Category Archives: Learning

The Role of Podcasts in Education

People listen to podcasts for many reasons, one of which is for their education. The role of podcasts in education has become more prominent in the past few years as well, with schools adding it to their curriculum and sharing lectures out as podcasts, etc. Angela Betancourt joined MacKenzie to discuss her new show Five Things You Didn’t Know, and her experiences with podcasts in school and outside of the classroom.

They start out by discussing the benefits of adding podcasts to the education system, Angela is particularly familiar with this as she’s recently finished her Masters. She very recently launched her podcast that focuses on highlighting things that people might not have known before concerning influencers and industry leaders in all different industries. They ended the show discussing an upcoming conference, Sound Education, and the capabilities podcasts has for educating listeners in topics not considered typical subjects. MacKenzie will be attending Sound Education early November and can’t wait to learn from others and share her podcasting expertise. Both agree that education podcasts will continue to help the podcasting community grow, and are crucial to inclusivity.

Thanks for listening and please subscribe via your favorite podcast app. If you’d like to be a guest on the show reach out to MacKenzie. She’s always looking for fun, new podcasters that use Blubrry services, specifically PowerPress.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review here!

Show notes:

Podcasting in Education, What are the Benefits?: From Colin Gray and his team at The Podcast Host
Five Things You Didn’t Know: From Angela Betancourt, her first episode has guest, Phil Collins!
Is Podcasting the Future of Education: We’ll find out as time goes on.
Sound Education: 1st time conference in Cambridge, MA early November.
Email MacKenzie: Contact her with your questions, comments, guest requests, etc.

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The Next Track and Apple’s RSS Feed Tags

Big thanks to Kirk McElhearn and Angelo Mandato for being on this episode of the PowerPress Podcast. Before the discussion about new rss feed tags, they start the episode talking about some of Apple’s announcements from WWDC earlier this month as well as the show that Kirk co-hosts, The Next Track. His podcast dissects how people listen to music and has featured many well-known authors, artists and music lovers. They have lots to say on the topic of preparing for your podcast, so if you’re looking for advice and what to do before you start your show, make sure to listen.

Angelo was kind enough to explain the technicalities of Apple’s new RSS feed tags that will be in PowerPress very shortly, and work well with the new iOS Podcast App release in the fall. Be on the lookout for a release of PowerPress very shortly. Thanks for listening and be sure to subscribe to the podcast!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

Apple Podcast Statistics Info
Will Apple Fix the Podcast Statistics Issue?
The Next Track
Preparing for and Launching Your Show
Eight Rules for Effective Podcasting

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Creating a Balanced Life with Guest Rhonda Cimorelli

If you’ve ever felt like you needed to transform your life or needed a little more balance, specifically if you’re a mom, this week’s PowerPress Podcast guest Rhonda Cimorelli can help you. Before Rhonda and MacKenzie chat about her show, they go over some mistakes podcasters make and, most importantly, how to avoid them. Rhonda has loads of experience and, as a certified life transformation coach, she is helping “momprenuers” and others create a more balanced work and family life. At the end of the show they talk about the new podcast, S-Town being released by the This American Life and Serial team. The team claims to have a new podcasting format, so storytellers, tune in. Thanks for listening and please subscribe!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

Common Podcasting Mistakes
A Balanced Life For You – Rhonda Cimorelli
Serial Creates S-Town
Blubrry Twitter
Blubrry is Hiring!!
Webinar: PowerPress Setup Wed, 2/15 7PM EST

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Podcasting On-The-Go: Tips & Tech For Taking Your Show On The Road

If you’re planning to travel this summer, you might be considering taking a break from podcasting. But why not take the show on the road instead? We consulted three Blubrry team members to get their take on the equipment and strategies that can help you keep publishing regularly, no matter where in the world you are.


Todd Cochrane, CEO 

“For portable gear, a lot of people like the Zoom H6 ($399), myself included. There are cheaper options, though, including the Tascam DR-40 ($130) and the Zoom H4nSP ($159.) While these units have built-in mics, you should only use those as a last resort.

A headset/mic combo is convenient on the road – I really love the Audio-Technica BPHS1 ($199). It has an incredible mic and the headset lets you hear your environment perfectly so as you are not in a controlled environment you can make sure you position yourself in the best place to reduce noise. If you’re on a budget, consider the Eartec Lazer Single-Ear ($70.) These headsets are all XLR and work with the above recorders.

It can be tough to get good sound quality in hotels, but a few well-placed pillows can help you reduce echo in a room. I have done interviews in cars: it can be a little awkward but they almost act as a mini sound booth and you can get really good sound.”

Barry Kantz, CFO 

“I guess I go for the low end. I use a Logitech headset and go through quite a process in Adobe Audition to correct the dull audio I get from the mic on the headset. I use Audition’s macro function to zoom through the correction process. I think it turns out very well and I’m fussy about audio.

Podcasting from our motorhome is becoming a common practice for me. It’s a challenge with dogs on board and the air conditioning turning on and off. I’ve recorded in the Jeep to avoid these challenges. I use my Zoom H4 to record in the car. As Todd said, a car is a good sound studio because of the close space and all the soft surfaces eliminating echoes.”

Brian Yuhnke, Creative Director

“For a portable studio, I recommend a Yeti mic ($130.) It has a USB port and has its own earbud input for no-delay monitoring. I recommend it to my students for their podcast projects. Other than that, you need a laptop, some earbuds/headphones and Audacity, Garage Band or Audition.”


What are your favorite tips and tools for taking your podcast on the road?

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6 Ways To Take A Break From Podcasting Without Losing Your Audience


With summer just around the corner, many podcasters are asking whether or not it’s OK to take some time off from recording and publishing to make more time for vacations and leisure. While it’s tempting to think “hey, how much can it really hurt to take a few weeks off?” that “short” break can easily confuse listeners, stall momentum, or become a slippery slope into “podfading” (when a podcast becomes published less and less frequently, until it eventually just fades away.)

While members of the Blubrry team have experimented with taking time off from podcasting, most of us recommend against taking an extended vacation. However, here are some tips that can make occasional breaks less disruptive to your usual schedule and make it more likely that listeners will stick around until you get back.

  1. Consider your podcast’s age and following. An older, more established podcast with a solid and loyal audience may be able to get away with occasional breaks, but take a vacation when you’re just a few months into podcasting and you may find that your audience forgets about you while you’re gone. “I have created 1120 shows over 11+ years, and my audience has literally built me and my show into their lives,” explains Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry. “While we all need to take breaks from time to time, my first break was 4-5 years into doing my show and then only 1 or 2 episodes at a time.”
  2. Keep breaks short and schedules consistent. A week off here and there (particularly if you give plenty of notice) isn’t likely to cause your audience to disappear, but 2-3 weeks can easily lead them to give up on you and go looking for new content. The biggest trick is to be consistent and deliver on expectations. For example, if you plan on going from daily to weekly episodes during the month of July, be sure you really follow through on whatever you’ve promised your audience. If they eagerly open up their podcast app on Tuesday expecting your episode and it isn’t there, you may lose them for good.
  3. Give your listeners plenty of advance notice. Communicating your plan to your listeners will help them understand what to expect and also help keep you accountable and organized during a break or reduced podcasting schedule. If you’ve promised your listeners you’ll be back every other Thursday over summer break, it’ll be that much harder to slack off on that day you’d really rather be at the beach.
  4. Keep communicating with your audience. Blog posts, social media, and utilizing your email lists are all great ways to stay in touch with your listeners when you aren’t actively publishing. Make sure to stay in front of them in a variety of different ways: after all, if you’re in “vacation mode” chances are so are they, and you’ll need to work harder to stay front of mind.
  5. Take your podcast on the road. Vacations don’t have to completely disrupt your podcasting schedule! Take a portable studio when you travel so you don’t have to miss a publishing date. It’s OK to keep this simple! “I used to take a massive packout,” explains Cochrane. “I now carry a headset and a zoom for shows I record on the road – it’s no more than 2-3 pounds and packs up in a shaving kit.” If you worry about sound quality, explain to your audience up front that you’re on the road so you might sound a little different than usual. Loyal listeners will just be happy to hear from you, even if the quality is a touch less than usual. If it fits your show topic, you may even be able to incorporate your vacation location into your show!
  6. Change up your format. Switching to shorter episodes while you’re on vacation or during a time of year that your audience is less engaged may be a welcome way to stay in touch with listeners without spending hours in a recording studio each week (or requiring them to log as much listening time to stay current.) You can also consider bringing in guest hosts, or switching to a less time-intensive recording format (i.e. quick off-the-cuff breakdowns of trending topics rather than lengthy interviews) during times when you’d rather be out flying a kite than inside recording.

Podcasters, how do you stay relevant and front-of-mind while traveling or vacationing?


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6 Great Productivity Tools For Podcasters

As any podcaster knows, creating a great show requires a lot more than just showing up and recording. Between collaborating, planning and organizing your time, it helps to have access to great tools to help. Here are some favorites among podcasters we know:


While Google Calendar is great for keeping track of your overall schedule, it can be great to give guests an easy way to sign up for an available recording time. Here are two options podcasters love:

  • “I use SetMore for scheduling – It’s free and it integrates with google calendar! It’s awesome to just send guests a link for scheduling and have this tool take care of the rest. – Bryn from The Birth Hour podcast.
  • “I use Calendly as my scheduler. It’s so easy to use, and I love the clean interface. I love not having to email back and forth, and being able to set automatic reminders is so helpful.” Heather from the Happiness Mama podcast.


Even if you’re a one-person show, chances are good you’ll need to collaborate with others at some point, whether that be sponsors or special guests. These options are popular with podcasts we know:

  • “I love DropBox for sharing files and making them accessible anywhere.” – Kelsey Wharton, the Girl Next Door Podcast. 
  • “Initially my co-host and I were were winging it with scheduling content from week to week, but now we look a month out on a shared Google calendar and can build episodes into each week and see what makes the most sense to come next. We also had a meeting to talk about our personal goals and visions for the show and how best to use each other’s strengths, whether that be editing, writing outlines, show notes promotion and social media. We feel this can be such a useful tool for shows with multiple hosts- otherwise you’ll end up tripping over each other trying to do everything at once which makes it more complicated, and less productive.” – Rachel Cassinatt, The Table Chat Show.


  • Here at Blubrry, we use Slack for almost all internal communications. With an interface that acts like a messaging platform plus the ability to upload files from documents to graphics and great searchability, it’s the best of all worlds for teams that like to communicate quickly on the fly and share short bursts of information throughout the day.
  • If a separate messaging platform is overkill for your podcast, you might consider using Google Hangouts as a scaled-back way to communicate with guests and co-hosts without ever leaving your Gmail inbox.
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4 FREE Magazines and Newsletters For Podcasters

Podcasting has never been more popular, so it makes sense that there are more and more publications for – and about – podcasters. Here are four we love:

Podster Magazine: This beautifully-designed publication features podcaster profiles, show information and reviews that help listeners discover new podcasts and find out more about their favorite podcasters. Subscribe free here. 

HotPod: Jam-packed with information and insights on news and trends in the podcasting world, this weekly newsletter (it publishes on Tuesdays) also includes a membership group with a discussion forum. Read the archives or subscribe free here.

PodcastOne: This weekly newsletter is targeted at podcast consumers more than creators, but it’s still a great way to keep up to date on what’s happening in the podcasting world. Select the type of show you’re most interested in, and you’ll receive customized news based on your preferences. Subscribe free here. 

podtopod – this free weekly newsletter reaches nearly 25,000 subscribers with trends and industry news. You can find out more about podtopod by following #podtopod on Twitter or subscribe free here. 

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What Does “Fair Use” Mean When It Comes To Podcast Copyright?


John pulls his microphone to the center of the desk and prepares to begin his weekly podcast, “Ooze News.” After opening the list of news articles he assembled from his main source, the New York Times, John begins reading and recording the articles verbatim into his podcast. John finishes his podcast by telling his listeners that he hopes they enjoyed this week’s top news stories from the Times.

Anna has a podcast called the “Groove News,” a weekly podcast that, like John’s, uses various articles from the New York Times as sources. Anna assembles her list of articles and begins discussing each article and inserting her analysis, comments and opinions, using enough of each article to give context for her analysis, comments and opinions. Anna then compares each Time’s article with similar news stories written by other news sources and highlights how each news source treats the “facts” in each article differently. Anna uses these differences to support or highlight her analysis.

 copyright issues podcasters

Which podcast is using the concept of “Fair Use” within the realm of copyright law? If your answer is that Anna’s podcast comes closest to the definition of “Fair Use,” then you are correct. But the real question here is: why is Anna’s podcast “Fair Use” and John’s is not? The answer is not easy and not simply defined.

It’s obvious that we cannot take something someone else has created and treat it as our own in our podcasts. But there are legitimate situations when we can include another person’s work in a podcast. Those situations fall under the broad category in copyright law called “Fair Use.” This is an area of the law where two equally important concepts clash head on: free speech and property rights.

If I create something, it is my property and I control its use – therefore, you cannot take it, free of charge and without permission, for your own use. However, as a citizen of the United States I have a very broad right of free speech so I can say just about anything I want in my podcast. So, if I have the right of free speech, how can a someone use the power of the government to stop me, as in John’s podcast, from reading news articles in my podcast? Within the answer to that question lies the concept of “Fair Use.”

“Fair Use” is not easily defined because it lives within the enormous grey area between free speech and property rights. It usually takes the final word from a court to tell us what “Fair Use” is in specific situations. But there are five general rules we can apply that will give us a reasonable assessment as to whether or not we can use the creative work of another person, without getting permission or paying for it, in our podcast. Here are three factors that are particularly relevant in the case of John and Anna’s podcasts:

  1. Transformative Use. A primary test is whether or not you transform another person’s creative work and make it into something of your own creative work. In the example of John and Anna, John simply read the news stories from the New York Times and did nothing else; there was nothing creative added in John’s podcast. However, in Anna’s podcast, Anna took pieces of news stories and added her comments, opinions and comparisons. Anna was transforming the various news articles into her own work by what she was adding.
  2. Amount and Substantiality: Another factor determining “Fair Use” relates to the amount of the news story used in Anna’s podcast. Anna used just enough of the news story to support her opinions, comments and analysis. However, Anna could have used the entire news story, if that was required to make her point. In contrast, John would have been no better off in claiming “Fair Use” by simply declaring before reading each news story, “this article sucks,” or “this article is right on.” In this example, John’s comments relate to the whole news article, but the comments do little to transform the work, as required in factor 1.
  3. Purpose and Character of the Work: Copyright law tilts in the direction of “Fair Use” if you are using another person’s work for educational purposes, news reporting, commentary, research and scholarship. The words, “tilts in the direction of ‘Fair Use’ used in the previous sentence are not used lightly. The courts, when analyzing a “Fair Use” claim, consider and balance all five factors when making their decision.

Above I’ve discussed three of the five factors used to determine “Fair Use.” The two remaining factors not discussed are: “The Effect of the Use on the Potential Market For or Value of the Source Work,” and “The Nature of the Original Work.” Those two factors didn’t carry as much weight in my balancing test when looking at John and Anna’s podcasts. Please take a look at the University of Minnesota’s website at if you want to dip deeper into “Fair Use.” In addition to containing good information about the basics of “Fair Use,” the website has a nifty interactive tool to analyze your content to determine if you are a fair user. But, as always, the best resource to use to review your content for potential copyright problems is an attorney familiar with copyright law.

One more important thing: You own the copyright for the podcasts you produce. Never treat your ownership rights lightly and give away the rights to your show. It was a common practice in the early days of podcasting for podcast service providers to claim ownership to your show’s rights when you signed up for their services. This practice is no longer prevalent but seems to crop up occasionally. Always read the user agreements before you sign up with a podcasting service. This simple act will protect your rights and save you from major problems.

Now go podcast and have fun!

barry kantz-Attorney Barry Kantz is General Counsel and CFO of RawVoice and Blubrry. He can be found on Twitter @kantzb

This post is part of a series on copyright law as it pertains to podcasters. Check out Barry’s post on using music for your podcast without breaking copyright law. 


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Be A Better Podcaster with Blubrry: FREE Tutorial


Podcasting can be confusing.

From ever-changing guidelines and recommendations to evolving technology, getting a show running and keeping it up-to-date can take a lot of work and know-how, even for experienced podcasters.

We want to help! As leaders in the podcasting community – and podcasters ourselves! – the team at Blubrry is dedicated to making the technology of podcasting simple so that podcasters can do what they’re good at: create great content and connect with audiences.


That’s why we’ve created a FREE guide that will make sense of all those challenges podcasters face. From setting up your RSS feed to creating iTunes cover art to making sense of stats and more, we’ll be there to guide you every step of the way.

Ready to start? Just fill out our quick signup form and you’ll start receiving helpful, exclusive emails weekly that will help you get started podcasting, step-by-step…or, if you’re already a podcaster, help you take your show to the next level.

We’ll never sell or share your email, and we’re just as allergic to spam as you are. No tricks or hard sales tactics: just helpful content to help you up your podcasting game.

Click here to get started.

Thanks, and happy podcasting!

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3 Copyright Myths That Will Sink Your Podcast

Have you ever wanted to use a segment of your favorite song as bumper music for your podcast? Maybe a clip or two from Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell.” Perhaps you are on show number thirty-five and you have consistently used short clips from popular songs for your bumper music. After all, the music clips are all less than ten seconds long, and you were told that you can use any music in your show as long as the music doesn’t exceed the ten second limit. In addition, you know you are doing the right thing when you play the music because you are giving credit to the band right after the clip is played.

copyright issues podcasters

Your audience is increasing and you are beginning to think the work you are investing in your podcast is paying off. Your payoff is simply the satisfaction you receive because you are providing good information to your audience.  Your show is truly a non-profit endeavor because you are not looking to make money.  

Then one day you receive an email that is truly a bat out of hell. The email is from an attorney representing a large music organization and she is demanding that you remove all the music clips from your podcasts because you are violating the artists’ copyrights. The next day you receive a registered letter making the same demand to remove the music – and insisting that you now owe a huge sum of money for each clip of music used in each of your shows.  

How could this have happened? You were told by other podcasters that you can use copyrighted material under the Fair Use Doctrine if your podcast is a non-profit, or if you give credit to the artist, or if you use a clip that is less than ten seconds in length. You thought you had your bases covered on all three of the exceptions to the copyright laws.

Unfortunately, you were wrong…and now you’re in legal and financial hot water. 

Here are three persistent copyright myths that can sink your podcast: 

  • Myth number one – it’s okay to use copyrighted music if the portion of music used is less than ten seconds long. You cannot use another person’s music for your bumper music unless you have express permission, or you’ve purchased a license to use the music. That includes clips that are less than ten seconds, five seconds or even three seconds long.
  • Myth number two – you can use copyrighted material if your show is a non-profit endeavor. Sorry. It doesn’t matter whether you are making ten thousand dollars a month or your show is extolling the virtues of Mother Theresa in the most non-profit manner possible. There is no non-profit exception to the copyright laws.
  • Myth number three – You can use copyrighted material if you give attribution to the producer of the material. Nope. Sorry again. There are no attribution exceptions anywhere in the copyright laws. In fact, there are no attribution requirements anywhere in the copyright laws. Attribution is simply common courtesy and a handy way to avoid accusations of plagiarism.

If you believe these three myths and put them into practice when producing your podcast, you can get into a lot of trouble. I’ve used simple explanations in debunking the three myths hoping this simplicity will quickly get you on the right track, or keep you on the right track, when producing your podcast.  Copyright laws in general and the Fair Use Doctrine in particular are complex, and there are a lot of grey areas within that complexity. I will dig a little deeper into the Fair Use Doctrine in future posts. Of course, you should consult an attorney if you have questions about the specific material you are using in your podcast.

barry kantz-Attorney Barry Kantz is General Counsel and CFO of RawVoice and Blubrry. He can be found on Twitter @kantzb.


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