Digital Audio World

Musings and information on podcasting, digital audio, online streaming audio and home studio recording from Tim 'Gonzo' Gordon of

Friday, February 15, 2008

Trying to Subscribe to a podcast a KINK .FM

Here in Oregon's Willamette Valley, I spend a fair amount of time
listening to radio, and one of the best stations in Oregon,
according to my own admittedly biased opinions, is KINK-FM 102.
You can find them online at KINK.FM.

They're what you might classify as Adult Alternative, playing
artists such as Collective Soul, Crowded House, Feist, Green Day,
Maroon 5, John kind of music, mostly.

Their announcers are generally pretty solid, even though I'm a
pretty harsh critic, having spent 25+ years behind a radio mic.
So I feel I can be picky :-) So thumbs up there...

They also heavily promote their podcast page on their website at Lots of great audio there: interviews, morning
show snippets, music. Good stuff.

As a listener and a podcast subscriber, I would be interested in
subscribing to their podcasts.

But it's virtually impossible.

I've been podcasting since early 2005. I've taught podcasting.
Still do ( And I know that
for a podcast to exist there has to be a way to subscribe,
because that's what makes a podcast: the ability to subscribe to
the RSS feed that contains the audio so you can automatically
download the audio whenever you fire up iTunes (or any other

KINK doesn't get podcasting.

I've written to them numerous times, trying to explain it. Their
webmaster either doesn't get the e-mail, or doesn't bother to
reply because -- well, I don't know why. It's a mystery to me.

So I put together a short three minute video demonstrating how
difficult it is for visitors to subscribe to their podcasts. I
even sent the link to the afternoon guy, who's an acquaintance of

I'll be curious to see if they ever figure it out and make it
easy for you and I to subscribe to their podcasts.

Here, watch the video for yourself:
How NOT to get podcast subscribers: 3-minute video

...and see if you don't agree.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Backing Down...a Bit

Let's ratchet down the invective I launched a few days ago (see below) about the RIAA. Apparently they weren't going after a guy who simply copied the songs from a CD that he owned on to his computer. No, they were ticked because the guy put them in a 'shared' folder so that other people could access them.

See here!

Following the RIAA's logic, ANY sharing of songs would be considered illegal. Which means that probably 85 percent of all teenagers in the US and half the rest of the population should pay a fine because they shared a CD with a buddy.

Following that logic a bit farther, if all of those people that have broken the laws in that regard were fined to the extent that the RIAA apparently would like them to be, no one would have any money left (or any interest) in buying any more CDs.

Therefore, the recorded music industry would cease to exist and the RIAA guys could get real jobs as, oh, talk-show hosts or newspaper columnists; maybe move into hotel-motel management.

Well, I think I've solved the RIAA's problem. Perhaps I should send them an invoice.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

RIAA Smoking Crack. Again.

Download Uproar: Recording Industry Goes After Personal Use

The arrogant bastards at the RIAA now claim that copying the songs from a CD that you bought onto your computer is illegal.

Reminds me of the time that Garth Brooks said (back around '88 or '89) that anyone who sold USED CD's should be arrested. Music Millennium in Portland, Oregon, even held a Garth CD fry in honor of that stupid statement. How can you not be able to sell something that you legally bought? Just because Garth didn't get a second royalty check the second time the original CD is sold he thinks it should be illegal.

If I buy a used car, does that mean Ford deserves another royalty payment because they built the car?

When you purchase something used from the classified ads (oh, say a pair of skis or a boat or a tunafish sandwich) I suppose Garth Brooks (and the RIAA) think we should award the original creator some $$ because they made it originally?

I'd be curious to check with Garth and see how many used CD's or tunafish sandwiches he's bought - and what amount he paid to the original manufacturer.

'Scuze me?

What planet are these guys from?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Proof of Podcasts?

As the term 'podcast' seems to slip into the mainstream even more, it appears that more and more people are downloading and listening.

It appears that people are talking about podcasting less, but using them more?

A local radio station in Portland - KINK.FM - offers a number of 'podcasts' on their audio pages. So - as is becoming more typical of those who didn't jump on the podcast phenomenon a couple of years ago - they're helping to change the meaning of the word.

Without an RSS feed, the MP3 audio file is just that - a file that you can download. No one can subscribe to it, so technically it's not a PODCAST. But they refer to them as podcasts on the air, and at KINK the link for subscribing actually does a nutty thing when you click on it - it opens a new window that shows the RSS feed code. Weird. How does that work? And how would a typical visitor know what to do with that?

I've actually written them trying to explain that what they're doing is not working - most people don't know how to subscribe to a feed and therefore need simple instructions. But they haven't responded and haven't made changes that would make it easier for their listeners.

In spite of that, many more people ARE listening to podcasts and downloading them, whether through subscriptions or manual downloads, so it's heartening to see that the medium is growing and maturing.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Web Radio $$ for Pay-to-Play is a Last Minute Deal?

Webcaster Royalty Rates going to huddle

The news from this morning (posted earlier here) is already outdated, as it should be. Here's the latest in the attempt to keep web radio on the 'air' and live on the net.

Appeals court rejects Webcast royalty delay | Technology | Internet | Reuters

This was coming, one way or another. It looks like there's no reprieve, even though opponents say that the battle isn't over.

However, what strikes me is the attitude of the executive from SoundExchange:

"This is a major victory for recording artists and record labels whose hard work and creativity provides the music around which the Internet radio business is built," SoundExchange executive director John Simson said. "Notwithstanding this victory, we continue to reach out to the webcasting community to reach business solutions."

"Major Victory..." Shutting down thousands of online outlets for musicians, listeners, indie netcasters...this is termed a 'major victory'?

Perhaps he hasn't read the research or heard the anecdotal evidence that spreading music around by bits and pieces here and there actually leads to INCREASED sales...and that by closing down thousands of those bits and pieces, he's helping to shutter the doors on ways people get exposed to music.

There was a government study done years ago (I wish they'd do another!) that demonstrated unequivocally that sharing music by copying it and giving it to friends leads to MORE SALES.

Even in this digital age, if a fan finds a new artist, it's still highly likely that they'll eventually PURCHASE some of that artists music or attend a concert.

Closing down web stations that expose people to new artists (and face it, even the 'mainstream' artists are still new to people every single day) is closing down one avenue of music exposure.

I can't think that this is a 'major victory' for the recording artists and record labels, who continue to see CD sales decline.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bring Back Payola?

It looks to me like the record industry isn't doing the math very well. They want to raise the rates that radio pays artists for the right to play songs.

See this here for more from the San Antonio Business Journal.

Let's turn this around. If radio stopped playing music - stopped COLD, and went to talk or news format (or playground sounds for that matter) - where would those artists be? Where would the record industry be?

They'd be squat out of luck. If there were no music played on the radio, nobody would know about new artists except through word-of-mouth, the grapevine, other media including online.

I think artists and the record industry would find out soon what advantage they have as the radio industry plays literally TONS of tunes - both old and new.

Now if this admittedly fantastic scenario unfolded, of course the music industry wouldn't die - and neither would the radio industry - but both would change drastically.

Theirs is a hand-in-glove relationship. One thrives because of the other.

If radio stopped playing music because it cost them too much (and yes there is a limit to how much they can take) they would change and evolve and find new programming. Listeners would make the adjustment by finding new tunes through friends, in-store listening, online recommendations and more.

And this statement puzzles me, because to me and my 25 years experience in radio, it rings false:

Said MusicFirst Executive Director Mark Kadesh in a statement: "Of all the ways we listen to music, corporate radio is the only medium that refuses to pay performers even a fraction of a penny for their voice and creativity."

What about the royalties paid to BMI, ASCAP and SESAC? Isn't that considered more than a fraction of a penny? And doesn't the radio industry scratch the back of the recording industry and its creative artist brethren in a ginormously beneficial way?

Of course it does.

So it may come down to see - if this movement progresses down the path it has started - who will blink first: the radio industry or the recording industry?

I dare fact, I double-dare ya, recording industry: take the plunge, get Congress to pass a law (scary thought #3,209 today) and see what it gets you.

See if the consumers of your product can find out about it without the benefit of radio.

Personally, I think we need to go back to the model that built the recording industry so big, but seems to have slipped in recent years: PAYOLA.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Podcast Downloads: Now There's the Real Surge

Like the soldier surge in Iraq, which went largely unnoticed in mainstream media, so goes the podcast download surge. Nonetheless, Wizzard Media claims to have set a new podcast download record recently. Details posted by Jason Lee Miller on Web Pro News:

Podcast Downloads Set New Record: WebProNews

Daily download requests average 2.3 million for Wizzard Media, which last year combined the services of Libsyn, Switchpod and Blast Podcast. As a result, Wizzard claims the disctinction of being the "largest podcast hosting network on the planet."

A quick scan of their website at shows nothing much at the moment except the following statement:

This is Wizzard. We are a new media company. While we build our new site, please enjoy some of these great shows.