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How about an enhanced podcast for Geeknights

edited April 2006 in Suggestions
Since Geeknights regularly discusses things that are visual content, would it not be a good idea to consider an enhanced (AAC-encoded) podcast version for Geeknights. The audio would still be used for a normal mp3, but you could then insert snapshots of things like anime clips, or your things of the day so people can actually see stuff on their ipods. I think that would really aid in the sharing of your geekeries with the audience.


  • edited April 2006
    Sorry, we probably won't ever make an AAC enhanced version of the podcast.

    The reasons for this are numerous. For starters, the benefits of AAC podcasts aren't that great. All we can really do is show pictures and insert links. I assume that the listeners of GeekNights are savvy enough to find pictures of the things we talk about on Google images. All of our links are in the shownotes at I've listened to quite a few enhanced podcasts on my nano in the past. I stopped. The chapter markers were slightly useful, but only in one podcast. I never looked at the pictures or clicked the links in iTunes. It simply doesn't add that much.

    Second, only people with iTunes and iPods can enjoy AAC enhanced podcasts. Sure, we wouldn't have to stop doing our normal mp3cast, but we're not about to put in a whole wad of extra work to benefit just a portion of our listenership. Plus, we're doing this four nights a week. Rym is already tired after doing post-production. Enhancing the podcast would add a good 15-30 minutes onto that. We really do record at night people. We need to reduce workload, not increase.

    Also, we don't have any Macs. Well, that's a lie. We don't have any new Macs. I have a Mac Plus with 1MB of RAM and an external 20MB hard drive. It plays Carmen Sandiego. If you want to buy us a new Mac with a core duo processor, we will glady accept the gift. But even then, I don't think we will make enhanced podcasts.

    Probably the biggest reason you'll never see us making AAC is one I thought would be obvious. We're Linux guys here. That means we're all about open source, open formats, freedom, etc. I don't think we would be caught dead using any proprietary file formats or software. I mean, look at what we use to run GeekNights: Apache, MySQL, WordPress, Rezound, Audacity, Linux, Lussumo Vanilla, etc. All of it is free and open source. If Apple opens up the AAC format one day, or if someone creates a standard way to enhance OGG and MP3 files, then there is a chance we could enhance the podcasts a little bit.

    Given all that, you do realize that GeekNights is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution, NonCommercial, ShareAlike 2.5 license. What does this mean? It means if you decide to take GeekNights and make an enhanced version, that's AOK. You just have to make sure to give us full credit, not make ANY money off of it, and license it under the exact same Creative Commons license. As long as you do all those three things you can make and distribute ehnanced AAC GeekNights. But, if you fail at any one of those three things, then you're in trouble. Even putting a Google Ad or paypal donate on the web site with your enhanced GeekNights will give us cause to come down on you like a ton of bricks.

    If making AAC GeekNights is something you want to do, then you are free to do so if you follow those three rules. However, I suggest you ask us for our official seal of approval first. That way you can guarantee we wont pwn you. Also we'll be able to link to your files, make proper feeds, etc.

    Oh yeah. One more reason not to do AAC in addition to mp3. We would have to double the money we pay to the evil people at libsyn. They charge based on how many podcasts we upload, not how many listeners we have. Two audio files per podcast is double the amount of podcast. Right now we use pretty much ever byte we pay them for. We're trying to find an alternative to sucky libsyn, not give them more money.
    Post edited by Apreche on
  • I don't know why you hate libsyn so much. I mean they are definitely a work in progress, but they don't charge for bandwidth. How awesome is that? I mean even if they goof up every once in a while, without them, I would be nervously paying GoDaddy and having to do a lot more set up work.
  • Libsyn isn't very good. They're just very cheap. When we went with them, they were the only real service available at the time with reasonable prices. The scant competition that has been popping up lately is no better.

    Their market demographic is obviously very non-technical people. (Don't get me started on their forums.) We don't use any of the cruft they offer other than file hosting, and we would jump ship in a second if there were a more reliable alternative, even at greater cost. We're slightly considering getting some capital together and making one.

    As for AAC, Scott pretty-much covered the bases. Making those things is time-consuming and tedious, especially for a daily show. We don't own any Macs (and have no real plans to purchase any), so we couldn't do it even if we wanted to. Most of our listeners use Windows or Linux, where AAC support is shoddy at best, let alone this Enhanced AAC.

    While it may seem like everyone has a Mac and an iPod, that's not really the case. Macs are cool, but they're distinctly a niche market. By moving to Apple proprietary cruft like AAC, we'd be alienating the majority of computer users (and as well many of our listeners) for no real gain.
  • I totally agree, while I use an iPod and iTunes, it's certainly not the only solution and the pros of an enhanced podcast are few to say the least. I considered doing it for our show for about two seconds.

    First I would loose all the listeners who don't use iTunes. Its a small proportion, but I don't want to loose them, and they aren't going to change podcatcher for me.

    Second, I know before I start that I'll have an intro chapter, then a massive whole show chapter then the end. Like Movies You Should See, Geek Nights doesn't follow much structure once it gets going and the nightmare of putting little graphics in becomes too much.

    As for libsyn, we wouldn't still be going if it weren't for them. Personally I don't have a bad word to say about them, other than that they are very slow doing things sometimes, and by that I only mean adding new features. That's not really something to complain about.
  • edited November 2008
    I think an enhanced podcast would be cool, but then again, you wouldn't want Scrym to be too tired to do 4 podcasts a week.
    Post edited by Loganator456 on
  • Also, if you use the ACC format and enhance podcasts, you'd be handing the future of podcasting straight over to Apple. And as podcasters, we don't want that.
  • How much bandwidth does the podcast use up in a month?
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