Instant podcasting with Cinch

I’m trying out a free tool that lets me record my voice over the phone and then makes that recording instantly available via RSS.

The tool is Cinch from Blogtalk Radio. Blogtalk Radio is a service I know well as it’s the one Shel and I use for our monthly FIR Live on Blogtalk Radio shows (the next one is on March 18, btw).

This is not new, you might say: there are other services where you can do something similar. For instance, Utterli springs to mind.

True, it’s not new – it first appeared in early 2008 – but I don’t think it nor anyone else is claiming that it is.

I like it for its simplicity. Unlike some other services, Cinch doesn’t require you to do anything other than phone its number and talk. That’s it. No registration, no profiles to complete, none of that is required to use the service, which is free apart from the cost of a phone call to a US number (area code 646).

You do have the option, though, to register a phone number with Cinch and then assign that number to an identity you create as a web address, a URL. That way, your recordings’ RSS feed can be identified by that URL rather than a phone number.

So http://cinch.blogtalkradio.com/neville, for instance, rather than http://cinch.blogtalkradio.com/1234567890.

I tried it from Skype and it works just fine as my Skype account is set to identify calls I make to regular phone numbers by its SkypeOut caller ID.

You can listen to that test recording in the player, above (if you don’t see the embedded Flash player, which you may not if you’re reading this post in your RSS reader, download the MP3 file: it’s short, about 2 minutes).

Cinch is a neat service. I could imagine using it as a highly casual form of instant podcasting. I could also imagine using it in the workplace for verbal notes, for instance, that you might want to share with colleagues via the RSS feed that they’d subscribe to. You can pull it into your Friendfeed and other social aggregators for sharing.

Podcasting without any equipment, just a phone. Not a bad idea. How easier does it get?

(HT: Fred Zelders)

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Rob Safuto

    TalkShoe has a very similar offering called On Demand Talkcasting that they launched in December of 2008. You mentioned Utterli which I have used in the past and works very well. If you remember, there was a service called AudioBlogger that posted phone recordings to Blogger blogs. HipCast and Drop.io also offer this type of service as well. So it’s a very crowded field.

    I know that you and Shel make use of BlogTalkRadio’s services, but I have to admit that I am very bearish (or down) on all of these free media hosting services that purport to support themselves on advertising alone. I say “purport” because they never discuss earnings or profitability, which means that they’re living off venture capital dollars. Remember Podango? If people value the content at all they should import all the resulting audio files locally so as to save themselves time when the inevitable occurs.

  2. neville

    Indeed, Rob, lots of other services in a crowded field. I guess what will make one rise above others in the search for users will be that elusive combination of simplicity and great service.

    Some of those you mention are no more. Audioblogger, for instance. Reminds me of Audioblogs, Eric Rice’s startup. I don’t think Eric is still involved with that nor am I sure if it’s still around today.

    And of course, Podango (we covered that on FIR).

    Re valuing content, definitely: anything you use as a hosted service, you should have your own backup. Don’t only rely on the service.

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