Category Archives: Update

Pocket Sized Podcast Wants YOU!

Have you ever wanted to be a podcaster? Do you love iOS, apps, and iPhones and iPads? Do you have a good sense of humor and a voice that makes people sell their homes to be near you? Got a decent mic and earphones? Well, Pocket Sized Podcast wants YOU to become rich and famous!

But if that fails, how’d you like to try out to be co-host of Pocket Sized Podcast?

No, Peter and I haven’t started sending each other death threats, and Peter didn’t join a podcast network with no sponsors. Peter’s still my friend. He’d better be, or I’ll sic Nilson on him. But I would like to find a co-host who wants to podcast about the topics Pocket Sized Podcast covers on a weekly basis with me.

I’m looking for someone that fits a lot of criteria. Basically, I want a flying unicorn for a co-host.

  • Casual, conversational style (unlike myself)
  • Tolerable voice (unlike myself)
  • Clean audio (good mic and headphones)
  • Preferably able to record your side of the conversation (has Audio Hijack Pro or Skype Call Recorder or similar)
  • Sense of humor (otherwise I’m going to laugh at you and tell you I’m laughing with you)
  • Technical enough to have a good grasp of iOS, iOS devices, and wide app experience. Knowing basic security concepts, having an ability to learn new apps or iOS settings, and being comfortable with the why and how of things would be nice
  • Good chemistry with me (this is almost impossible as I am unintentionally anti-social and impossible to get along with)
  • Are willing to record weekly on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. Obviously there will be vacations and you might even have a life, but in general, weekly.
  • Are willing to help come up with topic ideas, play with apps enough to give them a proper review, and generally be a part of the team. This is not a HUGE time commitment, but it is a commitment.

If you’ve listened to Pocket Sized Podcast and thought I CAN DO THIS A LOT BETTER THAN THIS BABBLING MORON! then you’re probably right, and would you please email me a demo recording of yourself discussing a favorite app to pocketpodcast@gmail.com?

Don’t overly compress the file, a five to ten minute AIFF or 128 – 256 Kbps MP3 or M4a file is fine. I want to be able to hear what you sound like. Also, if it’s not good quality, I can’t rearrange all the words into an incriminating file that the NSA will believe is real. So there’s that.

One thing I do want to say in all seriousness is that whatever decision I make, it is NOT a value judgement on anyone who submits an audio clip but is not chosen. I know a lot of tremendous people who I respect highly who I think would not make great co-hosts of this podcast because of stilted chemistry recording with me, bad audio quality, or whatever. I will be picky, but it’s about an overall fit for this particular podcast that I’m looking for. Please understand that. I still love you, and if you send me fruitcake for Christmas, I’ll thank you profusely and never tell you that I threw it at one of the bike-stealing neighborhood kids to knock him unconscious until the police could arrive. But I did.

Get cracking, kids. Let’s move Pocket Sized Podcast into the future in style.

Feed Update

As you know if you’re a listener of the podcast, I am moving away from using Feedburner and just pointing people to the site generated feed instead.

Please see the Subscribe page for how to subscribe in iTunes or for the feed URL to subscribe manually.

If you are using iTunes, the feed address will update automatically for you, and there is nothing to do. I verified today that iTunes has updated to the correct feed.

If you are using Downcast or another non-iTunes related Mac, Windows, or iOS app to listen to the podcast, you will need to resubscribe to the podcast. You should just be able to unsubscribe, search for the podcast again using the software’s search feature, and then subscribe again.

If your software doesn’t have the capability of searching for podcasts and you have to add the podcast back manually, please see the Subscribe page for the feed URL you’ll need to enter.

Sorry for doing this again. I’m really disappointed in how Google has dropped the ball on Feedburner.

Download the Pocket Sized Podcast Theme Song!

I mentioned on the last podcast that I was going to talk to Bryan and see if we could make the podcast theme available for download in high quality. Bryan came through for us, and even made a page on his web site with all of his current podcast theme songs.

Have I mentioned that Bryan Page rocks?

Download the Pocket Sized Podcast theme song and listen to Bryan’s other theme songs at http://jestamusic.com/themetunes and then listen to all the other great music he’s got up on his web site at http://music.jestamusic.com/ … You won’t be sorry!

Once again, those links:

http://jestamusic.com/themetunes

http://music.jestamusic.com/

3 Geeky Ladies (you know one of them already)

If you’re one of the many who think that Suzé Gilbert’s reviews are the best part of Pocket Sized Podcast, I have some good news for you – she’s in a new podcast called 3 Geeky Ladies along with Elisa Pacelli and Vicki Stokes.

Just go listen right now – you won’t regret it. And as soon as they have a feed link, subscribe! I’m ordering you! Oh, and while you’re taking orders, I could use a new iPad. My iPad 2 is great, but you know. Retina display and all. Hey wait… where are you going?

Find the 3 Geeky Ladies Episode 1 at http://www.mymac.com/2012/05/3-geeky-ladies-episode-1/ on the MyMac.com web site!

Surprise coming next episode!

I have a bit of a surprise for the next episode of the podcast. Besides the great guest who has been patiently waiting for me to get my act together and interview him, there’s another change to the podcast that you’re going to like a lot.

The only hint I can give is that the quality and image of the podcast is being improved yet again. After the great artwork from Donny Yankellow and now this upcoming surprise, people might be forced to take this podcast seriously! If only it had a real host, but that’s not going to happen, so might as well get used to it!

Stay tuned. You’ll like this. I’m excited about it.

We are BACK in the iTunes store!

Yes!! Apple approved my new submission of Pocket Sized Podcast in the iTunes store! You can find it here:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/pocket-sized-podcast/id523444715

I am not sure how much to rejoice though until 20 years have gone by and it’s still in iTunes. I’m like a poor, beaten animal that fears all men now. I just know they’re going to swoop in and pluck its eyes out again for no (specified) reason.

Anyway, enjoy!

Just one minor request though – if you left a rating or review in iTunes for the podcast, could you please do so again? All that good stuff was trashed when Apple yanked it, and it helps us out a lot to have those in place. Thank you! We appreciate it very much.

Not Another iTunes Rant!

You’re right. It’s not really another iTunes rant, but Mark Greentree of Not Another Mac Podcast! did have me on his show the other day to talk about my woes with Apple’s iTunes store and the knifing of my podcast that took place.

I would say it’s a great conversation, but I’m in it so that wouldn’t be appropriate, but I will say that it’s only 20-ish minutes, so even if you hate it, it won’t last long.

Have a listen!

When Apple removes your podcast from iTunes, good luck finding out why

Update 5/8: As I mentioned a week ago on the podcast, Apple could never come up with a reason that my podcast was removed from the iTunes store. It seems hard for me to believe they can’t track this kind of thing. If I were Apple, I’d want an answer to any problem or event concerning my online store.

Update 4/25: I received an email from an iTunes Store/Mac App store Customer Support Senior Advisor who has promised to help find out why Pocket Sized Podcast was suddenly dumped from iTunes. So until I hear further, I do believe it was some iTunes glitch. Everyone in iTunes support that has helped me so far has been stellar. This is NOT a complaint about them. It’s the way Apple set up the system that dumps your podcast with no notice and no explanation that I believe needs looking at.

——

Everyone likes emails from Apple. Well, usually. They’re generally little glossy digital brochures filled with wonderful prose about the latest product and how much your mother would love you if you would just purchase her a $600 iPad. Certainly at worst they are delete-worthy, but nothing that would make you curse Apple for existing.

That changed a bit yesterday thanks to a surprise email I got from Apple while I was at work. I was a few hours into reconfiguring some wafer testing equipment, and during an idle moment while we were powering the tool back on, I noticed I had an email from Apple. It turned out to be a lovely one that just made my day and caused me to laugh with joy at the fact that Apple is the largest gatekeeper of podcasts at this time in history.

As you probably already know if you’re a subscribed listener, Pocket Sized Podcast was removed from the iTunes store yesterday (Tuesday, April 24th, 2012). Here’s the email I received:

Dear Podcast Owner

The following podcast has not been included in the iTunes podcast directory.

Name: Pocket Sized PodcastFeed URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/PocketSizedPodcast

Submissions may not be included in the directory for a variety of reasons. For more information, please see the podcast technical specification at http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/techspecs.html.

Sincerely,

The iTunes Store Team

I’ll admit that upon reading this email, I had some extremely uncharitable thoughts about Apple, to put it mildly.

I often have moments where I’m glad that I haven’t been issued King status or Deity powers. This was one of them. The bodies would have been stacked deep enough to fill an ocean if the anger I felt for a few moments after reading this rejection notice were allowed to be unleashed upon the earth with unfettered power. Fortunately I have friends who are far wiser than me, though perhaps equally unworthy of ruling the universe for other reasons, and after talking with some of them, I now feel much calmer. But still quite frustrated and a little angry.

I’ve reached out to Apple via the support process in iTunes and right now am trying to get them past the canned responses of resubmitting the podcast without ever knowing WHY it was removed in the first place. As I stated to them in my reply, knowing why it was removed is every bit as important as knowing that it WAS removed, otherwise I’ll go down a horrible maze of a nightmare known as a mashup of What About Bob and Groundhog Day. Fun as that might sound, I’m not looking forward to it.

Apple is a great company and they do somethings right. But their communication skills would get them punched in the throat where I work.

Apple: WHY did my podcast get removed, and HOW can I prevent it from happening again? If you rejected it for a reason, you must have record of that reason, or can find a human who decided upon that reason.

If it was not removed for any human decision, but rather some kind of technical glitch that fired off a rejection of a podcast that was already in place using the phrase “was not accepted,” wouldn’t you like to fix that problem so that you don’t start discouraging people into thinking you’re kicking sand in their faces on purpose?

I’m just glad that this web site and the actual podcast feed don’t belong to Apple too, or they’d have disappeared like they never existed with no explanation of why. And there’d be nothing I could do about it.

 

Will the real Pocket Sized Podcast please stand up?

UPDATE 2/20/12:

Well, you can pretty much ignore the rambling missive below, because Iain Lee contacted me and made it clear it was an honest mistake and that he’s changing his podcast name. He was professional, gracious, and personable, and I greatly appreciate how he handled it. I don’t care so much that it happened in the first place, what matters is his response, and it was top notch.

Thanks to Iain for being understanding and for his great response.

——

I started Pocket Sized Podcast in December of 2010. I chose the name because it reflects both the topic of the podcast, which is Apple’s mobile devices, as well as my goal (which I occasionally achieve) to keep it to 30 – 40 minutes in length. I like the name, and I like the image of the iPhone slipping into the jeans pocket that I came up with to accompany it.

That’s why I was disappointed to find that Iain Lee is going to start his own podcast and called it “Iain Lee’s Pocket Sized Podcast.” Please do not visit that link until you’ve finished reading this. You’ll see why I’m asking that below.

I don’t think I’m a superstar, and I don’t think that I’m even a moderately well known podcaster, but I do take this podcast seriously and I am working to grow it and to improve the quality of it for my listeners. I also would like to make it attractive to sponsors at some point. Therefore the integrity of the name of this podcast matters to me. It matters to me anyway, on general principle, and pride in what I do.

There is already name confusion going on, and Iain’s podcast hasn’t even started yet. I’m getting referrals to my site showing up in my logs from a forum discussing Iain and his upcoming project. I’m getting search result referrals in my logs from searches for “Skype pocketsizedpodcast”, which is Iain’s Skype handle for the podcast. So it’s clear that the situation has already confused potential listeners of his, and I’m sure it would confuse anyone who came across mine after hearing of his, or vice versa.

I have emailed Iain about the matter, and I’m going to assume until I hear otherwise that this was all done in good faith and he meant no harm. If that kind of response isn’t forthcoming, I’ll contact his management and the team that did his branding for the podcast for him, as I suspect they’re probably the ones that dropped the ball on this rather than Iain. I suppose they should add a Google search to their checklist for future clients if indeed that’s the case.

I don’t want an internet war. I don’t want to start name calling. I have no reason to believe Iain purposefully took a name that he knew was already in use. I certainly don’t want to believe that he did, because that would be majorly uncool of him, to put it mildly.

By now my listeners should know that I’m not in this because of an ego, and I’m not a person who feels entitled or like this thing is my birthright. But I do feel that when someone else in the same space is working hard on something and trying to build it up honestly, the respectful and, honestly, more logistically sound thing to do is to find another name or at least communicate with the existing podcast owner about it.

I like Pocket Sized Podcast. I know my listeners do to. I want to continuously improve, change what’s not good about it, and keep doing what is. And I want people to think of this podcast when they hear the words Pocket Sized Podcast, as they should, because it was here first.

I know my listeners are smart enough to know this already, but please do NOT go to Iain’s web site and start making derogatory remarks or send disrespectful tweets his way. It won’t help, and if I can’t come out of this having handled it professionally, I’ve already lost. I have no reason for a beef with anyone over this unless it actually becomes clear that it was intentional to ignore that this name was already in use by an existing podcast.

What you can do if you honestly already feel like supporting my podcast is to go to iTunes and rate the podcast and leave reviews for me. Just put what you feel, no reason to embellish or exaggerate. I wish I didn’t have to mention that if you’re a person who feels that Iain deserves the name for his podcast, please don’t take it out on me by giving me negative ratings and reviews. I seriously doubt that Iain would appreciate his listeners being negative any more than I would appreciate mine doing so.

You can also like this podcast’s Facebook page, follow the Google+ podcast page, and generally just let people know about the podcast. Recommend it to others. I don’t honestly know how much it will help, but I can promise that it will at least gift me with encouragement, which I could use a little of at the moment.

Thanks for being a listener. Thanks for taking the time out of your day each week to digest what we’ve put together as a team out of nothing more than sheer love of podcasting. Thanks for all the feedback you’ve sent, the comments, the participation, the appearances on the podcast, and everything else you’ve done for this podcast. And thanks for generally being a cool bunch of people. Getting to know my listeners has been an extremely enjoyable experience, one that I plan to continue under the name Pocket Sized Podcast for a long time to come.