I am a huge fan of Scott Hanselman and religiously listen to Hanselminutes, one of the best technical podcasts. I also enjoyed the short lived science focused The Brainfood podcast. Podcasts were all the rage couple of years ago and everyday brought a new one. I wanted to join in on the fun and given that I am not as eloquent as Scott or Jeff Atwood of codinghorror and stackoverflow.com fame, I figured I could piggy back on the success of technology leaders and create a podcast. I first contacted Scott and he was gracious enough to respond to my email.
My idea was to render interesting blog posts and articles written by industry leaders like Scott, Jeff and, others as audio. My premise was, given the relentless march of technology we seldom find time to read articles. So I posited that I could convert hand picked (by me) blog posts and articles to audio and make them available as podcasts that you can listen to driving to work or fixing breakfast. Scott alerted me to odiogo a service that can convert written text to audio. It does a good job. Check it out. I brushed Scott’s hint aside and contacted some of my favorite bloggers and requested their permission to use their blog posts and articles in my podcast. Everyone granted me permission and I was thrilled.
I borrowed a studio quality from my colleague Greg Johnson and with music from The Podsafe Music Network (now musicAlley), Audacity and an account on libsyn, I put together the podcast. My co-workers listened and encouraged me. Finding great articles to render as audio was easy given the caliber of bloggers I had permission from. However, interest has, at best been, muted. Only 325 downloads. That’s for all 11 episodes. Hanselminutes logs that number is the first 5 minutes of being uploaded.
Of late, given extreme pressure at work and my interest in Healthcare IT and iPhone apps, it’s been hard to find time to research and put together an episode of pixels2soundBytes. It takes me a week to put together an episode, which includes time needed to find the articles, render them as audio, edit the recording, and compose an episode with music. I have become an expert in Audacity.
So, with no time to spare, I have decided to end the experiment and will close my podcast account with libsyn. If you are looking for a cheap podcast host, libsyn is a no-frills, affordable excellent host. The basic account costs $6/- per month and is more than enough for a budding podcast.
I would like to thank the following technology leaders for granting me permission to use their blog posts and articles in my experiment. I really appreciate all your help.
I would also like to thank my colleague Greg Johnson for lending me a great studio quality microphone. Thanks are also due to Scott Hanselman for responding to ALL my emails.
Last but not least, a big thank you to all those who downloaded pixels2soundBytes and tolerated my accented rendering of great blog posts and articles. Thanks for your support.