“The Inner Chapters, Volume 1” Podiobook is Live!

I actually really like the tweet from Podiobooks to share the release:

Programming Fu? Art of Code? Now releasing @cmdln‘s free serialized audiobook, The Inner Chapters, Volume 1

And here is the official announcement from the Podiobooks blog.

There are more details on the official page for the essay series, the podiobook, and the ongoing unbook project. There you will also find a link to the audio promo for the podiobook if you want to help promote it on your podcast or send it to your favorite podcaster to play.

Thanks to Evo and Chris for making this possible and special thanks to the listeners of the podcast who asked for and supported this effort.

Podiobook Progress for 7/19/2009

I am in my third week of audio production for the re-serialization of the original Inner Chapters audio from the podcast as a forthcoming podiobook. As I’ve explained on the podcast and in previous posts, this work involves some new fore and after matter, music, and minimal editing to clean up the archival audio. Many listeners are new to the podcast and haven’t heard many of the earliest shows, not in the least because to keep my RSS feeds manageable, I trim them to only the last year’s worth of shows.

For those interested in my ongoing discussion of the practice and profession of programming, the podiobook will be an excellent way to go back to access the earlier installments of the ongoing Inner Chapters series. Podiobooks, if you are not familiar with the site, let’s you as a listener re-release an audio book or series on your schedule. After you register and then subscribe to a work, you get the first episode first and each one after in order. You can set your own schedule, releasing weekly, monthly, daily–even releasing the entire work, in order, into your personal feed.

I’ve had questions from listeners about how to help with the podiobook project. There isn’t really any help I need in this project as it is entirely audio editing work which I cannot easily distribute. You can help by supporting it, though. Subscribe once it is released. Rate the podiobook on their site’s rating system or better yet leave a review. Podiobooks.com also supports donations and I’ll get well over half of anything you donate. Please do donate through the site as Podiobooks.com uses the part they keep for running the service. I am good friends with both of the founders and would like it if you support them as well as supporting me.

Update: One way you can help, it just occurs to me, is with suggestions on the audio promo I need to produce for the podiobook.  Any script ideas or just ideas to get my brain moving on a form of writing that I find even harder than usual to get started would be appreciated.

If you can’t donate but still want to help, the consider subscribing to the podiobook and using your subscription to help with the audio transcriptions I need for the book version of The Inner Chapters. So far, only two chapters have transcriptions under way and I sure could use the help with the rest. If you have an iPod Touch or iPhone running the 3.0 OS, then you have the perfect tool to help–you can slow down playback and skip back 30 seconds at a touch. Combine that with the podiobook release of the original Inner Chapters and you see how effective your contribution could potentially be.

After three weeks of working on the original audio, I’ve learned that two episodes a week is a good pace. Segments vary between fifteen and thirty minutes and take between one and two hours in total so far to edit. I have to factor out some of the earliest work since that was a one time hit–selecting and chopping up the bed and accent music, recording intro and outro spots, that sort of thing. From here on out, the time required is just cleaning out the worst of the extraneous noises. By episode six my speaking had already improved considerably just based on the effort and practice I put into the podcast over its first year. Episode six in particular is also after I did my first studio upgrade, primarily ditching the head set mic for a proper capsule mic. This makes listening to do the editing work a bit less of a chore, too.

The minimum number of episodes required to schedule a release is five. This is intentional, so that any given title has a decent pad for folks who subscribe immediately. I have six episodes ready but we are having some trouble getting me set up on the media hosting service. I have an ancient libsyn account, over four years old, now. Libsyn is also the media hosting provider for Podiobooks.com and I am guessing the age of my account is causing problems with their attempts to grant me access specifically to the podiobooks.com upload and management site. Once we have that sorted, I will be able to get my episodes up quickly and hopefully schedule a release shortly thereafter. Stay tuned for the official launch date and sorry I do not yet have one.

The Inner Chapters Podiobook and Unbook

My blog client ate the earlier version of this post, so bear with me as I re-write it from memory.

Several listeners have asked for the Inner Chapters segments as either standalone audio files or as text of some kind.  I’ve given these ideas quite a bit of thought and decided to work on both.  They are the reason I mentioned tweaking the production schedule for the podcast to free up some time.

I have just about completed the first episode of standalone audio.  The work involved is thankfully less than I expected.  After an afternoon in the lab, I have a project template with new intro, outro and bed music.  I should be able to produce an episode or two a week which is a good sustainable rate for a podiobook.  I’ll be submitting my first episode for review to that service this coming week.  I am testing the waters with a first volume of about ten or twelve episodes.  If it goes well, I’ll publish additional volumes until all of the existing segments have been re-released.

I am also thinking about archival CDs through PodDisc.  I need to either clear the music I’m using in the podiobook which is royalty-free only for non-commercial use or find some alternative music I can use for a commercial work.

For the text version, I have started an unbook, an idea described and explored by Jay Cross and Dave Gray.  To support this effort, I have set up a wiki.  Right now, the focus of the work is gathering all the material together in the form of my outlined notes and transcriptions of the audio.  You can help out by registering and reading the how to help section on the main page of the wiki.  Registration is required for editing only to help foil spammers and vandals, pseudonymous registrations are fine.

I plan to divide the textual material up into volumes as well.  Part of what I’ll be figuring out is how to organize the material best, probably along thematic lines.  It’s early days, yet, and I’m not even sure how long the first volume will take.  Transcription is just the first step, I am sure the material will need much re-writing and editing.

So far, Michael aka [si]dragon has been invaluable.  Not only has he been transcribing at a machine-like pace but he has helped clarify my thoughts and suggestions for future contributors.  Check the discussion page on the main topic for our discussions.  Edit that discussion to ask any questions you might have for me on conventions, coordination, etc.

I’ll post updates here as both projects progress.