September 10, 2019

Spotify launches the Google Docs of podcasting

first_img 19 Photos Pod people: CNET’s favourite podcasts Now playing: Watch this: Comment Soundtrap, a music-making program that Spotify bought in 2017, is releasing a new version of its software designed for podcasters.  Getty Next up in Spotify’s podcasting binge: A program that makes mixing and mastering a podcast easier than putting together a Powerpoint presentation. Soundtrap for Storytellers, launching today globaly, is an online program meant to make podcasting accessible for anyone who believes they everything it takes to be a top podcaster except any sort of audio-engineering skills. One of its slickest tricks is interactive transcripts that synch with your audio recording, allowing you to edit the spoken-word audio file as you would in a text document. The program has a two-week free trial and offers access to many of its tools, with limitations, free. To unlock the full suite, a monthly subscription is $15 a month. Paying upfront for an annual plan breaks down to $12 a month. You can also sign up for a $18-a-month bundle that includes Storytellers and all of Soundtrap’s music-making tools.  Digital Media Music Spotify buys Gimlet and Anchor on its march to rule podcasts CNET Apps Today And as music culture has shifted to streaming, Spotify and Apple Music have emerged as the leaders in the race to dominate subscription tunes. Spotify remains the biggest streaming service by both subscribers and those who listen for free by far. But Apple Music has been growing quickly, and its iTunes service remains the world’s de facto place to find and download podcastsPeople who create their podcasts on Soundtrap for Storytellers aren’t locked into Spotify for any kind of publishing exclusive. The tool has a tool to publish quickly and easily on Spotify, but podcasters are free to download their final mixes and publish them anywhere they like. The program also has a a pseudo-Skype inside the program itself to record interviews with remote guests, and because it’s cloud-based, multiple people can work on the same podcast even if they’re scattered around the world. It also has a big library of free sound effects and built-in instruments and looping tools to make your own jingles. The program lets you publish your podcast transcript to make it easier for people to find it on search engines. Some caveats about the transcripts: A paid Storytellers subscription gives you 8 hours of interactive transcripts a month. During the free trial, you get 30 minutes of interactive transcripts, and the free version of the software doesn’t include it at all. The Storytellers program is available to use globally, but the interactive transcripts are only available for English. The company said other languages are coming but didn’t specify a timeline. The free version of the programs also lacks features like remote-interview recording, the ability to download a high-quality file of what you’ve created, publishing directly to Spotify or saving a library of your own loops.But the podcasters present for Emanuelsson’s demo last week were intrigued by the tool. “Most podcasters are not music makers,” Alex Ikhehedu of the Need to Know podcast said in an interview. But aspiring podcasters are often faced with professional programs made by Adobe or music-geared software like Garage Band with “crazy confusing presents that no one knows how to use,” he said.  “It’s really interesting to get something all in one place, all in one shot,” he said. “It makes it simple … for a user, especially for people who are new to the industry.” Share your voice Tags 1 Spotify acquired Soundtrap at the end of 2017. Sometimes called the Google Docs of music, Soundtrap focused on a music-making program designed to let normal humans record and mix tunes without being an audio engineer. Or, as Soundtrap cofounder and managing director Per Emanuelsson put it last week, you shouldn’t need to know how to use software that “looks like the cockpit of an airplane.””So many people are trying to be creative but they didn’t think they could do it themselves,” Emanuelsson said last week in an interview after presenting the Storytellers product to a group of professional podcasters. Soundtrap’s music-creation tool was designed in the hope of democratizing recorded music production. “That’s what we hope we’ll see here in the podcasting space as well,” he said.   Spotify itself is on a serious podcast binge, as it looks for ways to lure in new and different listeners. Earlier this year, the company bought podcast companies Gimlet and Anchor, part of a $400 million to $500 million podcast investment effort this year. Podcast users spend almost twice the time on Spotify, CEO Daniel Ek has said. “By having unique programming, people who previously thought Spotify was not right for them will give it a try.” 2:28 Spotifylast_img read more

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September 1, 2019 DCs Fight for Affordable Housing

DCs Fight for Affordable Housing

first_imgResidents gather outside Foundry United Methodist Church March 5 to advocate for more affordable housing in D.C. (Photo by Shantella Y. Sherman )The atmosphere at Foundry United Methodist Church was charged with excitement. Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Council Housing and Community Development Committee Chair Anita Bonds, and Councilmember Elissa Silverman, joined roughly 500 residents to announce continued efforts to secure existing and increase the number of affordable housing units in the city.At times the gathering took on the call and response style of an old Baptist church service. “We now have to make sure that we’re doing all that we can where the government can make a difference,” Bowser said at the event on March 5.”There’s no mayor, there’s no government that can reverse housing prices. But what we can do is make sure that the city is involved in supporting subsidized units and preserving housing and ending homelessness. And that’s what our focus is.”Bowser, aware of the criticism she has faced in trying to ending homelessness, asked residents to consider the dilemma faced by the city. She mentioned the competing realities of trying to halt the loss of reasonably-priced housing, as 30-year-covenants between the city and building owners end and developers hoping to capitalize on the influx of single, childless professionals with high, disposable incomes, rush in.“We are absolutely working to ensure that even as we add new affordable housing units to the city, we do not lose the ones we currently have. Many of you have been in the city for 5 days, 5 months, 5 years, while there are many more who have been here, like myself, who have been here for 5 generations,” Bowser said. “And what we need to realize is that no matter the length of time you have been here, D.C. is your home.”Bowser talked about upcoming legislation that incorporates both social services and better employment opportunities to housing production.The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development, who organized the event, was joined by members of Union Local 25 to support the city’s initiatives. Local 25 members and Ward 8 residents Juanita King and Patricia Samuels cheered Bowser and Bonds and said understanding how employment and housing are intertwined is the first step to ending chronic homelessness.“Mayor Bowser shadowed me for a day on my job at the Marriott Marquis – from the time I got up in the morning, she took public transportation with me, and stayed with me the entire day and on the journey home,” King told the AFRO. “It helped her understand how three things: housing, public transportation, and a livable wage, operate in tandem to keep residents safe, secure, and happy. If even one of these is functioning poorly – say the Metro is experiencing delays or my building has a rodent issue – the other areas are compromised.”last_img read more

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