I don’t normally cross post on Rooster’s Rail and The Global Geek Podcast Blog, but I think this story is worthy for both audiences. But I will change it a bit here to suit. There is one part that you will find amusing.
So there we were Knightwise and myself recording episode #025 of The Global Geek Podcast. We record the show over Skype as he is in Belgium and I am in Australia. Everything was going very well and we were into the seventh Tech News Story and… nothing. The whole house was plunged into darkness, we lost power here at home.
I am thinking that I don’t know how long I have lost the power for, I had better find a way to contact Knightwise and let him know what was going on. Think Rooster think! Ah got it, ring his mobile… Damn it, his mobile number is on the computer which at this point in time is unserviceable due to lack of juice.
So I ring my brother on my mobile phone, the home phone runs on power so that was out as well. James dude, do me a favour and ring Knightwise on Skype and let him know that I have lost power. Lucky I remembered Knightwise’s Skype id as James had to add him to his contact list. Enter the dirty hack:
That does not look pretty and believe me the sound was worse. So the hand you see is my brother’s (AKA: Air Bridge). The phone you see is his cordless home phone, it is on “speaker”. The Skype call that you might be able to see on the screen is a call from James’ computer to Knightwise. Contact with Knightwise established by one very dirty hack. Communicating was not too bad we could talk to each other but occasionally the Air Bridge had to decode what was said. Plus, I did not have to pay for a mobile phone call to Belgium (Woot!).
To top it all off we lost the recording.
Odeo Cripples FunctionalityJune 12, 2006 — The Rooster
Odeo seem to be updating and improving their services every other day of late. However, it is not every day that you see such a great service actually remove a feature and make it harder for users to utilise their service. They have indeed done so and perhaps in doing so shooting themselves in the foot.
One of the great features that is available to Odeo users is to have an "inbox". If you were to place a button on your website, be it blog or some other site you have enabled your readers to leave you audio comments by clicking the link. They get taken to a page that has a recording interface, which is simple and easy to use and the result is great audio. You as the user of Odeo get that recorded audio in your inbox once it is sent to you. You are notified of this by an email.
Another great feature is that you can subscribe to an RSS feed of your own inbox! So this is a great way to receive feedback on anything. Including podcasts. Seb and I saw it as a great way to get feedback for Global Geek Podcast, so we set up an account. The advantage of getting audio as feedback is that you could go to your inbox once you were notified and click the new Odeo comment that was left for you. You can listen to it. But the biggest feature was that you could click a "download as MP3" button and download the audio comment and insert it into a podcast! The result was excellent and we loved it.
The ability to download the MP3 has been removed from the play window! So what the hell is Odeo thinking in removing this key functionality. It means that it is impossible to download the audio from the page to your local machine. Rather it makes it a pain in the butt to do it.
I found that there is a work-around but it is messy: Open Audacity, set the source to "stereo mix" get ready to hit record… Open the Odeo message that you want to record. Flip back to Audacity and hit record, nip over to the Odeo page and click play. Go back and hit stop on the recording when it has finished. As I said messy. In addition the audio that you end up with is less than ideal and requires a bit of editing.
I am utterly dismayed as to why Odeo have removed this from their site. The only thing that I can think of is that they want users to listen to audio, only from them and not from another source. Perhaps they were not aware that the service was being utilized in this way and they have done it ignorantly, I just don't know. Sebastian has suggested that perhaps they are beginning to think about implementing a pay service and this has something to do with it. But since when has any site reduced their services as opposed to offering more. We are not the only podcast doing this. I can honestly say that if this situation remains as it is; the blogging and podcasting community could deliver some negative press, big time.
Global Geek Podcast has mentioned Odeo on every show that we have done. Not only that there is a link on the Global Geek Podcast website to Odeo, there is a link to Odeo on Rooster's Rail, Seb's Random Thoughts and we have plugged them for their service and functionality since utilizing their service. It is not like we have not given back to Odeo. This I feel is the thanks that we get.
Global Geek Podcast have sent off an email to Odeo in regards to this issue and we await a response, I will let you know what we get back from them when and if we do.
Update: Please check out the Follow-up Story