Summary: Podcast Ping is a show of podsafe music accentuated by my original poetry. While I tend to play mainly folk music, the music can vary amongst genres and sometimes include comedy. I'm currently planning a schedule of two fifteen-minute episodes a week, one on Sundays and one on Tuesdays with the possiblity of a third on Thursdays some time in the future. It's almost unique amongst podcasts and would be of interest to both music lovers and poetry lovers.
A Podcast Ping Christmas This is a reworking of the Podcast Ping Christmas Calendar from 2009. I took all the poems and music and compiled them together into a single episode. Doing this made me realize how much work I put into the Calendar. Just putting this together took a couple of hours even though I had everything else already done. The episode runs more than an hour and a half. I did have to redo the credits which themselves run about a minute and a half, and that's after compressing them. I used all the old recordings of the poems instead of re-recording them. They probably would sound better had I re-recorded them but I wanted to save some time and effort. Re-recording would likely have taken a few days to record and edit, and it may not have made that much difference. The original recordings aren't that bad. The idea was really to give people the convince of getting all the songs and poems from the Christmas Calendar in one file. This way the special can be played as background for a Christmas party. And I'm sure there's many who will be surprised to hear so many Christmas songs that they may never have heard before. Since the Christmas Calendar was twenty-five days long, this special contains twenty-five songs and poems about Christmas. That means I've written about twenty-five Christmas poems, although some are just seasonal poems about winter. It's likely that I wouldn't have written many of them if I didn't have to do them for the calendar. As for further episodes of Podcast Ping, it's going to be a matter of wait-and-see. I would like to do more but it does take time. But it's not so much the time it takes, it's more that I've just got so many other things to work on, and working on Podcast Ping takes time and effort away from those. But I never really quit Podcast Ping, I just put it aside. And this is the second special I've done since the wrap-up show. I did have an idea for another podcast but I've been unable to get into that. And it's really hard to get an audience now for a new podcast. The podcast market is over-saturated and people can find streaming video very easily. It's hard to justify the work when you're struggling to get even twenty people to listen. But if I do more Podcast Ping episodes it will be because I want to listen to them. And Podcast Ping is sufficiently established that I could get a decent sized audience. But I will have to spend some time writing poems and I've been busy with other writing lately so it could be a while. If I can sit down and crank out a few hundred poems it won't be hard to put episodes together. And I expect I will need that much because it would only really be worth doing if I was doing them weekly; monthly shows would not likely hold a large enough audience.
As the year comes to a close, so does Podcast Ping. This is the final episode of Podcast Ping, although it's not the end of the feed. I will eventually have some new things posted here, but I explain more in the podcast. http://www.archive.org/download/PodcastPingsWrapUpShow/PPWrapUp.mp3 Podcast Ping is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. My online toy shop can be found at http://patrickjmcnamara.webs.com.
Day 25. Christmas Day! http://www.archive.org/download/PodcastPingsChristmasCalendarDay25/ppcc25.mp3 For this show I have something special. Some people might find the song I chose, “Rainbow Christmas” to have a little too much “rainbow” in it. But it's the sort of song that makes for a big production number that closes out a show and I felt it suitable for that. It's been a long run starting back on December 1st of 25 shows, and there was a lot of work that went into making them even before that. The biggest job was in coming up with enough poetry to fill the shows. And since I only had about five or six Christmas poems, I had to write about twenty. Now writing twenty poems isn't that difficult, but having to make them all tie in with a theme like Christmas--while still keeping them from sounding too much alike--is. This last poem, “How Jamie MacPherson Saved Christmas” is one I wrote some while back. And to make it extra special I decided to have the cast of the Blue Hot Gossip Comedy show read it. Part of this decision was because I had just come off of doing the Halloween episodes and was sort of in a mood for it, but I also wanted the poem to be a little more than just me reading it. Some might notice a similarity of approach as with “A Pickle for Christmas,” the poem I wrote for the Podcast Pickle Christmas skit a couple years ago. I likely would have used this poem for that, but there wasn't enough interest. And in some ways it works out a little better since I know the rhythm of the poem which is thrown off when trying to get a number of people reading it. I've been fortunate that there's not been any major outages with Internet Archive or Blogger. And even though Mininova, where I post the torrentcast, changed over about a week before I was to start, it's turned out to be a big benefit since I'm seeing much higher download numbers than I've seen before. The 24 posted episodes so far have exceeded 42,000 downloads with many individual episodes exceeding 2,500 downloads. It might not be cash, but it helps to make the work worthwhile. This post finishes Podcast Ping's Christmas Calendar. The next one should be the New Year's episode, provided I can get it done. It won't be a regular episode, but I'll explain that more then. Podcast Ping is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. My online toy shop can be found at http://patrickjmcnamara.webs.com.
Day 24. Christmas Eve. Just one more sleep until Christmas--unless you're Santa Claus. http://www.archive.org/download/PodcastPingsChristmasCalendarDay24/ppcc24.mp3 Christmas Eve is often a quiet time around our house. Most of the real celebrating--and noise--comes on Christmas. And with Christmas falling on a Friday this year it seems to make for a short week. Nobody works on Christmas Eve, even if they have to. Next year it hits on a Saturday, so the week will feel more normal. The following year it it falls on a Sunday, which as kids we use to like because it meant only going to mass once in the week. I'll most likely get to the early mass on Christmas Eve, which typically means arriving up to an hour early just to get a seat. But there's something relaxing about coming home afterward; it feels like I'm starting Christmas early. Podcast Ping is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. My online toy shop can be found at http://patrickjmcnamara.webs.com.
Day 23. http://www.archive.org/download/PodcastPingsChristmasCalendarDay23/ppcc23.mp3 Another song about toys. Although "The Wonderful World of Toys" wasn't really a Christmas song even though it did talk about toys. But most Christmas songs tend to be more about snow and socializing than the part most really look forward to--the presents. A couple more posts and the Calendar will be finished. But then I've got to start working on the New Year's show. It's not a lot of work but between Halloween and the Calendar I've been working on the podcast almost every day since August. Of course there were many days I didn't get anything done, but there was still the need to get it done. Doing the Calendar on it's own wouldn't have been so bad but I started on it before even posting the last Halloween episode. Most episodes just take a few days of occasional work and then I'm done, so between the two it's felt like a marathon.I did fine the Halloween episodes more fun, but I had more time to do them and it took only two weeks to post them. Although because of the scripting I probably did just as much writing, if not more, for the 13 Days than for the Calendar. The Calendar was sort of like running a marathon the day after running one. I just didn't have as much energy. I could skip the New Year's episode, or just make it a run of music, but I already worked out an idea for it that I want to do. It shouldn't be too difficult, it's just a matter of doing the prep work. And for the idea I have, New Year's seems appropriate. Podcast Ping is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. My online toy shop can be found at http://patrickjmcnamara.webs.com.
Day 22. http://www.archive.org/download/PodcastPingsChristmasCalendarDay22/ppcc22.mp3 No matter how busy one is, someone else always seems to find more work for one to do. I'm not in too bad a shape. I've still got a couple gifts to make, but those don't have to be done until after Christmas. The ones for Christmas are already wrapped and under the tree. I planned on getting some baking done early, but I never found the time. However, I expect there will be a fair bit of baking going on over the next couple days. Although it's not been a real chore, I will be glad to finish the Calendar. It's a bit of a nuisance to have to post every evening. It doesn't take that long, depending upon how long a writeup I do, but it is disruptive. Podcast Ping is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. My online toy shop can be found at http://patrickjmcnamara.webs.com.
Day 21. http://www.archive.org/download/PodcastPingsChristmasCalendarDay21/ppcc21.mp3 Only three days left (after today/Monday). Although there's four shows left because I'm putting one out on Christmas as well. (Although I'll actually be posting it the night before as I have been with the other episodes.) And I have something somewhat special planned for the Christmas show. I always listen to episodes of my own show before posting, and often afterwords as well. Usually I wind up listening to each episode at least five or ten times, aside from the time I spend listening while putting the show together. The first few times are to listen for any mistakes, and I've sometimes re-done a show because I didn't like how something sounded. I didn't have time to redo these shows, although if the recording was obviously noisy when I first recorded it I did redo it at the time, so none of them are too severe. However, there's a few I would have rerecorded to get rid of a bit of hiss. Still, I haven't heard any complaints. Podcast Ping is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. My online toy shop can be found at http://patrickjmcnamara.webs.com.
Day 20. Already. The Three Wise Men arrive. http://www.archive.org/download/PodcastPingsChristmasCalendarDay20/ppcc20.mp3 I've got a few modern renditions of classic carols throughout the calendar. It's interesting to hear how something with which everyone is very familiar can be made to sound new and interesting. There are many versions of We Three Kings that leave out the third chorus, feeling that it's too dark and grim for the season. But it's what makes it one of my favorite carols. It helps to encompass the entirety of what Christmas means. Podcast Ping is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. My online toy shop can be found at http://patrickjmcnamara.webs.com.
Day 19. http://www.archive.org/download/PodcastPingsChristmasCalendarDay19/ppcc19.mp3 The song for this episode, "The Wonderful World of Toys," is one that I was mildly interested in the first time listening to but have grown to really like with repeated listenings. Most podcasts that play music will list the songs in their show notes. I've tended not to do that for a few reasons. For one, I never really got in the habit and it's a little late to start now. I also like to keep the music a bit of surprise. When one listens to music on the radio they don't know what the next song is until it comes on. But when show notes list the music it tends to be a bit of a spoiler. Just knowing the title of a song can set up expectations as to what the song is about, especially in the case of a cover version. And I do list all the songs and poems at the end of the show. If a person is listening to the show anyways they can hear the credits. Those familiar with the show know that it would be disruptive to announce the music during the show. It's simply part of the formula to run the music and poetry together. It helps create an atmosphere. Podcast Ping isn't a DJ style show but more of a musical experience. I have been trying to keep the same order in the credits as the song played, so that the third song mentioned in the credits is the third song in the show. I'm assuming that if someone really is interested in a particular song they'll search for it or the artist. Most of the material is from Mevio, which use to be Podshow. And I try to credit the source if it isn't from there. Podcast Ping is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. My online toy shop can be found at http://patrickjmcnamara.webs.com.
Day 18. One more week until Christmas. http://www.archive.org/download/PodcastPingsChristmasCalendarDay18/ppcc18.mp3 Now things get busy. I expect the stores will be really busy this weekend. Podcast Ping is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. My online toy shop can be found at http://patrickjmcnamara.webs.com.
Day 17. A week from now it will be Christmas Eve. Or Christmas Eve day. Or the morning of the day of Christmas Eve. Or somewhere in the general vicinity. http://www.archive.org/download/PodcastPingsChristmasCalendarDay17/ppcc17.mp3 It was two years ago today that I did Bonus 9-A Visit From St. Nicholas. And since it was my first Christmas it was my first Christmas show. I feel it was one of my best shows and sounded the way I wanted the show to. As such I've tried to do much the same thing in the regular shows for this year with classic poetry, although none of them feel as strong as the bonus 9 was. I suspect it's because everyone is familiar with the Christmas poem so the musical breaks aren't as disruptive. I keep feeling as if I might miss a day, but with a little more than a week to go I doubt I will. But doing a post a day can get a little repetitive and it's easy to forget. And it does take a bit of time since I'm not only posting to the podcast blog but to Mininova as well. So far none of the sites I've used have been down so I've had no trouble in posting, although it re-enforces my decision not to do it again next year. I usually take December off from writing, so this has changed things a bit this year. Although I'm not doing any novel writing I have had a few poems to write--and of course the postings. It's not demanding, but the main reason for not writing during December is to regenerate my ideas. I've had an idea for a new podcast but I can't say when I'll get to it. But I'll likely talk more about it on the New Year's show--which I still haven't done any work on. I may even keep things light for the first few months of next year and not do any podcasts--except for the Blue Hot Gossip anniversary show. I skipped the first one (since I wasn't sure about continuing it at the time) so I don't really want to skip the second. Although at this point the one after that might take a little time. And sometime I would like to do another fan commentary. The trouble is that I need a couple hours I can work uninterrupted to record it. It's been more than two years since I did the Dark Crystal commentary, which happened to come out shortly before a new version with an official commentary. But I would choose some other movie to do, preferably one that is widely available but doesn't have a commentary of it's own. Now that I've got some podcasting experience I think I could do a better job, or at least I would sound better. Podcast Ping is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. My online toy shop can be found at http://patrickjmcnamara.webs.com.
Day 16. Less than ten days left until Christmas. And after today, all but one song is new. http://www.archive.org/download/PodcastPingsChristmasCalendarDay16/ppcc16.mp3 I see from the calendar that today (December 16th) is a new moon and New Year's will be a full moon. That should make for a fun night. I still have to work on that show but I may wait until after Christmas to do it. It seems just too busy right now. I have an idea of what I'm going to do for the show and it shouldn't take too long to put together. But I sort of want to keep it a surprise. Podcast Ping is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. My online toy shop can be found at http://patrickjmcnamara.webs.com.
Day 15. This is one of the lighter shows. I initially planned a couple more comedy songs but pulled one or two to use on Blue Hot Gossip. I'll admit that I don't always write the funniest stuff, or if I do I may not properly deliver it, but I do try. Although the poem on this episode isn't mean to be funny, it just happened to go with the song. I also try and keep all my podcasts family friendly. It's easy enough to control the poetry I use but I can get a bit tricky when it comes to the music, especially with comedy music. There's a tendency in comedy to get "blue" or rude. But that's usually just lazy writing. The good comedy appeals to psychologically mature people as well. Fortunately, "The Elf Conscription Song" is clean. But I have chosen not to play one or two songs on Blue Hot Gossip on the basis of content. It's not that I'm prudish, it's just that I've decided to cater the show to a certain audience. http://www.archive.org/download/PodcastPingsChristmasCalendarDay15/ppcc15.mp3 Podcast Ping is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. My online toy shop can be found at http://patrickjmcnamara.webs.com.
Day 14. Snow. http://www.archive.org/download/PodcastPingsChristmasCalendarDay14/ppcc14.mp3 I started on some Christmas gifts today. I've got five to make, although two of them can wait until after Christmas. I should be able to get through one a day, provided I'm not spending all my energy shoveling snow or other things. But I don't expect a problem. I've been running across a few Christmas songs that would work well for Blue Hot Gossip, although there's just no room for another Christmas show this year. I'll likely save them and use them next year, if I remember. I've also had some business ideas that I've got to work on. Podcast Ping is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. My online toy shop can be found at http://patrickjmcnamara.webs.com.
Day 13 marks the half-way point. Less than two weeks until Christmas! http://www.archive.org/download/PodcastPingsChristmasCalendarDay13/ppcc13.mp3 I expect to be quite busy getting ready for Christmas this week. Then again, it tends to feel as if every week is busy. Podcast Ping is licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. My online toy shop can be found at http://patrickjmcnamara.webs.com.