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Editor of https://podnews.net, the daily podcast newsletter. Radio futurologist: a writer, speaker and consultant. https://james.cridland.net

The pandemic has given us many things: including a new way to promote your podcast

In 2009, I visited Japan. It was my first time, and like many visitors there, I was thrust into an exciting world of bewildering things that I had never seen before, some of which I excitedly photographed.


I think I may have finally found something even better than my trusty Kobo

For a while, I’ve had a Kobo Aura One, a rather fine ebook reader that has served me well. My main use-case has been sitting in planes reading books, though for whatever reason (gestures outside) I’ve not been doing that too much recently. My secondary use-case is quietly reading in bed.

I’ve long waved goodbye to the Amazon Kindle. I strip any DRM off any books that I buy (if they have DRM), and store them in .EPub format. I don’t need, nor want, Amazon’s bookstore service. Hence why I initially went with the Kobo.

The Kobo Aura One is…


And Bingo was its name-oh

How good can a smart watch that costs US$29 really be? Not that bad, it turns out.

I was offered this watch free to review it.

My terms were “sure, but I’ll just say what I think about it”, which they agreed to, and told to me to expect it in the post. Thanks to the lack of aircraft flying to Australia currently, it took six weeks to get here from the Netherlands; but it’s here now, so I thought I’d give it a go.

As you might know from some of my previous posts, I like a good smartwatch. But given that this model is just US$29 on Ali Express, I was, frankly, a bit sceptical…


Your data appears to show that people lose interest in your show after 25 minutes or so. Does that tell you that shows should be 20 minutes, or does it tell you that you could do better to keep your audience's attention for longer?

https://podnews.net/article/ideal-length-of-a-podcast goes into that in a bit more detail.


The way many of us use AWS Cloudfront and EC2 together is to have an origin server on EC2, and then a Cloudfront distribution over the top of it. That means that your website is available in two places: apublicurl.com and the origin server, so that Cloudfront can see it, ataprivateurl.com.

The benefit is that you can use your origin server for developmental purposes and to double-check what you can see before it’s cached by Cloudfront.

The downside is that anyone else can see your origin server too, and some spiders might come along and start spidering it. …


A thing that Clubhouse might have an effect on that isn’t a podcast

Is Clubhouse going to kill podcasts? Nope.

“The thing that amazes me about Clubhouse”, says a friend, “is that everyone has to have a take. They can’t just quietly use it. They have to have an opinion in it.”

So, here I am, with a few opinions on Clubhouse, since it seems everyone else has to.

It won’t kill talk radio

Talk radio superficially seems easy. Have a Bloke (and it’s almost always a Bloke) who has an Opinion. Bloke states the Opinion to either a) ensure he gets a ton of people phoning Bloke to agree and to add an Important Point; or b) make every listener angry at the Opinion…


Accra, Ghana: the next generation of podcast listeners

High quality MP3 audio is great: but it is pricing out a whole generation of potential listeners. Can we do better?

In South Africa, Vodacom has around 45% of the cellular market.

Worked out using Vodacom’s R99 per GB “pay as you go” price as a percentage of the average wage (3.6x less than the US), the cost of data is stunningly high.

Mobile data costs a typical South African the equivalent of US $23.50 per GB of data.

Or, to put it another way, download the latest episode of This American Life and the 66MB for the episode will cost you the equivalent of $3.52.

This American Life isn’t a particularly data-thirsty podcast. It’s just over an hour long, and it’s a pretty standard 128kbps stereo MP3 file. It sounds nice.

Turn it into mono at…


Wrist: author’s own

Is it better than WearOS? Or just different?

Smart watches have plenty of promise. Ever since I lost a lovely Mondaine watch in a Canadian hotel room, I’ve been hopping between WearOS smart watches, which used to be called Android Wear until Google changed the name because Google is a company seemingly run by toddlers with attention spans of five seconds.

I started with an LG square Android Smart watch; graduated to a round LG one; then a Huawei one; then a Fossil Sport. The Huawei one was probably best, but the screen became horribly burnt-in; the Fossil Sport should have been excellent but was hampered by an…


The plan to charge Google and Facebook for linking to news stories seems driven by jealousy, a failing business model, and rampant self-interest

Look, I get it. It must be terrible for the news companies at the moment: they’ve seen the internet take away the most lucrative product they had: the classified ad. Now, they’re also seeing news consumption changing dramatically: again, because of the internet. The print media, particularly, is having a torrid time.

The largest print publisher in Australia, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, owns the best-selling newspapers in almost every state capital city. It owns every single major newspaper in Queensland, Australia’s only national newspaper The Australian, the Foxtel satellite TV service and Sky News Australia. It has two-thirds of Australian…


I love Pocket Casts. But as it loses millions and puts itself up for sale, who would buy into it?

Podcast app Pocket Casts is looking for a buyer. NPR, which owns 34.6% of the company, reports their share of the company’s loss was $812,000 (p15): which could put the company’s net loss at more than $2m, though the company denies this.

I’ve used Pocket Casts for a long time. To me, it has two unbeatable features:

1. A really, really good audio player - the skip-silence and the voice-boost is light-years ahead of anything that anyone else has produced (with the possible exception of Overcast, but I don't use it enough to know)

2. The full Apple Podcasts catalogue…

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