Scott Hanselman

Hanselminutes Podcast 1

January 11, 2006 Comment on this post [22] Posted in ASP.NET | Reviews | Podcast | XML | Bugs | Tools
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HanselminutesI've started a Podcast with the expertise and stewardship of Carl Franklin. The name comes from Travis Illig, but the goal of the show is simple.

Avoid wasting the listener's time. 

  • I've said that podcasting sucks before, so it's my goal that this not suck. Carl has done a great job with the production and the quality of the sound and editing is first rate. However, this isn't .NET Rocks, nor is it the Hanselhour. The first show is a little long for my taste. I'd like to get them to ~30 minutes, which is 15-20 if you listen fast, and full of content.
  • This podcast will have similar content as my blog - gadgets, obscure bugs that everyone hits, software development discussion, trends, techniques. It'll have a high "content/crap" ratio. The sponsors have a short blurb at the beginning and at the midpoint, and the sponsors are pertinent to the technology. There will also be a partial transcript of the month's shows printed in the .NET Developer's Journal magazine.
  • I recommend you listen to it in double speed to make good use of your time. Winamp is a free MP3 player known for it's flexiblity with playbackspeed. It could also be a good commute listen, or something you listen too while you're coding or eating lunch.
  • Each show will include a number of links, and all those links will be posted along with the show on the site. There were 15 sites mentioned in this first episode, some planned, some not.
  • The basic MP3 feed is here, and the iPod friendly one is here. There's a number of other ways you can get it (streaming, straight download, etc) that are all up on the site just below the fold. I use iTunes, myself, to listen to most podcasts, but I also use FeedDemon and it's built in support. IPodder is also a nice, free, client.
  • I have, and will, also include the enclosures to this feed you're reading, so if you're already subscribed to ComputerZen and you're not interested in cluttering your life with another feed, you have the choice to get the 'cast as well.
  • If there's a topic you'd like to hear, perhaps one that is better spoken than presented on a blog, or a great tool you can't live without, contact me and I'll get it in the queue!

I hope it doesn't suck. Enjoy.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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January 11, 2006 10:09
Just loaded up the podcast. Sounds great. Voice is clear. The chatter is interesting.

BUT Seriously, whats up with the ads. Its almost 1:30 minutes of ads. If I downloaded the podcast, I could skip it but for streams, really quite annoying.

Any chance you can put the ads at the end of the stream or cut the ads down to maybe just 20-30 seconds in the beginning?

Otherwise, great job. Can't wait to hear more from you. I would be especially interested in hearing more about security in terms of banking.

January 11, 2006 10:14
Thanks Sushant. The bandwidth to host these is upwards of 10Mbps upstream, and that costs money. The sponsors pay for the bandwidth. For an average show the 90 seconds of sponsors is about 3-5% of the length of the show which is better than the 25% that's taken up by network TV's commericials. :)

Seriously though, I respect that for streams the inability to "fast forward" can be frustrating. Does your RSS reader support podcasts (downloading)? FeedDemon has some pretty flexible options for what you want to download and when.
January 11, 2006 10:22
Sushant...I tried again with Media Player and the WMA streaming feed and it DID allow random access through the feed. Which feed did you look at with what version of the Windows Media Player?
January 11, 2006 10:27
I even get random access on my PocketPC Phone Media Player when listening to streams.
January 11, 2006 10:35
I used the WMA Full Show. When I tried the WMA Stream from Firefox, it just showed me a blank page. I just tried the WMA Stream from IE and it worked and it also allowed me to get random access too.

I guess there is a problem on my end then. Sorry! :-)
January 11, 2006 13:27
great voice quality , i enjoy to hear the show while i'm driving to work.
i known most of the applications you mentioned because you blog about them before...
The "bug solver" part in the end of the show was very intresting too...
look forword to hear the next episode soon

Good luck ,
January 11, 2006 18:45
I haven't listened yet, but I will today... I should probably start driving into work during rush hour so I have more podlistening time.

One thing I wanted to point out: view your blog on and it embeds a Windows Media Player right into the page where the enclosure tag is. That's pretty slick.
January 11, 2006 18:51
Another great PWOP production! Great show, Scott (and Carl).

However, as I listened, I made notes of what I thought to be minor innaccuracies:

1. You mentioned in passing (~20:30) that the XBox will find video on a UPnP or USB device, and a little later, you said that you were looking into getting video off of your PSP (~22:30).

The Xbox 360 will not detect or play any video except when it's used as a "Bobsled" device (Media Center Extender) and the media is on the Media Center's hard drive. In addition, you're limited to only MPEG1/2 and WMV streams for video that the 360 does play (regardless of what codecs are installed on the MCE itself).

2. I haven't personally seen the small media remote control for sale in Wal*Mart, etc. I've only seen the large remote control, which includes the number keys. Even though people may have received the small remote for free, you can't use triple-tap (cell phone-style text entry) with the small remote. Therefore, if someone is shopping for an Xbox 360 media remote control, go for the big one.
January 11, 2006 21:31
Jason - thanks for the corrections. The way they are handling the video abilities is very interesting, IMHO, as it's pretty obvious that the 360 *could* (physically) show video, but it's tied to the MCPC.

On the PSP side, the 360 will play music directly of my PSP, and my next experiment was to see if the PSP could host video...sounds like you're saying that won't work?

On the remote, I noticed the text problem with the remote last week and have stopped using it altogether now that my Harmony has 360 support. Bummer to have a wasted remote.
January 11, 2006 22:52
Great! I really like the content/ratio. Similar to Wally McClure's ASPNET Podcast and the Polymorphic Podcast - short and packed with content. There are plenty of "third place" podcasts, bring on the short content packed podcasts!

I'd recommend instead of tinyurl or shrinkster. The reason is that url123 allows you to eliminate the random letters / numbers, which are impossible to remember if you're listening while driving or exercising. With url123, you can pick the key, so you can user or You can even get a free subdomain, so it can be You mentioned that you were thinking about implementing this kind of thing yourself; if you do I'd recommend (as a longtime podcast listener who has trouble remembering 39Zed2xNiner) that you use non-random keys.

As always, Carl's production is great.

Oh, and why do you recommend Winamp? WMP has great support for play-speed tweaking. Winamp was cool in '97, but...
January 11, 2006 23:26
Jon - Ya, I know I'm too old school...I just find Winamp to be very flexible.
January 11, 2006 23:38
Hey, if we sign up do we get little T-shirts or web site badges that say, "We're the Hansel-men!"? ;)
January 11, 2006 23:44
Hey Scott. Congrats on your first episode. I must say I really enjoyed it but if you can take some constructive criticism I'm willing to give it. My biggest beef with the cast was your presentation. I've seen you speak multiple times and I know your and engaging speaker. That didn't come accross on the cast. I've done some radio and I've found that the key to sounding great is to have lots and lots of energy. Other than that I liked the content and, oh yea, get rid of that Franklin guy ;).
January 12, 2006 3:42
If you recommend we listen to it double speed, why not release it double speed? Make it easy on the user. Might have the nice side effect of shrinking file size (and bandwidth expense).

I agree with you that podcasting sucks. I can't imagine any technical info you could provide audibly that would improve on the experience of reading a blog post (where I can click on links, copy & paste code, re-read a sentence a few times to grok it, etc). I'm also sure my tone would be different if my commute was longer than 5 minutes, so I'm not going to try and convince anyone of my point of view.

But your blog is great - I hope I'm not going to miss out on any "podcast exclusive" content now.
January 12, 2006 4:41
Just listened to the first show. I agree about the length of the ads, but I understand they are necessary. At least they are a) in predictable places, b) easily skipped by fast forwarding, and c) not nearly as long as 90 seconds when played in "fast" mode.

I thought the first show was a bit chatty, and look forward to a ~30 min show. Maybe at a very high speed we'll have a show measured in Scottyseconds. ;) I'm a frequent reader of your blog though, so time will tell whether there's too much overlap between the show and the blog content.

FWIW, I'm an old school winamp guy as well. Maybe it's because I haven't explored other alternatives, but I love the fact that the player loads quickly and I can be listening to an internet radio stream in less than 2 seconds.
January 12, 2006 14:31
Good job Scott and Carl. Enjoyed the first show and I am telling all my friends.
January 12, 2006 19:26
Didn't suck. ;-)

Great job, guys, on all fronts. I jotted down multiple URLs, which is a good indication of useful info imparted.

Since I don't see an XBox 360 in my near future, I discovered (I'm probably the last one) that there are other devices that use Windows Media Connect. Is there a way to use WMP (or other players) with WMC?

Suggested topic: I'm interested in knowing recommendations on video chat setup (hardware esp.). It would be nice to know multiple price points for affordability. Simplicity is important too, as I'd like to talk to non-techie family members.

(Speaking of which, Scott, a friggin $250+ remote? Yikes!)
January 13, 2006 0:58

I just tried to hit the page and can't get to it. Looking forward to listening. Just wanted to let you know in case you didn't. Thanks.

January 13, 2006 2:02
Ya, something's wrong. We're looking into it.
January 13, 2006 5:32
Scott, cool that you got in some dasBlog references! Since your going to do 30 minutes each week, try to have 2/3 minutes each week on something dasblog. You have a big dasblog following, over and above just the ASP.NET/geek crowd. (Smile)

My 2-cents!

PS was 8.5 gigs in it's first month, and we are already up to 4.5 gig today! Wonder if podcast plug is responsible???

January 13, 2006 10:20
John - looks like we filled the bandwidth. It's back up.
January 13, 2006 20:44
I like what you've done so far. One suggestion would be to include the links within the feed. That way I don't have to jump out to the site to grab 'em.<br /><br />Good Job!

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.