Contribute to our End of Year Podcast!

December 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Commentary

We are trying something new this year, assuming people participate – a best of 2013 compiled podcast.

To participate:

1. Record yourself talking briefly (under 5 minutes) about your favorite audiobook of the year, or your favorite SFF Audio podcast, or both.
Include your name. Last name, web presence, and location are optional but might make it more interesting.

2. Send file to Jenny (e-mail address on our contact page) by Saturday, December 28, either in an email or link to something like dropbox. If you keep it under a minute a lot of easy recording apps will work, even built in voice memos for iOs.

We will edit them together and it will be our last podcast of the year!

Posted by Jenny Colvin

Commentary: How to add art to your MP3 podcast episode using iTunes

September 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Commentary

No podcast art!

Too many professionally produced podcasts, including such for profit ventures as CBS’ 60 Minutes podcast, don’t add art to their podcasts.

That’s sad.

Making sure your podcast episodes have art should be the final step before you upload your MP3 to your server.

You may think that because there is art on your iTunes page, or in your RSS feed, that means your podcast episodes automatically have art.

They may not!

To guarantee that your podcast episodes have art you must add it the individual MP3 file’s metadata.

There are other programs which allow you to edit your metadata, but there is probably already a program on your computer than can do it for you pretty easily: iTunes.

Here is the official iTunes description of the process:

To embed art within an individual episode’s metadata using iTunes, select the episode and choose Get Info from the File menu. Click the Artwork tab. Then click Add, navigate to and select the image file, and click Choose.

I found it to be a bit tricky so I’ve made a visualized step by step guide showing you how to do it.

To add art to your MP3 file follow this recipe:

1. Start iTunes.

Step 1 - Start iTunes

2. Go to File → New → Playlist (or CTRL + N) to make a new playlist.

Go to File - New - Playlist (or CTRL + N)

3. Drag the MP3 file into the now open playlist and click “DONE”.

Step 3 - Drag the MP3 file into the now open playlist and click DONE.

4. Next, navigate to “Music” (under LIBRARY).

Step 4 - Navigate to Music (under LIBRARY).

5. You should see a Playlist with the name “Unknown Album” and inside it your MP3.

Step 5 - You should see a Playlist with the name

6. Right-click on the MP3 and select “Get info” – this will create a pop-up.

Step 6 - Right-click on Get info - this will create a pop-up

7. In the pop-up select the rightmost tab, it’s labeled “Artwork.”

Step 7 - In the pop-up select the rightmost Artwork tab

8. Now, select the artwork you’d like to add to the MP3 and drag it into the tab.

Step 8 - Select the artwork you'd like to add to the MP3 and drag it into the tab.

9. Hit “Ok.” Your art will now be linked to your MP3.

Your art has now been linked to Your MP3

10. Repeat the process every time you make a new MP3 episode.

Repeat the process every time.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Commentary: Annotating Ward Shelley’s A History Of Science Fiction

March 20, 2013 by · 1 Comment
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SFFaudio Commentary

I love looking at Ward Shelley’s The History Of Science Fiction. It really inspires me.

I’ve, for my own amusement, done a little annotating, adding little thumbtacks noting every podcast READALONG we’ve done. But I’ve only put on the ones that are explicitly named on the chart. So, for example, even though we’ve talked about Tarzan Of The Apes I haven’t noted it because the chart only lists “Tarzan.” Similarly, we’ve done a podcast about A Princess Of Mars but as the chart only reads “John Carter” I haven’t made a notation.

But still and all, I find it fun to look at. And looking at it, it makes me want to add more!

You can click through to see more detail.

SFFaudio Podcast Episodes Noted

Posted by Jesse Willis

Commentary: Downpour.com – an audiobook delivery system that just works

March 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Commentary

Downpour.comDownpour.com, Blackstone Audio’s online audiobook store, is a genuine competitor to Audible.com.

It offers audiobook downloads of titles, from Blackstone Audio’s extensive catalogue, and also those from many other audiobook publishers like Recorded Books, Harper Audio, Penguin Audio, Hachette Audio, and AudioGo.

Their subscription service is almost identically priced to Audible’s, each offers one credit per month for about $15. And, like an Audible credit Audible.com, a Downpour credit almost always gets you one audiobook.

I signed up for Downpour when they started late last Summer. And so far, I really, really like it.

I’ve had an account with Audible.com since 2001. But Audbile.com has always caused one giant problem for me: DRM.

DRM is actually designed to prevent you sharing your audiobook with your friends and family.

But worse, it can also make it difficult for you, the owner of the audiobook that you bought, to actually listen to what you have paid for.

Over the years I’ve spent countless hours trying to make an audiobook, that I bought, play on my audiobook players.

Every single time I’ve bought a new computer, iPod, iPad, or iPhone I’ve spent time authorizing and deauthorizing my devices. Sometimes it just takes a couple of minutes, sometimes hours.

Audible’s DRM makes you have to authorize your iTunes account, and your computer, and your iPhone, and your iPad, and your iPod. And you have to deauthorize your old devices to make the new devices work. You can’t have all of your devices authorized if you have more than three.

I just want my audiobooks to work like regular books, I want them to open up and give me their ideas. DRM cripples your ability to do that.

Downpour.com has no DRM at all. It just works.

In fact it works absolutely perfectly.

You make a purchase, it shows up in your online library, and then it downloads and delivers itself to your devices.

It is smoother than any audiobook service I’ve ever seen. It’s even smoother than Tantor Media’s excellent DRM-FREE download service.

If you use an iOS device for an audiobook, like I do, I’m betting Downpour.com is will work for you.

If you use a different audiobook player Downpour offers MP3s, which work with every audio player.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Commentary: My letter to Gottfrid Svartholm Warg (co-founder of The Pirate Bay)

December 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Commentary

In response to a post on the front page of The Pirate Bay this morning…

TPB, Call for letters

…I’ve just written a letter to Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, the co-founder of the torrent site The Pirate Bay. Gottfrid, who is at this moment languishing and incarcerated in a Swedish prison, is to me a prisoner of censorship (though the traditional word for it is probably political prisoner).

Among other things my letter relates of the good TPB has done for me, and countless other downloaders. I specifically point out an audio drama that was unjustifiably trampled by an evil corporation that claimed a violation of their trademark.

I wanted Gottfrid to know that his efforts to make TPB were appreciated. In my letter I also compare TPB to my public library, tell him about some of my current projects, and express my frustration with the current copyright climate.

Letter to Gottfrid Svartholm Warg

Posted by Jesse Willis

Commentary: A “Top 100 Sci-Fi Audiobooks” List

September 16, 2012 by · 1 Comment
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SFFaudio Commentary

Sci-Fi ListsLast year somebody* pointed out that a list of “The Top 100 Sci-Fi Books” (as organized by the Sci-Fi Lists website) was almost entirely available in audiobook form!

At the time of his or her compiling 95 of the 100 books were available as audiobooks.

Today, it appears, that list is approaching 99% complete!

I’ve read a good number of the books and audiobooks listed, and while some of them are indeed excellent, I’d have to argue that some are merely ok, and that others are utterly atrocious.

That said, I do think it is interesting that almost all of them are available as audiobooks!

Here’s the list as it stood last year, plus my added notations on the status of the missing five:

01- Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card – 1985
02- Dune – Frank Herbert – 1965
03- Foundation – Isaac Asimov – 1951
04- Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams – 1979
05- 1984 – George Orwell – 1949
06- Stranger In A Strange Land – Robert A Heinlein – 1961
07- Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury – 1954
08- 2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C Clarke – 1968
09- Starship Troopers – Robert A Heinlein – 1959
10- I, Robot – Isaac Asimov – 1950
11- Neuromancer – William Gibson – 1984
12- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick – 1968
13- Ringworld – Larry Niven – 1970
14- Rendezvous With Rama – Arthur C. Clarke – 1973
15- Hyperion – Dan Simmons – 1989
16- Brave New World – Aldous Huxley – 1932
17- The Time Machine – H.G. Wells – 1895
18- Childhood’s End – Arthur C. Clarke – 1954
19- The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress – Robert A. Heinlein – 1966
20- The War Of The Worlds – H.G. Wells – 1898
21- The Forever War – Joe Haldeman – 1974
22- The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury – 1950
23- Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut – 1969
24- Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson – 1992
25- The Mote In God’s Eye – Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle – 1975
26- The Left Hand Of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin – 1969
27- Speaker For The Dead – Orson Scott Card – 1986
28- Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton – 1990
29- The Man in the High Castle – Philip K. Dick – 1962
30- The Caves Of Steel – Isaac Asimov – 1954
31- The Stars My Destination – Alfred Bester – 1956
32- Gateway – Frederik Pohl – 1977
33- Lord Of Light – Roger Zelazny – 1967
34- Solaris – Stanisław Lem – 1961
35- 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea – Jules Verne – 1870
36- A Wrinkle In Time – Madeleine L’Engle – 1962
37- Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut – 1963
38- Contact – Carl Sagan – 1985
39- The Andromeda Strain – Michael Crichton – 1969
40- The Gods Themselves – Isaac Asimov – 1972
41- A Fire Upon The Deep – Vernor Vinge – 1991
42- Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson – 1999
43- The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham – 1951
44- UBIK – Philip K. Dick – 1969
45- Time Enough For Love – Robert A. Heinlein – 1973
46- A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess – 1962
47- Red Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson – 1992
48- Flowers For Algernon – Daniel Keyes
49- A Canticle For Leibowitz – Walter M. Miller – 1959
50- The End of Eternity – Isaac Asimov – 1955
51- Battlefield Earth – L. Ron Hubbard – 1982
52- Frankenstein – Mary Shelley – 1818
53- Journey To The Center Of The Earth – Jules Verne – 1864
54- The Dispossessed – Ursula K. Le Guin – 1974
55- The Diamond Age – Neal Stephenson – 1995
56- The Player Of Games – Iain M. Banks – 1988
57- The Reality Dysfunction – Peter F. Hamilton – 1996
58- Startide Rising – David Brin – 1983
59- The Sirens Of Titan – Kurt Vonnegut – 1959
60- Eon – Greg Bear – 1985
61- Ender’s Shadow – Orson Scott Card – 1999
62- To Your Scattered Bodies Go – Philip Jose Farmer – 1971
63- A Scanner Darkly – Philip K. Dick – 1977
64- Lucifer’s Hammer – Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle – 1977
65- The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood – 1985
66- The City And The Stars – Arthur C Clark – 1956
67- The Stainless Steel Rat – Harry Harrison – 1961
68- The Demolished Man – Alfred Bester – 1953
69- The Shadow of the Torturer – Gene Wolfe – 1980
70- Sphere – Michael Crichton – 1987
71- The Door Into Summer – Robert .A Heinlein – 1957
72- The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch – Philip K. Dick – 1964
73- Revelation Space – Alastair Reynolds – 2000
74- Citizen Of The Galaxy – Robert A. Heinlein – 1957
75- Doomsday Book – Connie Willis – 1992
76- Ilium – Dan Simmons – 2003
77- The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells – 1897
78- Have Space-Suit Will Travel – Robert A. Heinlein – 1958
79- The Puppet Masters – Robert A. Heinlein – 1951
80- Out Of The Silent Planet – C.S. Lewis – 1938
81- A Princess of Mars – Edgar Rice Burroughs – 1912
82- The Lathe of Heaven – Ursula K. Le Guin – 1971
83- Use Of Weapons – Iain M. Banks – 1990
84- The Chrysalids – John Wyndham – 1955
85- Way Station – Clifford Simak – 1963
86- Flatland – Edwin A. Abbott – 1884
87- Altered Carbon – Richard Morgan – 2002
88- Old Man’s War – John Scalzi – 2005
89- COMING SOON (October 15, 2012)Roadside Picnic – Arkady and Boris Strugatsky – 1972
90- The Road – Cormac McCarthy – 2006
91- The Postman – David Brin – 1985
92- NEWLY AVAILABLEStand On Zanzibar – John Brunner – 1969
93- VALIS – Philip K. Dick – 1981
94- NEWLY AVAILABLE The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age – Stanisław Lem – 1974
95- NOT AVAILABLE AS AN AUDIOBOOK – Cities In Flight – James Blish – 1955
96- The Lost World – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – 1912
97- The Many-Colored Land – Julian May – 1981
98- Gray Lensman – E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith – 1940
99- The Uplift War – David Brin – 1987
100- NEWLY AVAILABLEThe Forge Of God – Greg Bear – 1987

In case you were wondering, the list was compiled using the following criteria:

“A statistical survey of sci-fi literary awards, noted critics and popular polls. To qualify a book has to be generally regarded as science fiction by credible sources and/or recognised as having historical significance to the development of the genre. For books that are part of a series (with some notable exceptions) only the first book in the series is listed.”

The “Next 100″, as listed over on Sci-Fi Lists, has a lot of excellent novels and collections in it too, check that out HERE.

[*Thanks to "neil1966hardy" from ThePirateBay]

Posted by Jesse Willis

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