Will a native-language accent turn away listeners? How to fix a cover art display issue. And whether Stitcher's legalese is evil.

Will having an accent lose listeners?

Lode from Canada sent in an audio message to ask:

Is an accent [due to a different native language] in a podcast a problem for listeners?

It usually seems that the English-as-second-language people who are most concerned about their English or accent really don't need to be worried because they sound great. We Americans tend to respect certain accents.

Even in America, we have a variation of accents. I would say any accent is only a problem when it's so thick that the majority of the audience can't understand the words.

What do you think? Vote in this week's podcasting poll:

[poll id=”3″]

Cover art not showing on iPods

Mike from the Collaborating podcast, asked:

We've uploaded podcast art, via Blubrry, to iTunes—can see it on the iTunes website. BUT DON'T see it w/in iTunes itself. Only see “little gray guy with circles.” Also don't see it on iPod. What gives?

Here's what Mike sees for his podcast:

Collaborating podcast in iTunes

There are three places your podcast cover art must be.

  1. RSS2 image—what everything but iTunes will see. Two different ways to set this:
    • PowerPress > Settings (overall or your specific category/channel casting) > Feeds > Feed Settings > RSS2 image, or
    • FeedBurner > Optimize > Feed Image Burner (overrides the source).
  2. iTunes image—what only iTunes sees for the podcast directory listing in iTunes. Two different ways to set this:
    • PowerPress > Settings  (overall or your specific category/channel casting) > iTunes > iTunes Feed Settings > iTunes Image, or
    • FeedBurner > Optimize > SmartCast > Podcast image location (overrides the source).
  3. ID3 tags—these are set for each MP3 (or other format) file. This image shows once you've downloaded the podcast episode and will display on media players.

Questioning Stitcher's terms of use

Glen Steinson from Stewardship Weekly said thanks for telling how to get in the top podcast directories.

Norbert Davis from Totally Cool Tech is suspicious of directories' terms of use for producers.

I enjoyed listening to TAP #69 – Top Podcast Directories and How to Get in Them (I'm subscribed through doubleTwist on my Droid X by the way), and found it to be very informative as always.  I too am a podcaster and the host of Totally Cool Tech at totallycooltech.com and you mentioned a service that I'm not comfortable submitting my content to due to some legal agreement language that Content Producers must agree to before they can get on the service. The company is Stitcher. In their “Terms of Distribution & Provisional Partnership” there is some language that seems to state that the Provider is giving away a lot of control over their content to Stitcher to where Stitcher can do with it what they want for whatever reason.  I used to have my content available through them for a while until I was sent their terms last year.  Since reading the terms I opted to not “sign up” with them because of these terms and they removed my show from their service. I have included the section of the terms below that caused me concern and highlighted the actual portions that were the ones that caused me to not sign up with them.

Perhaps iTunes and other services have the same or some similar wording in their “Terms of Service” or equivalent agreements about being able to use my work as they see fit (hopefully not use out of context) for whatever purpose (hopefully not for evil) they wish.  I should take my own advice and check the other services myself just to be sure.

So as you are telling your listeners about how or where to sign up for services like Blubrry, iTunes,Stitcher, etc., please also tell them that they need to be careful and read any “Terms of Service” or agreements that the service providers have before hitting the “submit” button just to make sure they are not giving away the farm.

Norbert then attached and emphasized the questionable parts of Sticher's terms for producers.

II. Distribution of Submitted Content on Service

A. Stitcher acknowledges that Producer owns and/or controls the copyright in Submitted Content, subject to the rights that Producer grants to Stitcher hereunder.

B. Producer hereby acknowledges that Producer is entirely responsible for everything contained in the Submitted Content made available by Producer on the Service.

C. All Submitted Content that Producer submits to Stitcher including, without limitation, audio recordings, information, meta data, ideas, images, stories, characters, concepts, formats, themes, master recordings, musical compositions, comments, names, likeness, voice, suggestions or other materials submitted to Stitcher shall be subject to the applicable terms and conditions set forth herein.

D. Solely in consideration of the possibility of distribution on the Service, to the extent that Submitted Content is owned and/or controlled by Producer, by uploading, posting, emailing or otherwise making available in any communications or Content Producer Application for the Service, Producer hereby grants to Stitcher a non-exclusive, royalty-free, and perpetual right to:

1. Exhibit, display, reproduce, distribute and otherwise use Submitted Content, in whole or in part, via all media now known or hereafter devised, throughout the world in perpetuity (the “Distribution Rights”);

2. Exhibit excerpts of your Submitted Content via all forms of media throughout the world in perpetuity for promotional and/or advertising purposes (“Promotional Rights”); and,

3. Create and use derivative works there from;

We must all certainly be familiar with what permissions we're giving others over our content. But I don't think Stitcher's terms should cause alarm.

Stitcher essentially needs the legal stuff to get our permission for them to copy and redistribute our content, which is what they have to do to make Sticher work on mobile devices. Their use, including derivatives, more than likely covers them for creating any kind of mashup of podcasts so that they can produce commercials and promotions for their own service.

Rachel Eaton, from Stitcher, replied on exactly these concerns.

Hi Daniel, Thank you for sending this along. We appreciate the chance to explain it.

We do actually have a revision to our terms of service that will be posted soon. The revision does not change the terms, but it does include some definitions and explanations. We have received some questions about some of the legalese and do not want that to be a hindrance for anyone who wants to distribute their content via the Stitcher app. The Stitcher terms are comparable to services like iTunes and youTube and are quite standard for a distribution agreement. The intentions of Stitcher and the terms of service is definitely not ‘for evil'. I have addressed Norbert's questions below.

A-rights that Producer grants to Stitcher hereunder:

We acknowledge that the content provider owns the copyright or the the right to use/distribute the content (subject to their warrants – ie they actually have these rights) in Section II. A

D-by uploading, posting, emailing or otherwise making available in any communications or Content Producer Application for the Service, Producer hereby grants to Stitcher a non-exclusive, royalty-free, and perpetual right to:

This clause exists because when people ‘share’ a show via Stitcher, it creates an episode link. This link lives off of the Stitcher service. Even if you remove your show, those links will continue to exist.

1.and otherwise use Submitted Content,

This covers Stitcher listener's ability to share the shows via Facebook, Twitter, email, the potential to use sound bites or images of your shows' in Stitcher promotional or press materials (ie iTunes artwork, press screenshots of the app. note: where we control this, we do seek providers' permission). This is broad, certainly, but meant to allow for Stitcher product enhancements.

3.Create and use derivative works there from:

The product/technology plan for Stitcher includes segmenting your content (with attribution) to allow listeners to listen to only the portions of your content they are interested. Imagine a playlist of segments only about “raising teens”. User could still listen to whole program, and at times Stitcher would recommend your entire program because its entirety is relevant to the listener. This delivers an end user benefit and results in an increased likelihood that you content will appear to listeners (discoverability and reach).

Ask your podcasting legal questions for upcoming guest

I'm very pleased to say that Gordon Firemark will be joining us for a few future episodes. He is an entertainment and new media Lawyer, and the author of the Podcast, Blog, and New Media Producers Legal Survival Guide. He also hosts the Entertainment Law Update podcast.

So send me your legal questions to ask Gordon in upcoming episodes.

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About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.
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[…] convert your podcast to mono to make it easier to stream. Some podcasters get nervous with their terms of service, but for me it’s a free way to gain access to a larger audience. I’ve always said […]

12 years ago

Very helpful episode; great job Daniel.


Melissa Shanhun
12 years ago

I personally get more annoyed by people apologising for their accents, than the accent itself.

I’m Australian, and I find that I tune out most accents within a few listens. I get more turned off by low audio quality (eg phone quality) than accents. We all have an accent, no matter where we are from!

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