Frictionless podcast listening with Player FM

playerfm

If you listen to podcasts, Player.fm might interest you if you want an easy way to both listen to your favourite shows and discover new ones.

Player.fm is a podcasting service in the cloud. You use it in your web browser – there are no apps to install, just an easy-to-use method to create a free account called a channel, add the RSS feed addresses of podcasts to your channel, save, and listen. You can also add iTunes feeds as well as import an OPML file you already have.

I’ve been podcasting for over seven years and listen to a lot of other podcasts. Typically, I subscribe to them and get the audio files usually from iTunes via an RSS reader. The old fashioned way! It’s cumbersome and often imperfect, though, and probably one reason why I don’t listen as much or as often as I’d like to.

What Player.fm offers is streaming audio on demand. It really is easy to set up and use as I discovered today. The screenshot above shows part of the channel I created that includes 14 business/communications podcasts that I listen to often:

  1. For Immediate Release (the podcast series I co-host with Shel Holtz)
  2. IABC Cafe2Go
  3. Inside PR
  4. Jaffe Juice
  5. Jay Baer’s Social Pros Podcast
  6. Marketing Edge from Provident Partners
  7. Marketing Over Coffee
  8. Media Bullseye
  9. On the Record…Online
  10. PR And Other Deadly Sins
  11. PRSA Voices of Public Relations
  12. Six Pixels of Separation
  13. Steve Lubetkin’s Professional Podcasts
  14. Trafcom News Podcast

(For information on each one, see “16 business podcasts worth listening to” that I wrote in March. And in case you’re wondering why this post lists only 14, it’s because 2 on the original list haven’t been updated this year, 1 is behind a subscriber paywall, and I’ve included FIR.)

If you want to enjoy seamless listening, without any fuss, then go to http://player.fm/jangles, my Player.fm channel, and click on the big ‘play’ button with each podcast. Or, if you prefer to subscribe, here are three handy options:

  • OPML file that you can  import into any other podcatcher including Google Reader
  • RSS feed aggregating the latest episodes of all 14 podcasts
  • iTunes link

As Player.fm developer Michael Mahemoff says in the FAQ:

Why play podcasts on a website?
Podcasts were originally designed to be downloaded, and that’s still worthwhile. But most podcast apps these days, including iTunes, provide the ability to stream content on demand. The nice thing about this is you can try a podcast a few times before subscribing to it. Player FM takes this a step further by letting you listen to podcasts without even downloading and installing an app. Even less friction for people getting into podcasts. Some publishers already provide their own interfaces to play podcasts, but the experience is different on every site and it’s not possible to listen to all of your favorite podcasts in one place. Many don’t provide play links at all, just offering a “Subscribe in iTunes” link. Player FM aims to make podcasts simple.

playerfmmobileWhat if you want to listen on a device other than your desktop or laptop computer? Your mobile phone, for instance? (Does anyone still use an iPod or other dedicated MP3 player?)

That’s covered.

The screenshot here shows my channel on my Samsung Galaxy SII Android smartphone. I bet it looks similar on an iPhone, a Windows phone and most other smartphones.

I think this is an especially useful feature that offers, again, ease of use with on-demand audio streaming via wifi or other network you connect to including cellular. No apps to install, just use your mobile browser.

And that highlights one issue to think about – connectivity.

If you have no network connection, then you have no podcasts to listen to.

Typically, I listen to podcasts either at my desk (so on a desktop computer with a wired internet connection) or in my car (usually streaming the content of the Pocket Casts app on my phone to my car radio using a Belkin Tunecast FM transmitter).

The latter use with Pocket Casts will let you stream over your cellular network connection or via wifi. But I prefer to have the podcast audio files on my mobile device, mostly for audio quality reasons (mobile networks tend to be iffy in terms of speed and stability especially when you’re moving), not to mention the relative high cost of streaming audio data on 3G if you don’t have an unlimited data plan.

Player.fm may well be developing an offline-listening choice, according to the FAQ:

[…] We don’t yet have offline support, and we know how much you want to play podcasts in the car, train, or gym, where you might not have internet access. Fixing this is definitely a priority for us.

In the meantime, if you want a frictionless listening experience from streaming on-demand audio with no fuss, and you have a network connection, Player.fm is a great option.

(Via GigaOm)

Related posts:

FIR Speakers and Speeches: Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz on Building Community with Podcasting

raganamsterdam_smNeville Hobson and Shel Holtz co-presented a session on the second day of Ragan Communications’ Public Relations and Social Media Summit at ING House in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on April 12, 2012. The session covered how a podcast can transform independent listeners into an engaged community.

The presentation included audio clips of familiar FIR voices including correspondents Dan York and Michael Netzley, as well as other PR podcasters, and explored how the communities these podcasts build can be attained by businesses.

You can listen while following along with the PowerPoint deck below:

Get this podcast:

FIR on Friendfeed
Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future shows, in the FIR FriendFeed Room. You can also email us at fircomments@gmail.com; call the Comment Line at +1 206 338 7960 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments; comment at Twitter: twitter.com/FIR. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson & Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Speakers & Speeches is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

16 business podcasts worth listening to

podcasttrafcomnews

As a podcaster, I listen to quite a few other communication-related business podcasts. Finding good ones (always a rather subjective term) isn’t easy, though.

I’ve previously lamented the lack of really compelling business audio other than radio that I can listen to in the car or at my desk or when walking around the supermarket. In the UK, there’s plenty of choice for comedy, music and mainstream-produced business content but not so much the personal, informal and friendly niche content from people like, well, Shel and me.

As I hear similar thinking from quite a few people I know, I’m here to offer you a solution to the dilemma, one that stares me in the face every time I write the show notes for the For Immediate Release podcasts that Shel and I present – our recommended listening chart of other podcasts, that appears in the sidebar on our podcast blog.

In this post, I’ve made a list of compelling listening that I’m sure you’ll enjoy if you haven’t discovered them yet. Follow the link to each website to listen, where you’ll also find links to subscribe via RSS and iTunes.

In alphabetical order, here we go…

iabccafe2goIABC Cafe2Go. The official podcast from the International Association of Business Communicators, it features Conversations with CEOs, CW Radio and updates on IABC‘s programmes and initiatives as well as discussion of current issues and trends in communication. Cafe2Go also features frequent interviews with business leaders that are produced mainly by Shel or me as part of our volunteerism activities (we’re both long-time active IABC members). Cafe2Go is worth a listen whether you’re an IABC member or not.

insideprInside PR. A weekly social media and public relations podcast hosted by a trio of communicators in the US and Canada: Gini Dietrich, Joseph Thornley and Martin Waxman. Each week, the three industry veterans take a look at the state of the PR industry, explore topical and provocative issues, discuss listener comments, and even interview an interesting guest or two.

jaffejuiceJaffe Juice. How to describe this iconoclastic podcast from Joseph Jaffe? Let the blog’s words tell the story: “Welcome to the reincarnated and reinvigorated Jaffe Juice. What was once a weekly op-ed column is now an unshackled, uncensored and uninhibited dialogue on the subjects of new marketing, advertising and creativity.”

providentpartnersMarketing Edge from Provident Partners. One of the longest-running marketing and public relations podcasts. Host Albert Maruggi in the US “weaves his 25 years of marketing and PR experience across business, technology and national public affairs in interviews with newsmakers, authors and business leaders.”

marketingovercoffeeMarketing Over Coffee. Hosts John Wall and Christopher Penn record the show every business Wednesday at 5:30am Eastern Time at a coffee shop in Natick, Massachusetts, just outside Boston. Each show is about 20 minutes long and is filled with the kinds of marketing tips and tricks that you can only get out of casual conversation outside the office.

mediabullseyeMedia Bullseye Radio. Led by our friends Chip Griffin and Jen Zingsheim at CustomScoop in Concord, New Hampshire, Media Bullseye Radio explores the changing communications landscape for marketing, media, and public relations professionals.

socialprosSocial Pros Podcast. The newest kid on the podcasting block from social media and content strategist Jay Baer in the US. Now on its 6th weekly episode, Social Pros “shines the spotlight on social media practitioners, people doing the real work for real companies.”

ontherecordonlineOn the Record Online. Presented by our friend and digital marketing consultant, entrepreneur and author Eric Schwartzman in Los Angeles since April 2005 (just three months after Shel and I kicked off with FIR), OTRO offers a compelling perspective and insights on how technology is changing the way organizations communicate, and the way people consume media and information.

prandotherdeadlysinsPR and Other Deadly Sins. From Canadians Mark Blevis, a digital public affairs strategist, and communicator (and FIR Book Reviews editor) Bob LeDrew, “both seasoned communicators (which does NOT mean they’ve been rolled in celery salt), PR and Other Deadly Sins will be the record of sometimes thoughtful, sometimes irreverent, but hopefully always worthwhile bull sessions about PR, social media, communications, and the sweet spot where they all intersect.”

prweekuspodcastsPR Week Podcasts. From PR Week magazine in the US, The PR Week podcasts are presented by US Editor-in-Chief Steve Barrett and guests, discussing topical PR and related issues and news. (Unfortunately, access to the the website show notes is behind a subscriber login paywall, but you can get the shows themselves on free subscription via iTunes.)

sixpixelspodcastSix Pixels of Separation – The Podcast. With one of the most well-known and -regarded business podcasts, Mitch Joel – the “Rock Star of Digital Marketing” and “one of North America’s leading digital visionaries,” according to Marketing Magazine in the US – offers discussion, commentary, opinion and genuine insight at the intersection of digital marketing and personal branding.

stevelubetkinSteve Lubetkin’s Podcasts. A wide-ranging menu of content, much directly related to communication, are the podcast staples for clients of Steve Lubetkin‘s consulting firm, a producer of audio, video, and multimedia content for broadcast over the internet as podcasts, vidcasts, video and audio news features, screencasts and other formats. Unmissable content: you’ll find something of value here.

trafcomnewsTrafcom News Podcast. A big favourite of mine from Canadian communicator Donna Papacosta (who also adds her voice to FIR each week). Donna describes Trafcom News as “interviews and discussions about topics that are important to people in the business of communicating. It might be writing, speaking, marketing, social media or something interesting in the news.”

prsaVoices of Public Relations. Podcasts every few months from the Public Relations Society of America that offer insight into topical issues including PRSA webinar audio, conference specials and more. “Join the public relations conversation,” says the PRSA, “and get expert insight from across the industry.”

In addition, there are two others that you might want to check although no new episodes of their podcasts have been published this year so far:

  • Online PR Podcast. Pete Codella and Mark Polson “delve into the world of digital public relations, marketing and advertising, with a special focus on website development and search placement. Call it social media, new media, digital media or just plain old media, it’s all the rage.” (Latest episode on the website is from October 2011.)
  • Quiet News Day. A weekly podcast that “offers insight into PR, journalism, and social media.” Produced in Edinburgh, Scotland, by Scott Douglas and Shaun Milne, the pair discuss the changing nature of communications in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK, as well as relevant news on social media from around the world. (Latest episode on the website is from November 2011.)

I hope you enjoy your listening experience with all of these as I have over the years.

Any others focused, broadly, on the intersection of business / communication / technology that you’d recommend?

Obviously maths isn’t our strong point

episode1firShel Holtz and I mark a milestone today as January 3 is the anniversary of the first episode of The Hobson & Holtz Report podcast which we started together on this date in 2005.

As we said in the latest episode of the show, which we recorded yesterday, today we begin our seventh year of podcasting. We tweeted that metric, Facebooked it and Google Plused it. Got nice messages back from fans. Great stuff, we love you all. :)

Except the anniversary number is wrong.

After we published the show yesterday, our friend and US East Coast correspondent Dan York gently highlighted our total lack of mathematical sense in an email with a formula simple enough that we can easily see the error of our ways:

Jan 3, 2006 – end of 1st/ start of 2nd
Jan 3, 2007 – end of 2nd/start of 3rd
Jan 3, 2008 – end of 3rd/start of 4th
Jan 3, 2009 – end of 4th/start of 5th
Jan 3, 2010 – end of 5th/start of 6th
Jan 3, 2011 – end of 6th/start of 7th
Jan 3, 2012 – end of 7th/start of 8th

So, today we start our eighth year of podcasting, not the seventh.

Thanks, Dan ;) I completely echo and fully resonate with Shel’s reply to Dan:

My math skills should make it obvious why I went into communication.

And to conclude this post on a more serious note, thanks to everyone who forms part of the FIR community – our sponsors, correspondents and listeners.

If you’ve not listened to our podcast before, give us a try with episode 632 we recorded yesterday. You can check out the full range of podcasts in the FIR series over on the FIR website – the main show as well as the occasional interviews, reviews and more.

Thanks to you all for your tremendous support during these past seven years. On with the eighth!

FIR Book Club starts in January 2012

firbookreviews194x225Welcome to the FIR Book Club.

You already think of FIR as the podcast where you find out what’s making news and why in the worlds of public relations, social media, and communication. Now, the FIR book club – announced on the most recent episode of FIR – is a way to connect with the leading writers in these fields and share your ideas.

Each month, we’ll announce the book for the next month’s book club. Then, on a date to be announced, the author will join FIR Book Reviews editor Bob LeDrew on Blog Talk Radio to talk about the book.

Then comes your chance to join in. You can call in to Blog Talk Radio to add your voice to the discussion, or use the chat room to participate with a keyboard.

It’s talk radio like you don’t hear anywhere else – frank, engaging, intelligent, and on the topics that matter to you as a communicator.

  • Our first FIR Book Club book will be The Social Media Strategist by Voce’s Social Media VP, Christopher Barger. The book is scheduled for release on January 13; we’ll announce the date of the interactive session around that time. The FIR Book Club has its own page on the podcast website where you can find details of books and sessions.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Take the FIR Listener Survey 2011 and help shape the show of the future

Ever since Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson started the For Immediate Release podcast series in 2005 with The Hobson and Holtz Report in January of that year, finding out what our listener community thinks and wants has been important to us.

During the past six years, we’ve done two formal listener surveys, once in 2006 and one in 2009. Both provided us with invaluable information about our listeners’ thoughts, their likes and dislikes, and their suggestions. Those surveys also gave us some insights into changing needs as time went by – our needs as presenters as well as those of our listeners.

Today, we’re launching the 2011 listener survey in which we seek similar insights.

firlistenersurveyq

A few things have changed in three years. The main show is now once a week rather than twice. We have three sponsors today, not two – Ragan Communications and CustomScoop are joined by Pollstream. Tools like Friendfeed and Twitter play an increasingly-significant role in connecting the listener community.

And some things don’t change: we’re still fortunate to have a team of correspondents, established and valuable elements of The Hobson and Holtz Report podcast.

So we want to know how FIR and, specifically, The Hobson and Holtz Report, are in tune with our community. Is it a podcast that contains the content we think that people want? What about specific content elements in each show? What do you like best? Least? Where do you listen? How do you get hold of the MP3 files? Do you have suggestions or recommendations for us? And more.

So if you’re a listener, we’d like to ask you to invest 20 minutes of your time and take the FIR Listener Survey 2011. It’s open now and closes at midnight GMT on Tuesday September 20, 2011. We’ll announce the results after the close.

You can start the survey right here:

fir2011surveystart

Thanks for your help and for your support.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)