How to make private, at-home podcasts for family and friends

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home podcasts
You don't need any fancy gear to record and publish a podcast.
Photo: Jonathan Farber/Unsplash

You’re stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, and maybe you’re spending lots of time keeping up with family and friends. But here’s an idea: Why not make a podcast? Not that you should stop actually talking to the people you like and love, but as a home project, making a podcast is a lot of fun.

And if you’re a musician, or you have kids, you can do a lot more than just monologuing into your iPhone’s mic. You can talk, add music, interview other family members, and anything else you can think of. Then, your friends and family will have a cool show to look forward to every day, or however often you publish.

Google Podcasts bags a brand-new look and key features on iOS

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Google-Podcasts-iPhone
It's finally a real podcasts app.
Photo: Google

Google in recent days began rolling out a brand-new look for its Podcasts app on iOS for mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad. The overhaul integrates a number of new features into a cleaner user interface that’s split into just three tabs.

The changes are designed to make using Google Podcasts easier and more enjoyable — and to bring it up to speed with rivals.

ConnectionOpen is like Skype for musicians

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ConnectionOpen Marshall amp and guitar player
ConnectionOpen lets musicians collaborate over the internet.
Photo: Daniel Chekalov/Unsplash

If you sit in front of an iPad typing up Apple-related how-tos all day long, then working from home is no problem. In fact, it’s simply the next step up from “working from bed.” But for some professions, like musicians, working from home is difficult if not impossible. You might have a home studio, but you still need to get the band together to record them.

Or do you? ConnectionOpen is an app that lets musicians play together over the internet. The wild thing is, it’s a standard plugin for Logic, Ableton, Pro Tools and other audio-editing apps. And now, it’s also available for the iPad.

Spotify wants labels to pay for playlist promos

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Spotify Premium update October 2018
Labels might start shelling out big bucks for more visibility on Spotify.
Photo: Spotify

Spotify is reportedly making a big push to get record labels to pay to promote artists’ music in its service as a new way to generate revenue.

Despite having nearly double the number of paid subscribers as Apple Music, Spotify still isn’t a profitable company and is looking to the music industry to help it create new revenue streams. Although the talks are still ongoing, you could soon see sponsored songs in your playlists and other areas of the app.

How to make music like the Apple fan who made Steve Jobs dance

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How to make music like the Apple fan who made Steve Jobs dance
Jonathan Mann has written a song every day for the last 11 years. That's more than 4,000 songs.
Photo: Jonathan Mann

Few of us know what it’s like to have our music played at an Apple keynote, but 37-year-old Apple fan Jonathan Mann does. Way back in the days of the iPhone 4, he composed a song about Apple’s Antennagate PR disaster. Not only did it get played at an Apple event, it actually made Steve Jobs dance.

For the past 11 years, Mann has recorded a new song every day, using his trusty Mac setup. That’s more than 4,000 songs in total. Now he’s launched a new podcast revealing his creative process. And, true to form, the latest episode features a song about the Mac Pro.

“My first computer, when I was just a toddler, was an Apple IIe,” Mann told Cult of Mac. “My mom used it for work, and my favorite activity was just to hold down different keys on the boot screen and watch the letters go and go.”

macOS Catalina is out with new apps, Apple Arcade, Sidecar and more

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macOS Catalina is here. But proceed from Mojave with caution.
macOS Catalina is here. But proceed from Mojave with caution.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s big update for Macs, macOS Catalina, is finally out today bringing with it a host of new features, apps, privacy improvements, and much more.

Developers just received the gold master version of macOS Catalina last week, but today’s launch was a bit of a surprise. Anyone that has a compatible Mac can grab the new update from the Mac App Store for free.

Pocket Casts goes free with optional ‘Plus’ subscription

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Pocket-Casts-iPhone
Download it today!
Photo: Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts, one of the best third-party podcast apps on iOS, is now available for free.

It won’t cost you anything to download the app anymore, and you’ll get to enjoy some of its best features — like cross-platform syncing and the dark theme — for absolutely nothing.

An optional Pocket Casts Plus subscription, priced at just $0.99 a month, gets you even more.

How to search podcast transcripts in iOS 13

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Podcast transcripts search
Podcast searches are set to get way better in iOS 13.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple added full transcript search to its podcast directory in iOS 13. Even though you can’t actually read the podcast transcripts, this is still huge. You can search across the content of podcast episodes the way you can search websites with DuckDuckGo (or other search engines) today.

Overcast adds fantastic new podcast recommendations feature

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News, iPhone apps, iPad apps, podcasts
News, iPhone apps, iPad apps, podcasts
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Overcast, the podcast app of choice for lovers of good design, powerful-yet-straightforward features, and the color orange, just added a brand-new recommendations feature.

Previously, Overcast used a Twitter-based recommendation engine. But developer Marco Arment says almost nobody used it. Now, he’s replaced it with recommendations based on users’ personal listening habits, and the result is amazing. I already added a few new podcast subscriptions based on its suggestions.