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This online class gives you the perfect start in podcasting

This online class gives you the perfect start in podcasting

TL;DR: The Podcasting 101 bundle is on sale for £23.35 as of June 21, saving you 98% on list price.


There’s never been a better time to get into podcasting – it’s cheap, it’s relatively easy, and the market for content is huge. 

You might already know someone with a show, so why not add your voice to the mix? The Podcasting 101 bundle can help you launch your own show right away, even if you’ve never even recorded so much as a voicemail message.

In the bundle, you’ll receive lifetime access to 10 courses and over 35 hours of training in every aspect of podcasting, including the very basics of audio/video recording, strategies for recording your own voice, and even instruction on how to breathe correctly so you can host your podcast with confidence and not sound like some out-of-breath goblin. You’ll also learn tips on voice acting, if you’re interested in doing a narrative radio play-style podcast, and video production, in case you want your show to have a visual component for YouTube. Read more…

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Original Content podcast: ‘The Platform’ offers a gruesome metaphor for capitalism

“The Platform” is not a subtle movie.

That’s true of its approach to horror, with intense, bloody scenes that prompted plenty of screaming and pausing from your hosts at the Original Content podcast. It’s also true of its thematic material — right around the time one of the characters accuses another of being communist, you’ll slap yourself on the forehead and say, “Oh, it’s about capitalism.”

The new Netflix film takes place in a mysterious prison, with two prisoners on each level (they’re randomly rotated each month). Once each day, a platform laden with delicious food is lowered through the prison. If you’re on one of the top levels, you feast. If you’re further down, things are considerably more grim, and can become downright gruesome as the month wears on.

“The Platform” is a hard movie to sit through, and it has other faults, like an irritatingly mystical ending. But it’s certainly memorable, and even admirable in its dedication to fully exploring both the logistical and moral dimensions of its premise.

You can listen to our review in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:27 “The Platform” review
17:29 “The Platform” spoilers

How I Podcast: Family Ghost’s Sam Dingman

The beauty of podcasting is that anyone can do it. It’s a rare medium that’s nearly as easy to make as it is to consume. And as such, no two people do it exactly the same way. There are a wealth of hardware and software solutions open to potential podcasters, so setups run the gamut from NPR studios to USB Skype rigs.

We’ve asked some of our favorite podcast hosts and producers to highlight their workflows — the equipment and software they use to get the job done. The list so far includes:

I’m Listening’s Anita Flores
Let’s Talk About Cats’ Mary Phillips-Sandy and Lizzie Jacobs
Broken Record’s Justin Richmond
Criminal/This Is Love’s Lauren Spohrer
Jeffrey Cranor of Welcome to Night Vale
Jesse Thorn of Bullseye
Ben Lindbergh of Effectively Wild
My own podcast, RiYL

For three seasons, Panoply’s “Family Ghosts” has explored the deep, dark and true mysteries that have haunted families for generations. Show creator Sam Dingman is a Moth Grand Slam Winner, who also served as the producer for the popular podcasts “Bad With Money” and “You Must Remember This.”

I fell in love with podcasts in 2009, during the depths of my bizarre tenure as a customer support rep at an ill-fated software concern (RIP LimeWire). My job was to answer the phone and tell irate users who’d contracted viruses from illegally downloading music (read: porn) that we didn’t give refunds. Podcasts were a welcome reprieve from this firehose of outrage, and before long, I got up the nerve to start one of my own. I proceeded to fritter away entire workdays combing through recording forums (shout-out to Gearslutz!) and Googling pictures of radio studios, lusting after large diaphragm condenser mics and palpitating over preamps.

Unfortunately, all I could afford was an Audio-Technica AT2020 USB mic — which led to a series of initial recordings which were as spirited as they were unintelligible:


[A recording session for my (mercifully) short-lived first podcast, circa 2009].

Thankfully, I’ve learned a lot in the ensuing 10 years, and have also, via the grace of the audio gods, somehow acquired enough of a production budget to build my own studio space in a cozy basement studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Earlier this year, my friend Alan and I spent two truly endless days in said basement attempting to decipher the instructions for constructing a Whisper Room, where I now record all of the narration for “Family Ghosts,” soothing my constant fear that the whole thing is going to collapse on my head with the calming presence of a magenta lava lamp.

My starry-eyed Googling at LimeWire convinced me that a Holy Grail vocal chain could be achieved via the pairing of a Neumann U87 mic with the rich analogue circuitry of a Great River ME-1NV preamp, and I accordingly sprung for both as soon as we got the last screw turned on the Whisper Room. Every time I take the Neumann out of its wooden jeweler’s box for a recording session, I whisper “Hello, Magic Mic.” The Great River sits on my desk with its stately black knobs and austere gain meter, and I love the warmth and nuance it imparts upon the voices that flow through it. 

Of course, recording narration in the Whisper Room is only half the battle for a “Family Ghosts” story — when I’m not in the studio, I’m usually lugging around a backpack full of my field recording gear: a Zoom H5 digital recorder, two Rode NTG2 shotgun mics, two desktop mic stands and XLR cables, a wall adapter and extension cord so that I don’t have to worry about draining the batteries on the Zoom during long interviews, a pair of Sony MDR-7506 headphones and a stereo ¼” -to-⅛” cable, which allows me to record good-quality phone interviews on the Zoom.

Then I bring the whole works back to the basement in Greenpoint, load the audio into Pro Tools, fire up the lava lamp, buy some coffee and obsessively re-arrange waveforms into the wee small hours of the night, forever grateful that I somehow found a way to leave the screaming customer service calls behind.

Apple and Spotify’s podcasts come to Echo devices in the US

Amazon Alexa can now play podcasts from Apple, making Amazon’s line of Echo devices the first third-party clients to support the Apple Podcasts service without using AirPlay. Before, this level of support was limited to Apple’s HomePod. According to Amazon, the addition brings to Alexa devices Apple’s library of more than 800,000 podcasts. It also allows customers to set Apple Podcasts as their preferred podcast service.

The move is the latest in a series of partnerships between the two rivals, which also included the launch of the Apple TV app on Amazon’s Fire TV platform, as well as the launch of Apple Music on Echo devices and Fire TV. Amazon, in response, has expanded its assortment of Apple inventory to include Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch and more.

To get started, Apple users who want to stream from Apple Podcasts will first need to link their Apple ID in the Alexa app. Customers can then ask Alexa to play or resume the podcasts they want to hear. Other player commands, like “next” or “fast forward,” work, too. And as you move between devices, your progress within each episode will also sync, which means you can start listening on Alexa, then pick up where you left off on your iPhone.

In the Alexa app’s Settings, users will also be able to specify Apple Podcasts as their default player, which means any time they ask Alexa for a podcast without indicating a source, it will stream from the Apple Podcasts service.

Not to be outdone, Spotify also today announced its support for streaming podcasts on Alexa in the U.S.

Of course, Spotify Premium users have been able to use Spotify Connect to stream to Echo before today.

But now, Spotify says that both Free and Premium U.S. customers will be able to ask Alexa for podcasts as well as set Spotify as their default player.

Alexa’s support for Spotify podcasts was actually announced in September (alongside other news) at Amazon’s annual Alexa event in Seattle, so it’s less of a surprise than the Apple addition.

At the time, Amazon said it was adding support for Spotify’s podcast library in the U.S., which would bring “hundreds of thousands” of podcasts to Alexa devices. That also includes Spotify’s numerous exclusive podcasts — something that will give Echo users a reason to set Spotify as their default, perhaps.

Shortly after that announcement, Spotify said its free service would also now stream to Alexa devices, instead of only its paid service for Premium subscribers.

Original Content podcast: If you haven’t watched ‘Succession’ yet, what are you even doing?

You’ve probably already heard that HBO’s “Succession” (which recently completed its second season) is amazing. And as three East Coast tech reporters, we were probably the easiest targets for the show’s many charms.

Still, we felt like we had to talk about it. In fact, our “Succession” review on this episode of the Original Content podcast is perhaps our most epic discussion so far. And we probably would have gone for even longer, if we thought anyone would still be listening.

The series revolves around the Roy family, whose patriarch Logan Roy (played by Brian Cox) founded and still leads the Waystar Royco media empire. Throughout the course of the two seasons, his four children — heir apparent Kendall (Jeremy Strong), political fixer Shiv (Sarah Snook), snarky smart aleck Roman (Kieran Culkin) and libertarian weirdo Connor (Alan Ruck) — all take turns vying for their father’s attention and scheming against him.

All three of us loved “Succession,” but even without a long argument about the show’s merits, there was still plenty for us to debate: How a story with such morally bankrupt characters can still be so compelling, to what extend those characters are motivated by love versus hate versus greed (and whether they can even tell the difference) and who, in the end, deserves to sit on the corporate throne.

We also discuss next week’s launch of Disney+ and Apple TV+, and which shows we’re most excited about finally watching.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you want to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:41 Apple/Disney discussion
10:16 “Succession” spoiler-free review
25:50 “Succession” spoiler discussion

Original Content podcast: ‘Years and Years’ takes an unsettling look at the next decade

“Years and Years” is an unusual show. It’s a co-production of HBO and the BBC, and in the course of six hourlong episodes, it covers a span of more than 10 years in our near future.

During that time, we see the rise of a terrifying Trump-style politician in the United Kingdom named Vivian Rook (played by Emma Thompson), along with lots more political, economic and technological upheaval. All of this is seen through the eyes of Manchester’s Lyons family — grandmother Muriel and adult siblings Rory, Edith, Daniel and Rosie, plus their spouses and children.

No one in the family is a major power player; they simply watch everything change with a growing sense of dread. That, in large part, is what makes the show effective — it feels true to the experience of trying to get on with your life while the world shifts around you.

On the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we spend the entire hour reviewing the show. We had some reservations about the finale — which seemed to abandon the strengths of the previous episodes — but even so, we were impressed by the series, and by the way it brought so many of our fears to life.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you want to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:

0:00 Intro
0:23 “Years and Years” review
30:07 “Years and Years” spoiler discussion

Original Content podcast: We can’t resist the thoughtful glamour of ‘The Crown’

We weren’t expecting to like “The Crown.”

Yes, there are talented actors and fancy costumes on-screen, and yes, there’s an acclaimed writer at the helm who specializes in dramatizing real history. But did we really need to watch another 20 hours of serious, scripted drama about England’s royal family?

Well, we were convinced to give the show a shot after it took home multiple awards at this year’s Emmys, and we were absolutely won over. It turns out that some of the questions that made us uncertain about the concept (such as: What’s the point of a monarchy in modern society?) are exactly what the show is trying to explore.

And it would be hard to overpraise those actors — not just Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, but also Matt Smith as her husband Prince Philip, Vanessa Kirby as Pricness Margaret, John Lithgow as Winston Churchill and Jared Harris as Elizabeth’s father, King George VI.

On the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we’re joined by Catherine Shu to discuss the first two seasons of “The Crown,” and what we’re hoping to see in season three (with Foy and Smith replaced by older actors to play Elizabeth and Philip in middle age). We also discuss recently-revealed details about the upcoming Star Wars streaming series “The Mandalorian” and plans for an interactive episode of “Black Mirror.”

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You also can send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

Podcasts we love: NPR's 'Invisibilia' uncovers invisible truths

One of the things I love about long summer weekends is catching up on podcasts and filling my mind with something other than bummer political news. The third season of NPR’s most popular podcast, Invisibilia, just launched, and I’m really enjoying it.

One of their latest episodes is about the minds of dogs. You should subscribe.

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MashTalk: Are BlackBerry and Nokia really back from the dead?

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Welcome back to another week of MashTalk. On this week’s podcast, the Mashable tech team recaps the best gadgets from Mobile World Congress 2017, discuss Snap Inc’s IPO, and debate whether Apple would actually replace the iPhone’s Lightning port with USB-C.

As always, MashTalk is hosted by our Tech Editor Pete Pachal with commentary from Chief Correspondent Lance Ulanoff and Senior Tech Correspondent Raymond Wong. 

We also have special guests, Business Reporter Kerry Flynn and Real Time News Writer Nicole Gallucci to lend us their expertise. Read more…

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'India's Spotify' launches artist originals to take on Apple Music

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The audio and music streaming landscape in India is heating up. Slowly yet surely. 

Saavn, termed “India’s Spotify” by Billboard, just rolled out its Artist Originals (AO) program that will conceptualize, produce and distribute new music with independent artists from India and South Asia. 

The AO program boosts Saavn’s original programming such as podcasts and audio shows. It’s touted as giving creative opportunities to India’s underground artists, and it aligns with the founder’s vision of moving away from “a music-only product to an entertainment platform.”  Read more…

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'India's Spotify' launches artist originals to take on Apple Music

TwitterFacebook

The audio and music streaming landscape in India is heating up. Slowly yet surely. 

Saavn, termed “India’s Spotify” by Billboard, just rolled out its Artist Originals (AO) program that will conceptualize, produce and distribute new music with independent artists from India and South Asia. 

The AO program boosts Saavn’s original programming such as podcasts and audio shows. It’s touted as giving creative opportunities to India’s underground artists, and it aligns with the founder’s vision of moving away from “a music-only product to an entertainment platform.”  Read more…

More about Podcasts, Indie Music, Music Artist, Spotify, and Apple Music

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MashTalk: Should Apple be required to provide instructions on how to fix your iPhone?

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Welcome back to another week of MashTalk. On this week’s podcast, the Mashable tech team discusses Apple’s resistance of so-called “Right-to-Repair” laws, Facebook’s new manifesto, and the return of “unlimited” data plans in the U.S.

As always, MashTalk is hosted by our Tech Editor Pete Pachal along with Chief Correspondent Lance Ulanoff and Senior Tech Correspondent Raymond Wong. We also have special guest, Deputy Tech Editor Damon Beres joining us.

First on the agenda is, of course, the topic of “Right-to-Repair” laws. What is it and should you care? (2:19) Read more…

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How motivated skepticism strengthens incorrect beliefs

This is part two in my “The Backfire Effect” series. This one focuses on motivated reasoning, specifically something called motivated skepticism. In addition, it features interviews with the scientists who coined the backfire effect term itself and who have extended their original research outside of politics and into health issues.

By now you’ve likely heard of confirmation bias. As a citizen of the internet the influence of this cognitive tendency is constant, and its allure is pervasive.

In short, when you have a hunch that you might already understand something, but don’t know for sure, you tend to go searching for information that will confirm your suspicions.

When you find that inevitable confirmation, satisfied you were correct all along, you stop searching. In some circles, the mental signal to end exploration once you feel like your position has sufficient external support is referred to as the wonderfully wordy “makes sense stopping rule” which basically states that once you believe you’ve made sense of something, you go about your business satisfied that you need not continue your efforts. In other words, just feeling correct is enough to stop your pursuit of new knowledge. We basically had to invent science to stop ourselves from trying to solve problems by thinking in this way.

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You could, instead, try and disconfirm your assumptions, to start your investigations by attempting to debunk your beliefs, but most of the time you don’t take this approach. That’s not your default method of exploring the natural world or defending your ideological stances.

VaxxFor instance, if you believe that vaccines cause autism, and then you go searching for data that backs up that hypothesis, with the power of search engines you are guaranteed to find it. That’s true for just about everything anyone has ever believed whether it’s the moon landing was a hoax, the Denver airport is a portal to Hell, or that there is a fern that produces small animals that eat grass and deliver their nutrients into the plant via an umbilical vine.

We even reason through a confirmation bias when searching our memories. In one study, subjects read a story about a woman named Jane. In it, she exhibited some behaviors that could be interpreted as introverted, and some that seemed more extroverted. Several days later, psychologists divided those same subjects into two groups. They told one group that Jane was thinking about applying for a job as a real estate agent, and asked if they thought she was suited to the work. Most people said she would be great at it, and when asked why, those subjects recalled all the extroverted behavior from their memories, citing those parts of the narrative as evidence for their belief. The scientists then said that Jane was also considering a job as a librarian. The subjects groused upon hearing this, saying that Jane was too outgoing for that kind of environment. For the other group, the order was flipped. They first asked if Jane should take a job as a librarian. Just like the other group, most of the subjects said “yes!” right away, taking an affirmative position by default. When asked why they felt that way, they too searched their memories for confirmation that their hunches were correct and cited all the times they remembered Jane had acted shy. When scientists asked this second group if Jane should go for a real-estate job instead, they were adamantly opposed to the idea, saying Jane was obviously too reserved for a career like that.

Confirmation bias is an active, goal-oriented, effortful process. When tasked to defend your position, even if you just took it, even if you could have taken another, you tend to search for proof, pushing past a threatening, attitude-inconsistent thicket to cherry-pick the fruit of validation.

There is another process though that is just as pernicious but that runs in the background, passive, waiting to come online when challenging information is unavoidable, when it arrives in your mind uninvited. This psychological backup plan for protecting your beliefs is called motivated skepticism.

Political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler saw the power of motivated skepticism when they confronted anti-vaxxers with a variety of facts aimed at debunking myths concerning a connection between the childhood MMR vaccine and autism. In this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast, they explain how they were successful at softening those subjects’ beliefs in those misconceptions, yet those same people later reported that they were even less likely to vaccinate their children than subjects who received no debunking information at all. The corrections backfired.

As I’ve written before, “when your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger.” In this episode of the You Are Not So Smart podcast, the second in a series on the The Backfire Effect, we explore how motivated skepticism fuels this bizarre phenomenon by which correcting misinformation can cause people to become even more certain in their incorrect beliefs. (This is a link to part one in the series).

This episode’s cookie is espresso dark chocolate sent in by Sarah Hendrickson.

Links and Sources

• The Makes-Sense Stopping Rule: Perkins, D. N., Farady, M., & Bushey, B. In Voss, J. F., Perkins, D. N., & Segal, J. W. (1991). Informal reasoning and education. Hillsdale, N.J: L. Erlbaum Associates.

• Jane Confirmation Bias Study: Snyder, Mark, and Nancy Cantor. “Testing Hypotheses about Other People: The Use of Historical Knowledge.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 15.4 (1979): 330-42.

• Vaccine Corrections Study: Nyhan, B., J. Reifler, S. Richey, and G. L. Freed. “Effective Messages in Vaccine Promotion: A Randomized Trial.” Pediatrics 133.4 (2014).

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Previous Episodes

Part One of this Series

Boing Boing Podcasts

Cookie Recipes

The Backfire Effect

Effective Messages in Vaccine Promotion: A Randomized Trial

Study: You Can’t Change an Anti-Vaxxer’s Mind

Vaccine Opponents Can Be Immune to Education

Brendan Nyhan on Twitter

Brendan Nyhan’s Website

Jason Reifler’s Twitter

Jason Reifler’s Website

Music in this episode donated by: Mogwai

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Bruce Sterling on dieselpunk, alternate history, fascism and the current political moment

In November, Bruce Sterling published “Pirate Utopia,” a dieselpunk novella set in the real, historical, bizarre moment in which the city of Fiume became an autonomous region run by artists and revolutionaries, whose philosophies ran the gamut from fascism to anarcho-syndicalism to socialism.
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