got

01:54:26   some people on the Mac and some people on iOS or Mac or PC you can have somebody record

01:54:32   the whole call. That's your backup. That's your emergency backup. And like if you're

01:54:36   on iOS well you just need to record your microphone using a device. It could use that zoom recorder.

01:54:42   You could use an iPad.

01:54:43   When we do upgrade, when I'm traveling, I'm doing that on iOS, and what I'm doing is I'm

01:54:49   recording my microphone proper with a Zoom recorder or with my iPad, and then I'm on

01:54:55   Skype on my iPhone.

01:54:58   And then I send Myke the file that I recorded on my iPad or the Zoom recorder, and he uses

01:55:03   that.

01:55:04   And I've done podcasts entirely on iOS, where we've recorded using a Zoom recorder, where

01:55:07   people have sent me their files and I've recorded locally on one while talking on the other

01:55:12   or with that Audio-Tectica microphone, I actually have had it where I'm recording

01:55:17   via the XLR cable onto a Zoom recorder while talking via USB on my iPhone. And

01:55:25   that works too. So there's file transfer issues with getting things off of a card.

01:55:29   I wrote a piece at Six Colors about this. I have this box that you basically plug

01:55:33   the card into, the SD card, and then it's a Wi-Fi hotspot and then you connect

01:55:39   your iPad to it and download the file. That's annoying, but it works because

01:55:43   Apple won't let you plug that card into an iPad or iPhone and see audio files on

01:55:48   it, only pictures and movies. So it's great. I recommend it, and iOS podcasting

01:55:57   is doable, but it's a pain. It's totally doable, but I wish it was better. So, you

01:56:03   know, if you've got a portable recorder, you're along the way there. And just

01:56:07   remember, like I said the last time, you don't, the transfer medium, the medium

01:56:13   you use to have the conversation is there as a backup and so you can hear

01:56:18   each other. But that doesn't have to be where you're recording locally. I just

01:56:23   did a podcast last month where one of my guests was talking, was traveling, and he

01:56:29   was talking on earbuds and he sounded terrible on the podcast. But he had a

01:56:33   microphone there and he was recording that separately and then he sends me the

01:56:36   the file from the microphone and the final podcast sounds fine because he didn't it didn't matter

01:56:42   that he sounded bad on the call because he sounded good in the file he was recording so that's

01:56:47   something to keep in mind too that and then with ios that's kind of important because sometimes

01:56:51   that's the trick is that you can't record your audio and be on a skype call on the same microphone

01:56:57   on the same device because apple just doesn't let apps share an input device and doesn't let apps

01:57:03   record in the background while you're talking on the phone, unfortunately.

01:57:07   This question comes from Glenn. When doing a live recording with two or more mics, what

01:57:14   methods do you employ to isolate each guest's voice to their individual track? AKA, how

01:57:20   do you get good source isolation?

01:57:22   "Good" is a strong word for it.

01:57:25   Doesn't exist.

01:57:26   You can't edit live recordings like everybody's in an isolation booth, right? Like, you basically

01:57:31   have to edit everything just across all the tracks. But if you get one of those microphones

01:57:36   like we talked about that is pretty directional, so that unless you're right in front of it,

01:57:41   you're not going to sound—you're just going to sound very faint. And spread people out

01:57:45   so that the microphones are just facing individual people. That's the best you can do, right?

01:57:51   And if your mics are good, and they're good at suppressing room sound and background noise,

01:57:56   the other people talking and then you kind of lay it all over each other and

01:58:01   then sometimes I'll do a noise gate which basically mutes really quiet

01:58:05   sounds it will sound okay I'd say it comes down to the microphones more than

01:58:11   anything else you can take a lot of it out you can take a lot of it out but

01:58:16   it's never gonna be like when people are recording away from each other right

01:58:21   right you'll always hear something and and I would say I think microphones is

01:58:26   the best solution is if you can get good microphones that will suppress

01:58:31   other people. Like, if you look on TV, right, there are a bunch of people

01:58:34   sitting in a room together talking and it doesn't sound echoey and weird even

01:58:38   though they're all sitting at a desk next to each other because they've got

01:58:41   really good, really expensive microphones that suppress all the audio that isn't

01:58:46   coming right in front of them. And so that works. And the other way is if

01:58:50   that fails, then it's just gonna be a lot of work because you could literally step

01:58:54   through a document with a bunch of different tracks and delete the spots

01:58:59   where everybody is waiting while one person is talking and you can manually

01:59:03   do that. I will tell you we almost never do that with any of our live recordings

01:59:07   because it is an enormous amount of work and it's always better to get your stuff

01:59:11   right technically than when you're recording than to have to go back and

01:59:15   sort of trim everything out. But like when we did the Summer of Fun last year

01:59:18   and I had that thing from the Masters of Automation conference like that was

01:59:23   not the mic was okay but it was going through a soundboard and I was

01:59:27   recording it too and there was some room echo and all that and I did some

01:59:30   trimming of when you know one person was talking I cut out other people's mics

01:59:35   and the end result I think sounded really good but it was a lot of extra

01:59:39   work to do. If you're using decent microphones and then you just line up

01:59:42   the tracks properly it's gonna be fine but trying to like edit out so if Jason

01:59:49   speaks over me trying just cutting Jason out on his track will not get rid of

01:59:54   Jason you'll still hear him on mine exactly but the thing that you have when

01:59:58   you're live recording at least I've found this whenever I do it is people

02:00:01   talk over each other less because you can see people you know when they want

02:00:04   to talk because they're looking at you so that's one thing that can actually

02:00:08   help reduce it is just the physical location that you're in. Neil has asked

02:00:12   do you ever listen to your podcast theme at faster than 1x or consider how it

02:00:17   will sound at various speeds when you commission them. The upgrade theme sounds great in Overcast

02:00:22   at 1.4 but has a very different energy than when it's at 1x. Yes and no. I listen to how

02:00:30   the themes sound but I don't necessarily make my decisions on it. My shows are made to be

02:00:37   listened at 1x. Whatever happens when they're faster than that, I can't control that. That

02:00:45   is on you as the listener to choose if that's how you want it to sound.

02:00:52   So, the pen addict music, I really think it's fun and we love it, but it sounds terrible

02:00:56   sped up.

02:00:57   With smart speed it sounds really bad because it's like some beats and the beats get sped

02:01:01   up and it sounds very strange.

02:01:04   But that's just how it is, right?

02:01:07   But I'm not going to change the music just because some people that might use a faster

02:01:12   the speed in one application, find it to be a bit strange.

02:01:15   - Everybody is using different apps.

02:01:17   They're using different settings in those apps.

02:01:19   So the only answer is what I've always said

02:01:21   to these kinds of questions,

02:01:23   which is my podcasts are only supported at 1X playback.

02:01:28   Any other playback speeds are unsupported.

02:01:31   You can do it.

02:01:32   They do do it.

02:01:33   Everybody does it.

02:01:34   That's fine.

02:01:35   I don't listen to my podcast when I'm making it

02:01:38   at anything but 1X.

02:01:39   And that's all I can do.

02:01:41   I gotta pick one, and that's the one I pick.

02:01:44   So everything else, like if we,

02:01:47   if our podcast came apart in a very common overcast setting

02:01:51   and sounded disastrous,

02:01:54   I suppose we might try to do something to fix that.

02:01:57   - If it was broken, right?

02:01:58   Like if there was something that was broken,

02:02:00   and I've had this where like,

02:02:01   I might have screwed something up in a compressor

02:02:03   and like all of the smart speeds

02:02:05   in all of the different applications,

02:02:07   or like the sound trim and whatever,

02:02:08   just chewing them to pieces,

02:02:10   well, I've got to fix that.

02:02:11   But like, if it's just something like the theme music

02:02:14   and it still sounds okay, it's like, it's not broken.

02:02:16   I'm not going to fix it.

02:02:17   But if there's like a persistent issue that's occurring

02:02:19   in a popular app, then I'll try and sort it out.

02:02:21   - And you're listening at 1.4X.

02:02:23   I also think that you end up just thinking that 1.4X

02:02:25   is how the podcast sounds.

02:02:26   And then when people listen to our live stream,

02:02:28   they're like, wow, you guys talk really slow.

02:02:30   - You're drunk.

02:02:31   - Yeah, and the answer is no, that's how we talk.

02:02:33   And then you're just listening to it faster.

02:02:34   So it's kind of on you.

02:02:36   Like, I hope it sounds good.

02:02:37   And if something is broken, fair enough, but like I think of the ATP theme song as being

02:02:43   a little faster than it actually is, right?

02:02:45   Because I listen to that at slightly increased speed.

02:02:48   And that's just...

02:02:49   Yeah, I'm always unhappy about the final drum part in the song.

02:02:53   I know.

02:02:54   Because it's not at the speed that I want because I'm listening at smart speed, so it's

02:02:58   speeding up a little bit.

02:02:59   Ashil has written in to say, "I want to start a podcast with a format that's more like a

02:03:04   "reportage" or is that the word? "reportage" I wouldn't say "a reportage" but "reportage"

02:03:12   it's a reported thing more than a recorded conversation something like "Welcome to

02:03:15   Macintosh" What mic would you recommend that's flexible for studio and field recording? I'm

02:03:20   thinking about the Zoom H2n but I'm not sure. I'm not really familiar with the Zoom H2n what is that?

02:03:26   It's a little portable field recorder like that is they like all the Zooms comes with a

02:03:34   a microphone in it and it's got like an X,

02:03:36   I think it has maybe an XLR.

02:03:38   Does it have one XLR?

02:03:39   Maybe it has nothing.

02:03:40   Maybe it's just a portable field recorder.

02:03:43   So what I would say is I haven't used the H2

02:03:47   and it might be fine.

02:03:49   For flexibility, what I would recommend is what we said,

02:03:52   which is get a-

02:03:53   - H4, at least get a H4.

02:03:55   - Get an H4 if you're gonna afford that

02:03:57   and a handheld mic like those Shure Betas

02:04:01   or the cheap Pyle knockoff that's an XLR mic,

02:04:06   especially with the H4, you can get two mics,

02:04:08   two XLR cables and the H4, and you can record.

02:04:12   - I mean, you can use the little thing

02:04:14   that you stick in the top, right,

02:04:16   to do the field recording. - You can.

02:04:16   - And then when you're doing your narration later,

02:04:19   you can use it as an audio.

02:04:20   - But if you're doing a sit-down interview,

02:04:22   you can also just hand them a microphone

02:04:23   and hand yourself a microphone

02:04:25   and then sit there and have that conversation,

02:04:27   which is also really useful when you're in the field,

02:04:29   depending on if you're talking to somebody on the street

02:04:31   or whether you're going out and doing an interview

02:04:34   with somebody at their house or their office

02:04:35   or something like that, where you might,

02:04:37   the flexibility of having the second microphone

02:04:38   is really nice.

02:04:40   So if you can do that, and then as we've said,

02:04:43   those can work as studio microphones back at your house

02:04:45   or wherever you're working,

02:04:47   and you can even use the H4 as the USB audio interface.

02:04:51   So it's super flexible.

02:04:53   If you want something, as this question says,

02:04:56   flexible for studio and field recording,

02:04:57   I think it's worth thinking about a Zoom recorder

02:04:59   with an XLR microphone on the outside.

02:05:03   Corey would like to produce a series of podcasts that are related to their

02:05:10   local area, San Diego, talking about things like the art and music scene and

02:05:14   stuff like that.

02:05:14   So Corey has asked, is it counterintuitive to produce a podcast for a limited

02:05:20   geographical audience?

02:05:21   So I will answer this question with a question.

02:05:26   What are your goals, Corey?

02:05:28   Yeah.

02:05:28   like what do you want to achieve? If you want to make something because you care about it,

02:05:33   then do it. Like if it's just a thing that you really want to make because you have the creative

02:05:37   itch to do it, then yes, do it. If you want to make something to get experience, to maybe make

02:05:42   something else in the future, then do it. If you want to make something to reach a large audience

02:05:47   or maybe to make money at some point in the future, this will probably not get you there

02:05:50   because it's limited in scope from the beginning. You have to find people who care about San Diego

02:05:55   specifically. I mean, this is the same for literally any show. And please don't just

02:06:00   like try and make shows that are popular, but like you need to understand what you're

02:06:05   making and need to understand your goals. And as we said earlier, right at the very

02:06:08   top, like it shouldn't be your goal to try and make money in my opinion, because it's

02:06:12   really, really hard to do that. It's like, you know, it's, this isn't the same, but the

02:06:17   only way I can really try and equate this is like, just if you just sit down one day

02:06:20   and you're like, I want to be in an Academy Award winning movie, right? Because it's podcasting is

02:06:26   an entertainment field and it's hard to break into it. There's more people that want to do it

02:06:29   than there's space for it. And to be successful, it's really hard work and some luck and you have

02:06:34   to be the right person for the right time and find that it's really, really hard to do. But I think

02:06:41   because people just make this stuff on their own and there are kind of no real gatekeepers for

02:06:46   success. I think it feels more approachable and it is more approachable, right? Like this

02:06:51   is a field where I can be successful in but probably couldn't in any other type of entertainment

02:06:56   field but it doesn't mean that it is inherently easier to do. So I would just say that, Corey,

02:07:02   think about what you want to do and how you want to achieve it and then go from there.

02:07:06   Now, I'm a fan of the idea of doing local content because the people in the local, I

02:07:11   mean, that's the problem with a lot of stuff is that it's all national. It's all making

02:07:15   going to play for the big national reach, worldwide reach, whatever. So doing something

02:07:22   that's more geographically limited I think could be great. I think because the people

02:07:25   are going to know that you're talking about their place and that's good. I think, yes,

02:07:30   it limits the size of your audience, but they are going to be a really connected audience.

02:07:33   It might end up being a place where they will be able to support you ultimately. And like

02:07:37   I said earlier, you might not get a lot of CPM advertising in that scenario that was

02:07:43   worth anything, but you might get support. It's also possible with a local podcast that

02:07:48   you could get local advertising support. Now that's complicated and you're going to need

02:07:52   to establish yourself well before you get Jerome's, that's a San Diego reference, to

02:07:59   sponsor your podcast. But it's possible. Also, you could establish yourself as a local podcaster

02:08:06   in San Diego and then go to another local media outlet that maybe doesn't do as much

02:08:10   in podcasting or maybe you've got a special take and see if you can work with them somehow

02:08:15   in terms of cross-promotion, in terms of kind of going under their auspices, because they

02:08:19   may have either direct support or advertising or both that and they also have an audience

02:08:26   that you might be able to work with, get friendly with. And so I know San Diego well enough

02:08:30   to say, you know, maybe you do this and then you start talking to the people at Voice of

02:08:34   San Diego or you start talking to people at The Reader. You probably aren't going to talk

02:08:38   to the people at the Union Tribune newspaper, but you never know. But I think that there's

02:08:44   opportunity there too to sort of like cross with other people's audiences, but you got

02:08:48   to get it set up and going first and prove that you care and you're into it and you want

02:08:53   it to be a good podcast. And then ideally you'll be noticed. Then you may even hear

02:08:59   from somebody who's like, "We want to write about you at the Union Tribune," or "We want

02:09:04   to write about you at the Voice of San Diego," or "We want to link to your podcast in our

02:09:07   daily newsletter or whatever it is. And that would go the same way for any other city.

02:09:14   I think that there may be opportunities there, but you got to start with the content and

02:09:17   go from there. But I'm kind of bullish on local content. I think in the end that's going

02:09:21   to be one of the new frontiers of this sort of content where you've got a more, you know,

02:09:29   we're local. Myke, in a way, we're a local podcast, right? Because we're a local podcast

02:09:33   for tech people and Apple people, right?

02:09:37   So it's global, but it's very topic specific.

02:09:41   And so our potential audience is also actually quite small,

02:09:45   relatively speaking, because it's people

02:09:47   who are interested in this subject matter.

02:09:48   It's in the kind of Apple world

02:09:50   and a little bit outside of that, but mostly in that world.

02:09:53   You know, San Diego is a big city.

02:09:55   There are a lot of big cities like that.

02:09:57   It's limited, but if you can serve that audience really well

02:10:00   and that's the trick, then I think there are opportunities there. It's just going to be

02:10:05   a different kind of game. But I'd encourage it. I think it's really exciting. I think

02:10:09   local stuff, my local, you know, the Chronicle here in San Francisco is experimenting again

02:10:14   with doing more podcasting. And I think it's a good thing to try that because no people

02:10:21   in London are probably not going to be listening to San Francisco Chronicle podcasts, but that's

02:10:25   okay. If the Bay Area really loves them, then that's all they really are going for.

02:10:29   Our last question today comes from Rick. Rick wants to know what retains listeners audio quality,

02:10:35   host camaraderie or content? My answer is yes. And then Rick wants to know what is the order of those

02:10:42   things? I don't know. I believe that all of those three things are what's important to keep listeners

02:10:48   that the sound is good, that the show sounds good, that the hosts have a good like a good,

02:10:55   they have a good rapport with each other and that they either get on or they don't get on or whatever

02:11:00   it is like the reason you know but like they work they work well together for the type of show that

02:11:06   you're listening to and that the content is good that it is engaging that it is interesting that

02:11:10   it is thought through i don't know what the order of those things are because genuinely i think it

02:11:16   depends yeah and so and it's audio quality is less important on the pan addict for example people if

02:11:23   something goes wrong like if we have a guest and that guest on skype or if something happens and

02:11:28   brad is like we used in skype well nobody even mentions it well like people would mention if it

02:11:33   was this show right like it's just different it it varies by show it's totally true i immediately

02:11:39   go when it's audio quality i think about the flop house right because the audio quality there is

02:11:43   variable and historically has been really bad it's better now than it was back in the early days but

02:11:48   um the hosts and the camaraderie between them is incredibly important it attaches you i think over

02:11:53   Over the long haul, the people are what attach you to the show.

02:11:58   So that's, I think, the glue.

02:12:01   I think these are all important, but they all react differently.

02:12:05   They all have, like, different kinds of powers.

02:12:07   So the people, I think, creates an emotional attachment.

02:12:10   I think the content is probably what gets you there,

02:12:14   and then ultimately, if the content drives you away, so be it.

02:12:17   I think you need to provide content,

02:12:19   but content without the personality and camaraderie,

02:12:22   it's gonna be less sticky, and then you're judging the content much more strongly. And

02:12:26   then audio quality, I feel like, is almost just a, you know, either it works or it repels

02:12:32   you. And I'm not sure there's a lot of in between there, where there are podcasts that

02:12:36   I've heard from people that I like that they sounded so bad that I never listened to another

02:12:42   episode. There are also a couple of podcasts that don't sound very good that I still listen

02:12:45   to because I like the people. So I guess it's hello. So I guess it's there's no formula

02:12:54   here. Ideally all of them are good, but I do think that they all like if two of them

02:13:00   are good the other one you're willing to maybe give a pass to. But I do think in a long-term

02:13:07   relationship this is a good way for us to wrap up this thing about podcasts. I worked

02:13:12   in magazines for a long time. I went there from building websites and digital stuff in

02:13:18   college but the only place to get a job was at a magazine. So I got a job at a magazine.

02:13:23   The amazing thing about the magazine is a magazine is a subscription relationship. I've

02:13:28   said this before but I'm going to say it again. It's a relationship. It's a long-term relationship.

02:13:32   You're renewing a year at a time. And then there's this connection between the creators

02:13:37   and the receivers which is we promise to give you a new magazine every month or week or

02:13:41   whatever, right? Podcasts are just the same. You subscribe to a podcast and

02:13:47   there is a connection there and we are going to promise to give you this thing

02:13:51   every week, every fortnight, every month, whatever it is. And you know what it's

02:13:55   going to be and you expect that and there's a connection there. And that has

02:13:59   power and it does create that kind of emotional bond between the hosts and the

02:14:03   listeners. I know that sounds kind of corny but I think there's some truth.

02:14:07   Like, you hear the voices, you get used to them, you get to know those people. And

02:14:10   And that is the power of podcasting. So, you know, that's that's the kind of the glue of

02:14:15   it. And I think that if you get that wrong, then people will still listen to your podcast,

02:14:20   but they're going to be way less passionate about it. If you've got if you've just got

02:14:24   kind of no connection or it's random people every time from some kind of brand, it's the

02:14:29   Bloomberg podcast where there's different Bloomberg people on all the time, but you

02:14:33   never recognize any of them. That's going to be they might have great content and they

02:14:37   they might sound great, but I do think that it's going to miss the secret sauce of podcasting,

02:14:41   which is having that direct connection with the human beings on the other side of the

02:14:46   broadcast medium.

02:14:47   Thank you so much for listening to this episode, and of course to any of these many episodes

02:14:55   that we have produced. We are celebrating our 200th today, which is a wild number to

02:15:01   be at and we would only be here, well we can only be here because you listen. So we will

02:15:07   take the time to thank you so much for whatever is the reason that you listen to this show

02:15:12   that you choose to tune in every week. Upgrade has become and is continuing to become a more

02:15:20   and more important part of my career and I'm very very proud of what me and Jason have

02:15:24   done together. I love this show, I think that it is a good show and it is the show that

02:15:30   I always wanted it to be from when we started out and I think that we have adapted it into

02:15:34   something which is quite special I think and I'm very proud of the work that we do.

02:15:39   Yes.

02:15:40   And we work very hard for it.

02:15:41   I agree it's a very important part of my week.

02:15:46   It is how I define my week because I usually am here on Monday morning doing these podcasts

02:15:51   with you and it wouldn't be possible without the Upgradians as they named themselves with

02:15:58   our help. And yeah, I really appreciate anybody out there who has supported us over the previous

02:16:06   200 episodes. And we go on. The summer of fun continues. Later this week, you're going

02:16:13   to get married. And here's how that works. Your commitment to upgrade is so great that

02:16:20   join us next week, probably like a day late, but no more than that. Probably next Tuesday,

02:16:27   where post-wedding Myke will join me because his commitment to upgrade and episode 201

02:16:32   is that great.

02:16:33   Don't tell any of my other podcasts.

02:16:35   No.

02:16:36   But this is the only show that I will be doing post-wedding until I get back from my honeymoon

02:16:41   and I'll be back in August.

02:16:43   So if you want to hear whatever it is the married Myke sounds like, then tune in next

02:16:48   week I guess.

02:16:49   Tune in next week and you'll hear that a day late.

02:16:52   And then we'll follow that up while you're on your honeymoon.

02:16:55   I'm going to have a special guest episode.

02:16:57   are always fun. We have an episode banked that, so Myke will reappear via the magic

02:17:05   of recording and that'll be a special episode part of the Summer of Fun because the Summer

02:17:09   of Fun is only getting started.

02:17:12   Yes, we're just beginning. So if you want to send in your Ask Upgrade questions, always

02:17:17   do that. Your Snail Talk questions, always do that. And we'll be back next week. Thanks

02:17:22   Thanks so much to our sponsors for this episode. Thank you for listening and for indulging

02:17:27   us over this bumper podcast episode. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have enjoyed

02:17:32   making it for you. We'll be back next time. Until then, say goodbye, Jason Snell.

02:17:37   Goodbye Jason Snell.

02:17:39   Yay!

02:17:41   (laughing)

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02:17:46   you

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