Category Archives: Podcasts

Listening to Timetable

Because episodes of Timetable are short (usually just 5 minutes) and because they aren’t published on a consistent schedule (sometimes once a week, sometimes 3 times a week), I’ve wondered if it may be difficult for some people to fit the podcast into their routine of listening to longer, hour-long podcasts. If you only listen to podcasts while in the car, for example, a 5-minute show isn’t going to fill your commute.

Luckily there are easy solutions to this. The first is: they are so short, just listen whenever you want, while you’re at your desk or walking somewhere or having lunch. Another option: gather up a few episodes and listen altogether, as if it’s 3 parts of a 15-minute podcast.

If you’re an Overcast user, you can create a playlist that will play multiple Timetable episodes in sequence without requiring any tapping in the app to queue up the next one. Here are some screenshots showing one way to set this up after subscribing to Timetable in Overcast.

First, tap the new playlist button in Overcast. Then tap Add Podcasts and select Timetable.

Overcast screenshots

The playlist should automatically show any unplayed episodes. Finally, tap the Playback button while an episode is playing and make sure to highlight Play Next for the When Episode Ends option. This will make sure that you have continuous playback from one episode to the next.

Overcast screenshots

I’ve recorded 23 episodes of Timetable so far, equal to about 2 hours of audio. While consistency is the most important thing for my other podcasts, Core Intuition and Technical Foul, for Timetable I’ve liked the flexibility to experiment with different styles and show formats. Enjoy!

New Core Int, Technical Foul, and Timetable

I somehow recorded 4 podcast episodes this week. We just published episode 233 of Core Intuition, where Daniel Jalkut and I talk about the announcements from Google I/O and compare the latest Swift 3 news to our experience going through previous Apple transitions. From the show notes:

“Manton and Daniel react to Google’s I/O keynote, and weigh the threat of Allo to iMessage. They celebrate Apple’s WWDC promotion of 3rd party events, and the increasing speed of App Store reviews. Finally, they reflect on the announced delay in Swift 3’s planned ABI stability, and Daniel’s sudden FUD about embracing Swift.”

It was a big week for the NBA, too, with the first couple games of the east and west conference finals. On the latest Technical Foul, Ben Thompson and I recap round 2, especially the Spurs loss in 6 games to the Thunder:

Ben and Manton are back geeking out about the NBA. This week we talk Manton through the Spurs loss, discuss OKC versus the Warriors, and whether the Cavs are good enough.

And finally, I published 2 episodes of my microcast Timetable earlier in the week. Episode 22 was about dealing with recent stress — trying to see the bigger picture and focus on the good things. Episode 23 was about how to tell when it’s time to move on from a failed product.

Podcasting lock-in and the lesson from Penn Station

When my family was visiting New York City a couple of years ago, we took a train out of Pennsylvania Station on the way up to Montreal for the second half of our vacation. It was raining a little as we walked from the hotel, but I thought we’d still have no trouble finding the station. After a few minutes we gave up and had to ask someone where the entrance was.

We couldn’t find it because it looked like every other street corner in Manhattan. But it wasn’t always like that. It used to look like this:

Pennsylvania Station in the 1910s

In the 1960s, facing declining train usage and financial problems, the Pennsylvania Railroad sold the rights to everything above ground and the incredible station pictured above was demolished. It was only afterwards, when it actually happened, that everyone fully realized what they had lost. Determined to not let other beautiful architectural landmarks get destroyed, the city passed a law to restrict similar demolition. Grand Central Terminal was preserved because of the lesson learned from letting Pennsylvania Station go.

I was thinking about this story — failing to do the right thing, but applying that knowledge to the next thing — while re-reading Marco’s excellent post on the future of podcasting. In it, he lays out the technical details for how podcasting works today, and makes the case for leaving it alone. I especially like this part, on his determination to keep Overcast a sort of pure MP3 client:

By the way, while I often get pitched on garbage podcast-listening-behavioral-data integrations, I’m never adding such tracking to Overcast. Never. The biggest reason I made a free, mass-market podcast app was so I could take stands like this.

I should have realized it earlier, but I don’t think I really connected all of Marco’s goals with Overcast until Daniel Jalkut and I had him on Core Intuition episode 200. We talked about many of these same themes as Marco was finishing up Overcast 2.0.

There’s also a great discussion on Upgrade about this. It starts about halfway through.

In a response to Marco on MacStories, Federico Viticci writes about the parallel trend in the web industry toward centralized services like Facebook and Medium that allow “content professionals” to monetize their writing. In doing so, those writers give up many of the benefits of the open web:

But the great thing about the free and decentralized web is that the aforementioned web platforms are optional and they’re alternatives to an existing open field where independent makers can do whatever they want. I can own my content, offer my RSS feed to anyone, and resist the temptation of slowing down my website with 10 different JavaScript plugins to monitor what my users do. No one is forcing me to agree to the terms of a platform.

While the open web still exists, we really dropped the ball protecting and strengthening it. Fewer people’s first choice for publishing is to start a web site hosted at their own domain. Like the destruction of Pennsylvania Station, sometimes you only know in hindsight that you’ve made a mistake. We were so caught up in Twitter and Facebook that we let the open web crumble. I’m not giving up — I think we can get people excited about blogging and owning their own content again — but it would have been easier if we had realized what we lost earlier.

Reading posts like Marco’s and Federico’s, and listening to Jason and Myke on Upgrade, I’m convinced that podcasting will remain open because we know better now. As a community we can learn from the mistakes with the web and the threats of closed platforms, making sure that podcasting is preserved as a simple technology that no one controls.

Client work and new podcasts

As I mentioned in my wrap-up post about working from libraries, spending so much time commuting all over the city (and outside the city) had really burned me out. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve overcompensated a little and have been working from home almost exclusively. I’ve also been catching up on client work.

I recorded a new episode of Timetable this morning to try to capture this change in work focus. Talking into the microphone for 5 minutes actually helped me assess where I’m at with my projects, and what I need to adjust to continue to make this blog and my podcasts a priority.

And speaking of podcasts, Ben Thompson and I published episode 3 of Technical Foul last night. We talk a lot about the wild last minute of Spurs/Thunder game 2, which I’m still thinking about even a couple days later.

My new podcast about… basketball!

It used to be that I would stay up until midnight working in Xcode. This year, it’s more likely that I’ll stay up until midnight watching late NBA games played on the west coast. I’ve loved this season, from Golden State’s record wins to being able to visit San Antonio a few times to catch Spurs games.

So why not do a basketball podcast? Today, Ben Thompson and I released the first episode of TECHnical Foul. From the show notes:

Welcome to the first episode of the TECHnical Foul, in which two wildly unqualified tech geeks geek out about the NBA. In this episode we debate 96 Bulls vs the 16 Warriors, Kobe’s final game, what makes the Spurs great, whether the Spurs can beat the Warriors, and a quick overview of the first round.

We had a lot of fun recording this. If you’re a basketball fan, or just need some variety in your podcast subscriptions, I hope you enjoy it.

Siri and Core Intuition 228

We posted episode 228 of Core Intuition this week. From the show notes:

Daniel and Manton discuss the iPhone SE’s evident popularity, touch on the challenges of designing for extremes in screen size, and bemoan some of Siri’s shortcomings when compared to competitors. The two also discuss tax time as an indie software developer, weigh the merits of heading to SF for WWDC, and finally delve into some deep reflections about the psychology of not shipping in too long.

We talked a lot about Siri and the Amazon Echo — the problems with both and where voice software may be headed. After we recorded, Daniel wrote a great post with additional ideas for using Siri with distance-based reminders, for example the ability to ask Siri while driving “remind me in 15 miles to get gas”:

How would this be solved? By introducing a notion of distance-relative reminders in iOS and by extension in Siri. In the same way that Siri allows you set a reminder for a specific time or for a relative time from now, it should offer the same functionality for distance.

I hope you enjoy the podcast. I’ve been thinking lately that maybe the secret with Core Intuition is that it’s not actually a developer podcast. It’s a tech podcast with major tangents into software development and business.

Timetable episodes 19 and 20

I published 2 new Timetable episodes this week, with a shared theme around Kickstarter projects. They’re both just 5-6 minutes long.

Episode 19 is about how I finally sat down to record a video for my upcoming Kickstarter project. I still have editing to do, but I’m already feeling a lot better about actually launching this.

Episode 20 continues the discussion of Kickstarter, starting with my reaction after receiving the art book from Loish yesterday. I was really impressed with how well it was produced. Anytime I see something of such high quality I’m inspired to do a better job with my own work.

Podcasts, showing up every week, and why 2.0 succeeds

When I went to Open Coffee Club during SXSW week, I met several company founders and investors in Austin, and one was also an iOS developer. I usually do a poor job of promoting my own work in person, but I somehow managed to plug my Core Intuition podcast.

He hadn’t heard of the show before, and when he pulled it up to subscribe his comment was something like: “wow, you’ve been doing this for a long time”. It’s true. Daniel and I started the podcast in 2008. We only have 225 episodes, because we published episodes less frequently back in the old days, but I’ve always been proud of our consistency with the show format going back to the very beginning.

And it made me wonder: is there another Mac or iOS developer-focused tech podcast that has such a long history? Or really, many tech podcasts at all? The ones that come to mind are The Talk Show, which started in 2007, and This Week in Tech, which started in 2005.

It’s another reminder to me that a big part of success is consistently showing up to work. If you’re always starting over, you can’t build on anything and take it further. The secret with the “version 2.0” of most apps isn’t that it has new features; it’s just that it exists at all.

In a couple months, just as WWDC is about to roll around, we’ll celebrate our 8th anniversary of recording Core Intuition. Our audience keeps growing, which is amazing, but there are still a lot of people who have never heard of the show. If you like what we’ve been doing, consider telling a friend, or posting a tweet or blog post about the show.

We expanded to 2 sponsors per episode this year because we wanted to grow the podcast — to commit more time and resources to both recording and to companion web sites like the jobs site. I think 2016 will be a great year and I’m happy that Core Intuition is a key part of helping me stay independent. Thanks for your support!

Core Intuition 225

Episode 225 of Core Intuition is out now. We talk about the new iPhone and iPad news from Monday’s Apple event, plus Swift. From the show notes:

Manton orders his dream phone, the iPhone SE. Daniel reflects on the growing allure of Swift, and the two discuss the risks of either adopting new technologies too soon, or holding on to the past for too long.

Also there’s this line from Daniel in the podcast that I like:

We have to be tuned into the future and tuned into the past to really do great work.

We pull in some history from Daniel’s time at Apple, and from our experience building Mac apps in the 1990s and early 2000s, and how it relates to the current Swift transition. Hope you enjoy it.

Core Intuition 224

We posted episode 224 of Core Intuition today. From the show notes:

“Manton and Daniel discuss Apple’s revelation that Cookie Monster uses an iPhone, consider the Amazon Echo as the next big technology platform, and catch up with Manton’s successful 30 days of Austin coffee challenge.”

I like this episode because it touches a little on tech industry and business themes that we weren’t planning to talk about, so it captures whatever our gut feelings were on those topics. And as we talk about at the end of the show, I did end up wrapping up the coffee shop visits today. I’ve updated the coffee shop page on this site with the final list.

Two new episodes

We posted episode 223 of Core Intuition today. From the show notes:

“Daniel and Manton discuss strategies for filing and organizing bugs. They talk about the expected iPad and iPhone announcements at Apple’s March 21 event, and they follow up on discussion about apps that delight and take their own problem domains seriously.”

I also posted episode 16 of Timetable. On this quick 3-minute show, I talk about trying not to panic when things go wrong, with a couple examples from this week.

Core Intuition 220

On this week’s Core Int:

“Daniel orders a Brother, Apple defies the FBI, Manton continues to struggle with his Kickstarter, and the two discuss using structure and constraints to encourage tackling new goals.”

I like this episode because it has a mix of serious and fun topics. Toward the end of the episode we talk about my new goal of trying a new coffee shop once a day for a month.

Core Intuition 218

On this week’s Core Intuition:

“Manton and Daniel talk about Apple’s current and future stock price, and their potential to branch out into other technologies such as virtual reality. They discuss Facebook’s shuttering of Parse and the implications for iOS developers and Facebook’s PR. Finally, they respond to listener Q&A about getting up to speed on using and implementing your own web services.”

Toward the end of the show, I also discuss my approach to password-less accounts for Searchpath and my not-quite-released latest web app. While still far from perfect, I think getting away from passwords is an important next step for apps. Passwords are just too annoying for users to keep track of and enter, and a potential security issue and headache for system administrators.

Microphone and microcast details

A few weeks ago I started a new short-form podcast called Timetable. Each episode is 3-5 minutes. It has been really fun to record the show because I can try new things without investing too much time.

One goal from the very beginning was to record from iOS so that I could easily record outside the house. I wanted not just the flexibility to be away from my computer, but a stereo microphone that could capture some of the surrounding environment, to give it a more informal feel. (I’m actually cheating in some cases and using multiple tracks, to make editing easier, but I think the effect works. All the episodes have been exported to mono so far, though.)

I ordered this cheap iPhone microphone for testing — only $10 when I ordered it! — and figured after some experiments with my iPhone 4S, I would invest in something new. I liked it enough that I’m still using the mic with my 5S via a Lightning cable adapter. I’m also using a foam pop filter that I already had from a previous old mic.

Microphone

This may be the single best value in a tech gadget I’ve ever purchased. Total cost for producing the podcast:

I certainly didn’t invent the idea of a “microcast”. There are other good short podcasts, such as Bite Size Tech. But I’m happy to see even more people trying out the idea. Michael even started a new podcast called Driftwood to chronicle the development of his Jekyll template for microcasts.

Ferrite also continues to impress. It’s a very high quality iOS app and is competitive with Mac multi-track audio editors. For a good introduction, check out Jason Snell’s review.

Core Intuition 215

On this week’s Core Intuition, Daniel and I start with a recap of Daniel’s time at the tvOS Tech Talk in New York City. More from the show notes:

“Daniel and Manton reflect on their experience at the Apple TV tech talks, brainstorm app category ideas for Apple TV, and discuss the use of Twitter for customer support and how a 10K text limit might impact that. They also talk about Apple’s iOS 9.3 preview, rumors of a new iPhone 4-inch model, and speculate whether WWDC would ever move from Moscone in SF.”

It’s not too early to start planning for WWDC. Hotel pricing is a major issue this year, and I have a feeling people will be more scattered around the city than usual.

Timetable episode 5

I just published episode 5 of my new short-format podcast, Timetable. I’m having a lot of fun with this. Producing an episode that’s only 5 minutes long means I can experiment without investing too much time.

As I was listening to some other podcasts this week talk about the Twitter news, it occurred to me how important it is to have a good mix of podcasts, just as it is with blogging. Many of the most popular Apple-related podcasts hit the same news stories each week and have nearly the same opinion. Don’t get me wrong; I listen to a bunch of them and they’re great. But it’s a reminder to me that for Timetable, and especially for Core Intuition, not to be afraid of having a more contrarian role when it’s appropriate.

There’s nothing controversial in the latest episode of Timetable, though. Just me talking about getting some stamps to finally send out stickers.

New podcast: Timetable

I’m launching a new podcast today. For a while I’ve felt like there could be something interesting in a very short podcast, where I talk a little about what I’m working on or thinking about throughout the week. Each episode is going to be just 3-5 minutes.

It’s called Timetable. I’ve published 3 episodes, and have a 4th that will go out later today. I think of it as a “microcast”, complementing the informal nature of my microblog posts. And just as I have longer essays on my weblog, of course I’ll continue to explore larger topics for indie Mac and iOS developers on Core Intuition with Daniel Jalkut.

If you check it out, let me know what you think at manton@manton.org. Thanks!

Core Intuition in 2016

The first Core Intuition episode of 2016 is out. We talk about Twitter’s potential 10k-character change and much more. From the show notes:

“Manton and Daniel react to Twitter’s rumored plan to support 10K of text in tweets, answer listener Q&A about product versioning and milestone strategies, and check with thoughts on Swift upon Daniel’s completion of ‘reading the fine manual.'”

For 2016, we’ve decided to expand the length of the show a little. Most episodes will be around 45 minutes to an hour. This gives us more room for topics, and allows us to accommodate 2 sponsors per show.

I’ve also cleaned up the logo a little for the podcast feed, including adding the “Core Int” text to the graphic itself. It should look much better in your favorite podcast client. Thanks for listening!

Core Intuition 211 and fallback plans

Today on Core Intuition, Daniel and I talk about my time at the tvOS Tech Talk and the recent executive changes at Apple. From the show notes:

“Manton and Daniel discuss Apple TV development challenges, Apple’s executive team shakeup and its impact on the App Stores, and keeping a good attitude about successes and shortcomings as an ambitious indie developer.”

We wrap up the show with a conversation about taking risks and setting the right priorities for an indie business. Along the way I mention this tweet from Kazu Kibuishi, which I misquoted slightly. Here’s the actual text:

“A professor once told me that ‘if you have a fallback, you will fall back.’ I have found this to be true.”

If you enjoy the show, consider letting a friend know about it, or leaving a mini review on Twitter or iTunes. Thanks!

Core Intuition 210

On the latest Core Intuition, we talk about open source Swift, it’s potential for web server frameworks, and more about blogging tools. From the show notes:

“Daniel and Manton react to Swift’s open-sourcing, and the extent to which it adds momentum to the language and increases its appeal. They also discuss the open-sourcing of Microsoft’s MarsEdit-esque blog editor, Windows Live Writer.”

There were also a few new jobs posted to jobs.coreint.org yesterday. Check them out if you’re considering a change for 2016, or just curious what is out there for Objective-C and Swift jobs.