Podcast Player Found! No Help from LibSyn…

Well I am as happy as a pig in poop! Yesterday I blogged about the LibSyn Player malfunction and the fact that I was not getting any help from Liberated Syndication with the problem. The no help thing has continued, step in the wonderful blogging community.

Big ContactYesterday I recieved a comment on the post that was an answer to my prayers. Rob from New York Mets Baseball Podcast put me onto Big Contact's Feed Player. To say that it is unreal is an understatment. It is feature packed and the main thing is: It Works!

In actual fact this player has more features and more options than the LibSyn did! Features like having a list of previous shows as well as the most recent show to play is great. In addition to that there is the function of being able to see the show notes from the player! There are also instructions on how to "subscribe" to the show… AND Adam has just assisted me to make the player "detach" from the page, allowing visitors to surf the web or work elsewhere and listen to the show. Very cool. There is more but I think you get the picture. Oh and did I mention it is free?

Please head over to the Global Geek Podcast Homepage and check it out, especially if you are looking for a player. There are many other customisable features that podcasters may want to modify to suit their needs and the very fact that you can is another big plus.

Many, many thanks to Rob again and hey Rob I have talked to Sebastian and we are only too happy to plug your show on ours so if you would like to send us a promo we will slot it in. Because that's how the world should work.

Stay on the look out for more changes to the Global Geek Podcast Homepage… woot this is going to good…

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LibSyn Player Removed!

Well the Global Geek Podcast has been going very well. The website is working great, accept for the LibSyn Player; which has been broken for nearly two weeks.

LibSyn PlayerThe player is just a web page application that allows people to "stream" the audio directly from the web page. It is also detachable so you can surf the net and listen to the show. About twelve days ago, after the upload of show number 004 (I think) it broke. It failed to update with the new show and the situation stayed that way. For me the player does not work at all. For others it might play any show that we have published, at random! Not good.

You might think that this is a minor thing, but you would be surprised to learn that this is the way that most people listen to the show. The majority of people appear to not know about aggregators or "podcatchers". So the fact that it is broken is really affecting our statistics, we have seen jumps in other episodes that should not have occurred and a downturn in the numbers for the most recent show. We are fairly sure that it is related to the player not working. Part of trying to combat this was to put the WordPress Podcast Widget on this blog, you can go to the streaming page and listen to the podcast from this and download the podcast with the right click "save as" command. But it was not a total solution. We have also tried to search for a decent player from somewhere else but we are having trouble finding one that us gumby people can put on the page and looks good.

So after all this and three emails to Liberated Syndication I have removed the player from the site, I just hope that people click the "POD" button to listen to the show or download it manually or preferably subscribe to the show using a podcatcher of some description. I recommend Juice as a free option, open source and it works. For a payed version of an integrated podcatcher and RSS reader I recommend FeedDemon.

Still hoping to get the player fixed and reinstated on the website but until LibSyn get back to me my hands are tied. Normally they are good with support but on this they have sucked.

Global Geek Podcast 003 is OUT NOW!

I just finished editing and uploading the Global Geek Podcast, check it out and have a listen.

Sebastian and I are still trying to find our feet with the whole thing. For me this has been difficult as I have higher expectations of myself than I should. But I am happy with the show and I hope that you like it. I am finding the editing challenging but as you can see I am getting them out without too much difficulty.

I will be happier when we can find a better recording solution. The most frustrating thing is that we do a test and to us our audio sounds great. But then in comes the record. The recorded file has some problems. That said; the podcast is not bad quality. Rather there are small issues that affect quality that I have no control over. The issues that are apparent to us are not there "live" but are added in the recording. But hey we are doing our best and I am sure that Skype will come good with the record… eventually. The other thing is that I have heard podasts with shocking quality in comparison to ours, so I suppose we are OK. It is just frustrating.

So there goes another one, we are looking forward to the next and are learning all the time. Having fun as well 🙂

Hey we still need a logo, so please if you are a budding artist then send us any suggestions!

WordPress Response

I am not going to move the blog. Great response and in a timely fashion impress me, to the point of me totally deciding to stay with WordPress.

I got a response from a previous email that said that we are working on the problem and that it should be fixed now. Well that was before the problems last night. So I wrote a fairly pointed email back saying that in no way was it fixed. In addition there have been a few mentions in the blogosphere about the issues.

Seems that WordPress has grown at a rate that they were not expecting and that they have had some difficultity keeping up. This has resulted in servers slowing down and being unreliable. I got a response from my email in under an hour, you can not get better than that! The first thing I got was an apology. The second thing was that I was informed that they have purchased more bandwidth which should speed up things around WordPress. I have been informed also that as fast as they install new hardware (by that I presume hard-drives) it fills up. I think this is just a reflection of the growth of the blogosphere, it is growing at a phenomenal rate and doesn’t look like slowing down. However this week it looks like they are having a mass install of new hardware in their data centres and that will make a world of difference, I hope it does.

This is evident in the WordPress Blog so that’s good to hear:

We’re in the very final stages of bringing the new systems online, just waiting the last few bits of configuration to come online. As we’re more than doubling the servers we’re using, it should address all performance issues and help us prevent any for a long time to come.

Finally, I was told that they are working very hard at making WordPress a great domain that just works. The response also said that they have not been achieving that recently and that they have dissapointed their users. But they have the solution and they are working on it. So hang in there bloggers there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Interestingly Sebastian and I mentioned in the podcast last week that the ping times for WordPress to Technorati are terrible and that bloggers need to manually ping Technorati to see some benefits from it. This is a problem with Ping-O-Matic and Technorati recognised by WordPress as Matt has been talking to Technorati about resolving the issue. My advice keep doing it manually as this has not been resolved yet, I will try to keep you posted.

Great response from WordPress and I hope that I can continue to support WordPress as I like their style and they are excellent in the support stakes.

FeedDemon 2.0.0.22 Beta Tested: Positive Results

Tonight FeedDemon was tested with an unable to connect to server error. I was impressed with the performance, there were a few bugs but nothing major. This may or may not have been a NewsGator Server problem.

I fired up FeedDemon and got the "cannot connect to server message". I got the option to un-synchronize the feeds and to manually page each feed for updates. I selected that and I was presented with a message that informed me that the feeds would be updated directly from the feed URL's and that it would be slower. So I selected OK.

To say that the feeds would update slower is an understatement, it is really slow and I have a 1500/256 connection (that is pretty quick here in Australia), so bear in mind that with functionality comes a slowdown. That said it was not something that bothered me too much. One error that occurred was that when the feeds updated it imported "old" updates. I got posts from January 2006 and they were out or order by date and some were marked read and others not read even though I knew I had marked them as read previously. I did however get the new feeds at the top, which is what you want.

While this was going on Sebastian had asked me to listen to a podcast he had done the day before, so I went to the folder, I did have to manually update the folder with the "update feed" command; but when I did I got the new podcast listed. I clicked the "paper-clip" and FeedStation opened and started to download. It noted that it could not connect to "my podcasts" but it did not seem to bother the download. The podcast downloaded and synchronised to my sync folder on my local machine with no problems.

One thing that is not made as clear as it could be is how to re-synchronise your folders. Basically; you get an icon in the bottom left corner of FeedDemon that has a disconnected symbol on it – or something like that. You can click this icon and get options, one is to test the connection and another one to say you are not synchronised with a tick – selected next to it. I just presumed that to resynchronise you "deselect the box". I was right, but it is not indicated that you have; or are trying to synchronise again. The indication that you are trying to connect and have been successful is the fact that the synchronising with NewsGator splash comes up. I think this needs to be improved.

A new feature is the "test" connection option, again an option within the click icon at the bottom left. So every once and a while I tested the connection and I eventually got a "good" result back and I went through the resynchronise process described above. No problems. FeedDemon synchronised and updated the feeds and did not have a problem with the fact that I had read some new posts and download an enclosure. FeedDemon even marked those as read – so it performed better then expected there.

As far as the reason for the outage, I am not sure if the NewsGator server was down or that I could not connect to it because of the connection between my machine and the server. If it was the server, it was not down for long, which makes me think it was a connection problem. Well done Nick, this is what I expect from you guys, thanks.