10: Podcasting, It’s Great!


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   Hello and welcome back to Upgrade on Relay FM. This is episode 10 of Upgrade.

00:00:14   This episode is brought to you by our friends over at TextExpander from SMILE

00:00:20   where you can type more with less effort and hover simplified domain management.

00:00:25   My name is Myke Hurley and I'm joined by your host, Mr. Jason Snell.

00:00:30   Hello, Mr. Myke Hurley. How are you?

00:00:32   I am very well, sir. How are you?

00:00:34   I'm doing great. I had a minor flood in my laundry room moments ago, but there are many

00:00:41   towels. Towels are good at absorbing floods and nothing seems to have shorted out. So,

00:00:48   doing great.

00:00:49   Are you well-grounded?

00:00:50   I hope so. I'm wearing my tennis shoes, sneakers, or trainers, perhaps you would call them.

00:00:57   So I'm hopeful that I'm insulated from the flood, should it come.

00:01:03   Good. If the floods come, I am ready.

00:01:08   Oh man. Okay, so...

00:01:11   You should build a podcasting arc, just in case.

00:01:15   That's a good idea. Podcasting is back. Did you hear?

00:01:18   Did you hear? I did hear about that actually. I heard the rumors.

00:01:22   And we've reached double digits. So we're alive and kicking at 10. That means it's been

00:01:28   10 weeks of my post Macworld life because I started two podcasts that week.

00:01:37   The week after. That's interesting. You'll be able to judge

00:01:39   it as it goes further and further into the future.

00:01:42   Yeah, Upgrade and TV Talk Machine are both at episode 10 this week because I started

00:01:46   those two podcasts 10 weeks ago.

00:01:48   Yeah, it's funny how that is.

00:01:50   So it's, yeah, my site actually Six Colors

00:01:52   has been up for exactly two months now.

00:01:55   - Congratulations.

00:01:57   - September 16th, so yeah, thank you.

00:01:59   Thank you, here I am.

00:02:00   - Yeah, that's-- - Still alive.

00:02:00   - That's the interesting thing about like

00:02:02   most of the relay shows, right, where they were new,

00:02:05   they're all the same episode number.

00:02:07   - Right.

00:02:08   - Like obviously it's starting to change a bit now,

00:02:09   but it was funny and it still is 'cause it's like

00:02:12   13, 13, 13, 13, like.

00:02:15   - Yeah.

00:02:16   - I like it though.

00:02:18   - Yeah, one of these days,

00:02:19   Casey's just gonna be like, I can't, I can't,

00:02:21   a baby, ah, can't, and then, you know,

00:02:23   that one's gonna get behind.

00:02:25   - Yep.

00:02:25   - That's my prediction is he's gonna be like,

00:02:27   how about we, although then again, I don't know,

00:02:29   maybe it's his lifeline, these podcasts that he's on.

00:02:32   (laughs)

00:02:33   - He's escaped.

00:02:34   - I mean, he does work, he does work outside the home

00:02:37   and therefore, you know, it's,

00:02:39   I just remember for the first three weeks

00:02:41   when my daughter was born, my daughter who just turned 13.

00:02:44   So it's amusing to watch Casey go through

00:02:45   having a newborn and I just got a teenager.

00:02:49   So I, but I was thinking back to then

00:02:50   and I was home for, I think three weeks.

00:02:52   And it was after week one or half of week one,

00:02:56   it was the cabin fever was high.

00:02:58   I was like going to Home Depot and bringing back cabinets

00:03:03   and storage bins and things like that.

00:03:06   Like let's do projects 'cause we're just sitting

00:03:09   with a sleeping baby otherwise.

00:03:11   - I think Casey's like partly back at work now.

00:03:15   - Yeah.

00:03:16   - He's doing what I did with, especially with my second,

00:03:18   when my son was born, I took,

00:03:22   I sort of scattered my leave and vacation time.

00:03:24   So I did a week off and then a week where I went in

00:03:27   like a couple of days and then another, you know,

00:03:29   then a bunch of three day weeks.

00:03:31   And I just sort of scaled it a little bit,

00:03:33   which I think is smart because yeah, just being gone

00:03:36   and then suddenly being full-time after having that baby

00:03:39   and being under that sort of sleep stress is pretty crazy.

00:03:43   - Is this the paternity vertical?

00:03:45   - It could be parenting vertical.

00:03:47   It's possible.

00:03:48   We've stumbled into a vertical.

00:03:49   Even before we get to follow up, we are verticalizing.

00:03:53   - Should we do some follow up?

00:03:54   - Should we do some follow up, Myke?

00:03:58   Yes.

00:03:59   One of these days we're not gonna have any follow up.

00:04:01   - I'll make it up, don't worry.

00:04:03   I'll find something.

00:04:04   - Okay.

00:04:06   I have a little bit of Taylor Swift follow up.

00:04:09   I never thought I would say that,

00:04:10   but Taylor Swift follow up is a thing.

00:04:13   part of this, we talked about this last week,

00:04:15   about this is following up on follow-up

00:04:18   about when I was talking about streaming services

00:04:20   and pointing out that, you know, they're shifting sands

00:04:23   and you could have things disappear from your library

00:04:26   and Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify.

00:04:29   There was a back and forth last week

00:04:31   where the guy from Spotify said,

00:04:32   "We're paying you a lot of money."

00:04:34   And her people were saying,

00:04:35   "Well, no, it's not really a lot of money."

00:04:37   And it turned out that the truth lies in the middle

00:04:41   where Taylor Swift's people were quoting the figure

00:04:43   that she made in the US last year from streaming.

00:04:47   So basically the smallest number possible.

00:04:49   And Spotify was- - It was like half a million

00:04:51   or something. - Yeah, half a million.

00:04:52   And Spotify was, and this made me laugh,

00:04:55   they took the worldwide figure

00:04:57   and then took the trend line of where payments were going

00:05:02   to estimate her payment for next year, which is cheating.

00:05:06   - Because she has a new album out right now.

00:05:08   that's why the trend line is so good.

00:05:11   - Yeah, so that's cheating.

00:05:13   And then there's Spotify growth and all that.

00:05:14   But so that was interesting and it has brought up

00:05:17   a lot of people have had opinions about this.

00:05:20   And I think like we were talking last week,

00:05:22   it's worth talking about,

00:05:25   you wanna find a sustainable place, right?

00:05:27   And you don't want artists to say,

00:05:30   well, forget it, this is bad,

00:05:32   we're gonna pull out of these services.

00:05:34   But at the same time, the artists do need to make a living.

00:05:38   So you need to find a sustainable place.

00:05:40   And the argument now seems to be Taylor Swift on one side

00:05:43   and Spotify on the other, she's saying it's not.

00:05:46   And they're saying it is sustainable.

00:05:48   And the problem is it's unclear to me

00:05:52   as somebody not in the music business,

00:05:53   whether Taylor Swift is using her clout

00:05:56   to represent all artists, right?

00:05:59   And they're like, she's gonna make her money regardless

00:06:01   and she's okay with that, but she's got a soapbox

00:06:04   to stand up for other artists rights.

00:06:07   or whether she's just concerned about what Taylor Swift

00:06:12   is gonna make and that what she says doesn't really apply

00:06:15   to anybody but like the top 20 artists.

00:06:18   And I don't know the facts there,

00:06:20   but I think everybody who loves music

00:06:22   and loves streaming services wants this to work, right?

00:06:25   We want it to be something where it's great for consumers,

00:06:29   you pay your monthly fee, you can listen to what you want,

00:06:31   what you want is there and doesn't disappear

00:06:34   and that the artists get paid.

00:06:37   That's really what everybody wants.

00:06:38   - I think there's no way it will ever even out.

00:06:41   Like, artists are never gonna make as much

00:06:44   from streaming services as they made

00:06:46   from selling their albums directly.

00:06:49   - I'm not sure artists made money

00:06:51   from selling their albums directly though, really, right?

00:06:53   Because the record companies took all that money, so.

00:06:56   - So that's where I go back to my feeling on this,

00:06:59   is that in the long run, it will even out

00:07:02   if you ignore the actual money coming from the music,

00:07:07   itself. Because in theory, it allows more people to find out about you and therefore

00:07:14   people buy concert tickets because that's where that seems to be.

00:07:18   You're making the Dave Grohl argument, which is, "Look, I don't really care about..."

00:07:24   Dave Grohl said basically, "I've written off album sales, whatever. If they like my music,

00:07:30   they'll come to my show and that's where I make my money." And that's actually true for

00:07:33   a lot of artists is that historically the record companies have taken so much of the

00:07:36   money that the artist couldn't make it on album sales anyway. So, you know, I would

00:07:43   argue that that is maybe wrong, like morally wrong, and that new technology coming in could

00:07:49   potentially right some of those wrongs and bring that money directly to the artists in

00:07:55   a way that it hasn't. And you see that with things like artists doing Kickstarters and

00:07:58   Indiegogo's and I've bought my last what two Myke Doty albums direct from him

00:08:05   using I think Indiegogo and I did they might be Giants thing where I paid them

00:08:10   directly and I got concert tickets and and their album releases and I just

00:08:15   re-upped where they're doing a thing called Dial A Song Direct where it's part

00:08:20   of their instant fan club where you pay them directly and they give you stuff

00:08:25   right? There are options there. I looked at that Dial-A-Song thing for this year and I

00:08:31   don't understand how they make any money from it. Well I think they make a little,

00:08:37   and I think it's because it's direct because they're eliminating the middleman there,

00:08:41   but yeah like this the Dial-A-Song direct I think you pay like 30 bucks or something and you just

00:08:45   get some songs. The instant fan club for They Might Be Giants you pay what $100 and you get

00:08:51   two concert tickets, you get two album releases, and you get the the weekly like dial-a-song music

00:08:57   and some like merch. You know, it's probably not a huge moneymaker, but it does attach them directly

00:09:04   to their biggest fans, which I think is kind of cool. But anyway, so these are options are out

00:09:09   there too, and maybe that's where the future of this stuff is, is the super fans. Spotify isn't

00:09:14   for the super fans, Spotify is extra, and then you get your money through super fans buying stuff

00:09:19   direct from you and your concerts and maybe that's it and that's fine. That's fine if

00:09:25   that's the case. But Taylor Swift is still not on Spotify so my argument that just like Netflix,

00:09:34   music services may have this problem where your favorite artist just vanishes. Maybe that will

00:09:39   happen. In the long run it needs to be solved because it will devalue these services if that's

00:09:44   the case but I fear that we are in a period of upheaval where artists are going to be

00:09:49   doing this and contract disputes are going to happen and catalogs are going to disappear

00:09:54   from the music services too and that would be bad for those services and the people who

00:09:59   use them.

00:10:00   We mentioned Foo Fighters. I thoroughly recommend their new album, Sonic Highways.

00:10:06   I didn't mention Foo Fighters, I mentioned Nirvana but that's a disconnect between us.

00:10:11   Oh, interesting.

00:10:12   I like Foo Fighters too, it's fine. But yeah, I just you know, you're you're a young whippersnapper

00:10:17   And and Dave Grohl was in a band before Foo Fighters. Anyway, I know I know I know the history

00:10:22   But yes, I love the new album. I've been listening to it on Beats music

00:10:27   But on Friday they know tomorrow I think tomorrow morning

00:10:34   No, it's Friday. They have

00:10:37   Tickets going on so for the tour and I'm gonna wake up especially early to get in line to buy tickets

00:10:41   And that's because I love the new album.

00:10:44   So it was.

00:10:45   - So that's our music vertical.

00:10:47   - Music vertical.

00:10:48   - Check.

00:10:49   Let's see what other follow up do we have?

00:10:52   - We're gonna come back to Spotify

00:10:53   in a bit actually, I think.

00:10:55   - Okay, that's good.

00:10:56   That makes sense.

00:10:57   We'll get there.

00:10:58   Setup follow up.

00:11:02   We talked about our setups last week.

00:11:04   And I know that was hard for some of us to hear.

00:11:09   And I felt really bad afterward.

00:11:10   I'm like, you know, Myke was really good on the show about it, but now I'm a little concerned that Myke has been upset by our discussion of his setup.

00:11:20   So I hope you're okay.

00:11:24   I haven't been upset. I've just been slightly harassed.

00:11:29   Ah.

00:11:31   And slightly... I've just been trying not to think about it, basically.

00:11:35   Okay.

00:11:36   has been my tactic at the moment.

00:11:39   However, I say harass, people have had very,

00:11:42   they've had very good suggestions for me in all.

00:11:48   But my main thing is I don't necessarily want

00:11:53   to change anything about the way that I work right now.

00:11:55   - Well, that goes back to you being your own IT guy,

00:11:58   where you're being very conservative.

00:12:00   And when I said that, I really meant

00:12:03   you're being very conservative in your tech decisions

00:12:06   for what you're doing now, because you've got a business,

00:12:10   and you've got particular needs,

00:12:12   and you've got a workflow that works for you.

00:12:14   And just like any IT person I saw

00:12:16   in the publishing industry,

00:12:18   like at Macworld, the editors would install new updates

00:12:22   immediately and be like, "Oh, yeah, whatever,

00:12:23   new software, we'll do whatever."

00:12:25   But the people who did the design and the copy editors,

00:12:28   yeah, those computers were very rarely updated.

00:12:33   It was a very conservative approach

00:12:35   because they were the ones who had to get the magazine out.

00:12:40   And they had the Adobe software and all that.

00:12:43   And it was a very different kind of thing

00:12:44   where it's like, let's not mess this up

00:12:46   just because it's fun.

00:12:47   Whereas editors, that was our job

00:12:48   was to just mess things up for fun.

00:12:51   And so I think that's the position you're in,

00:12:53   which is you wanna be careful.

00:12:55   You don't wanna mess anything up.

00:12:57   You're out on your own now building this business.

00:13:01   You wanna be careful about how you do it.

00:13:03   And I think that makes perfect sense.

00:13:05   and it's very easy for the internet to get judgmental about that and be like, "Oh, come

00:13:08   on, just buy a thing." And you're like, "Well, no, I'm not going to buy that thing right

00:13:12   now. I'm going to make my own priorities." And that's quite right.

00:13:15   Yeah, that is exactly it. Thank you. Although listener Kyle on Twitter and in the

00:13:21   chat room as we speak did point out that Mountain Lion supports AirDrop. So you could AirDrop

00:13:26   your files from your Mac mini to your MacBook Pro.

00:13:30   Yeah I've not tried that out yet but that is one that I will maybe have a go with.

00:13:35   I'll see. All right. Also some follow-up for me Alexander Vachich I'm gonna say

00:13:46   radiant AV on Twitter said I am very surprised that as a prolific writer as

00:13:51   Jason is he would use such a terribly uncomfortable desk with a slide-out

00:13:55   keyboard tray. Hmm. Now so some some judgment feeling some judgment from the

00:14:00   internet. I wrote him back and basically said, "Well, I'm the one at the desk and

00:14:05   you're the one looking at a picture, so who's better at judging how

00:14:08   uncomfortable it is?" I love your responses to things. Right? I mean, really, like, one photo and you've

00:14:15   decided it's uncomfortable, I'm sitting at it, maybe I have a better idea.

00:14:19   His point in the end was that he hates keyboard trays and that he has had an

00:14:28   experience where he, you know, he does the hover thing where you're hover,

00:14:31   hover, uh, he, where he, you know, your hands are, which you shouldn't do when

00:14:36   you're typing, which is when you're paused and you're thinking, or you're

00:14:39   reading something on screen to hold your hands over your keyboard and suspend

00:14:43   them there, like you're ready to type at any, at a moment's notice, that's really

00:14:47   bad for your hands and your wrists and your arms and your shoulders.

00:14:50   It's just bad.

00:14:51   You should not do that.

00:14:52   You should type when you need to type and not hover when, when you're not typing.

00:14:57   And he said he had pain from doing that

00:15:00   and that the problem with the keyboard tray

00:15:01   is you can't rest your hands on it because it's all flimsy.

00:15:04   And that's all true to the point that

00:15:06   although I was okay with my old setup,

00:15:09   I have actually for the last few days

00:15:10   been trying it with the keyboard tray off

00:15:13   with the iMac higher up on the arm

00:15:16   and further back on the desk

00:15:17   and my keyboard and a track pad on the desktop

00:15:21   instead of in the keyboard tray.

00:15:22   And it's different and I'm not sure I like it

00:15:25   but I'm giving it a try

00:15:27   because I never really loved keyboard trays too.

00:15:29   It was more, if you've got an adjustable keyboard tray

00:15:31   and a monitor on an arm and a sit-stand desk,

00:15:34   you can literally put your keyboard, your desktop,

00:15:37   and your display at any height.

00:15:40   And that's what I had.

00:15:41   And there are some advantages to that.

00:15:44   But I'm kind of interested in this approach

00:15:47   where the keyboard is on the solid surface

00:15:51   instead of on the flimsy keyboard tray.

00:15:53   So I'm trying that out

00:15:54   and I'm not sure whether it's better or worse.

00:15:56   I can barely get my desk low enough to make this work

00:16:01   and my chair high enough, but it does work.

00:16:03   So I'm gonna give that a try.

00:16:05   - We're all going through changes.

00:16:08   - Yeah, it happens, workspaces.

00:16:11   I have a Nick and Nerf brain ball follow-up.

00:16:14   - Of course, I mean, why wouldn't we?

00:16:16   - It's important.

00:16:18   I hear that it turns out that they're going

00:16:23   for a lot of money on eBay.

00:16:25   Listener NJ Green wrote in with a link to a $130 brain ball on eBay.

00:16:33   And listener Greg tweeted, "Are you absolutely sure that your Nerf brain isn't for sale?" To

00:16:40   which I said, "You couldn't afford it." And no, they're not for sale. But it turns out that yes,

00:16:48   these two, I think I have a third in a box somewhere, but I have two out in my office

00:16:53   here these two orange Nick and Nerf brain balls from the 90s. You have mint in box. I don't have

00:17:01   mint in box. So this is the other thing somebody and I'm not sure who said I hope you've still got

00:17:06   the containers because they're really worth something and that I don't have because as I

00:17:11   said a couple weeks ago the brain balls came to the Macworld offices back I mean way back when

00:17:19   when we were on Howard Street and down in San Francisco

00:17:21   and not on Second Street.

00:17:22   So this is right after the Macworld Mac user merger.

00:17:25   So it's late nineties.

00:17:28   And it was part of, I don't know,

00:17:30   some piece of software, maybe mind mapping.

00:17:33   I don't remember what it was, but they sent a box

00:17:37   and like a lot of PR things, they send it with like,

00:17:40   well, I will get their attention

00:17:41   by having not just a press release and a box with software,

00:17:44   but a brain and we'll say,

00:17:47   oh, think clearer with our software or whatever it is.

00:17:50   So they obviously they paid an intern or somebody

00:17:52   to take them out of the boxes, the original boxes,

00:17:54   and just put them in their mailer with their stuff

00:17:57   and mail that to tech industry people.

00:17:59   So I don't have the box because I did literally collect

00:18:03   from my coworkers who had just kept them at their desks

00:18:06   and didn't care about them.

00:18:07   I collected the extras like two years later.

00:18:10   Like, no, I'll take that brain ball if you're not using it.

00:18:12   So that's the story with the brain ball.

00:18:15   So I don't have it mint in box.

00:18:16   They are definitely used, although the 131 on eBay is used.

00:18:20   - Yeah, very clearly.

00:18:22   - These are like gold, Myke, they're like gold,

00:18:24   which is why my other bit of brain ball followup

00:18:25   is terrifying.

00:18:26   My daughter had her birthday party this weekend.

00:18:28   As I said, she turned 13.

00:18:30   And she had a bunch of girls over.

00:18:33   There were like eight girls in our house

00:18:34   and it was pretty crazy.

00:18:35   They were outside, they did some tie dyeing.

00:18:37   They hung out in her room

00:18:38   and they hung out for a little while in our garage,

00:18:41   which is not just my office,

00:18:42   but there's a big beanbag chair here and there's a TV

00:18:44   and they can, and when I'm not using it, the idea is,

00:18:47   it's also a place for teenagers to go and not be near us,

00:18:52   which is, that's a feature.

00:18:53   I came out after they had all left late that night,

00:18:58   Saturday night, to discover on the floor

00:19:02   in various far corners of the house, both of my brain balls.

00:19:07   So the girls had been playing with the brain balls.

00:19:10   - And they know the what?

00:19:13   I, well that was exactly what I thought it is.

00:19:15   This goes for $130 on eBay.

00:19:17   So I haven't said anything to my daughter about it yet,

00:19:21   but I'm, I actually, what I did, what I did tell her was,

00:19:24   "Hey, the stuff that's on my desk needs to be off limits

00:19:27   and don't let anybody play with the stuff

00:19:29   that's on my desk."

00:19:30   I, what I didn't say is like my precious,

00:19:32   precious orange foam brain.

00:19:34   - Yeah, don't tell her how much they cost

00:19:36   or one day one of them will just go suspiciously missing.

00:19:39   - Just gone.

00:19:40   - Who knows where it went.

00:19:41   So that's orange foam brain follow-up, vertical.

00:19:45   Done.

00:19:46   - Because we have another piece of follow-up,

00:19:48   I think it might stretch a bit.

00:19:50   So should we talk about Hover now and then?

00:19:52   - I would like to hear from some friends right now.

00:19:55   In my moment of need where I'm upset

00:19:57   about my potentially damaged brain balls,

00:20:00   I would like to hear from a friend.

00:20:03   - Well, let me cheer you up, Jason,

00:20:04   by telling you about our very good friends at Hover.

00:20:07   They are the best way to buy and manage domain names.

00:20:11   Hover has been my choice for as long as I can remember

00:20:15   from when I became sensible,

00:20:17   because before Hover, my life was crazy,

00:20:20   trying to navigate the obstacle course

00:20:22   of domain management,

00:20:24   but Hover has cleared all of that up.

00:20:26   Once you need a name,

00:20:27   which can either be a name for a new project,

00:20:29   or maybe you wanna play a joke on me and Jason

00:20:32   and set up like ManchegoCheese.fm or something,

00:20:36   you can go to-- - Play telephone.blooming.

00:20:39   You can go to Hover and get all of this.

00:20:41   They have a really great way of searching for domains.

00:20:43   You just type in the words that you're looking for

00:20:46   and they'll give you all of the top level domain options

00:20:49   that are available.

00:20:50   They have over 200 different top level domains.

00:20:52   As Jason mentioned, they have .plumbing if you want it.

00:20:55   They have .academy, .coffee.

00:20:57   They have .sexy if that's the kind of thing

00:21:00   you're looking for.

00:21:01   They also have your standards like .com, .co, .me, .net.

00:21:05   - Brainball.sexy.

00:21:06   - Brainball.sexy. - It's right there.

00:21:07   Brainball.xyz if you want it as well.

00:21:10   Basically you could monopolize all of the Brainball domains

00:21:15   by just going to Hover and registering them all

00:21:17   in one easy go.

00:21:18   And if you do do something like register 100 domains

00:21:21   for Brainball, then you can take advantage

00:21:24   of their volume discounts when it comes to renewal time.

00:21:26   So if you have loads and loads of discount,

00:21:29   loads and loads of domains of Hover,

00:21:30   they can give you a discount when you renew them all.

00:21:33   They have fantastic customer support.

00:21:35   They have a no hold, no wait, no transfer

00:21:37   telephone support policy.

00:21:39   They have great email stuff as well,

00:21:40   so if you wanna email them and get some support that way,

00:21:43   they're really great at that.

00:21:44   They have loads of written guides and help documents

00:21:46   if you wanna transfer domains over

00:21:48   and do domain management stuff.

00:21:50   But they also have their valet service

00:21:51   where they can do all those transfers for you.

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00:22:10   That is Verticals, V-E-R-T-I-C-A-L-S at checkout.

00:22:14   Thank you so much to Hover for sponsoring this show

00:22:17   and supporting Real AFM.

00:22:19   - Our friends.

00:22:20   - Our friends, our good friends.

00:22:21   - At Hover.

00:22:23   - At Hover.

00:22:24   - And also my other mic translation for that spot would be,

00:22:29   When he says X, Y, Z, he means X, Y, Z.

00:22:32   - Yes, yes.

00:22:33   You need to go to hover for your X, Y, Z.

00:22:36   - Yes, that's, thank you.

00:22:38   Well done.

00:22:39   - I love that they, that hover embracing this,

00:22:42   because basically it's just becoming a war of pronunciation.

00:22:45   And they're just letting us go with it.

00:22:48   So I appreciate that.

00:22:50   - I have some, we're into the UK US vertical now.

00:22:53   I wanted to mention, I had an episode of The Incomparable

00:22:56   that I posted this weekend,

00:22:58   which was about web comics.

00:23:01   And that's one word because in the episode,

00:23:04   you'll hear John Syracuse say,

00:23:06   "One word, web comics, not web comics.

00:23:08   It's one word, web comics."

00:23:10   It's like, all right, all right.

00:23:11   And then like, seriously, it's like,

00:23:12   I will never ever write that as two words again

00:23:14   'cause John Syracuse has told me it's bad.

00:23:16   It's just, I do what he says.

00:23:18   So there was a reference in there to a comic called "Ax Cop"

00:23:22   and Tony Sindelar tells a story about a guy

00:23:25   who he saw at PAX that he thought was a cop, an actual cop,

00:23:30   but it turns out it was an ax cop cosplayer.

00:23:33   So he was a cop guy wearing,

00:23:35   essentially impersonating an officer,

00:23:36   but he had a hatchet and so it was okay.

00:23:38   But what Tony said was impressive is that he had,

00:23:42   he had a natural authentic cop mustache.

00:23:45   And I thought authentic cop mustache

00:23:49   was a really great title.

00:23:51   So I decided that was gonna be the title.

00:23:52   And then I had that moment of like, well, wait,

00:23:54   aren't there two different ways to spell mustache?

00:23:56   And indeed that led me into a dictionary,

00:24:00   bottomless pit of dictionary definitions

00:24:02   where I discovered that Americans spell mustache,

00:24:06   M-U-S-T-A-C-H-E

00:24:08   and non-American English speakers

00:24:10   tend to spell it M-O-U-S-T-A-C-H-E.

00:24:14   I had no idea.

00:24:16   So anyway, I spelled it the American way,

00:24:17   just like how gray.

00:24:18   - So my question, how do you-

00:24:20   - Gray is the same way.

00:24:21   The rule with gray by the way is very easy

00:24:23   because if you're American you spell it with an A

00:24:25   and if you're English you spell it with an E.

00:24:27   - Oh, that's nice, it's good to remember.

00:24:28   - If you're Australian, I'm sorry,

00:24:30   you should probably spell it with an A,

00:24:32   but you probably spell it with an E.

00:24:33   - So my question to you with the mustache thing

00:24:37   is how do you, I mean, we know Movember because it's M-O

00:24:41   and they're also referred to as Moes, you know?

00:24:44   A mustache is referred to as a Moe.

00:24:47   Interesting that-- - Right, because it's

00:24:48   pronounced Moes-dash?

00:24:50   - No, it's spelled that way.

00:24:52   I do know many people... - spelt! spelt! which we would say spelt. oh man.

00:24:56   I know many people that call them mustaches but there you go.

00:25:01   that's another thing for another time. - mustachio!

00:25:03   uh i don't know it's it's stupid but it's just yet another way where our uh

00:25:07   our common language separates us so that's your usuk hover

00:25:12   hover

00:25:15   ah follow up so last week we're almost done last week we spoke about

00:25:19   um, podcasting. Podcasting is back. And this is, you're gonna hear this everywhere at the

00:25:25   moment because everybody's really interested in it. Um, and especially on other podcasts

00:25:30   that you listen to, I'm sure everyone's going to talk about it, but we get to go there first

00:25:33   because it's Monday. Because it's Monday, yeah. Um, we spoke last week about serial

00:25:38   and what that's doing and now there's all these like Wall Street Journal articles and stuff and

00:25:41   then there's been more stuff over the weekend and like Marco wrote a very interesting post about,

00:25:48   about podcasts and sponsorship and the way that all that sort of stuff is growing.

00:25:54   But then today, as we record this, which is the 17th of November 2014, there seems to

00:26:02   have been some rumours floating around that Spotify is going to enter the podcasting game

00:26:06   and become a provider of spoken word audio content.

00:26:12   And then Jason Snell, in response to this, wrote a quote.

00:26:17   a great post on his site, sixcolors.com, and I believe that my co-host, Jason, knows Mr.

00:26:23   Jason Snow and can comment on his opinions.

00:26:25   Yes, I have his Nerf brain ball right here.

00:26:30   Yeah, it was, well, this came up this morning, the TechCrunch story about Spotify having sort

00:26:38   of secret podcasting features built in, and it led to a whole discussion on the little

00:26:42   back channel from Relay, and Stephen Hackett wrote a post on his site, and I wrote a post

00:26:47   on my side about it. And I think it's interesting because I think we can debate whether Spotify

00:26:56   is a brand for, they probably would say we are a brand for listeners and podcasting is

00:27:02   one of the ways people listen to things. And I would say maybe it's a music brand and I'm

00:27:08   not sure whether people are going to want to listen to spoken word on Spotify. That

00:27:13   like a pretty different use case but I could maybe maybe but there was a lot

00:27:17   there was another pretty big music brand that brought podcasts in there wasn't

00:27:21   there

00:27:22   so iTunes yeah well that's true that's true although that's different in that

00:27:27   iTunes is sort of this catalog of they had audio books and they have and their

00:27:31   podcasts and all that but it is true Apple has the big the big library for

00:27:35   for podcasting and so in my piece which I've been meaning to write for a while

00:27:41   and I may have even mentioned it on a previous show,

00:27:43   this idea that podcasting is having a moment,

00:27:45   that's really great.

00:27:46   Apple is uniquely positioned, I think, to give it a boost.

00:27:50   I'm not sure whether it will or not.

00:27:51   I'm not sure whether Apple cares enough.

00:27:53   It's not really at the core of Apple's business,

00:27:55   but at the same time, I feel like Apple,

00:27:58   more than any other single company,

00:28:00   could probably boost the future of podcasting.

00:28:02   And this is an interesting moment where, you know,

00:28:05   like we said last week,

00:28:06   we can roll our eyes at this rediscovery of the medium,

00:28:08   but it's great that it's been rediscovered

00:28:10   'cause it needed to be rediscovered

00:28:12   because all those newspaper and magazine stories

00:28:14   were written in 2005 about it.

00:28:17   And the tech wasn't far along enough

00:28:20   for it to become a mainstream hit.

00:28:23   And it is now, but everybody sort of just saw it fizzled

00:28:27   in 2005 and then below the radar, it continued to grow,

00:28:31   but it just never met the outrageous expectations of 2005.

00:28:36   So now we've all seen it grow,

00:28:38   we've all adopted podcasting apps

00:28:40   and are listening to all these podcasts all the time.

00:28:42   And I'm listening to several right now.

00:28:45   It's only slightly distracting.

00:28:47   And it's good that people are rediscovering it.

00:28:52   Writing an article in New York magazine about it

00:28:56   that gets passed around is good for everybody

00:28:58   because it's going to bring more people in as listeners

00:29:01   because they read about serial

00:29:03   and they wanna listen to podcasts

00:29:04   and then they'll say, what else can I listen to?

00:29:07   It's great for podcasters because I really believe that major, there are lots of major advertisers that, you know, we would think they'd be really savvy in terms of technology and things like that.

00:29:21   But no, actually, like an ad buyer, an ad agency who reads that story that's getting passed around about podcasting.

00:29:28   I really believe those people are going to be more likely to buy advertising because it's got that stamp that says, oh, this is a thing now.

00:29:36   And before they might've been like,

00:29:38   nah, podcasts, nobody cares about them anymore.

00:29:40   - It's just a hobby.

00:29:41   - But now it's like, oh, oh, did you hear their back?

00:29:44   And we can joke about, did you hear the podcasts are back?

00:29:46   But that is a message that for people

00:29:49   who are potentially buying podcasts,

00:29:51   advertising is a big deal.

00:29:52   And I do think that that also is gonna reach

00:29:55   potential listeners who are gonna say that.

00:29:57   And that's good for the medium.

00:29:58   So I think it's all great for the medium,

00:30:01   but Marco Arment had a post this weekend

00:30:04   that partially was throwing everybody, including us,

00:30:08   who's done a podcast survey with the mid-roll

00:30:10   where we asked people to fill out some survey information

00:30:13   so we know more about who our listeners are.

00:30:15   I sort of threw them under the bus,

00:30:16   but the larger point that I thought was interesting

00:30:19   was him pointing out quite rightly,

00:30:21   look, the tech is evolving slowly.

00:30:22   Not everybody's got Bluetooth.

00:30:23   Not everybody's car radios have Bluetooth.

00:30:25   It works easily.

00:30:26   It's kind of hard to set up, but it'll get there.

00:30:29   And I thought that was a good point too,

00:30:31   Not only are people, the tech's okay now,

00:30:35   but it's gonna get better.

00:30:36   And this comes back to the larger point,

00:30:38   which is somebody in something

00:30:40   is gonna put podcasting over the top.

00:30:42   And my piece on six colors, I'm saying really is Apple.

00:30:46   You could argue it's Apple and Google

00:30:48   with CarPlay and Android Auto,

00:30:50   but could it be Spotify?

00:30:53   Could the Spotify already with its podcast integration,

00:30:56   could it do it?

00:30:57   Is some third party?

00:30:59   I mean, we were talking on,

00:31:01   not to give too much away on the Relay Back channel, but we came up with a billion dollar

00:31:04   idea about how we're going to completely revolutionize podcasting. So some third party like us could,

00:31:10   we could do that too. Billionaires, please contact us. We've got some great ideas. Just

00:31:16   write us a check and we'll do it. I'll be the editorial director of Brilliant Podcast

00:31:21   Startup Incorporated, LLC, GMBH, whatever, XYZ. So I don't know.

00:31:30   I think it would be extremely good for the medium if Spotify got involved

00:31:36   because I think it will push Apple even further into doing something because

00:31:41   they know that they are the home. Whether people listen in Overcast or whatever it

00:31:48   doesn't matter. The iTunes podcast directory remains the home. They make up a small percentage

00:31:55   of our overall listenership. In some instances, the highest is like 15-20% of our downloads

00:32:00   come from iTunes and the rest come from the third-party apps. And that's in its highest.

00:32:06   I think this show actually has the highest listenership in iTunes. That of all of our

00:32:12   shows. The incomparable iTunes and podcast app scores

00:32:15   are higher. I think the further you get out of the super Apple tech nerd sphere, which

00:32:21   we're deep down in, this is where we live, but I think it gets bigger and bigger. I'm

00:32:27   fairly comfortable in saying the two most popular pieces of software to listen to podcasts

00:32:32   are iTunes and Apple's podcast app.

00:32:35   That is not what we see.

00:32:40   In the world, but not for us.

00:32:41   Oh, yes. In the world. Of course.

00:32:44   in the world, right? So that's the challenge is getting across. Our audience already is

00:32:50   aware of podcasts, right? But what about everybody else? That's the question.

00:32:55   So I think things like Spotify would be good. I mean, we would of course put our shows into

00:32:59   Spotify provided they didn't have terms like Stitcher does, right? So, Stitcher has very

00:33:04   restricted terms.

00:33:05   Right, right. You have to mention Spotify or if they want to do something with your

00:33:08   ads, like Spotify has got their premium service, are they going to want to take your ads out

00:33:11   are you going to have to put in because that's not how do we make money if they

00:33:14   there are a lot of questions right there are a lot of questions but in the chat

00:33:19   room by the way real-time follow-up about several people saying podcasting

00:33:22   is not podcast is not a good name and I'm torn on that because I feel like a

00:33:28   name ends up not meaning anything yeah a name like it doesn't you know I've had

00:33:34   like Joe Steele like Joe Steele is just taking the words right out of my mouth a

00:33:38   podcast by any other name would smell as sweet. It actually doesn't matter. Leo

00:33:42   LePort tried to do it. He came up with a worse name in my netcast. It's so much

00:33:47   worse. He continues to hold on to that. He's kind of, well now, he's kind of

00:33:51   giving up. I think other than the fact that they've got it in their pre-rolls

00:33:54   and all of that, I hear him talking about podcasts all the time now. I think

00:33:56   he's no longer trying to start a netcast revolution there.

00:34:00   There's no point trying to change it. I try to explain it to people as being that it's like on-demand radio or I

00:34:05   I mean, radio was probably the word you wanna use

00:34:08   to talk about this stuff.

00:34:09   It's like it's internet radio or something like that.

00:34:11   But I'm not entirely convinced

00:34:14   that there's another word out there that solves this.

00:34:16   Maybe a brand name, maybe somebody's app does it,

00:34:19   or Spotify has a, again, the rumor is,

00:34:24   has a thing that says podcasts.

00:34:25   And that doesn't solve that problem,

00:34:28   but maybe somebody could come up with something

00:34:29   that becomes a more generic concept than podcasts.

00:34:33   Because in the end, I want regular people

00:34:38   to be able to listen to podcasts.

00:34:40   And more than that, I want them,

00:34:42   I want that person who reads about that podcasts are back

00:34:45   and that serial is really good to listen to serial.

00:34:49   And when they get caught up with serial

00:34:51   and there's no new episode for a week,

00:34:53   I would like the podcast app that they're using to say,

00:34:58   here's something else you might like.

00:35:00   And that doesn't exist right now.

00:35:02   that really, I mean, Stitcher will do that, I guess,

00:35:04   but that's about it.

00:35:05   And Stitcher is bad for other reasons.

00:35:08   So there's a lot of opportunity out there.

00:35:11   It's early days for the medium,

00:35:12   but I think it's great for the medium

00:35:13   that we're having these conversations

00:35:15   and that people are taking notice again,

00:35:17   because we all think it's a great medium.

00:35:20   - I think it's an interesting time.

00:35:24   I'm very excited that I'm involved in it.

00:35:27   I also think that, you know,

00:35:30   The thing that I keep coming back to right now,

00:35:32   the reason why this is all happening,

00:35:34   I genuinely think that in a few years time,

00:35:36   there will be podcasting before and after iTunes

00:35:40   and podcasting before and after Serial.

00:35:42   I do think that this is a pivotal time in the industry

00:35:47   is this show because it is pulling people in.

00:35:51   And I hope, going on from what you were saying, Jason,

00:35:54   I do hope that what happens is people listen to this

00:35:58   and they're like, "I quite like this.

00:35:59   "What other things do I like?

00:36:01   "I like tech."

00:36:03   And then they start searching around

00:36:04   and then they find other shows

00:36:06   and then they say, "I also like movies."

00:36:08   And they find other shows.

00:36:08   "I also like video games."

00:36:10   And I think that that is pretty much

00:36:13   what pulls people in anyway.

00:36:15   And I'm seeing, serial is very interesting.

00:36:19   I am coming into contact with many people now

00:36:22   as I'm telling people what I do for a living,

00:36:24   telling me that I listen to serial.

00:36:27   that is happening in my life because I know that

00:36:30   Syria was doing what podcasting always did

00:36:34   but on a wider basis which is word of mouth.

00:36:36   That is how shows tend to grow because nobody advertises.

00:36:41   There's no, people aren't,

00:36:43   we don't advertise upgrade on This American Life, right?

00:36:46   It doesn't work like that, we don't do that.

00:36:48   So people find out about this stuff through word of mouth

00:36:51   and Syria was seeing that at a much wider base.

00:36:54   My only hope is that, I mean, 'cause I'm,

00:36:58   I know you're not very far into serial

00:36:59   and there'll be no serial spoilers here.

00:37:01   I'm becoming increasingly more uncomfortable with the show

00:37:04   and I hope that that doesn't happen to the wider base.

00:37:09   I love it, but it's just,

00:37:11   I'm starting to wonder what's the end of it.

00:37:15   - Right, but ideally, I mean, serial is, it's storytelling.

00:37:20   I mean, it is journalism, but it's storytelling

00:37:22   And it works because of the way the story is being told.

00:37:25   And if presumably they have a good ending

00:37:30   that fits, endings are hard,

00:37:33   but that fits with what's come before.

00:37:34   We'll have to see, but I think you're right.

00:37:37   I feel like we've had this conversation before

00:37:40   about what's the podcast that's gonna break out

00:37:44   and it hasn't happened,

00:37:46   but Serial might be the one that does it at last.

00:37:50   I mean, like, Marc Maron had a bunch of stories about him,

00:37:52   but it didn't seem to, you know,

00:37:54   everyone is a little bit bigger,

00:37:56   and this is certainly, I think, the biggest by far up to now.

00:37:58   - Well, iTunes are currently promoting with a banner

00:38:03   that it's the show, it's reached five million downloads

00:38:07   quicker than any show ever has.

00:38:08   - Yeah, Apple's very excited about it.

00:38:09   - I suspect that that's incorrect in some instances.

00:38:13   I would say that's probably five million through iTunes,

00:38:16   so it means it's much larger,

00:38:18   And I expect that that number is not right now.

00:38:21   I don't think it was immediate.

00:38:22   I think it hit 5 million a couple of weeks ago or something.

00:38:25   And then they talk about it.

00:38:26   But I would expect it to be a much,

00:38:28   much larger totals than that.

00:38:31   - Something that came up in the chat room

00:38:35   that I think is worth mentioning again about the name

00:38:38   and how you try to explain even what they are to people.

00:38:43   And it's a hard thing to do.

00:38:44   I've mentioned before that I've explained to my mother

00:38:47   several times what a podcast is and I think she still doesn't get it. But this is my point

00:38:51   is calling it the label you put on it, whatever that label is, that's not the reason people

00:38:57   don't get it. People don't get it because it's abstract, it's a new kind of medium,

00:39:04   and because the tech to get it is not as easy as it should be. I think those are the issues.

00:39:09   I think the name is, it's easy to blame the name, the name is not the problem. The name

00:39:13   may not be great, but the name is not the problem. The problem is that when if my sister

00:39:20   says I want to listen to this serial thing that I heard about, how do I do that? I have

00:39:25   to be like, okay, well, you go to the podcast app and you do search or you can find the

00:39:29   thing and you tap on it and all that. And then she says, well, but how do I listen to

00:39:32   it in my car? I'm like, okay, have you paired your car with Bluetooth? No, I haven't. All

00:39:35   right, well, you know, it's this whole chain of things. It's just, and it's not something

00:39:41   people are familiar with. People took a lot of time to understand how the web

00:39:45   worked and how like Netflix worked. And this is another one of those things

00:39:49   where you've got to explain streaming media and it's on demand, but you can

00:39:53   also download them in advance. And it's just, there's a lot in there. And the

00:39:57   more that the technology evolves, the easier it's all going to get, which is

00:40:01   why I keep coming back to things like CarPlay and Android Auto. Like the more

00:40:05   this is all just kind of part of what everybody expects in their car and they

00:40:10   can go boop and play something gets a lot easier but I don't know but it's an

00:40:16   exciting time to have this happening because I think I think it is is good

00:40:20   for all of us. This American Life actually made a really funny and clever

00:40:25   video about how to how to listen to podcasts I'll find it and put it in the

00:40:33   show notes it's Ira Glass is with I think he says a friend but I think it

00:40:38   might be a relative, it's a lady who's in like her 80s or 90s and she explains how

00:40:43   to find, how to listen to the show. It's very, very clever. I like, yeah, I'll find

00:40:50   it, I'll put it in the show notes. It's, yeah, it's How to Listen to a Podcast with

00:40:55   Ira and Mae and it will be in the show notes. Jason, where can people find the

00:40:58   show notes for this show? You go to relay.fm/upgrade/ten. Perfect. Ten is the

00:41:06   same number in English and American English. Indeed it is. It's very funny, it's actually

00:41:11   quite amusing, so I would urge people to watch it. But, you know, things like that, that's

00:41:15   pretty good. They explain it really well actually. I thought they did a great job.

00:41:20   Nice. Podcasting is the future.

00:41:22   It's the future. It's happening. It's back. Do you want to talk about Friends now or do

00:41:30   you want to talk about another topic before we talk about a friend?

00:41:33   Let's talk about friend.

00:41:34   This episode of Upgrade is also brought to you by our friends Smile and we want to talk

00:41:38   about TextExpander Touch today.

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00:42:08   use TextExpander to avoid typing those same things over and over and over again.

00:42:14   With TextExpander Touch you're able to sync all of your snippets with TextExpander on

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00:42:21   of your devices.

00:42:22   You can access your TextExpander snippets inside Smiles iOS app where you can write

00:42:26   little notes and you can copy and paste the text or you can enable TextExpander

00:42:30   in the other 60 apps in the App Store that have integrated snippets like

00:42:33   OmniFocus, Day One, Fantastical, Draft, Lorton Center Pro and many many more.

00:42:38   But with iOS 8 and TextExpander Touch 3 came the TextExpander custom

00:42:44   keyboard so that you're able to expand abbreviations in any application on your

00:42:48   iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. So now even if an app doesn't support

00:42:52   TextExpander snippets directly you can just change the keyboard over

00:42:55   and you have access to all of your snippets right there.

00:42:59   This is something that couldn't have been done

00:43:00   before iOS 8 and a new TextExpander keyboard

00:43:02   has made it just perfect.

00:43:05   I mean, you have everything, you have it right there.

00:43:07   You don't have to switch into another app,

00:43:09   you don't have to hope that your snippets are up to date,

00:43:11   it's just there.

00:43:13   The TextExpander Touch keyboard communicates directly

00:43:15   with the TextExpander Touch 3 application,

00:43:17   so it needs to ask for that full access

00:43:19   for the keyboard in the settings.

00:43:20   This is because it needs to share the data

00:43:22   between the application and the keyboard.

00:43:24   Smile have updated their privacy policy on their website to show that they care about

00:43:28   your privacy and they don't do anything crazy.

00:43:35   You should go right now to the App Store and grab the new TextExpander Touch 3 and start

00:43:39   saving time today.

00:43:41   I am a big fan and I could not recommend TextExpander enough.

00:43:49   If you want to find out more, point to your web browser at smilesoftware.com/upgrade.

00:43:53   Thank you so much to Smile for their support of this show and relay FM that smile software.com/upgrade

00:44:01   And a good friend a very good friend indeed we like our friends and smile are a very good one like

00:44:09   How can you not be friendly with a company that's called smile exactly exactly?

00:44:14   I'm very happy that their name is just smile now smile on my Mac used to be their name

00:44:19   and I never really understood that.

00:44:21   That seemed like a haiku to me.

00:44:23   - Yes.

00:44:24   I mean, you smile down upon. - Or the first line of a song.

00:44:27   Yeah, there's a smile on my Mac.

00:44:28   My Mac is now smiling.

00:44:29   I'm smiling upon my Mac.

00:44:30   I'm just smile.

00:44:33   It's good.

00:44:34   It's much better that way.

00:44:34   Oh, what now?

00:44:39   - Well, what would you like to talk about?

00:44:41   We have a few things.

00:44:42   - Well, I mean, we should talk about app pricing

00:44:45   a little bit, I think. - Yes.

00:44:47   - The two big stories from last week actually

00:44:49   were these two interesting game releases, Monument Valley, the extra levels of Monument Valley,

00:44:55   and also Space Age came out last week. - Two absolutely fantastic games, like,

00:45:01   super good games, but their pricing is interesting because they are not 99 cent games and they are

00:45:09   not in-app purchase driven games. - Right, they're not in the genre of, you know,

00:45:16   freemium games right where where you go and and get it for free and download some levels and then

00:45:22   you can opt to buy more levels for more space age is four dollars and monument valley is four

00:45:28   dollars and the new forgotten shores expansion pack is an in-app purchase of two dollars more

00:45:34   and uh you know i it's interesting the there was there was a minor kerfuffle and it was minor

00:45:44   and I like saying kerfuffle. A minor a minor dust up, a minor uh there were some people who gave

00:45:50   a Monument Valley one star, good Myke, good one star reviews because they were mad that

00:45:57   that they had the the temerity to uh to to charge for an update. How dare they?

00:46:05   And that led to all of us sort of rolling our eyes and doing that. Come on it's two bucks,

00:46:11   you get more levels, why is this a big deal? And I wrote a piece on Six Colors about this

00:46:17   because I think it's at least worth understanding why people are acting so entitled. And, you

00:46:24   know, one-star reviews are like, "Those people are babies and they're having a tantrum."

00:46:29   And, you know, "Okay, let's just give that as a given." But the question is, why? And

00:46:35   for developers, do they need to keep that in mind? Or do they just not care and say,

00:46:40   know, "Hey babies, I don't care about you, you know, you're just being a baby."

00:46:46   And I think it's worth having that conversation. I think it's worth saying what, like looking

00:46:53   at what Monument Valley, us two as the developer, we're looking at what they did and saying,

00:46:59   what were their options here and why did they choose, without knowing the details of their

00:47:03   business, why did they choose what they chose and what other things could they have chosen.

00:47:10   And you know, they had options.

00:47:11   I had several people point out that they had the option to just give it away for free.

00:47:16   And that that would be, and there's most people who make that argument, there's this implication

00:47:21   that they'll give it away for free.

00:47:23   It'll make their existing customers happy and everybody else in the world will then

00:47:28   flock to buy it and they'll make more money that way, which I don't believe is true in

00:47:33   most cases.

00:47:34   - That's what I think a lot of app developers,

00:47:37   especially in the productivity category, work that way.

00:47:41   Whether it works for them, I don't know.

00:47:42   But like you, for example, you see Fantastic Hal

00:47:45   releases a new update and they go back up the chart again

00:47:48   'cause they get a bit of press,

00:47:49   or OmniFocus goes back up the chart again

00:47:52   because they've had a good update.

00:47:54   That's the way that they work.

00:47:55   I don't know if that is the best way of working,

00:47:58   especially because you hear these days

00:47:59   that the charts kind of aren't what they used to be,

00:48:03   getting to number 10 in the charts now is not like what it was a couple of years ago

00:48:07   or something.

00:48:08   But I mean, that's the way that it is done.

00:48:12   But I'm not saying I think that's right or wrong.

00:48:14   I think that's why you get...

00:48:17   Basically I keep coming back to the fact that now the App Store is its own economy.

00:48:24   And there are ways of working and there are expectations that live within that economy

00:48:29   that have been built by developers, whether it could be EA as the developer,

00:48:35   right, or it could be Smile as the developer.

00:48:38   There have been decisions that have been made and there have been opportunities

00:48:42   taken, and now we have a situation in which apps are expected to be cheap or free.

00:48:46   And if you charge the price of a cup of coffee, it's a premium app.

00:48:52   And but that's the world that we live in now.

00:48:56   So it's about understanding how we work within those parameters.

00:48:59   complaining that, you know, $3 is not gonna be able

00:49:03   to put food on the table.

00:49:04   I understand that.

00:49:05   And of course, I agree with that.

00:49:07   And I buy applications for that amount of money

00:49:10   if I think that I want them and I think that they're worth it

00:49:12   and I want to support the developer.

00:49:14   But that is the world in which we live now.

00:49:16   Am I being unfair?

00:49:18   - No, one of the things that a developer like us too

00:49:22   has to deal with is the environment that they're in, right?

00:49:24   And they can behave a certain way all they like,

00:49:29   but they're not, you know, it isn't the US2 app store.

00:49:33   It isn't the Monument Valley app store.

00:49:34   It's the app store and every other,

00:49:36   the behavior of every other app developer,

00:49:39   especially of every popular app,

00:49:41   impacts how their customers see

00:49:43   what their business decisions are.

00:49:45   And so through that lens,

00:49:49   charging an in-app purchase,

00:49:51   when Doodle Jump is, you know,

00:49:53   updated every month with new features

00:49:54   and they never charge anybody for them

00:49:56   because their strategy is to just keep having people

00:50:00   buy Doodle Jump.

00:50:02   And I think Doodle Jump, the philosophy there,

00:50:04   and the whole argument here is only 1% of the world

00:50:07   or one fraction of 1% of the world has your app.

00:50:09   So pretty much everybody doesn't have your app.

00:50:11   So you should just keep making it better

00:50:13   and more people will buy it.

00:50:14   Whereas I think the argument for Monument Valley might be,

00:50:18   this app is a premium app.

00:50:20   It was promoted heavily.

00:50:22   Everybody wrote about it.

00:50:23   Apple promoted it.

00:50:24   Apple's going to promote these expansions.

00:50:26   Everybody who is probably, or most people who are likely to discover Monument Valley

00:50:31   have discovered it.

00:50:33   And our best audience for the new levels is the people who already played Monument Valley.

00:50:39   So we're going to put it inside the game that you've already paid $4 for, and we're going

00:50:45   to charge for more levels.

00:50:47   And that way it's also fair in a way that somebody new who wants to play Monument Valley

00:50:52   needs to buy the full game for $4, and then if they want the extra levels, they need to pay

00:50:56   another $2. That was their decision. If you're used to getting free updates, especially they

00:51:04   made some mistakes, I think some of their update communication to their customers was, "We are

00:51:10   going to be adding new levels in an update," which I think was very easily, in this environment,

00:51:15   read as, "We're going to give you new levels." And what they got, the update actually enabled

00:51:20   the ability to buy new levels. And you know that I think people make an assumption based on the

00:51:27   environment that we're in the app store. And that's okay. They could have opted. I mean,

00:51:31   this is what I go through in my piece on six colors. They could have opted to,

00:51:36   I think the best option potentially was to go back in time. So first you got to build a time machine,

00:51:41   but what if Monument Valley had the first couple of levels for free? And then there was an in-app

00:51:46   purchase for the last eight levels and then there was a new in-app purchase for another set of

00:51:50   levels. I don't think there would be complaints then. Maybe they decided at the time when it came

00:51:57   out they decided that's not the game they wanted to play, they didn't want to interrupt the game

00:52:01   experience that way because it is an experience to play that game. It's not a--

00:52:06   I've had a couple people tell me, "Well, I don't really like the puzzles, they were too easy."

00:52:10   It's like, yeah, they're not that hard but that's kind of not the point. It's meant to be mildly

00:52:14   puzzling and beautiful and atmospheric and that's why that game is successful. So maybe

00:52:22   they could have made it freemium, it would have been junkier that way, it's nicer the

00:52:26   way it is. But they have to make that decision and they're living in that environment. But

00:52:32   I do hate it when people assume that everything should be free. That is the problem because

00:52:37   I think the truth is if the only way that they could have released this was by making

00:52:42   it free for existing customers, they would not have made the levels because I don't think

00:52:47   they believe there is enough of a market in new sales driven by the release of new levels

00:52:53   to make it worth their while. Now they could be wrong about that but I bet you that was

00:52:59   their calculation.

00:53:00   When you heard new levels coming, what did you expect?

00:53:05   I assumed that it would be an in-app purchase, although I think I heard that it was going

00:53:09   to be an in-app purchase, but it's a premium app, right? I paid for it. And so I kind of

00:53:15   expected that new levels would be paid. They could have released a second app. And I actually

00:53:19   think one of the problems with this whole thing is that they conceived, you know, Monument

00:53:25   Valley has an ending. And so how do you make a sequel? And they decided they weren't going

00:53:29   to make a sequel. They were going to kind of insert new levels in between the sort of

00:53:34   next to last level and the last level of the original story,

00:53:38   because that was a place where they could fit it

00:53:41   into the story.

00:53:42   And as a result, I don't know if it would make sense

00:53:44   as a standalone app.

00:53:45   And that would have been another way to go,

00:53:47   is just to release it as another $4 app or $2 app

00:53:49   and say, "It's Monument Valley 2."

00:53:51   But they didn't wanna make that.

00:53:52   They felt that this was just an addition

00:53:55   to the existing story.

00:53:58   So they had lots of options.

00:54:01   This might be the right one.

00:54:02   I think their customers, you know,

00:54:07   the other thing here is the customer isn't always right.

00:54:10   That's, everybody always says the customer's always right.

00:54:13   The customer is always right.

00:54:14   No, customers can be unreasonable.

00:54:16   And more to the point, not everybody is your target audience.

00:54:21   And people who aren't in your target audience

00:54:22   will get really huffy about not being

00:54:24   in your target audience.

00:54:25   How dare you not target this to me?

00:54:27   This should all be about me.

00:54:29   But in reality, as a business,

00:54:31   you need to choose who your target is,

00:54:34   and it's not going to be everybody.

00:54:35   And that's just how it works sometimes.

00:54:38   And so in this case, it may just be that they're like,

00:54:41   look, our audience for this is people who love the first

00:54:43   game and are happy to spend $2 to get a new experience

00:54:46   in this game.

00:54:47   That's our target audience.

00:54:48   And we want to reach those people.

00:54:50   And we don't want to just add to the main game for free

00:54:54   and hope we find people who weren't paying attention

00:54:56   a year ago.

00:54:57   We want this to be to our core audience,

00:55:00   these are the people who appreciate what we're doing here.

00:55:02   They're the ones who are going to give us the money.

00:55:04   And if you're not in that audience,

00:55:06   you can be outraged about it,

00:55:08   but that's their decision and it might be a good one.

00:55:13   Sometimes good business decisions

00:55:14   leave some people on the outside looking in,

00:55:16   and that's just how it goes.

00:55:18   - You literally cannot make everybody happy.

00:55:22   Like I see this more now running a business, right?

00:55:26   There are sometimes there are things

00:55:27   that people ask you to do,

00:55:29   which make perfect sense to you, the person asking,

00:55:32   and also kind of makes sense to me as the business owner.

00:55:35   But sometimes I try and weigh up the risk, reward,

00:55:39   or just like the work and reward that's required

00:55:42   for a decision and feel that it doesn't work out for me.

00:55:45   Where it seems like a perfectly valid idea

00:55:47   or a way of doing things,

00:55:49   that doesn't necessarily mean that that matches

00:55:52   with your ambitions and goals for your business.

00:55:55   And this is clearly the way that us two decided to go.

00:55:58   Like they decided that what they would do

00:56:00   is release this app,

00:56:02   at the very least these levels as an update to the app.

00:56:05   They could have released a second app

00:56:06   and then whatever they would have been the benefits

00:56:09   or negatives of that or not.

00:56:11   I mean, we have no idea if Apple requested anything in this.

00:56:16   Please do it this way or don't do it that way,

00:56:19   we don't know.

00:56:20   But this is the way that they chose to go.

00:56:24   And I think for me, I think they made the right choice.

00:56:27   I prefer having it all in one app.

00:56:29   And I would have given them the money anyway.

00:56:31   Like I would have given them the money.

00:56:33   I wanted to give them more money.

00:56:34   This is one of those scenarios

00:56:36   where I wanted to give them more.

00:56:37   It's the same with Space Age as well.

00:56:40   I hope that they do more of that game because I loved it.

00:56:44   And I hope there is more of that story.

00:56:46   Same sort of idea, right?

00:56:48   Apps that are about four or five dollars each

00:56:51   and tell great stories and have a little experience

00:56:54   and a short.

00:56:55   And I like that because it's like longer than a movie

00:56:58   and cheaper than a movie.

00:56:59   So I'm happy with that.

00:57:01   - Yeah, some people are, I mentioned that people said,

00:57:04   oh, "Monte Valley, the puzzles aren't very hard."

00:57:06   And "Space Age," I've heard that some of that too.

00:57:09   It's like, oh, it's so short and it's not, you know,

00:57:12   parts of it aren't that hard.

00:57:13   And I mean, I'm on the last level,

00:57:15   which my wife has beaten, but I haven't.

00:57:17   And last level's really hard.

00:57:20   - I was texting Federico.

00:57:21   I was like, please help me.

00:57:23   Because we interviewed one of the developers, Matt Coney, on Virtual,

00:57:27   and I was completing the game that day,

00:57:30   and I finished it five minutes before we started

00:57:32   because I was struggling so much with the last boss,

00:57:35   and I was just frantically texting Federico and getting him to help me.

00:57:39   Yeah, it's hard stuff there, but earlier it's easy.

00:57:43   And actually, this is, I think, one of the issues.

00:57:45   I like that they make it premium.

00:57:48   They say, "You're going to pay us $4 for this.

00:57:50   This is a commitment."

00:57:52   And yes, I wish Apple had a tryout or demo system,

00:57:55   but they don't.

00:57:56   And so your options are to make it free

00:57:58   with an in-app purchase at a gate where you say,

00:58:00   look, you can play the first two levels

00:58:01   and then you have to stop the first level, whatever it is.

00:58:03   Or you can just say, look, buy this

00:58:06   and you'll have a good experience.

00:58:08   Sometimes I think creative decisions factor into this.

00:58:14   It's easier to do the gate after a level or two

00:58:17   when it's a series of escalating kind of like

00:58:20   video game levels that are just, you know, more, more guys or faster guys or whatever

00:58:26   than it is when you're telling a story. And I feel like Space Age is a good example where

00:58:32   I've talked to some people who started playing it and said, "Eh, it's kind of boring." I'm

00:58:35   like, "Okay, well, it's telling you a story and if it's not working for you, then that's

00:58:41   a problem and maybe it's not for you." But that story unfolds over time and you actually

00:58:46   have to get into several levels before you realize that it's doing lots of interesting

00:58:51   things with storytelling that you might not expect from a video game. But you have to

00:58:55   get there. And because of the way it's structured, I think it actually would have been a bad

00:59:00   freemium game because the first couple of levels are really simple because they're trying

00:59:03   to ramp you up and they're trying to explain how this whole system works. And it calls

00:59:10   into question the structure of the thing you're trying to build. I was actually talking, it's

00:59:14   It's NaNoWriMo and I'm working on revising my novel this month.

00:59:18   I had somebody read it who's a novelist and a writing teacher too.

00:59:22   One of the points he made was, "You're spending too much time.

00:59:25   The first hundred pages, not a whole lot happens.

00:59:28   You need to condense this and you need to provide more excitement early on," because

00:59:32   he said, "In reality, agents and publishers are looking for a reason to bail out of anything

00:59:38   they're reading because they read so much.

00:59:40   And if there isn't something really solid and exciting at the beginning, it's going

00:59:45   to make it hard to sell.

00:59:46   That doesn't necessarily mean that all the best novels have something exciting at the

00:59:49   beginning, but the ones that--it's going to be harder to sell it to anybody if you don't

00:59:55   have that.

00:59:56   And that reminded me of Space Age, because it's the same thing.

00:59:59   It's like, they could have distorted their story to make it seem really awesome and exciting

01:00:03   early on before the gate dropped and you had to pay money, but they didn't want to do that.

01:00:09   They didn't want to tell the story in that way.

01:00:10   And it would have made their story less good,

01:00:13   this story that they wanted to tell.

01:00:16   So they made that decision.

01:00:17   So some of that is the creative decision.

01:00:18   It's just like,

01:00:19   and I think Monument Valley would be the same way.

01:00:21   It sort of breaks the spell and they're trying,

01:00:25   the whole idea here is these are beautiful and interesting

01:00:28   and quirky works of art.

01:00:29   They're experiences, they're not just puzzles.

01:00:31   They're, I hate to say,

01:00:33   it sounds so pretentious to say they're experiences,

01:00:35   but I can't find a better word for it.

01:00:38   It's like you become, you're listening to the music,

01:00:40   you're looking at the graphics,

01:00:43   it's like watching a movie except interactive.

01:00:45   It's not playing something that's got like a bunch of levels

01:00:49   like playing Wordament

01:00:50   and just doing word searches all the time.

01:00:52   It's not that kind of thing.

01:00:54   And I think maybe the premium model works better for that.

01:00:57   - I have loads of games, especially on the iPhone

01:01:00   that have no end, like threes, right?

01:01:03   I play, I still play threes every day

01:01:06   and I love those sort of games.

01:01:07   sometimes I want a game that has an end that I can reach without putting 45 hours in and if it's

01:01:13   going to cost me five pounds or five dollars to get that game I'm happy with that. And I really do.

01:01:21   I love these sorts of games and I'm pleased that there was that kind of outpouring of support for

01:01:32   us too, you know, where people kind of drove the the rating up, because I think things like that

01:01:37   are important to show that there is a market for it, even if your ratings sometimes tell you not so much.

01:01:43   Yeah, yeah, and it turns out people rushed to us to defense more or less and gave them a bunch of

01:01:50   five-star ratings and it was fine, but it's interesting. I think the big picture here is

01:01:56   it's very easy to look at something from the outside and say, "Oh, well, they should have done this,"

01:02:00   and people do that all the time, but they don't know the dynamics, they don't know the cost to us too, to make this.

01:02:06   They don't know, you know, there's an assumption that they didn't think about it, I'm sure they thought about it a whole lot,

01:02:11   and they have lots of reasons to do it this way. Could they have communicated it better? I think yes.

01:02:17   I don't think it would have mattered in the end. I think they probably anticipated that there would be reactions like this,

01:02:23   and they decided this was the best way to go.

01:02:27   And it's an interesting lesson and it's worth everybody who is in the app ecosystem, the app

01:02:35   market, the app industry needs to look at this and use it as another lesson of like, how do you define

01:02:42   the feelings of your target audience and how do you approach that? And I know people, I mean,

01:02:49   Marco Arment took great care in figuring out the business model for Overcast. And he went a bunch

01:02:53   of different ways before he settled on one that he thought would make sense. And what he settled on

01:02:57   was freemium what he settled on was you know a limited version of the app for

01:03:01   free and then you unlock one time to enable all the other features and that

01:03:05   you know he came up with a whole bunch of other ideas before he settled on that

01:03:09   so people are thinking about this stuff all the time and this is another data

01:03:12   point and and you know in the end just because lots of games are freemium

01:03:18   and lots of apps are freemium it doesn't mean that that's the right approach for

01:03:22   something like Monument Valley or Space Age where it's a you know a certain kind

01:03:28   of game that is that is more of this experience and less of a casual like

01:03:33   super you know super easy game it's like it's different and maybe this is the

01:03:37   right approach for them maybe maybe this boutique you know you're buying it up

01:03:41   front approach works better for this kind of game I don't know but I'm sure

01:03:44   all the developers think about this a whole lot. So if you'll allow me for a

01:03:49   moment just a tad of cross-promotion I'm hoping to be joined on Inquisitor this

01:03:53   week by Monument Valley's executive producer Dan Gray so I'll ask you a bunch

01:03:58   of this stuff awesome I'll get the answers for you Jason you'll just say

01:04:02   yeah we didn't think about it we just thought you know purchase sounds good

01:04:07   he has a nice ring to it kind of sounds like I do and we just want with it yeah

01:04:12   sure I'm sure I'm sure that that's it but bottom line is if you know it takes

01:04:18   time and money to make these these apps and they need to find a way to make that work

01:04:23   and to get that money back. And I'm glad that they chose to make more levels of Monuments

01:04:29   Alley because I was sad when I played through it because it was beautiful and I think about

01:04:32   it from time to time and I've gone back and played it once or twice and I'm happy that

01:04:40   it's in the world and this is I was happy to give them two dollars for it. It was not

01:04:45   a it was a no-brainer.

01:04:47   - The new ones are stunning.

01:04:48   They are stunning. - No orange foam brainer.

01:04:52   Yeah, they are.

01:04:52   It makes me laugh.

01:04:53   I mean, again, the puzzles aren't necessarily hard.

01:04:55   It's those moments of delight.

01:04:57   Again, I'm sorry to use these words

01:04:59   that sound like I'm on stage at an Apple event,

01:05:01   but it's those moments of delight where you turn a wheel

01:05:03   or you do something or the perspective changes

01:05:07   in Monument Valley and you go, "Oh, look at that.

01:05:10   "I see that now."

01:05:11   That's what I love about it.

01:05:12   It's not the diabolically difficult puzzles.

01:05:16   It's that those moments of surprise where your perspective shifts and you see something more clever,

01:05:20   it's clever and you're in there listening to that music and looking at the graphics and it's,

01:05:25   you know, that's what I love about that. And I've had some of those same experiences with Space Age

01:05:30   where there are narrative things that happened that made me laugh out loud that I thought were

01:05:34   really funny and clever and, you know, that's part of it too. Do you have anything else you'd

01:05:41   like to talk about today or should we leave it there for today's episode?

01:05:45   I think we could leave it there. I mean at some point we should

01:05:50   probably talk about... another vertical in this

01:05:54   podcast is future products from Amazon.

01:05:58   And I've got the that Amazon TV stick thing that's there

01:06:03   that's their Chromecast competitor. I've got that ordered

01:06:06   but it doesn't come out for another week or something.

01:06:09   And then the Amazon Echo was announced,

01:06:12   which is like a Siri speaker that lives in your house

01:06:15   and listens to everything you say.

01:06:17   And that's a weird product with a weird product video.

01:06:19   And we could talk about that,

01:06:21   but I signed up to be on the list to buy one of those.

01:06:26   - Oh really? - So we might,

01:06:27   well, yeah, you can always send it back, right?

01:06:30   I kind of wanna try it.

01:06:31   - You're a technologist.

01:06:33   - Yeah, I kind of wanna try that one.

01:06:35   And I'm a Prime member,

01:06:36   so it's cheaper for me than it is for other people.

01:06:38   and I wanna give that a try, but it's a weird product.

01:06:41   And so we could talk about it now,

01:06:42   but I think maybe, and maybe we will on a future show,

01:06:45   but maybe we'll just do what we do in this podcast,

01:06:48   which is promote that in the future,

01:06:50   we'll talk about Amazon hardware products,

01:06:52   but never get to it.

01:06:54   - When is the Echo likely to ship?

01:06:56   - It's unclear to me.

01:06:58   - It's just three to five weeks on their page at the moment.

01:07:01   - Yeah, but you sign up, and then they say,

01:07:04   will let you know when you can purchase one.

01:07:11   When I go to the Echo page it says, "Thank you for your request.

01:07:16   If selected, you will receive an email with an invitation to purchase in the coming weeks."

01:07:21   Oh my word.

01:07:23   How lucky you will be to receive an invitation to spend $100 on Amazon.

01:07:28   I wonder if you can do it in the UK.

01:07:30   Let me see.

01:07:31   No, it's not in the UK.

01:07:33   - No, but it is, you know, it's,

01:07:37   what I like about Amazon is that they have,

01:07:41   they feel the freedom to do kind of crazy products

01:07:43   and mash up technologies.

01:07:44   And I think that's great.

01:07:47   I don't know whether it's always practical.

01:07:49   The Fire Phone was a flop, but maybe they'll learn from it.

01:07:52   And, you know, although I look at the,

01:07:54   I saw an ad the other night for the Fire Tablet.

01:07:58   The Fire Tablet's a pretty good value,

01:08:01   but I look at it and I think, wow,

01:08:03   If you want an Android tablet, you shouldn't get it

01:08:05   'cause it's not really an Android tablet.

01:08:07   And if you want an iPad, you shouldn't get it

01:08:08   'cause it's certainly not an iPad.

01:08:10   What is it?

01:08:11   It's this weird Amazon hybrid thing.

01:08:13   And I don't know, I like Amazon a lot.

01:08:16   I like their services a lot.

01:08:17   And some of the stuff, I'm not sure I'm convinced

01:08:22   that this is stuff that people actually want.

01:08:24   That it's like Amazon wants it

01:08:25   because they want you to be in their ecosystem,

01:08:27   but I'm not sure they're making products

01:08:28   that actual people want.

01:08:31   - Yeah, they're making stuff that makes sense for Amazon.

01:08:34   - I mean, the Amazon Echo is literally like,

01:08:36   we have this technology, what could we build with it?

01:08:38   And that's bad.

01:08:40   But what's good is, if there's somebody with a vision of,

01:08:42   like, you know what would be great is if my speaker,

01:08:45   you know, my Sonos kind of speaker

01:08:47   could be controlled by voice, and oh, well imagine,

01:08:51   we could do all this other stuff too.

01:08:53   You know, maybe there's a good product in there,

01:08:54   or maybe it's a disaster.

01:08:56   I'm not encouraged by their product video,

01:08:58   which is really cheesy.

01:09:00   - So bad.

01:09:01   but we'll see.

01:09:02   - I think I could spend an hour

01:09:03   just talking about that video.

01:09:05   - At that point, we should just watch

01:09:06   too many cooks instead.

01:09:08   - Too many cooks.

01:09:09   Sorry, everyone.

01:09:11   - My son leaving the house this morning,

01:09:13   he had to return, it's library day,

01:09:15   so he had to return his books

01:09:17   and he had a stack of five books.

01:09:18   And I said, too many books?

01:09:20   And my wife and I were then singing too many books

01:09:23   all the way to school with him,

01:09:24   which he was not happy about,

01:09:26   but he had too many books.

01:09:28   - Too many books.

01:09:29   - Too many books.

01:09:31   many books. Every podcast I'm on ends up in singing in the end. That's what I've

01:09:36   learned. Thank you so much to our sponsors. It takes a lot to make a book, especially if you're friends at Hover!

01:09:44   Thank you Hover and Smile for supporting this week's episode. You guys are

01:09:50   fantastic and thank you for helping us out. And good friends. They are good friends. They're very

01:09:54   good friends. Enemy slot still available. Yes. Amazon? If you want to be a friend or

01:10:01   an enemy let us know. Yeah. Thank you all for listening. You are also our friends and

01:10:07   if you'd like to get in touch with us I am @imike on Twitter. I am YKE Jason is @jsnell.

01:10:14   We are @relay.fm/upgrade. If you go to /10 you'll get the show notes for this week's

01:10:19   episode and you can also find the contact button to send us an email if you would like.

01:10:24   Jason also writes thefantasticsixcolors.com and you should go and check him out and read

01:10:29   his fantastic work, which you should be doing.

01:10:32   If you're not already, why are you listening to this podcast as well?

01:10:34   You should know Jason's work, surely.

01:10:36   Surely.

01:10:37   If not...

01:10:38   Maybe they never learn to read.

01:10:39   Maybe.

01:10:40   And if that's the case, I'm sorry.

01:10:41   You have podcasts.

01:10:42   You always have the podcast.

01:10:43   Always have the podcast.

01:10:44   We'll be back next week with another episode of Upgrade.

01:10:49   Until then, I'll buy you a telephone.

01:10:52   Arrivederci.

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