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The Ask Leo! podcast returns.

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Hi everyone, this is Leo Notenboom and I'm back with news, commentary and answers to some of the many questions I get at

Yes, as I promised a couple of months ago, I'm back. Did you miss me? (Did you notice?)

While I was away I stumbled into a podcast of a speech by Tony Kahn, the executive producer of WBGH's "Morning Stories", a very popular podcast. His talk, at PodTech to an audience of podcasters and podcaster wanna-bes, touched on several interesting aspects of podcasting.

One of the items he talked about was a poll that surveyed podcast subscribers on what they felt was important about the podcasts that they choose to listen to. Number 1, as you might expect, was content - people choose to listen to podcasts that interest them. Number 4 got my attention though as being quite timely with my return: people want podcasts to be consistently produced.

What struck me are the number of podcasts that at one time or another I thought were very cool and interesting, that produced some number of episodes, only to vanish with no explanation and no expectation of a return. How annoying.

I don't want to be one of those podcasts.

I at least set expectations by announcing my two month hiatus, but as anyone who watches U.S. TV knows, "hiatus" is often a codeword for "this program ain't coming back".

Well, this hiatus was a true, temporary one. I'm back. Three minutes, every week, unless life interferes.

If you have a podcast of your own you're quite welcome to re-podcast the Ask Leo! podcast in your own. The only rule is simply that you run the whole thing - all three minutes. In fact, that's one of the reasons I stick to the exactly three minute podcast format. You're also welcome to select from the Ask Leo! podcast archive. And if you're a terrestrial or satellite broadcaster, or your podcast is available via those channels, drop me an line.

By the way, that poll also indicated that the most popular podcast length was right around 10 minutes. Perhaps someday when I have more to say - but even then I'll put it on a separate feed.

I'd love to hear what you think. Visit ask leo dot info, and enter 10835 in the go to article number box. Leave me a comment, I love hearing from you.

This is a presentation of, a free on-line technical question and answer service. Hundreds of questions and answers are online and ready to help solve your computer problems.


Article C2817 - October 21, 2006 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

October 28, 2006 1:27 AM

Hi Leo

The short answer to your question is yes you were missed. Nice to have you back safe and sound. I hope you and family (and dolls) enjoyed you sorjourn



John Morton
October 29, 2006 4:50 AM

Hey Leo! Welcome back. I'm looking forward to new Q&A's from you. Even though I'm a Mac person primarily, I find the podcast interesting.

I agree with you about the expectations listeners have for podcasts. We're creatures of habit. Glad to have you back in my schedule.

October 29, 2006 8:22 AM

Welcome back!

Hope you had a great trip - U were missed!

November 2, 2006 2:49 PM

I'm looking forward to your weekly podcasts again! One question though. I use the open source application RSS Bandit as my feed aggregator. Before, when your weekly show was part of The Chris Pirillo Show feed, your podcast audio file could be downloaded by clicking on the RSS Bandit Enclosure link. (I prefer this method of manually initiating a download to automatic downloads because I subscribe to a lot of feeds and screen enclosed files before downloading.) Since your return and starting with this podcast, I'm using the RSS feed from your home page. Unfortunately, the RSS Bandit Enclosure link now points to a image/gif file. As far as I know, of the 22 podcasts I subscribe to, your's is the only one where the RSS Bandit Enclosure link doesn't point to the podcast file.

A minor inconvenience; I can still download the podcast from your web site...

Leo Notenboom
November 2, 2006 3:56 PM

Interesting. Not sure why that might be. You might try the podcast-only feed, if you're not:

November 15, 2006 10:39 PM


Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I tried subscribing to as you suggested. Same result as before. Looking at the podcasts.xml source, I noticed that each podcast had two "enclosure" tags: one for the podcast logo GIF file and one for the podcast audio file. Though valid, I don't think you intended for the GIF file to be part of the feed's payload.

As a test, I edited a copy of the podcasts.xml file, removing the enclosure tags refering to the GIF image file, and subscribed to it in RSS Bandit. Sure enough, all the enclosure links in the RSS Bandit / Ask Leo! podcast browser windows now pointed to the correct audio files.

Leo Notenboom
November 15, 2006 10:54 PM

I'll look into it - it's a function of the enclosures plugin to MovableType. I'll admit it may get lower priority since every other podcatching client seems to deal with it properly.

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