A Facelift for PlaylistMix.com

Anyone following the Playlist Mix on Twitter over the weekend (or myself for that matter) would have spotted some talk of design work going in the run up to the 45th show. That design work got pushed live last night. It’s possible it will be a bit rough around the edges on IE users – I say possible because I haven’t had the chance to check and correct anything Internet Explore-wise but I’m happy with the new layout.

The podcast itself returned to normal service a week ago following a winter break and has also moved to Sunday nights for 2009 (a lot more accessible to me the way things work around here).

You can grab the 45th show here (show linkdirect mp3 link) or listen to last week’s show here.

Of course, if you’re in tyre-kicking mood I’ll be getting back to things around 3pm today so feel free to let me know what you think. In terms of planning, the Christmas break did wonders for me as I’ve been able to get a nice plan in place for additional podcast elements in terms of interviews, video and more content between tracks. Plus, the new schedule is a big plus.

Check out PlaylistMix.com and let me know what you think, or grab a listen to the latest podcast below.

Playlist Mix Podcast show #45
[audio:http://playlistmix.com/podpress_trac/web/122/0/podcast045.mp3]

40th Playlist Mix Podcast Lands

Bloc Party
Creative Commons License photo credit: wonker

The first of this week’s podcasts is finally online. I’ve got to learn not to go browsing around MySpace with 20 tabs open on the laptop while ProTools is bouncing out the show.

Especially when it’s getting close to 1am and you’re already tired.

Technical difficulties aside, you can listen to the 40th Playlist Mix here or click here to download the show (27mb mp3). There’s music from Bloc Party, Ingrid Michaelson, Gum and more. You’ll also get a listen to the current radio advert for The Devious Theatre Company‘s ‘War Of The Worlds’ which wraps recording this Sunday.

The Sound System Podcast with KilkennyMusic.com records and airs tonight and will likely feature a lot of chat, recaps and mental flashbacks from the 2008 Irish Web Awards in Dublin on Saturday gone.

Playlist Mix #40
[audio:http://www.playlistmix.com/podpress_trac/web/94/0/podcast040.mp3]

Playlist Mix Wins Best Podcaster – A Thank You

Playlist Mix wins Best Podcast at the 2008 Irish Web Awards
Photo robbed (hoping he won’t mind) from Keith Bohanna

So last night in Dublin myself, Costigan and 298 other people (maybe a few more or less) turned out for the 2008 Moviestar.ie Irish Web Awards.

While we had made plans to attend long before the longlists and shortlists were announced, it was nice also nice to be represented in two categories – myself as Best Podcaster with Playlist Mix (weekly on a Tuesday) and myself and Ross there to represent KilkennyMusic.com in the Best Music Site category. Little did I think I’d be walking away with a trophy and a bottle of champagne to match!

Then of course, little did Elly Parker think she’d end up wearing the bottle of champagne, but when someone sprays you in Formula One-style celebration, it’s only right to return the gesture.

I’ve no idea what I said in accepting the award – nothing to do with the two pints and a tequila I’d had before taking my seat for the start – but the surprise was genuine and I apologise if I sounded like a babbling idiot on stage. Though photo evidence suggests that both Ross and Darragh have the acceptance on video.

Seriously though – thank you. To the judges, to the other podcasters in the category, to Karl Deeter of Irish Mortage Brokers (category sponsor), to Damien and the web awards gang, Moviestar.ie (I’ve been looking for a new DVD player for ages), Darragh and Niamh for the roof over our heads for the night, to those of you who listen to the podcast and those of you who have yet to listen to the podcast (there’s plenty more to come!). Thanks to Ross as well, always nice to have one of your own share in something like that. Though I blame you for the tequila issues throughout the night. God help the Radisson staff… the look of sheer wonder and disgust on their faces at the same time.

Winning an award aside, the IWAs was simply one of the best nights had out in ages. There were a whole lot of hugs, drinks, chats, random singing, dancing, eating (the food was outstanding), more drinking, more chats, more hugs (why all the hugging?) and finally getting to meet up with the likes of Eoghan, Robin and more.

While it was good to catch up with familiar faces, the awards once again served as a fantastic outlet for connecting with new faces. Introductions were made, chats were had, ideas shared, plans revealed and batted around.

Forget to mention too – thanks (again) to Damien… for the poster. Something I developed as more of a promo graphic to be passed around blogs will now hang on my wall in an extremely lifesize manor… it’s huge, the print quality is great and it’s a total bonus 🙂

Of course, like an idiot, I left the award behind me. Shows how much I was actually expecting to win! Having guarded it safely for the night and stashing it behind the couch on returning to the house from the hotel, I remembered to pack everything into the van… except the award stashed safely behind the house.

While it gets minded in Dublin until Wednesday or Thursday, I’m going to pick out a shelf to hang and place the award on… it’s not all that often I pick up an award so I’ll treasure that one.

Thanks.

Seriously.

Thanks.

Breaking 100 Podcasts

Ken McGuire's home podcasting setup

I started podcasting on a monthly basis back in November 2006 (though it could have been every three weeks to coincide with the One Take Sessions).

The monthly turned tri-weekly, turned fortnightly, back to tri-weekly and now weekly. That’s just with KilkennyMusic.com who during the week (yesterday in fact) managed to deliver the 61st Sound System Podcast. Admittedly, if we kept the same schedule throughout the year and didn’t take a summer break we’d be a lot closer to the one hundred mark for that particular podcast.

In March 2007 I started the Playlist Mix, abandoning the podcast after three shows. PodCamp Ireland in Kilkenny (September 2007) gave me the much needed inspiration to set out a regular podcast schedule for that show, and as of this Tuesday night gone (again, incorporating a summer break due to a hectic three-show schedule with The Devious Theatre Company) the Playlist Mix has reached show number 39.

Put the two together – you get 100 podcasts, which considering the average lengths of the podcasts (45 minutes and 30 minutes respectively) you’re looking at over 65 hours of podcast content, chat and music.

Then I got involved in the weekly PodCamp Ireland podcasts as well, but that’s another story altogether.

There’s an awful lot of learning in producing 100 podcasts, something I’m putting into the production of a further two podcasts (one monthly show due to start in November) and something that has also opened the doors to professional work through podcasting. Both podcasts have settled into a nice groove and with the Sound System Podcast in particular (which went from a four-host show to a two-host show) I’m delighted that it’s taken on a life of it’s own, something these two gents know all to well about in recent weeks.

So for this week, why not check out the 61st Sound System Podcast (download) or the 39th Playlist Mix (download) and let me know what you think.

Playlist Mix 37 Goes Live

Pato Banton

Recording in a studio with no lights is no fun. Just like stubbing your toe is no fun. When you do the two together and podcast in the dark, it’s bound to become a little interesting.

As I wait on this week’s KilkennyMusic.com podcast to upload I point you in the direction of the 37th Playlist Mix podcast featuring this 90s reggae-loving gem (above), Pato Banton.

The 37th podcast brings you another 30 minutes or so of podsafe and independent music, six acts, six tracks and some background in between. It arrived online later than expected, due to unforeseen technical difficulties with lights, a crashing browser and ultimately electricity but it’s there for all to grab now.

You can download here (about 28mb) or stream below. You can also check out PlaylistMix.com for the podcast archives, see past shows and subscribe via the feed (opens iTunes) to find out what I’ve been listening to during the week and just what’s been hitting my inbox.

Playlist Mix 37
[audio:http://www.playlistmix.com/podpress_trac/web/87/0/podcast037.mp3]

Playlist Mix 36 Released

Vesta Varro

They Playlist Mix podcast series returned two weeks ago after a light summer break and I’ve just released the 36th Playlist Mix this evening, a little earlier than usual.

I’m doing well of late in the battle to set a definite finishing time work-wise during the day so I can free up more time in the evenings. More time in the evenings means earlier podcasts, earlier to bed and less of a fight with myself on a Wednesday morning before phoning into the PodCamp Ireland podcast show.

It was PodCamp Ireland last year in Kilkenny that gave me the much needed kick to put the Playlist Mix on course and since last October I’ve managed to release 32 podcasts. I’d be looking at close to 50 had it not been for the serious lack of any evening-time in the summer thanks to producing and acting in two back-to-back performances from May to August with this devious bunch.

As always on the podcast there’s six tracks from six different acts with music this week coming from Vesta Varro, Planet Rewind, This Is Fiction, Annie Golliath, Satellite State and Ro Tierney who I had as a guest at the One Take Sessions in Kilkenny last year.

I’ll be catching Vesta Varro in action in Kilkenny this weekend but until then, enjoy the podcast. Comments always appreciated 🙂

The podcast has also been longlisted / nominated for Best Podcast at the 2008 Irish Web Awards, another fine night in store for the Irish web community this October 11th in Dublin.

Playlist Mix Podcast #36 – Download @ 27mb
[audio:http://www.playlistmix.com/podpress_trac/web/83/0/podcast036.mp3]

Podcasting Takes Time, But They’re Coming Back

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m currently ‘Smitten‘. In a pure theatrical sense that is. Since the third week of May this year for three nights a week or more, plus weekends (taken up with theatre and gigs) I’ve been spending my nights at a variety of rehearsal venues, nights I had previously dedicated to other things I thoroughly enjoy such as the Sound System Podcast and the Playlist Mix.

Now that we’ve hit show week on our second of three productions for the year I can look forward to having my evenings come back and getting into the podcasting groove again.

There’s a perk in this for me as for the third production, I’m looking at producing a radio play. We had been speaking to one radio station to look at carrying the play in October but whether the show goes across the airwaves or not, we’re going to be releasing it as part of a short series of podcasts from the theatre company, a nice way for us (as the theatre company) to embrace podcasting and reach a new audience.

What I’m also looking forward to is returning to the Playlist Mix (Tuesday nights) and the Sound System Podcast with KilkennyMusic.com (Wednesday nights). Producing podcasts, the way we’ve gotten into producing them, can take anywhere up to 3 hours if you allow a half hour for pre-production and notes.

While the Playlist Mix will return with it’s regular and healthy dose of podsafe music, the Sound System Podcast will be showcasing highlights from gigs since May this year, for the first few shows with five weeks worth of live music to offer (20 live tracks) though an overall format change has not yet been decided by myself and co-host Ross Costigan.

Thanks to my theatrical commitments and weekend engagements, three hours is a lot to ask when you’re in “show mode”. So from the first week of September, both podcasts (which collectively have almost reached the 90-mark in the last year) will be returning to an iTunes store near you.

More From The Playlist Mix

I’ve hit podcast #32 in the Playlist Mix series and it’s been a while since I flagged it here on the blog.

If you’ve never heard of the Playlist Mix Podcast (possible if you’re a new reader!), it is a weekly podcast I release running 30 minutes or less and featuring six independent or podsafe acts from around the world.

I gather music from the Podsafe Music Network, Garageband, CD submissions from acts I work with in Ireland and through KilkennyMusic.com and ultimately, email submissions from listeners and bands alike. The mix is rather eclectic. My own listening habits are by no means genre specific. If you had stopped me in traffic this morning you’d catch me with some downtempo jazz on; into the office and I’m in rock mode; out and about and I’m fuelled by indie or reggae tunes.

To that extent, each week’s mix is often a reflection of what I’ve been listening to as well as a means to showcase new tracks and artists arriving in my inbox. I’m not much of a fan of day-time radio so when I’m on the road I like to have a short mix of tunes with me – a 30-minute weekly dose of the Playlist Mix tends to do the trick for me 🙂

The latest podcast was released yesterday with music from Plunkett, The Riot Before, Ghostface Killah and more… have a listen below, click here to subscribe via iTunes or check PlaylistMix.com for previous shows.

Playlist Mix #32 (Download @ 27mb, 128kbps)
[audio:http://www.playlistmix.com/podpress_trac/web/72/0/podcast032.mp3]

More From The Playlist Mix Podcast (And Podcasting)

The 27th Playlist Mix podcast has gone live and it marks (at least technically) a full year since the launch of the podcast. Granted, after three shows I took the bones of five months away from the podcast to decide whether or not I would make a full run of it but having revived the podcast in October last, it has become a weekly habit of mine and I’m delighted I decided to press ahead.

Such to the point that my 2008 diary (I keep a physical diary for the music / theatre side of life) is marked with podcast recording dates straight up to the end of December which should see the Playlist Mix having well passed the 50-show mark and the Sound System Podcast having passed the 70 or 80 show mark, that podcast too having gone weekly late last year.

There is an element of ease at this point in recording a solo podcast, the gremlins instead tending to hold off until the Wednesday night when the Sound System Podcast records for KilkennyMusic.com (listeners to both podcast shows might realise).

The transition from working in Adobe Audition to working in ProTools has been a slow one. The last two weekends away in Sligo have given me time to toy around with different recording setups, discover the ins and outs of the various plugins at my disposal, find out where things are hidden in the menus, learn off a few keyboard shortcuts, that kind of thing. But, I’m adapting.

From a podcasting point of view I will say that I’m delighted with the purchase of the Mbox 2 (Factory bundle) from Digidesign. It’s a purchase I had been toying with for far too long but its sheer portability (lighter and more suited to a podcasting environment compared to the Digidesign 002 rack we used in the live environment) is worth the investment. It’s lightweight, fits in my laptop bag or backpack (depending on the setting), packs 2 XLR / line / DI inputs as well as phantom power for the condenser (which I must get back!). The fact that it’s powered via USB as well helps portability matters, meaning there’s room for high quality recordings wherever I wind up.

Given the nature of the One Take Sessions and recordings for their respective podcasts it’s a certainty it will be travelling with me every three weeks to the venue (it will actually be there tonight as well as we welcome Bonnefires, John O’Hanlon, Nassau Royal and Joey Ryan to Kilkenny – Cleere’s Theatre tonight at 9:30pm).

Anyway, check out PlaylistMix.com for this week’s podcast or see the links below to play / download.

Playlist Mix Podcast #27 (Download @ 26mb)
[audio:http://www.playlistmix.com/podpress_trac/web/62/0/podcast027.mp3]