I know there are a ton of application purists out there who believe that the only way to go is to host software applications on their desktop, laptop, or server. While I can appreciate this viewpoint, and do have many software elements loaded on my laptop, I just can't shake the fact that I love hosted services - like PodcastPeople
, a site I came across via Jim Gate's TipLine
Blog (a great source of up to date links and notices re: what's new and, most importantly, useful out there)
. In his post, he makes a good point:
"If [the PodcastPeople app] is so great, why didn't they use it to make the tour/demo for the site?" - Well, Jim... allow me to offer up my services as a willing guinea pig!
I've never created a Podcast
, and I've only just started looking around for software that would allow me to do so. While I may ultimately settle on an application that I actually download and use from my laptop, PodcastPeople seems a good fit for me now, during my discovery phase.
As I just mentioned, hosted software works best in one respect - when you're trying on a particular app to see whether it proves a good fit. I like to browse before I shop, and free or trial software versions always come with some sort of limitation (PodcastPeople's free version limits storage size to 100 mb, places ads in your podcasts, and lacks technical support). By using even their basic paid version, I get 500 mb of storage space, an add-free product, and tech support, which isn't bad for $8/month. As always, the terms of your contract should always bee examined to see whether you'll be able to cancel anytime without penalty, or whether the company you're dealing with is determined to lock you in for a specific length of time. As long as they're willing to make nice if you part ways, then what do you have to lose for giving the arrangement a shot?
I look to Netflix
for a classic example of how a no-strings join/cancel policy really helps to keep customers (like me) who tend to be a bit fickle about using their service. Great as it is... and I really like Netflix, I just find that my schedule hits highs and lows in terms of free time that warrant a "until next time event" to take place. Time after time, Netflix let's me go with a warm thank you and hopes for me to one day return to its warm, fuzzy embrace. The new school year is fast approaching - so I think between my work at Boone and classes at PCC, it'll be a while before I pick up the service again. Will I go back.... well, I've left and returned to the service now on three occasions - each time not sure if I'd give it another go once my schedule cleared up. But... I always do. Probably
because they don't stick it to my wallet with every exit. Definitely
because they're always so darned gracious about them.
I'll try to report back at a later date with news regarding how my trial with PodcastPeople worked out. I have high hopes for the functionality and ease of use this software seems to afford. I'm a bit less hopeful in the quality of my initial podcasts. Please bear with me...