Ever since the first episode was released in the summer of 1996, the Force Field has been a labor of love for me. A lot of time and effort goes into the production of each show and almost as much time and effort goes into the promotion and distribution of it. Although it has been over two years since the initial launch of the show, the topics discussed in the early episodes are still discussed among IT service providers in forums and news groups today and are still relevant to current issues and trends in the industry. Even the very first shows are still downloaded and listened to frequently.
Of course, all of this costs money. I have been producing the show on an advertising model and although it does help, it really isn’t enough to justify the long hours that take me away from my family and provide for them. Realizing this, I decided to do two things.
First, I am going to revise the format and distribution method of the show. Second, I am going to re-release the older shows to follow this new format.
Beginning February 2009 the show will be released in two versions. The first version will be as you know it now, with news, views, reviews and interviews in the same format as before. It will also remain FREE, supported by advertising.
The second version will be a premium edition with added content, longer segments and NO commercial advertising. It will be available in MP3 and higher quality audio formats for download at .99 cents per episode.
During the last two months I have been working on a project that launches today. Two months of planning and six weeks in production and deployment have culminated in the release of The Force Field Podcast Premium Edition Volume 1 , a collection of the first six episodes of The Force Field podcast.
This premium edition includes:
- Original archived News and Comment segment
- three to six minutes of additional content in each episode
- A brand new segment produced specifically for each episode
The Premium Edition is available in mp3, Ogg Vorbis and WMA formats your listening pleasure. This episode is also available for purchase on CD mastered from the original show master (not compiled from mp3 release recordings).
There were some recorded phone calls and interviews in these first episodes that were not the best quality due to poor connections and limited resources for recording some telephony transmissions. However, the audio on these recordings were edited and remastered for acceptable quality under the circumstances.
One particular remastering that worked out well was with Episode 3 in which I talked with Dave in Alaska. I had a lot of trouble with the interview in post production due to the poor connection and when the show was originally released had to be pulled and re-released again because the audio levels were so weak listeners simply couldn’t hear Dave. Even after several reworks it was still very weak. This always bothered me.
I now have tools to “fix it in the mix” somewhat and when I was working on the Premium Edition used the technology now at my disposal to give it another try. You can only do so much with bad audio but the call is much more audible and cleaner than it was before. You can now hear Dave without fiddling with the volume throughout the show. I was impressed with results.
To launch and distribute the new compilation we also launched The Force Field e-Store . The e-store was part of the original concept for the portal and a very basic version of the store was tied to CafePress for The Force Field Official T-Shirt, mugs and other gear but the full shop was never actually implemented. While it is still in beta and isn’t fully branded (I simply haven’t had the time) it is functional. I will tweak it in time.
The Force Field Premium Edition Volume 1 is now available. individual episode tracks can be purchased for .99 each per format and the complete six episode volume in mp3 format should be available within the next day or so for $4.99. You buy five and get one free in that deal.
The CDs should be available shortly and will be sold both individually and as a full 3 CD set. Each CD contains two episodes. The CDs are $4.99 each and the complete volume is only $9.95 plus $2 shipping within the continental US.
While the Premium Edition is not free, it will have value added content that is not present in the free, ad supported version. The Premium Edition is also commercial free. Did I remember to say that The Force Field Premium Edition has no ads? Yes, I did. So before I get lynched by my listeners let me tell everyone that The Force Field podcast is still free and it will be free. All I am doing is offering another version with extra toppings for just a little extra. Ninety nine cents isn’t much but it could help keep the lights on.
You can visit The Force Field Official e-Store here .