Monday, January 17, 2011

Podcast Feedback

When I decided, three weeks ago, to start the New Year with my first podcast - reviewing Blu-rays which are my main non-work activity at the moment, and have been for some time - I don't think I realised how much work I was setting myself up for.

It's not just producing the podcast itself single-handedly that's the problem but the hours of 'behind the scenes' work to set up web pages for the titles reviewed with screencaps, links, trailer etc.

I'd very soon realised that there are a lot of hard-of-hearing people who love watching Blu-rays but seem to be ignored by many of the podcasts, so it was a pretty high priority to get a good web-site up and running, with a downloadable transcript of the podcast for those who couldn't 'listen' but would be more than happy to 'read'.

I seem to have had to survive on 5 hours sleep a night (especially at weekends when the podcast is produced) for the last couple of weeks, but I think it's been worth it. I've been really impressed with the speed with which everything seems to have taken off. Those advice pages saying "Just start and practice and improve. Don't wait until everything's perfect" are bang on the button I think.

Despite many horror stories on their podcast fortunes ("Apple just don't care") iTunes actually took the podcast on board after just one week, and although it's annoying that the image to represent the podcast is still missing from the official iTunes page for the podcast even though it was correctly submitted and displayed in a preview test, everything else has gone very smoothly. Within a few hours of being approved my podcast was the first to show up in a search in the podcasts area for 'Blu-ray'. Nice!

LibSyn have turned out to be the perfect podcast hosting partner, after my awful start with a UK company who seemed incapable of doing anything that worked, not even having a 'Contact Us' process that worked. As part of their deal they even provide an iPhone/iPad application for downloading podcasts on those devices via a fun customised app. That will take a few more weeks to appear (Apple's App Store approval process is notoriously slow) but it's good to know it will be there.

But in the meantime the biggest surprise has been the feedback on the podcast that's appeared on my iTunes page (below). All five star reviews so far. I'm sure there will be some lower ones as more people discover the podcast, but being told you're better than the BBC's Kermode and Mayo podcast (which I download religiously every week) is one hell of a nice compliment

Screenshot of favourable reviews on iTunes

In case you haven't heard the podcast yet, or seen the associated web pages, check out the UK Blu Ray Review podcast blog for all the links, an in-page MP3 player for the podcast and the latest news.

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