Hey, a public post! I figured I'd post this here, so if someone else runs into some of the same problems I did they would be able to google it and find this information.
(Oh, and also, my podcast has been launched, though I am holding off on making the big push to tell people about it until it is accepted into the iTunes music store, which might take a couple of weeks. Information on how to subscribe to it is behind this link.)
Creating the files
If you use GarageBand's podcast functionality, you have the option of exporting either mp3 or m4a files. If you use m4a then you have the option of including things like chapter markers, while mp3 is more bare bones.
In theory mp3 would be more widely supported, but as far as I can tell in practice pretty much every podcast reader can handle both, so I decided to use m4a in the podcast, but also have mp3s available in case anyone couldn't use the m4a version. This ended up complicating things slightly.
Hosting the files
I used Amazon S3 to host the audio files. There were a few tricky things about this.
- It took me a while to figure out where it was. To save you some time, here's a direct link:
- S3 doesn't automatically detect the MIME type for m4a files correctly, so if you use this type of file, after uploading it you will have to select it, click on 'Properties', click on 'Metadata', and change the 'Content-Type' key's value to 'audio/mp4'.
- To give public access to a file, you select it and go under 'Actions' to 'Make Public'.
- If you select a file, it will show you the URL to get to it, for instance:
However, if you actually use this URL, then feedburner won't be able to see it, because feedburner doesn't like https links for some reason. Fortunately, you can just change this to an http link and it still works fine:
Making blog posts
I used tumblr for this, but you can use any blogging platform that will provide an rss feed.
Each blog post should contain a link to the audio. Things to know here:
- The blog's title should be the name of the podcast. I originally named my blog 'Tell Me About Your Song episodes', and feedburner later decided that that was what I wanted the podcast's title to be, and my attempts to override this completely failed to work until I just renamed the blog to 'Tell Me About Your Song'.
- As noted previously, it should be an
httplink, not an
httpslink, or else feedburner will choke on it.
- If you have multiple links in a blog post and you want to make sure that feedburner will know which one is pointing to the podcast audio, then add '
rel="enclosure"' to that link, e.g.
tYourSong/Tracie+Potochnik+-+Tell+Me+Abo ut+Your+Song.m4a" rel="enclosure">Download This Episode</a>
- I ended up decided to create two separate blogs, one that would be the basis for the podcast feed, and the other of which would contain the show notes. I think that will work well for my podcast, but if you use the '
rel=enclosure' trick cited above then you can probably make do with just one.
- On tumblr, the rss feed for a given blog is
http://yoursongpodcasteps.tumblr.com/rss/for my podcast's blog) - this is what you'll need when you're setting up the podcast feed.
Setting up the podcast feed
I used feedburner for this. It can be accessed here: http://feedburner.google.com/ This will use the same login as your gmail account.
Getting the podcast to work in feedburner was super frustrating, but hopefully if you've followed the guidelines above (setting the content-type of the file correctly, changing the URL from https to http, using 'rel=enclosure' if you have multiple links in your blog post, setting the name of the blog to the name of the podcast) then it will be pretty straightforward:
- You paste in the URL of your blog's rss feed (
http://yoursongpodcasteps.tumblr.com/rss/in my case) and select the 'I am a podcaster!' option.
- It asks you for the feed title (though I don't know why, since it will just use your blog's title even if you specify something different here) and will ask you what to use in the feedburner URL (I specified TellMeAboutYourSong, so my feedburner URL is
- You then have the option of specifying additional information -- the location of an image that will serve as your podcasts icon, what category of podcast it is, whether it's got adult content, etc. -- which will be useful if you want to submit the podcast to iTunes; I believe Apple will accept podcasts that don't have, say, a high-resolution icon, but they generally won't consider featuring podcasts on the iTunes home page if they don't have these things. (I am also told that the icon must be a jpeg with the extension '.jpg'; '.jpeg' won't cut it, according to this information, for mystical reasons known only to Apple.)
Actually it may be useful at this stage to link to Apple's podcasting specs.
- Once all that is set up, you should be able to go to http://feedburner.google.com/ and see your podcast listed. Click on it and check the following things to make sure that all is well:
- On the 'Troubleshootize' tab, click on 'PodMedic' and make sure that it finds your blog post ('Content Item') and that it found the podcast link within that post (it should say 'Yay! Media enclosure created for: [the filename of the episode's mp3 or m4a file]').
- On the 'Optimize' tab, click on 'Your Feed' and verify that the title is correct and everything basically looks fine. Note that if there are any double quotes or other characters that feedburner had to translate so they would work in its feed then you'll see the encoded version; that's normal and nothing to worry about.
- If you are particularly detail-orented, you can click on 'XML Source', also on the 'Optimize' tab, and see the actual RSS for the feed. The main thing that you want to make sure is there is the '
<enclosure url="...' tag for each episode, which should point to the media file. (But if PodMedic found the media enclosure then this should not be a problem.)
- If you find some things are not quite what they should be, and you have to go back and edit the blog post, feedburner will not immediately reflect the changes. You can try to get it to speed up the process by going to the 'Troubleshootize' tab and clicking on the 'pinging FeedBurner' link. Give it the link to your blog and it should rescan it. This mostly worked, but there was also a period of a half hour or so where it didn't seem to, and where even deleting and recreating the feed didn't make a difference; I'm not sure if this was a problem on feedburner's end or if tumblr was serving up cached information for some reason. Anyway, pinging feedburner is worth a try.
- At this point you can try plugging the feed's URL into iTunes ('File'->'Subscribe to Podcast') and see if it works. Hopefully, it will!
- You paste in the URL of your blog's rss feed (
Submitting to iTunes
If you go to https://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZFi
nance.woa/wa/publishPodcast, Apple will ask you to sign in with your Apple ID, and you'll then be able to submit the Feedburner URL of your podcast. You should then get an email telling you they've received your submission and you'll hear from them once it's approved (or disapproved).
Searching around indicates that it can take a couple of weeks for new podcasts to get approved, though some people report shorter times. In retrospect, submitting it on a Saturday night during a three-day weekend might not have been my smartest strategy.
After a podcast is approved, I gather it takes about a day for it to become indexed; so initially you'll be able to share the link to subscribe to it in iTunes, but searching for the podcast in iTunes won't find it.
The first series of the new Doctor Who had an arc to it which, in my opinion, has not really been duplicated in the series since. That is not to say that every individual was great -- I would say three single-episode stories and two two-parters are quite noteworthy, with the rest being either somewhat forgettable or seriously flawed -- but the overall sweep of the season, combined with the fact that this was a fresh approach to the series, made it add up to greater than the sum of its parts.
( Cut for spoilers and for lengthCollapse )
Past tense of plead?
Does it matter if the word is used in a legal setting vs. a non-legal setting?
I'm using radio buttons instead of checkboxes because I want people to take a stand.
Here's the rundown:
- Current Music:Episode from Mar 8, 2011 - KBC and WFMU
So I've been re-downloading some old TSoYA episodes that I think Chris will find enjoyable and I thought I would list them here too.
Swamp Dogg. Soul writer and singer Swamp Dogg's general philosophy towards musical projects seems to be that if someone asks him to do something he'll give it a try, a philosophy that I identify with. (This might explain Swamp Dogg's country album, for instance.) It's great hearing an interview with an interesting person when both he and the interviewer are clearly just having a great time, and I bought one of Swamp Dogg's greatest hits collections on the strength of this interview, a move I have not regretted.
Nellie McKay. I gather that this interview with singer/songwriter Nellie McKay is a bit controversial, with some TSoYA regular listeners finding her wry attitude incredibly annoying, but I found the interview and the live performances (she sings and plays the ukulele) both really enjoyable. Hearing her talk about playing on Garrison Keillor's show was particularly interesting to me.
Bill Withers. Bill Withers was a great soul writer and singer who got sick of the music industry and has been mostly retired and reclusive since the 80s, but Jesse Thorn (host of TSoYA) managed to catch him while he was promoting the documentary 'Soul Power', and it's a really interesting interview. (Jesse reports that this interview was extremely terrifying for him, particularly as Withers didn't hesitate to let him know if Jesse said something Withers disagreed with.)
The vocoder. Dave Tompkins talks about his book 'How To Wreck A Nice Beach' [the title is a mangled version of the phrase 'How To Recognize Speech'] which describes the history of the vocoder, which had its roots in technology designed to protect phone conversations from codebreakers during WWII.
Mavis Staples. Mavis Staples is a really friendly and engaging speaker, and this might be the best interview I've heard with her. The bit about Randy Newman at the end of the podcast is a particular highlight for me.
I should note that Jesse doesn't just interview musicians -- I was just thinking along those lines because of the tours. He also interviews authors, actors, comedians, and other interesting people. I could keep listing episodes but maybe it's simpler to link to one of Jesse's posts where he lists some audience favorites.
(1) 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey.
(2) 3-4 tablespoons of ginger.
(3) 1 dried chili pepper.
(4) 1/4 tsp cinnamon.
(5) 1 tsp vanilla.
Very gingery. A little bite but not too much. Not too sweet. I may stick with this variant the next time I make ginger ale.
Changes made from that recipe:
I used 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and 1/4 cup honey. In retrospect I should have added the honey after step 9 ("Half fill the bottle with fresh cool tap water") because it appears to have trapped some of the yeast against the bottom of the bottle. I'm hoping it will dissolve as the mixture warms up. Edit: Actually just jostling the bottle around for 10-15 minutes seem to have done the trick -- though there is still a chunk of undissolved brown sugar at the moment.
In addition to the ingredients listed, I added 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/16 tsp nutmeg, a splash of vanilla, and a little lemon zest. Any or all of these might be mistakes but I gotta be me.
I tried using a little less water than I did with the ginger beer but I'm not sure if I succeeded or not -- if so it is probably not enough of a difference to matter. Oh well.
The claim is that this will take 3-4 days to be done, which I am a bit doubtful about after the ginger ale was done about three times as fast as it was supposed to be. We'll see how it goes.
Since last time I tried making soda I have invested in a funnel and a sieve, which should help to facilitate further experiments along these lines.
She said when she made it it was a bit sweeter than she'd like so I decided to use 3/4 cup sugar instead of
The recipe says that it should take a day or two for things to ferment sufficiently, but after eight hours the bottle was hard as a rock. This freaked me out a little and I started worrying about explosions (which the recipe also warns about). I put the bottle in a garbage bag (because garbage bags are proof against explosions) and stuck it in the fridge. Around midday today, assuming no mishaps, I'll open the bottle and report back.
I'm not sure why it fermented so quickly. Maybe the yeast I used was particularly active? I used less sugar than called for so I would have expected it to ferment more slowly if anything. But I think secritcrush's batch also fermented more quickly than expected so perhaps yeast technology has changed since 2006.
Some premature thinking about future soda making:
Owning a funnel would have made some things easier and I may invest in one.
I was given a 5-pound jug of honey recently so I may try using some of that next time. Brown sugar also seems like it would be worth trying. Maybe add some vanilla?
Speaking of vanilla, the same gentleman who wrote the ginger ale recipe has a recipe for root beer with modifications for making cream soda, so I might try that as well sometime.
Edit: The ginger ale has been opened. Here, have a video:
Occasionally when you're knitting you'll run into a situation where you have to graft two ends of, say, a cabled or ribbed band together to make a loop.
Unfortunately most of the tutorials on the web only discuss the situation where you're grafting stockinette to stockinette, so if you have to graft two ribbed edges together and you need the ridges to match up you may be in a bit of a fix.
( The quick reference version.Collapse )
People generally have reported that it's a quick project and not difficult to knit (which is to say, not as complicated as it looks), but in case there are folks out there who want to own a stegosaurus without having to knit one themselves I thought I'd note that someone recently wrote to me asking if she could make some to sell and I told her she could, so she may be willing to make one for you! More information can be found at http://rizny.livejournal.com/105661.htm
Do you use XMas? What do you think the 'X' means?
This coming Saturday, November 21, I'm having a CD release party at Pioneer Brewing Company in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, about 15 minutes west of Worcester. It's a free show. If you live there and feel like checking it out then I hope you can make it! And if not, but you know some friends who you think would enjoy it and live around there then please pass the word along.
I put together a page with information about the show, videos of the performers, etc., but the quick information is:
- Where: The Pioneer Brewing Company at Hyland Orchard, 199 Arnold Road, Sturbridge, MA 01518, about a 15-minute drive from Worcester.
- When: Saturday, November 21 from 6-10 pm.
- Cost: It's a free show, no cover charge!
- Who's playing: I've persuaded some talented musical friends to join me, namely Kate Katzberg, Anne's Cordial, and the Superchief Trio! See below for more information about the performers.
- Food: The Brewery doesn't serve food, but there will be a potluck dinner for those who wish to participate.
I'll post reminders when the dates are closer, but for now I wanted to let you know:
Last week I received copies of my new CD, 'Mistaken Identity', which is now available for purchase in a variety of ways; see http://music.jwgh.org/cd.html for details.
To celebrate this, I decided I wanted to have two separate CD release parties, one in my current home, Providence, RI, and one in central Massachusetts where I grew up and where my family still lives. Last night, I finally put the finishing touches on the plans for the two shows, so here are the details:
Tuesday November 17 -- **PROVIDENCE CD RELEASE PARTY WITH JON CAMPBELL, HANNAH DEVINE, AND THE KILLDEVILS!**
WHERE: Everyman Bistro, 555 Valley Street, Providence, RI 02908
WHEN: 8 pm-11 pm
FACEBOOK EVENT: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=1
Come celebrate the release of my first professionally-done CD, 'Mistaken Identity'! There will be half-priced appetizers and a beer special and perhaps some other surprises. Helping me to celebrate, excellent local acts Jon Campbell, Hannah Devine, and the electric Killdevils have agreed to join me (I will also play solo). I'm planning to have a blast; come on out and have one too!
Saturday November 21 -- **MASSACHUSETTS CD RELEASE PARTY WITH KATE KATZBERG, ANNE'S CORDIAL, AND THE SUPERCHIEF TRIO!**
WHERE: Pioneer Brewing Company at Hyland Orchard, 199 Arnold Road, Sturbridge, MA 01518
WHEN: 6-10 pm
FACEBOOK EVENT: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=1
An early evening show with excellent (so I'm told) locally-produced beer. There'll be a potluck, so if you haven't had dinner bring something to share and there should be some tasty food to eat ... (I plan to bring some bread, a pizza or two, and perhaps a homemade pie if there's time.)
I asked some talented friends to help me celebrate and they agreed to help out, so Kate Katzberg, Anne's Cordial, and the Superchief Trio will also be performing. There'll be lots of great music, so I hope you can make it!
See you around,
Join my mailing list: http://six.pairlist.net/mailman/listinf
Your project (SO00519004) has been sent to production and has an estimated completion date of 10/02/2009. If your order is not paid in full, someone from our billing department will call you to make payment arrangements before shipping.
Your completed product will be shipped to:
561 Public St
Providence RI 02907
If there are any changes or additions to this shipping address, or if you have any questions, please let me know.
Who: Providence SnBers
What: Summer BBQ
When: Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Time: 6:00 pm to whenever
Where: Sarah S's house in Warwick
Why: Just for fun!!
How: Please email or call Sarah S for address and directions. email@example.com or (508) 685-1946
Sarah will provide the Pizzas and toppings for grilling. (Really, its good.) Please feel free to bring sidedishes, beverages, and desserts.
If you'll be driving there and are willing to give people with cars a ride, or if you're carless and need a ride, please comment (or get in touch with me if you can't comment) and we'll try to set you up!
Last weekend I decided to wander around campus and take pictures of the ugliest buildings, and the results can be found below. Historical facts about the buildings were generally taken from the Encyclopedia Brunoniana.
( 1964: The John D. Rockefeller, Jr. LibraryCollapse )
( 1965: Barus & HolleyCollapse )
( 1968: The Graduate CenterCollapse )
( 1971: The Sciences LibraryCollapse )
What is the ugliest building on Brown's campus?
Every so often I drive down Point Street past the Planned Parenthood there and invariably there are protesters out front with their signs. It's such an everyday thing that it wouldn't surprise me if people give directions by them -- go down Point Street and turn right at the giant fetus posters. Doing a little google news search turns up no recent mention of this -- I imagine this stopped being news years ago.
Regarding the latter bunch, silk_noir has put together a list of organizations that support abortion and birth control rights. Check them out, and, if you have the money and inclination, give them some support.
"I am a member of this community. Our DNA has been here since 1880. I belong here. The folks that come in from out of town, they are the intruders. Forty percent of all the people who were arrested here during the Operation Rescue in 1991 came from out of state. I intend to stay here. I am part of the fabric of Kansas and Kansas is part of the fabric of me." - Dr. George Tiller
“People in Nashville seem to pretty much follow the speed limit. It's kinda baffling. Anyway I'm about to go pick up Carrie at the airport. Then I think we'll have breakfast and take it from there. Emily is also getting in later.
Transcribed by: sunburn
“This is Jake. I'm in Nashville. I am here for my friend Christy's wedding which is on Friday and so took a flight out this morning; got here around 1:00. Check in to the hotel got the rental car with GPS, which I think will be useful, even though I already had a little mis-adventure with it already. And so next up I am gonna go some place for lunch I think and hopefully catch up with Christy and Bob. So those who might have been wondering if I made it here safe: I did, and I'll be seeing a few of you pretty soon, so... see you soon! Bye.”
Transcribed by: sunburn