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Products for grant HAA-255979-17

HAA-255979-17
Investigating the Golden Age of Podcasting through Metadata and Sound
Jeremy Morris, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=HAA-255979-17

Hearing the Past: The Sonic Web from MIDI to Music Streaming (Article)
Title: Hearing the Past: The Sonic Web from MIDI to Music Streaming
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Abstract: Music and sound have been integral parts of the Web’s development. Even if computers and network technologies in the early 1990s were limited in their capacities to produce, distribute and present sound, a variety of communities and companies found ways to use the Web towards sonic ends. From early websites where users traded sound-related texts (MIDI files, song lyrics, guitar tablature, etc.) to the noises of new technologies (e.g. podcasts), the Web’s sounds have shaped the economic, industrial, legal and cultural logics of the platform. Despite this rich sonic past, histories of the Web generally focus on the visual. What if we amplified this knowledge of the Web’s visual and technical history by listening to it as well? This chapter focuses on the changing sound of the Web over the past 25 years, and how those sounds have shaped the Web. It argues the Web has a rich sonic history that has been muted or muffled to date, but like all histories of the Web, the trick is how we gather the material to tell it.
Year: 2019
Primary URL: http://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/the-sage-handbook-of-web-history/book252251
Primary URL Description: Link to the book on SAGE website. Worldcat.org listing not yet available.
Access Model: Purchase
Format: Other
Periodical Title: The SAGE Handbook of Web History
Publisher: SAGE Publishing

The PodcastRE Project: Curating and Preserving Podcasts (and Their Data) (Article)
Title: The PodcastRE Project: Curating and Preserving Podcasts (and Their Data)
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris, Sam Hansen, Eric Hoyt
Abstract: Podcasting is only roughly 15 years old as a media form and practice, but it has already ushered in an explosion of amateur and professional cultural production. Despite the lessons podcasting holds for scholars and the popular excitement this vital media form has generated, the sounds of podcasting’s nascent history remain mystifyingly difficult to analyze. There are few resources for anyone inter- ested in researching the form, content, or history of podcasts and even fewer tools for preserving and analyzing the sonic artifacts being produced during this “Golden Age” of audio. What today’s podcasters are producing will have value in the future, not just for its content, but for what it tells us about audio’s longer history, about who has the right to communicate, and by what means (Sterne, Morris, Baker, & Freire, 2008). We may be in a “Golden Age” of podcasts but if we’re not making efforts to preserve and analyze these resources now, we’ll find ourselves in the same conun- drum many radio, film or television historians find themselves: writing, researching, and thinking about a past they can’t fully see or hear.
Year: 2019
Primary URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/XPdGU96gdEejH67PqPpR/full?target=10.1080/19376529.2019.1559550
Primary URL Description: Free eprints and subscription
Access Model: Subcription/Free Copies
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Journal of Radio and Audio Media
Publisher: Taylor and Francis (Routledge)

Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project. (Book)
Title: Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project.
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Author: Eric Hoyt
Editor: Jeremy Morris
Editor: Eric Hoyt
Abstract: This edited collection will gather contributions from a number of leading and emerging scholars in podcasting and digital audio in the hopes of taking stock of podcasting’s recent history and imagining future directions for the format. The collection will distinguish itself from other research on the subject by placing a significant emphasis on the ways in which podcasts and sound more generally can be used as a method for exploring media and culture. The collection will trace some of the less amplified histories of the format and it will offer discussions of some of the theoretical and cultural hurdles podcasting faces nearly 20 years into its existence. It will pay particular attention to questions surrounding how to save and preserve the booming audio culture currently emerging from podcasting, since our argument about using sound as an object of research depends on ready access to historical, current, and (eventually) future sounds. Moreover, since researchers approaching audio and sound must approach their object of study differently than they approach text or visual resources, and must increasingly navigate the different digital networks of technologies and platforms through which audio is served, our collection aims to provide tangible examples of the role sound can play in media and cultural studies research. To this end, the collection will also bring in a number of practical and concrete cases of researchers working with and through audio; scholars using sound, sound databases and digital methods as ways to unearth new insights about media and culture.
Year: 2020
Access Model: Open Access
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Type: Edited Volume
Copy sent to NEH?: No

Introduction: The Inseparability of Research and Preservation Frameworks for Podcasting History (Book Section)
Title: Introduction: The Inseparability of Research and Preservation Frameworks for Podcasting History
Author: Eric Hoyt
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Editor: Eric Hoyt
Editor: Jeremy Morris
Abstract: To confront these issues and the dynamic audio landscape podcasting affords, this book brings together contributions from a number of leading and emerging scholars in podcasting and digital audio in the hopes of taking stock of podcasting’s recent history and imagining future directions for the format. We trace some of the less amplified histories of the format and offer discussions of some of the theoretical and cultural hurdles podcasting faces nearly 20 years into its existence. The questions our authors ask are sometimes technical or aesthetic - What sonic practices are unique to podcasts? What does a shift away from RSS feeds to streaming services mean for podcasting? What is the production quality of various shows and how does this affect the overall aesthetic of individual podcasts? - but they also cultural and social - What voices are highlighted or silenced in podcasts versus other media? What reconfigurations between producers and audiences are taking place in podcasts? What are the economics that underpin this largely un-monetized circulation of audio content?
Year: 2020
Access Model: Open Access
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Book Title: Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project

Howling into a Megaphone: Archiving the History of Podcast Advertising (Book Section)
Title: Howling into a Megaphone: Archiving the History of Podcast Advertising
Author: JJ Bersch
Editor: Jeremy Morris
Editor: Eric Hoyt
Abstract: In this chapter, then, I want to consider two of the podcast industry’s attempts to alter or move on from the advertising model that has dominated the medium’s first decade- plus of existence—Panoply’s Megaphone advertising service and Stitcher Premium’s subscription model. What interests me most about these two innovations is how they alter our understanding of the history of podcasting and raise questions as to how podcast networks, other corporate entities, independent podcasters, and academics should aim to archive podcasts. Podcast advertisements have been an especially privileged paratext, but both of these innovations unsettle the advertisement’s prominent placement in the podcast text. As corporate entities such as Stitcher Premium begin to place old episodes behind paywalls and academic archives such as the one that gives this book its namesake aim to freely preserve podcasts and their accompanying metadata for researchers, the history of podcasts, as recent as it may be, has begun to prove valuable for both business and academic purposes. I argue that podcast advertising should be an integral component of the archived podcast if future historians wish to truly understand the workings of the podcast text, industry, and audience in its first “Golden Age,” outlining potential avenues of scholarship by raising questions from the perspectives of both the archivist and the researcher.
Year: 2020
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Book Title: Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project

The Perils of Ladycasting: Podcasting, Gender, and Alternative Production Cultures (Book Section)
Title: The Perils of Ladycasting: Podcasting, Gender, and Alternative Production Cultures
Author: Jennifer Wang
Editor: Jeremy Morris
Editor: Eric Hoyt
Abstract: This essay seeks to recoup and amplify some of those voices. In the context of the evolving professionalization of podcasting, I examine the cultural divide emerging in the post-Serial podcasting world between public radio and commercial interests on one side ("pro-casters") and communities of independent audio producers ("podcasters") on the other. Looking specifically at female independent podcasters, I discuss the contours of their production culture and the concerns of these producers as podcasting became commercialized. The distinctive production cultures generated by "podcasters as bloggers"- perhaps imperfect, done piece-meal, at the hands of a distracted producer, and without priority - are far different than those offered in the offices of NPR or in the garages of male amateurs. For some "stay-at-home" podcasters, I analyze how discussions about podcast production align with the demands of care work and family life for women as imagined within contemporary discourses of neoliberal feminism. Through an analysis of one of many distinctive subcultures marginalized in early accounts of podcasting’s origins, we can glimpse how the pursuit of perfect audio and commercial success influence the stories that journalists and scholars choose to tell about podcasting. “Tidying up” the histories of this young medium is essential work with material effects. The ways we compose narratives about the development of podcasting privileges certain voices and mutes others. Refusing to interrogate the ideologies and contexts in which we produce histories, I argue, not only erases some women’s voices in podcasting’s past, but may limit their possibilities in podcasting’s future.
Year: 2020
Access Model: Open Access
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Book Title: Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project

The Feed is the Thing: How RSS Defined PodcastRE and Why Podcasts May Need to Move On (Book Section)
Title: The Feed is the Thing: How RSS Defined PodcastRE and Why Podcasts May Need to Move On
Author: Sam Hansen
Editor: Jeremy Morris
Editor: Eric Hoyt
Abstract: This chapter will begin with a close examination of the structure and functionality of the RSS feed and explore how RSS, more than anything else, shaped the data available in the PodcastRE collection. Specifically I will examine the structural affordances required due to how easy it is for a podcast author to modify an existing RSS feed and how the lack of a fixed set of agreed upon podcast RSS fields led to a wide net metadata capture approach for our database. Then, drawing on examples found while constructing the PodcastRE database, I will consider how the current RSS standard has constrained the questions that PodcastRE is able to answer. In particular how the lack of certain fields such as Network and Contributor stop PodcastRE from being able to answer questions which require the aggregation of related works. Finally, I will explore the current state of RSS and its related corporately controlled namespaces. This exploration will drive an argument about why for technical, metadata, and openness reasons it may be time for podcasts to move to a new open feed standard, such as JSON Feed.
Year: 2020
Access Model: Open Access
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Book Title: Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project

Saving Podcasting’s Contexts” in Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project (Book Section)
Title: Saving Podcasting’s Contexts” in Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project
Author: Eric Hoyt
Editor: Jeremy Morris
Editor: Eric Hoyt
Abstract: In this chapter, I survey and appraise a range of sources that would alter the way future media historians interpret podcasting as a medium. Some of the examples are what archivists would label as “contextual metadata” or a medium’s “significant properties” (see Marchioni et al. 2009 and Stepanyan et al. 2012). Others are more similar to the film and television paratexts that Jonathan Gray analyzes in his book Show Sold Separately (Gray 2010). All of them are collectible in some way. My goal is to move beyond merely a theoretical discussion and toward a pragmatic plan for PodcastRE’s future development. Collectively, these sources provide a map to the norms of production and reception, as well as the intermediaries through which producers and listeners interact.
Year: 2020
Access Model: Open Access
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Book Title: Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project

Drifting Vocal Performances: Studying Vocal Pitch and Frequency in Podcasting with Digital Tools (Book Section)
Title: Drifting Vocal Performances: Studying Vocal Pitch and Frequency in Podcasting with Digital Tools
Author: Jacob Mertens
Author: Eric Hoyt
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Editor: Jeremy Morris
Editor: Eric Hoyt
Abstract: This chapter investigates these questions by employing digital tools to de-naturalize the voices of podcasters located both inside and outside of the NPR ecosystem. By using the forced aligner Gentle and the pitch tracker Drift, we seek to explore how precisely these productions approach vocal delivery. How do podcasters attempt to wed scripted material with emotional cadence? What is it about this delivery that clearly differentiates it from other podcasts and from formal expectations that accompanied previous audio media like broadcast radio? And how can we empirically analyze these techniques and differences? Through digital tools that measure fine-grained aspects of vocal performances, we pinpoint clear differences between various genres of podcasting and intervene into the debates surrounding vocal delivery. First, we look at meditation and news podcasts to find a baseline for controlled vocal delivery. Next, we examine different NPR podcasts to attempt to delineate common strategies of vocal performance as seen through pitch and rhythm. Finally, we look at the ways more conversational and improvisational podcasts differed from these controlled and scripted models.
Year: 2020
Access Model: Open Access
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Book Title: Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project

Podcasting the Donald Sterling Scandal: The Prismatic Perspective of the PodcastRE Database (Book Section)
Title: Podcasting the Donald Sterling Scandal: The Prismatic Perspective of the PodcastRE Database
Author: Jacob Mertens
Editor: Jeremy Morris
Editor: Eric Hoyt
Abstract: By looking at an emotionally charged case study through the prismatic perspective of the PodcastRE database, I hope to examine what makes broadcasting unique in the modern age when so many individuals can add their voices to a public forum. I will use the Donald Sterling scandal as a flash point for podcasting discourse, noting how the conversation changes based on the distinction between professional and amateur productions and the subject matter of a podcast series. In the process, I hope to demonstrate hose these production contexts and economic imperatives can lead to discussions that either individualize the scandal or interrogate the systemic racial issues beneath it. Finally, I will outline how the database works as a tool to make this chaotic discourse legible as a case study. I believe that studying this discourse can provide a more nuanced understanding of how we as a society publicly address issues of race and the reasons we might shy away from these conversations or frame them as the aberrant actions of an individual rather than a product of systemic racism. Meanwhile, studying these concerns through the PodcastRE database does not just provide us with different perspectives and interpretations but also gives us their meaningful contrast. Ultimately, I hope to demonstrate how podcasting provides new opportunities for political discourse beyond the hegemony of traditional broadcasting, while observing how often these conversations can still defer to the corporate interests of the NBA.
Year: 2020
Access Model: Open Access
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Book Title: Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project

The Spotification of Podcasting” in Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project (Book Section)
Title: The Spotification of Podcasting” in Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Editor: Jeremy Morris
Editor: Eric Hoyt
Abstract: Accordingly, this paper examines this shift toward “platformized” podcasts, referred to here as the “Spotification” of podcasting. It pays particular attention to the role open technologies like RSS and XML have played in creating a vibrant environment for audio. It investigates the logics Spotify and other similar platforms deploy for podcast display and discovery on its platform and argues that the Spotification of podcasting may represent a welcome push towards more user-friendly and mainstream consumption of podcasts but, in the process, might threaten the very format these companies hope to popularize. In other words, the Spotification of podcasting may make podcasts more ubiquitous than ever but this added visibility might undermine some of the format’s earliest promises of accessibility and diversity of voices.
Year: 2020
Access Model: Open Access
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Book Title: Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project

A RE-emphasis on Context: Preserving and Analyzing Podcast Metadata (Book Section)
Title: A RE-emphasis on Context: Preserving and Analyzing Podcast Metadata
Author: Susan Noh
Editor: Jeremy Morris
Editor: Eric Hoyt
Abstract: This chapter examines metadata as a site for uncovering contextual features that ground digital artifacts within a broad web of relations connecting creators, platforms, and audiences. Utilizing the PodcastRE metadata analytics applications, I argue that keywords are one critical area where podcasters negotiate and exert agency through self- identification apart from the dominant presence of the search engine algorithms within commercial podcatcher applications. They do this by establishing their own relational networks that foreground defining their publics, using keywords to signal to their audience their respective ideologies. Concurrently, I analyze the politics of podcatching applications as they continue to influence how podcasters apply keywords, resulting in the most common keywords reflecting pre-defined iTunes categories. While podcasts are often framed as an approachable audio practice amenable to amateurs due to lower barriers of entry, podcatcher applications act as cultural intermediaries between listener and content creator. They reify the growing hierarchical star systems that pertain to the podcasting ecosystem, leading to a palpable impact in the way podcasts and metadata are produced. By shifting the focus of analysis from the podcast to the periphery of its metadata, novel observations can be made about the contextual dimensions of podcasting culture. Within this framework, I conclude with an analysis of the strategies employed by podcasters of color as they engage in metadata activism in order to carve out spaces within these platforms to speak about their racialized experiences and engage in civic discourse.
Year: 2020
Access Model: Open Access
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Book Title: Saving New Sounds: Dispatches from the PodcastRE Project

Saving Sonic Booms: Methodological Challenges Facing Podcasts Preservation (Book Section)
Title: Saving Sonic Booms: Methodological Challenges Facing Podcasts Preservation
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Editor: Michael Bull
Editor: Marcel Cobussen
Abstract: Using the case of the PodcastRE database, I argue that the development of new sonic methodologies is crucial for researchers to capitalize on the wealth of insight and information available in the booming audio culture emerging around podcasting. There are certainly advantages to the affordances provided by digital formats (i.e. metadata, automated collection, elaborate tools for the visualization of sound waves etc.) but I argue we still need to foreground sound itself in our methods and audio collections. Developing sonic methodologies in conjunction with more traditional/typical digital methodologies for sound and audio archives will expand the utility of sound databases and will also help alleviate the problems that accompany the primacy of the visual (Hilmes, 2005; Sterne, 2003) afforded to most archives. Approaching sound archives and objects sonically, instead of just visually or textually, offers new perspectives and paths for research, since, as Tara Rodgers notes, “vibrations – including that specific class of audible vibrations experienced as sound – present alternative ways of apprehending reality that can point to political sensibilities that emphasize complexity, interconnection and interdependence rather than modes of distancing and control” (Rodgers, 2018: 234). Placing sound at the forefront, not just of media artifacts we need to save, but as a method for analyzing that which we have saved, gives us a new mode for approaching archives and databases, as well as the sonic ephemera that lies within them.
Year: 2020
Access Model: Purchase
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Book Title: The Bloomsbury Handbook of Sonic Methodologies

Saving New Sounds: The Sonic Web (Part 3). (Blog Post)
Title: Saving New Sounds: The Sonic Web (Part 3).
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Abstract: All web histories are marked by their absences – by what cannot be captured in a dynamic and often-changing environment of code, objects, pages, sites and spheres.[1] But web sounds are doubly vulnerable. First, most of the web archiving tools available today, like the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, Archive.Today or Pinboard, are primarily built on visual metaphors and thus neglect, or at least push to the background, the role of audio. Second, preserving audio formats often requires preserving the sounds themselves as well as the technologies on which to play those sounds. Like so many other digital media, web audio is hard to hear not just because it is hard to find and save but because it is hard to know what to save along with it to make it playable in the future. Driscoll and Diaz’s claim that ‘the role of music, sound, and noise in computer games remains relatively under examined'[2] also applies to web sounds more generally, and even more acutely to attempts to preserve the longer history of the web’s soundscapes.
Date: 04/30/2018
Primary URL: https://www.flowjournal.org/2018/04/saving-new-sounds-2/
Blog Title: Saving New Sounds: The Sonic Web (Part 3).
Website: Flow Journal

Saving New Sounds: Podcasts and Preservation (Part 2) (Blog Post)
Title: Saving New Sounds: Podcasts and Preservation (Part 2)
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Abstract: Podcasts, like so many artifacts of digital culture, are unstable objects. As downloadable files, podcasts can be moved, copied and played and so they seem stable enough to save easily. In fact, for the first decade or so of podcasting’s existence (and for many non-ad-supported podcasts still), they were largely static and unchanging. But as the podcasting industry grows up and experiments with new forms of, and technologies for, advertising and monetization, the coherence of the audio file is more in question now than it ever has been. Should a database account for these multiple versions?
Date: 02/26/2018
Primary URL: https://www.flowjournal.org/2018/02/saving-new-sounds/
Blog Title: Saving New Sounds: Podcasts and Preservation
Website: Flow Journal

Saving New Sounds: Podcasts and Preservation (Part 1) (Blog Post)
Title: Saving New Sounds: Podcasts and Preservation (Part 1)
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Abstract: We are, as commentators have noted, in the midst of a “Golden Age of Podcasts”; a moment where the choice for quality digital audio abounds, and where new voices and listeners connect daily through earbuds, car stereos, home speakers or office computers. Depending on how you define it, podcasting is either just over 10 years old, more than 20 years old, or merely the latest soundwave in radio’s much longer history. [1] However you date it, in the decade since 2004 when the term “podcasting” was inadvertently coined the format has exploded: there are now over 300,000 podcasts and 8 million episodes in over 100 languages, with new ones launching every day. [2] Given how ubiquitous and available podcasts are, you might assume they would not face the same preservation risks as, say, old radio tape reels, transcription discs or celluloid film stock. Podcasts are largely free and their near-instant availability on multiple devices makes them seem as if they are in endless supply. They take up relatively few megabytes, which makes it easy to store a lot of them, and they are often available through multiple channels and aggregators (iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, etc.). But podcasts are surprisingly vulnerable; podcast feeds end abruptly, cease to be maintained, or become housed in proprietary databases, like iTunes, which are difficult to search with any rigor. Many podcasts get put behind paywalls as they get popular, or as back catalogues become a potential source of revenue. Then there’s the precarity of the very platforms that help make up podcasting’s diffuse and sometimes DIY infrastructure: I recently heard from an independent podcaster who had been hosting their show via the file management app/website Dropbox, but once that company made significant changes to its “public folder” feature, the podcaster was left scrambling to find another solution for where to host their files (and had to return to older shows to update the URLs and locations of new files).
Date: 10/17/2017
Primary URL: https://www.flowjournal.org/2017/10/saving-new-sounds-podcasts/
Blog Title: Saving New Sounds: Podcasts and Preservation
Website: Flow Journal

PodcastRE: Saving and Studying New Sounds. (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: PodcastRE: Saving and Studying New Sounds.
Author: Eric Hoyt
Abstract: Podcasting is just over ten years old as a media form and practice, but it has ushered in an explosion of amateur and professional cultural production. There are now over one million podcast feeds in over one hundred languages. There’s a podcast on almost every subject imaginable, from popular shows like Serial and Radiolab to lighter fare like the wrestling podcast Wrestlespective or shows that cover a social issues like sexuality, identity, race or politics (e.g. Strange Fruit, This Week in Blackness, etc.). We are in the midst of what many are calling a “Golden Age of Podcasts”; a moment where the choice for quality digital audio abounds, and where new voices and new listeners connect daily through earbuds, car stereos, or office computers. The audience keeps growing as well, exceeding 60 million American listeners last year. Yet despite the excitement over this vital media form, and despite the plethora of content being produced, the sounds of podcasting’s nascent history remain mystifyingly difficult to analyze. There are few resources for anyone interested in researching the form, content, or history of podcasts and even fewer tools for preserving and analyzing the sonic artifacts being produced during this golden age of audio. What today’s podcasters are producing will have value in the future, not just for its content, but for what it tells us about audio’s longer history, about who has the right to communicate and by what means. We may be in a “Golden Age” of podcasts but if we’re not making efforts to preserve and analyze these resources now, we’ll find ourselves in the same conundrum many radio, film or television historians find themselves: writing, researching and thinking about a past they can’t fully see or hear.
Date: 06/23/2019
Conference Name: Association for Computers and the Humanities

The Spotification of Podcasting (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: The Spotification of Podcasting
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Abstract: Podcasting’s increasing popularity has resulted in a number of distribution platforms seeking to incorporate podcasting into their content offerings. While podcasting used to be largely delivered through RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed subscriptions via software like iTunes or mobile apps like Overcast, digital content distributors like Spotify and Google have begun including podcasts as part of their streaming offerings. Some, like Spotify, have even commissioned original podcasts available exclusively on their platform. On the one hand, these seem like relatively innocuous business strategies; content providers want to provide listeners with popular audio content, so they add podcasts to their services. However, the inclusion of podcasts as part of streaming services that also include music, audiobooks, and other audio content represents a significant infrastructural shift for podcasting; a shift that may make it harder for lesser-known and niche podcasts to stand out in these spaces. Using data from a large podcast database, PodcastRE (http://podcastre.org), this paper examines the role open technologies like RSS and XML play in creating a vibrant environment for audio and investigates the logics streaming services deploy for podcast display and discovery on their platforms. The Spotification of podcasting, I argue, may represent a welcome push towards more user-friendly and mainstream consumption of podcasts but, in the process, might threaten the very format these companies hope to popularize. In other words, podcasting may be more ubiquitous than ever but visibility may not equal diversity.
Date: 03/13/2019
Conference Name: Society for Cinema and Media Studies

PodcastRE: Archiving the Promises of a Disruptive Format (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: PodcastRE: Archiving the Promises of a Disruptive Format
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Abstract: This paper documents one effort to save these new sounds: a database I have been building called PodcastRE (short for Podcast Research). Currently the site (http://podcaster.org) tracks over 1300 podcast feeds, and indexes and stores over 250,000 audio files, along with all the associated metadata from the RSS feeds. The web interface allows users to search the database via keyword (e.g. title, author, description elements, etc.). There are also several thousand interactive transcripts which allow users to find specific keywords within individual episodes (e.g. Election, ISIS, Hamilton, etc.) and narrow their search results accordingly. The database raises a number of significant challenges regarding saving and researching digital audio. There’s the incredible inconsistency of podcast metadata, which comes via both RSS feeds and the ID3 tags within the audio files themselves, both of which depend on which platform hosts the podcast and which program was used to created it. There’s also the instability of the object itself…podcasts are no longer static audio files like they were in podcasting’s early years. Technologies like dynamic advertising and dynamic insertion mean that the audio file itself can change periodically over time. Beyond these technical questions, there are the more serious cultural questions the database raises about what to save (which voices, which sounds) and how to go about doing so; it’s easy to automate scraping the most popular podcasts but sourcing the more marginalized more independent shows is a much more manual affair.
Date: 10/13/2018
Conference Name: Association of Internet Researchers

PodcastRE Analytics: Studying the Styles, Norms, and Cultures of an Evolving Medium (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: PodcastRE Analytics: Studying the Styles, Norms, and Cultures of an Evolving Medium
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Author: Eric Hoyt
Author: Jacob Mertens
Author: JJ Bersch
Author: Susan Noh
Abstract: This presentation provides an update on the status of the PodcastRE database, and demonstrates some uses of the advanced search and visualization tools for studying specific styles, and norms of podcasting's sonic cultures.
Date: 10/26/2018
Conference Name: Great Lakes Association for Sound Studies

Digital Archives (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Digital Archives
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Author: Andrew Dubber
Abstract: Interview with festival director, Andrew Dubber, about the PodcastRE database, along with a discussion of audio archiving.
Date: 9/06/2018
Primary URL: https://musictechfest.net/podcast020/
Conference Name: Music Tech Fest

Media History and the Digital Humanities (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Media History and the Digital Humanities
Author: Eric Hoyt
Abstract: Discussion of a variety of media history projects, including PodcastRE
Date: 07/20/2018
Conference Name: CLARIAH Summer School

Saving New Sounds: Listening to The Sonic Web (Conference/Institute/Seminar)
Title: Saving New Sounds: Listening to The Sonic Web
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Abstract: Music and sound have been integral parts of the Web’s development. Even if computers and network technologies in the early 1990s were limited in their capacities to produce, distribute and present sound, a variety of communities and companies found ways to use the Web towards sonic ends. From early websites where users traded sound-related texts (MIDI files, song lyrics, guitar tablature, etc.) and the noises of new technologies (e.g. the sound of the dial-up modems, bulletin board system welcome tones, etc.) to higher-bandwidth forms of audio (e.g. file sharing, Flash soundtracks, web games, mp3 downloads, streaming music, podcasts, etc.), the Web’s sounds have shaped the economic, industrial, legal and cultural logics of the platform. Despite this rich sonic past, histories of the Web generally focus on the visual. We track websites over time, eras of design styles and stages of technical innovation. What if we amplified this knowledge of the Web’s visual and technical history by listening to it as well?
Date Range: 06/26/2018
Location: Xi’an, China

Saving New Sounds: Preserving Podcasts and Analyzing Audio. (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Saving New Sounds: Preserving Podcasts and Analyzing Audio.
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Abstract: Despite an explosion in popular interest in digital soundwork (e.g. podcasts, internet radio) and increased academic attention to the study of sound (e.g. Sound Studies), sound itself remains mystifyingly difficult to analyze. The challenges of both qualitative and quantitative audio analyses mean that sound remains far less usable than textual resources. Fortunately, podcasting creates new opportunities for archiving, discovering, and analyzing audio content. This paper reports on an on-going project I am developing, called PodcastRE (http://podcastre.org) to create a searchable, researchable database of podcasts for media studies and communications scholars interested in the practices, politics, and potentials of podcasting. This web-based database of podcasts currently allows researchers to conduct key word searches within over 250,000 podcasts at the feed and episode level. It allows for macro analyses of general characteristics (e.g. show length, producer affiliation, topic, date and other metadata) and will eventually include the ability to visualize search results. Given the lack of metadata standards for podcasts, the dynamic nature of audio files, and the ephemerality of expired links and RSS feeds, I argue podcasts are ubiquitous yet highly vulnerable cultural artifacts. Despite these challenges, I researchers to turn their ears towards this media form; to consider sound as scholarship and what might be possible when such a large collection of audio culture becomes analyzable.
Date: 4/20/2018
Conference Name: Great Lakes Association for Sound Studies

Archives in the Digital Era. (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Archives in the Digital Era.
Author: Jeremy Wade Morris
Author: Eric Hoyt
Abstract: Seminar Discussion about issues of media preservation.
Date: 03/14/2018
Conference Name: Society for Cinema and Media Studies

The PodcastRE Database (Web Resources) [show prizes]
Title: The PodcastRE Database
Author: Jeremy Morris
Author: Eric Hoyt
Author: Sam Hansen
Author: Susan Noh
Author: Peter Sengstock
Abstract: The PodcastRE database and analytics site, built specifically from grant funding from the NEH. Allows for advanced search, keyword graphing and associated key word cloud generation.
Year: 2019
Primary URL: http://https://podcastre.org/analytics


Permalink: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/products.aspx?gn=HAA-255979-17