Tag Archives: microcast

Wavelength 1.0.2

We just wrapped up a bunch of improvements to the initial Wavelength for Micro.blog app. Here are the changes:

  • Updated MP3s to 128 kbps, mono. We’ll consider adding a preference for quality and stereo in the future.
  • Fixed playback volume using correct iPhone speaker.
  • Fixed a few potential crashes and improved publishing error messages.
  • Fixed Auphonic username field to not use auto-correct.
  • Fixed glitches with consistently using external microphones.
  • Fixed error sometimes when splitting segments.

I recorded and edited the last 2 episodes of Timetable exclusively with Wavelength on my iPhone X. It’s really great to see some new microcasts pop up over the last few days. Thanks for trying it out!

Wavelength for Micro.blog

We have something really big to announce today. Micro.blog now supports hosting short-form podcasts, also known as microcasts, with a companion iPhone app called Wavelength for recording, editing, and publishing episodes.

Wavelength screenshots

Before the Kickstarter campaign last year, I started my Timetable microcast to talk about the things I was working on, with a focus on planning what would become Micro.blog. Creating a short podcast is really fun. It’s much easier to record and edit than the longer podcasts we’re all used to. But it’s still not easy enough, and even after nearly 100 episodes of Timetable my workflow was cobbled together with too many apps: Ferrite, Logic, Auphonic, WordPress, a shell script, and sometimes Transmit.

Micro.blog is about making short-form content you own as simple to post as a tweet because we believe blogging should be easier. Podcasting should be easier too.

We’re rolling out a new hosted plan on Micro.blog to accommodate microcasts. When you upload an audio file to your site — either from the web, Wavelength, or a third-party app — Micro.blog will automatically create a podcast feed for your microblog. Listeners can subscribe directly, or you can add the feed to the Apple Podcast Directory and it will show up in popular apps like Overcast and Castro. Everything can be served from your own domain name, just like a normal microblog. We’ve been using this infrastructure for all the episodes of our weekly Micro Monday microcast.

New hosted microblogs with microcasting support will be $10/month. Microcast audio files will be limited to 20 MB. Existing microblogs hosted on Micro.blog can be upgraded to support microcasting for an additional $5/month.

Everyone has a story to tell. Whether that’s through short microblog posts, longer essays, photo blogs, conversations with friends, or now through podcasts, I hope that the Micro.blog platform and suite of apps can help. If you haven’t checked out Micro.blog lately or are learning about it for the first time, now is a great time to join the community. Thanks!

Timetable returns

After a couple months away from Timetable, because I’ve been focusing so much of my time working on Micro.blog, I’ve finally returned to the microcast for a sort of second season. Timetable will be published daily now, Monday through Friday, to chronicle the actual release of Micro.blog and the Indie Microblogging book.

Episodes 38 and 39 are out now. You can subscribe in Overcast or iTunes.

Essays vs. microblog posts (and the microcast)

Starting back in September 2014, I added microblog posts to this site. These are defined as short posts without a title. They have their own RSS feed, and they’re automatically cross-posted to Twitter and App.net.

In that time, I’ve posted about 300 microblog posts and about 230 essays, although many of my longer posts are really just a few paragraphs and a quote. I still find the microblog format very convenient for quick thoughts, or a series of related posts like all my coffee stops.

I’ve also switched from Gaug.es to WordPress.com stats. While I agree with Ben Brooks that analytics can be a distraction, I still like finding new referrers and having a sense of what posts have resonated with people. Not that it effects what I write about, though.

The key to blogging is still consistency and passion. Write about the things you care about, regularly, and the internet is a big enough place that there can be an audience for even obscure topics.

That’s the theme I’m trying to apply to my new Timetable podcast, too. I talk about microblogging, coffee shops, client work, but more important than any of that is the routine of recording it. The short nature of the podcast is itself kind of the story.

I’m at episode 15 now and have loved working on it. I now expect that all of these components of my blog — the longer posts, the microblog posts, and the companion Timetable episodes — will be something I do for years to come.

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.

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!