Editor's Blog: The MacLife Podcasts Are Coming! Rik Needs to Know What You Want

Editor's Blog: The MacLife Podcasts Are Coming! Rik Needs to Know What You Want


I've had a blast putting together MacLife.com: News, Reviews, Create, Ask the Experts, Listen, Play, Contests, Forums - the works. But there's still one glaring omission that I plan to remedy soon: podcasts.


I had originally planned to have a series of podcasts up and running by now, but a bout with a little thing called pneumonia knocked my schedule out of whack. It's funny how a couple of weeks of bacteria-induced stupidity can so effectively toss the proverbial monkey wrench into an already-tight schedule.


But now that both my mind and my lungs are clear and I've caught up on (almost) everything, its time to get those podcasts back on track.


But I need your help - namely, I'd like to hear your opinions on what I should cover in the upcoming podcast series. I've got a few ideas myself, but I'd really like to hear yours, as well. So, after you read the rest of this blog entry, I'd appreciate it if you'd click on the little "Add Comment(s)" link at the end of this page and ... well ... add your comments. 'Preciate it.


I envision three different types of podcasts: screencasts, video podcasts, and audio podcasts. Let me explain.


Screencasts: How-to articles such as those in our Create and Ask the Experts sections are all well and good, but sometimes it's helpful to actually watch a demonstration of how to do something. So, I plan to create a series of screen-capture videos, complete with voiceovers, showing you exactly how to accomplish things. My question to you: Would screencasts be of interest to you? If so, what kind of tips and tricks would you like to see demonstrated? Customization tips? Finder tricks? Productivity enhancements in major apps? Investigations of the hidden nooks and crannies of iLife? All of the above?


Video Podcasts: I'm armed with a vintage Canon XL1 and I'm ready to point it at anything that might be of interest to you - well, almost anything, seeing as how I don't think I could convince the Powers That Be to subsidize a trip to the Paris Apple Expo. So, what would you like to see? Videos of hardware how-tos? Interviews with movers and shakers in the Mac universe - and, if so, whom? Behind-the-scenes tours of places you'll most likely never visit, such as the Drivesavers data-recovery labs? Talks with our art directors about how to work magic with Photoshop and InDesign? Detailed videos of the latest and greatest products that appear here in our offices? And how long should a video podcast be? Finally, do you want to view them on this site, download them to your Mac or 'Pod, or both?


Audio Podcasts: The majority of the audio podcasts I've heard have been soporific snooze-fests - but I may be an unusually snooty sort. How about you? Do you want to hear Mac|Life editors discussing the latest developments in the world of All Things Mac? Interviews with certified experts in various fields? Regular news round-ups telling you about product-release announcements you may have missed? Demonstrations of various audio apps such as Ableton Live, Logic Pro, or Absynth? Your Ask the Experts questions answered by our resident ├╝bergeeks? How about recordings of the many demos we host here in our offices, in which industry types drop by to tell us why their particular product is the greatest thing since sliced bread? And how long should an audio podcast be? Just a couple of minutes, or a full half hour or more so that you can listen to it while washboarding your abs at the gym? I've got an Edirol R-09, and I'm not afraid to use it.


Of course, if there's anything else - anything else - that you'd be interested in, just click on that "Add Comment(s)" link and let me know. Your wish is my command ... okay, okay, your wish is my suggestion - but as my wife the fundraiser counsels, "If you don't ask, you don't get." So, ask.


I'm listening.




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they get sued all the time, and i bet this smells like lawsuit bait to Scott King,,,


Digital Droo

If you do audio podcasts, have several members of the staff participate. If you talk Mac news or events, I prefer to listen to the opinions of several, versus the opinion of the one.

If you do video podcasts, I suppose interviews with industry folk are kind of the thang-to-do, but man, I find them so boring. In most cases, audio-only is sufficient for interviews. If you do video, be sure that what we see is something we can learn from. Or at least be entertained by. Talking heads are boring.

Whatever you do, please don't try to make it funny. Honesty and integrity keep me more engaged than contrived humor. Funny will come naturally and when appropriate.

There's my not-quite-thought-out two cents.




Along with the OSX tips, I would like screencasts of more advanced creative tips including photography, music management, and video production. Also I would be interested in screencasts demonstrating software reviewed in the magazine.


Michael D.

as far as video podcasts go id have to say all of the above! But keep it creative (thats what mac's all about right?) and about creative friendly applications (e.g. not Quicken tutorials!)
I think ten to fifteen (min.) would be good.
hey, i love you guys and im sure it will be great! cant wait!



The readers you have to this site are clearly obsessed. They are going to watch/listen regardless. The key is to be better than the competition. Your ideas are already great. Readers subscribe to this magazine and come to this site in search of breaking news, tips, tricks, advice, and just plain knowledge. Your advantage is as of today this site and this magazine are the best places to find those. Do it all but don't jerk us around with 5 different podcast every month. I say do just two. One audio based and one video. Show me applications that are new that I can't afford or can't understand. Show me creations from the pros of apps I do have and show me what is possible. Walk me through it. Show me and tranform from entertainment to educatement...something like that anyway. Go luck Rik. As for format...check out digitaljuice.com Nice presentations but not detailed enough. Don't hold back.



ScreenCasts - Awesome idea! Love it. Many of these on varied topics is a great idea. Some things I tink would go over very well; how to change an icon image, automator for easily making an image your desktop, setting up a scheduled backup with .Mac's Backup how to edit a QuickTime movie.

VideoCasts - Could be really cool for hardware how to's. I see these as being a supplement to PodCasts. For example showing off a new app.

Podcasts - Great if they are short and feature content not available on all the other Mac podcasts. Interviews with developers and reviews of software sound like teh best direction to go.

I've been really happy with the changes Mac/Life has brought to the table. These 'Casts sound like they will only add to your rich content.


Tim Van Bruggen

All those ideas sound great, especially video casts showing how-to information. One suggestion however: when doing podcasts, use the NPR reporting style as a template - short, to the point, needed information well-editted in an engaging style. I would rather listen to a well produced, 10-minute audio podcast interview than a 30 minute round and round table discussion. And by all means . . . . edit, Edit, EDIT!

Thanks for the good work on the updated magazine and website. It does an excellent job of bridging the gap between the thoroughness and playfulness of MacAddict and the clean and easy to read approach of the greatly missed mac|home. Kudos! Keep it up!


Elias Manuel

I love podcasts!
My favorite podcasts are from "MacBreak"
they cover everything and they have good personality's.
My name is elias and im a music engineer, singer, producer and graphic designer. I rely on macs so much to do all my work.
I think in order to create good podcasts you need the right cast.
They should know what they are talking about and have a sense of humor.
Your editors are kinda boring...sorry guys. But ya, you have good ideas... make sure u stick with them and get that shit rolling before your last place.

go to my site to hear the music i made with my mac.


Scott Foster

how about all of the above- video and audio podcasts on all facets of maclife would be great-

an audio podcast as a supplement to the q&a part

or an audio/video podcast covering the material which used to be in the "ask us" column in the back of MacAddict- that was one of the best parts of the magazine then.

a monthly, etc. staff video on podcast?

reviews on a video podcast/screencast?

just a few ideas, but make sure we get em! (GRIN) the podcasts are one reason I've stayed w/ Maclife after the switch


Bored already

I love the idea of video how-tos showing how to do somethiing in actual software on an actual display in real time. Audio podcasts of synth software sounds great, too. But please, please, please, please don't give me 45 min of you guys just sitting around saying, "That iPhone thing sounds really cool." "Yeah, it should be cool." "Or even way-cool." "Yeah, way-cool." "Yeah." There's enough of that smurf cluttering up the airwaves as it is. Speakiing of the iPhone, could you guys declare one day a week an iPhone-free day? Remember the first part of your name: MAC!

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