27,343.75 floppy disks

November 28, 2008 on 10:10 am | In blog | Comments Off

Holly molly! The first Mac I used had a single 128K floppy disk drive; the first one I bought had a 20Mb hard drive which I thought would be impossible to fill… I’ve pretty much filled the 3.5Terabytes of disk space attached to my quadcore Mac!!

If my maths is right, that’s 27,343.75 floppy disk drives!


Which brings me on to a topic which may affect us all – archiving.

How do you archive and store your precious original media? What do you record on? Tape? Mini-disk? Solid state memory device of some sort? The BBC and other organisations have huge archiving systems and methods to keep thee records safe for future use and for posterity. Some of you will have interviewed the great and the good for your shows, other may have featured “the man in the street”, eventually all of this material will have historic value – perhaps the value of the long tail?

But how do you protect these valuable records?

There’s a series running on TV called The Thirties in Colour – fascinating because it sheds a multi-coloured light on an era that’s generally regarded as being black and white. But this is only possible because the original material was not only stored, but preserved.

Magnetic data degrades and accidents happen. 

What policies do you have in place for preserving your recordings? 

Could be worth thinking about. 



The new boy on the block

November 26, 2008 on 3:15 pm | In UKPA | 1 Comment


Neil Fairbrother Chairman UKPA

Neil Fairbrother Chairman UKPA

It’s with some trepidation that I write this blog, the first as Chairman of the UKPA; Dean’s been such a giant, bestriding the podcast community, a fantastic representative for us all, fending off foes and gaining support from allies in the worlds of Heritage Media as well as New Media…


…a tough act to follow.

So… what are we going to do next, then?

Creating content is the fun bit of what we do. It’s easy. Enjoyable, a blast. If it isn’t… what are you doing?

Creating, maintaining and increasing an audience is harder, as the democratisation and disintermediation of the internet increases choice, fragments audience sizes, it gets harder and harder to be found and heard, or watched.

Monetising podcasts, if that’s what you want to do, is harder still. Partly because of the audience issue, but also other factors such as how to measure the ROI for advertisers, many of whom are still stuck with Heritage Media mindsets. Another issue for advertisers is quality – how to ensure that, as anyone can podcast, the brand values of their company is maintained and enhanced by associating with podcasters. Yet another issue is what monetisation method to use? Spot ads? Paid for content? White label podcasting? Sponsorship? Product placement? Pre-roll, post-roll?

Even harder than all of that is protecting this new media from the old guard. For sure, some such as the BBC are using the same platforms to publish some of their content as we do, which of course helps build the market for us all. But there are dark forces as work, such as WIPO, which has raised it’s ugly head again and which once again threatens us. Ofcom is waiting in the wings to sweep us up in to their regulatory framework which on one side of the argument makes sense, but equally can rob us of competitive advantage on what is a very unequal playing field.

I don’t know what you’d like from the UKPA, what you’d like to see us doing or where you’d like us to spend our time. But it seems to me that whatever it is, the more of us there are, then the louder our voice will be; the more weight and authority we’ll carry, and the more we’ll be able to achieve.

So let me know – it’s the first week for me and I’d like to hear your views – you can contact by email neil@ukpa.info. And if you get a gentle reminder to renew you membership… then please rejoin and help make UK Podcasting the force it can be.

Venue Change for UKPA Meeting

November 21, 2008 on 10:35 pm | In event, UKPA | Comments Off

We have had to change venue for tomorrow’s meeting:


It’s a pub called the Duchess of Kent. It’s 2 mins from Highbury and Islington tube, which itself is 10 mins from Oxford Circus on the Victoria Line.

UKPA Meeting 22nd November

November 3, 2008 on 12:51 pm | In blog, UKPA | Comments Off

Repeat notice of a UKPA General Meeting on November 22nd at the Meeting Rooms, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8EP – please let us know if you’re coming so that we have an idea of numbers ahead of time.

The meeting is sheduled to run from 2pm to 5pm.

If you would like to be considered for the role of either Chairman or Treasurer, please contact us by the 18th November via email, or call 0870 919 2807 in office hours.

The New MCPS-PRS Podcast License

August 22, 2008 on 11:14 am | In AIM, License, MCPS-PRS, music, UKPA | 2 Comments

The UK Podcasters Association has been working with the Music Alliance over 18 months to help produce a new and workable podcast license, and we’re really pleased with the result.

In the UK, podcasters are well-behaved and very few use music without permission – they tend to stick to using “podsafe” music, often approaching artists and labels directly, so given the fact that most podcasters would like to evangelise music by artists they know and love, it has been one of the UKPA’s central tasks to remedy this situation.

The majority of podcasts are made at the grassroots level in the UK, but until now none of them have been able to use music within the MCPS-PRS repertoire without running into red tape, production restrictions and fees beyond their means, so the license take up to date has not been high.

This new license is important, since applying reasonable royalty rates and removing restrictions on track length encourages the commercial production of content made specifically for the internet, rather than just (as many radio stations do currently) repurposing existing music programming for podcast with the music edited out. The license allows the use of full length music tracks in internet music programmes.

The low-cost start point for this license also potentially brings in the thousands of individual UK podcasters – the “weekend warriors” who cater for multiple niches – and the high-end rates encourage entrepreneurs.

Whilst the major labels still work out their various positions on podcasting, many individual songwriters, artists and labels get the point of podcasting, and see it as a welcome addition to their marketing. AIM took the lead early on and introduced a label opt-in podcast licensing scheme which gives access to their large catalogue – acts including the White Stripes, The Killers, Paul Weller, Bjork.

The Alliance has now provided the missing piece of the puzzle, and we in the UK have a straightforward route to fully legal, full-length track music podcasting – an international first, something of which we should be proud, and something which our friends across the pond would dearly love to have. Individuals, production companies, and broadcast corporations with mass audiences can begin to really use the internet for its benefits.

In an era of fragmenting music revenue, we think that this is a huge opportunity to add a small army of passionate, knowledgable, skillful and (astonishingly) almost entirely *unpaid* music promoters, and we call on more labels to take advantage of this excellent initiative, which in an era of “free” music, potentially returns real value to songwriters and publishers.

On-Demand Audio-Visual Media: UK Government Seeks Views

July 31, 2008 on 11:12 am | In AVMS, regulation, UKPA | Comments Off

The Government’s proposals for implementing the Audiovisual Media Services Directive in the UK have just been published.

The consultation focuses on three specific issues which are expected to require legislation. These are ‘co-regulating’ video-on-demand services; product placement; and, regulating satellite TV channels from outside the EU which uplink from the UK.

This EU Directive is aimed at On-Demand Audio-Visual Media Services – and so it is very likely to impact upon video and audio podcasting. It is important that the UKPA members are not negatively impacted.

Leave your comments here, or email yours [at] ukpodcasters [dot] org [dot] uk

NCFE Establishes GCSE Podcasting

June 27, 2008 on 8:37 pm | In education, history | Comments Off

The UK national awarding body, the NCFE has established a school grade in podcasting which is to sit alongside the many vocational awards in the Arts, media and publishing sector.

From the Times:

The UK’s first qualification in podcasting, in which pupils will learn how to make audio and video broadcasts available on the internet or to download on to MP3 players, will begin in September.

The course, awarded by the NCFE (formerly the National Council for Further Education) will run at level 1 (GCSE grades D-G) and allow students to learn the processes of planning and carrying out a podcast.

David Grailey, chief executive of NCFE, said: “Podcasting is fast becoming a part of everyday life – vicars are delivering sermons via podcasts, police departments are launching ‘crimewatch’ video podcasts and schools and colleges are recording lessons via podcasts. It’s therefore vital that we offer people both an understanding and the skills to utilise this technology.”

Comments, Please

June 20, 2008 on 9:20 am | In blog | Comments Off

Independent podcasters: the Guardian are holding an in-house “festival” called Fuure of Journalism – yesterday’s topic was audio on the web.

Your thoughts on this Guardian discussion on podcasting are welcome:


UKPA Podcast

April 2, 2008 on 6:41 pm | In AIM, blog, event, MCPS-PRS, ORG, Podcast, UKPA | Comments Off

We’ve released the videos from last Saturday’s sessions at the Guardian as two long videos available here.

Also see James Cridland’s notes on the sessions.

UKPA / ORG Guardian Sessions: Qik Videos

March 30, 2008 on 2:30 am | In AIM, event, MCPS-PRS, Podcast, test, UKPA | Comments Off

Guardian Session 1: Regulation and Podcasting

Guardian Session 2: Music and Podcasting

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