Audio Podcasting for the idle blogger

Apart from actually reading out the various posts on here and recording what I’m saying, the only other way I can make an audio podcast of my blog ramblings is to use one of the many “audio feed” tools that are out on the web. There are quite a lot of these things suddenly appearing all over web, and if you’re not familiar with them, they take the RSS feed from your blog and play it back using an articifial voice. I’ve used Talkr on my blog before and it had a nice synthetic feminine lilt to its voice. However, I can’t seem to get on to their site anymore and fear that my audio feeds are no more.  So, what else can I use, seeing as though it’s impossible to get any peace and quiet at home to record a podcast myself? Well, according to various blog posts, reviews, and promo sites there are several, so I thought I’d test what some of them sound like, and what other things they offer (eg the ability to add your audio blog to iTunes. Let’s have a look at a few and compare what they sound like. First up….

odiogo

Offers a whole “audio” and sharing page, including a link to subscribe in iTunes (which I’ve added to my “subscribe” links on here), plus a direct mp3 stream for each post. It also creates an M3u playlist. Here’s an example or two – see what you think:

A is for Amazon (on odiogo)

Stream all articles

Audiofeed

This is the “free” version of Readspeaker, which seems to be making a big impression with allsorts of companies and organisations. It offers a HTML link to your own “audiofeed” page where there are a few sharing options, in addition to a player and direct to mp3 download for each ‘cast. There’s a really useful link to a mobile version of your page.

More soon….

By the way, I’m trying out this new social networking toolbar called “GetSocial”, to make it easier for people to bookmark these posts. So go on then, give me a whirl!!!

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Where have all the musicians gone?

 I’m still concerned about the apparent lack of musicians who run blogs on WordPress and (ahem) Blogger, in fact all the other major blogging sites. Come to think of it, there don’t seem to be many “bands that blog” on Myspace these days. When I’ve looked under the “music” tag on WordPress, the majority of links and headlines that appear are usually from people commenting about their favourite tracks or all-time 100 love songs, something like that. Not a lot from either established acts or bedroom musicians like me. Why’s that? Why not blog, all ye musos of the world? I must be missing something. I’ll be they all run blogs on their own websites. That’s it. Must be the answer.

So, here’s the challenge: If anyone knows of either established acts who run blogs on WordPress (or Blogger) comment back and I’ll add them (and you) to my blogroll.

If you look at this  blog regularly, you’ll notice my capacity for dissatisfaction with my blog theme. I think the people who design the themes are very clever, but the ones on offer at WordPress.com don’t really suite the needs of a downtempo/chillout musician. I’ve chosen the “blue” one this time, and added my own header (a crop from Music Tech magazine’s announcement of me winning the Yamaha keyboard – see thread below). Well, it’s different to all the clouds and rivers and flowers, and other pretty pictures. No doubt I’ll get bored and go for pink or something soon.

I used to frequent a website and forum called “Electromancer”, where I uploaded my first “modern” tracks (“Never Alone” included), and where I got a lot of support and inspiration to make more tunes. Sadly, Electromancer folded (read about it in my old blog) and most of its members went over to a site called Nervejam, where they all continue the spirit of support, inspiration (and tomfoolery) and make nice tunes. I’m mentioning Nervejam because the site admin (Nervejam, himself) has changed my profile name/avatar to something that I really like and which I’ve decided to adopt as my byline on this blog (thanks NJ)….

YammyGit

Talking of which, you can now listen to this and all my other blog posts in MP3 format. I’ve got a RSS feed going off to Talkr.com which produces all my posts in audio format with a weird-sounding, automated female sounding voice. I guess I now have my own podcast. Rather than having “listen” blocks in every previous post, there’s a link to all of the “podcasts” here at TruMix. Have a listen – it’s really quite bizarre…..

Odeo, oh dear

I wanted to put some of music on the world of mistrust. I’ve got tracks hosted on Last.fm and loads of other sites, all with wonderful music players that can be embedded into a webpage. However, due to “security” concerns, WordPress won’t let you embed them because they’re all Flash-based. That leaves only a few of alternatives: direct text links to my Last.fm MP3s, which force readers to download or play them with their own music player; use a widget that will go in my sidebar; or use the built in audio player that WordPress allows.

I don’t want to build in text links because I want people to be able to listen while they’re reading, rather than having to mess around with their own player. The widget option is really Odeo or nothing, because the player looks good and is really a podcast in disguise, so it’s streamable. Sonific (the other music widget) won’t let you use your own music, so that’s out. So, Odeo it is. Or maybe not. It’s a useful website and sleek player, but finding the right place to put my music was a PIA, and then having to sort out how to get the tracks into a podcast took ages. Although they have nice little players that you can embed, the one in WordPress too big. There must be somthing easier. I may look at Odeo another time, but at the moment, I want a flashy music player and I ain’t going to get one. As for video, I’m going to look at the vodpod widget to stream my O’Neill videos…….

By the way….the I’ve got a new look to the site. More about this tomorrow.

All the world’s an MP3 stage

I’ve been thinking about the number of music hosting sites and MP3 directories that I have my music on. Most of them are free-to-download places where people can just have my tracks for nothing. I started off in late 2004 by choosing just one site – Electromancer.com, which is now no more, just because I lacked confidence about my music and it seemed like a good place to start when I’d never even considered putting my music out to the public. In fact, even though Electromancer closed down last year, a lot of the artists are still active on the forums of another site, Nervejam, and are still as friendly and supportive as ever.

I got a bit more confident after getting some great reviews, thinking that more people might give me a listen, so I followed links and recommendations about other hosting sites, signed up to 2 or 3, and waited for the plays to roll in. Then I started chasing more sites and more plays, until I had tracks on about 1o or 15 sites. I’ve now lost track (and usernames/passwords) of most of those sites, and still get the occasional email from them, saying someone has posted a comment. A quick check on google as to which sites I’m on offers up 94 links for “mistrust music site” and 30 for “never alone mistrust” (my first track from 2004).

I still see the same old faces on all these hosting sites,

Continue reading All the world’s an MP3 stage