LibSyn Broken?

LibSyn LogoWhile The Global Geek Podcast is not hosted on Liberated Syndication anymore I have stayed subscribed to their Support Blog. What has come through from late September to now reads like a train wreck of bugs. I am not sure what is going on over there at LibSyn but it looks like they are experiencing bug after bug and network issues that are plaguing the system. Perhaps their popularity is denting their functionality.

There have been questions raised as to LibSyns capabilities to handle the traffic that they handle and the fact that their business model is one that allows users to utilize unlimited bandwidth. For podcasts this is very attractive. As long as you pay for the storage volume then your show can become as popular as it can and use as much bandwidth as is needed to support the listener base without added cost.

Judge for yourself, here is the support blog from Libsyn from the 24th of September to the 4th of October:

Nothing since then.

For a podcaster this is a bit of a worry. You are worried that your feed is working, that the homepage is still up, that people are able to download content, that you are able to upload shows and edit the blog. If downtime becomes a regular thing then you lose trust in the service and start looking elsewhere, thinking that for the extra bucks you want the peace of mind. These are considerations for potential investors in podcasting as well. How are investors going to trust a show that is hosted on an unreliable service? Answer; they won’t.

Don’t get me wrong I am not rubbishing LibSyn I think that they are one company that make podcasting very easy to get into. I would just like to see them deliver a great service and concentrate on small steps to improve. Hell charge more if you have to but make what you have stable and user friendly. Statistics are very important and I know from the move to our current location that our stats took a beating. I think this was mainly due to the fact that what we thought we had was right off. In other words the statistics are useless.

I can’t speak about what the service is like now but there were some elements that I was not impressed with. I hope they remember who is paying the bills.

Global Geek Podcast Delayed This Week

For those of you that are expecting a podcast this week, yes it has been delayed. But don't worry it is coming!

This week there has been a number of factors that have played havok with our recording schedule. Seb has been flat out completing his final assignments for college. My shifts have not been the best for recording time. I worked this last week end, a late early. In addition to that this week end Seb is going away for the week end so we won't be able to record. So we decided to delay this weeks so it would carry us through without there being too much of a break in-between.

So I hope that clears that up. But what I figure is that this is one of the great things about podcasting, no-one is on a schedule other than the ones that we create ourselves. So for the purpose of sanity that's what's going on this week. Stay tuned guys should be something worth listening to soon.

Something else worth mentioning is that the Global Geek Podcast homepage is currently undergoing a rebuild and we are working on that as well. It will not be released until it is ready and polished up. The restrictions that LibSyn place on the format have been challenging to say the least but we will get there in the end. Mainly because we have the "The Codeman" Adam on the case. 

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…

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.

Podcast & Feed Wiget Created!

PodcastI had a brainwave today!I was thinking of ways to increase our listeners on Global Geek Podcast and I thought why not give people the ability to both listen to the podcast and subscribe to it here! So I have created the Global Geek Podcast Wiget in the right hand side pane. Have a look and a listen!  But we would prefer that you subscribed and listen to it regularly!

At the moment the listen link is linked to the libsyn media directory where the current podcast is (that being episode three). What I would really like to be able to do is to have this link update when the Global Geek Homepage is updated. Just the link to the media file that is. Because at the moment I have to update it each week with the newest podcast file name. So if anyone out there knows how to do that then drop me a line.