WordPress is unreliable as a podcast RSS feed generator – BULL$#!+ !

BULL$#!+ !
WordPress, at last check, controlled 25% of the web pages out there.  No other single CMS platform comes close. WordPress is the base for (I’m using an educated guess here) about ¼ of the active podcasts.  That would be around 100,000 out of 400,000ish shows.

I am responsible for fielding emails, phone calls and social media questions about the #1 podcasting plugin for WordPress (PowerPress) with somewhere close to 75K active users. (I’m the customer support manager for the maker of PowerPress, Blubrry Podcasting) If WordPress feeds “are a nightmare” as some say, I would be a lot busier than I am.

They will use the argument “Most of the Apple Podcasts Support forum questions are about WordPress feeds”  Well, 2 things about that:

1. With ¼ of the active feeds coming from WordPress, you are going to have more questions about it.
2. If you buy a Ford car, do you go to the Chevy dealer to get it fixed?  NO. So why go to Apple if you are having trouble with WordPress? Come to WordPress.org or your Plugin developer’s support site.

Another argument…  “There are so many ways to mess up a feed from WordPress”.  Sure, but there are just as many ways to screw up an RSS feed from ANY Platform.   If that wasn’t true, then why do most of the “all in one” podcast companies have a support department?  All I’m saying is ANY system can be messed up. WordPress isn’t any different. Just have to be careful about what you do to your site.  It’s YOUR site, so learn a bit about what you are doing and you will be fine.

I just do not want you to fall for the “WordPress sucks for podcasting” BS that you will see out there on Social Media by people that want to control YOUR RSS feed.  (for whatever reason) You, being in control of YOUR website, YOUR feed and YOUR brand is always preferred if you are taking Podcasting at all seriously.

Columbus Meetup – Beginner Podcast Tech Mistakes – PHD105


I was the featured speaker at The Columbus Ohio Podcaster’s Meetup in March.   Today’s episode is the recording of that presentation.

It’s all about Beginner Podcasters Tech Mistakes and how to avoid them.   It was held at the RawVoice Inc. / Blubrry Podcasting HQ in Columbus Ohio.  More information about the meetup here.



ATR 2100 fails me again :(

I really want to love the ATR2100 by Audio Techinca that everyone says is the “Best Podcast Microphone” for beginners.  I would think so too if I haven’t had so much trouble with mine letting me down.

For the second time, I’m in the field, wanting to do a podcast recording.  I grab my ATR, the XLR cable and my portable recorder.  No audio 🙁   I didn’t bring a backup mic so I had to use the built-in Mics on the recorder and they suck.   Strike two!   My XM8500 mics never give me this trouble.  So I’ve replaced my ATR2100 with the Behringer XM8500 (which you can have for around $20 and is bullet proof).  It doesn’t have USB but I’ve never used the USB on a mic anyway.

Anyway, I’m going to send it into A/T for another “lifetime warranty” repair/replacement and when it gets back, I’m selling it.  Want a freshly repaired AT2100?  Let me know.


I talk about it a bit on my last Mike Dell’s World Episode.

Podcast Passion – PHD104


I’ve been having a few things on my mind so I figured rather than write it out and rant on Facebook, I would flip on the mic and just speak it.

This is a somewhat different episode. It’s me rambling on a bit about Passion for podcasting. Also about learning your craft. Even the techy parts.

The main things I tried to get across is this: Learn how this stuff works. Not the super geeky bits, but the basics. Spend the little bit of time it takes to understand what is supposed to happen when you post an episode. Learn how to check your RSS feed.  Learn what an RSS feed is (Hint: it’s a special text file sitting on a server somewhere). Learn how Apple, Google, Stitcher, Tunin, Android Apps and desktop podcatchers work.  Learn how to encode and post your MP3 files.  

Again, that is why those of us who try to support and teach people how to podcast do it.  Be a good student of your craft.

Next time I will be off my soap box.

Recording an Episode – PHD103


Today I talk about recording your episodes. It’s an off the top of my head episode about how I record, some tips for recording.

The main points are:

1. Find some quiet time in a quiet space.
2. Allow enough time for re-dos and editing (while it’s fresh).
3. Don’t overthink it.
4. Get comfortable with the tech and talking on the mic.
5. Don’t be afraid to do 2 or 3 retakes if needed.

I also tell you about how I started a new show (Fast Food History) and how it’s a bit out of my comfort zone and I’m not taking ALL of my advice. But, I think it’s going to be a good exercise for me to experience starting a show that has nothing to do with Tech or Podcasting.

Also, check out Blubrry’s #BuildYourBlubrry give-aways in December! Go to FACEBOOK Page or TWITTER Page for more info. Use the promo code HELPDESK for a free month of anything we sell at Blubrry.com

Recording Equipment for Your Podcast – PHD102


News: Blubrry/RawVoice has acquired Cast Feed Validator (castfeedvalidator.com)

Recording Equipment

You do not need anything a smartphone to start podcasting.  Some people have good luck with just a smartphone and if done right, they can record a good show with just that.

  • Microphones.  I suggest NOT getting a USB Condenser mic  Go for a dynamic mic.  ATR2100 is a good starter mic if you have to use USB.  You can go with a more expensive microphone and use a USB interface.
  • Mixer –  You don’t *have* to have a mixer, but it can help.  It allows more than one mic to be plugged in.  It has mic Preamps. The little more expensive ones will allow a Mix-Minus. (a whole nother episode)
  • Software  Audacity is free, Garageband is free with a Mac (so not free).  Audition is $15 a month.  Hindenburg journalist is expensive.
  • You really don’t need much else.

The whole idea is to get something that will give you a clean audio recording.  No need for the fancy stuff.

If you want to get fancy

  • Compressor limiter gate
  • Equalizer
  • Sound treatment
  • External recorder deck / Portable recorder
  • Boom arm for the mic
  • Broadcast headset (with or without mic)

What equipment you get is totally dependant on Budget and what type of podcast you are going to do.

If you are going to have a remote co-host or if you are going to interview people, I suggest a real mixer (not the cheapest one).  You really don’t want to depend totally on software to record skype.

Auphonic is a great way to level your sound out after you have edited.

Planning Your Podcast – PHD101


Planning your Podcast

1. Pick a subject
2. Pick a title
3. Get a domain name
4. Figure out ahead of time how you are going to do the RSS feed
a. WordPress/PowerPress
b. No website but use RSS from Media host
c. Roll your own XML (rss) feed
d. Proprietary service (Soundcloud, Podbean, others)
6. Show format

This show is brought to you by Blubrry Podcasting – For a free Month of Podcast Hosting, Stats or Deluxe PowerPress Sites, use the promo code HELPDESK at checkout at blubrry.com

Is The Lame Encoder Still LAME?

In responce to a Facebook group post that was asking if the LAME MP3 encoder was still a bad choice for encoding mp3s, I decided to do a little test.

It’s just me talking a bit with my morning voice. But tell me if you can hear a difference between any of these encodings.

Lame Encoder @ 128kbps Stereo

Fraunhofer Encoder @128kbps Stereo

Lame Encoder @64kbps Mono

Fraunhofer Encoder @64kbps Mono

In my Humble Opinion, I don’t hear much difference between the two.

You? Let me know podcasthelpdesk@gmail.com

Season 2 Trailer – PHD


Being that IOS11 and the new Podcasts App is out today, I figured I would play with things and do a trailer for “Season 2” of the Podcast Help Desk.

So, here it is. These will be the next 10 episodes. I will also include some news, views and the normal stuff in htere as well as the “lesson” of the episdoe.

101 – Planning your podcast

102 – Getting recording equipment

103 – Recording that first episode

104 – Myths about “Launching” a podcast

105 – Artwork and branding

106 – Setting up an RSS feed

107 – Promoting your podcast

108 – Content is king!
109 – Things to avoid
110 – Special surprise