Five Points – 29

Podcast Converter – 

Part of my job as the CEO of Exploration is to identify media to administer (e.g. manage the copyrights, resolve inevitable ownership conflicts, and account / pay royalties).  Until recently, our clients consisted exclusively of music publishers, record labels, and TV/Film companies.

But I’m always on the hunt for new verticals…

I got to thinking…there must be a gazillion hours of analog media on reels in the basement of Yankee Stadium…all of the world class commentary and banter, the chirps and one liners, the news that broke during the games of the greatest team…I wonder if there were any way I could digitize them to allow for distribution and ultimately monetization on YouTube or another platform.  Is there a large enough market for that stuff to make it worth while?  Is the licensing sorted out, I rhetorically asked myself.  I told myself to maybe think of another idea…seemed to be a bit too much gristle around it to really make money and a difference.

Then my mind skip traced to another idea..somewhat connected to finding bodies of work that are going un-monetized and have mass appeal – PODCASTS!!!

So, I built a free tool that turns an audio only podcast MP3 into an audio/video MP4 for distribution on YouTube and Facebook.  You just cut/paste the address of the audio from iTunes/Skitcher/SoundCloud and drag/drop an image to create a static video.  The rendering and distribution all takes place in the cloud, which is a good – it takes somewhere on the order of 4 to 10 times the length of time to render audio to video on a laptop, depending on the power of one’s machine then to upload it may double the time again…try doing this for your entire podcast library…better go get a sandwich.

I quietly made this available to a few professional podcasters about a year ago and word of mouth has powered the app’s growth ever since.  We’ve only just now added logging on the back end to be able to monitor the amount of video being produced…but I estimate the total to be in the multi-10k hours at this point.

If you or someone you know is producing podcasts, you may consider this tool for distribution on YouTube and Facebook.  It’s free.


Belt –

One hack that I recently learned is that a belt with a composite buckle doesn’t need to be removed at airport security.

A bit of experimenting led me to the Propper Tactical Duty Belt ($10).  It’s designed for Law Enforcement/Military, so its super strong and built to carry stuff on it.  It’s also pretty innocuous.  And perhaps most important, it’s infinitely adjustable…the buffet better watch out!

Battery Charger – 

This battery charger is a beast.  It’s a quite heavy, but it’ll charge my phone 8 times with one recharge.  It’ll also charge my MacBook.  I’ve travelled for a week and never plugged into the wall.

I found this charger via Matt Mullenweg’s (founder of WordPress and others) annual What’s In My Bag post last year.  Here’s this year’s –

In and Of Itself –

I had to work in New York City this past week and was lucky enough to see In and Off Itself at the Daryl Roth theatre.  It’s a small theatre, off broadway magic show.  And it is completely wonderful.  Definitely check it out if you find yourself in the City.  Many thanks, Miles Feinberg, for the ticket and good company!

What I’m Reading and Re-reading – 

Paul Graham’s Essay‘s are required reading for anyone building a startup.  He was built what became Yahoo Stores and then, more importantly, Y Combinator, the preeminent startup incubator in the world.  Learning and applying the guidance generously shared via these articles is like getting a solid head start in a hard race.  I reread a few of his essay’s this week while on the road.

Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule
Do Things That Don’t Scale
How To Make Wealth

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Exploration Weekly – Investors Respond to Spotify’s Direct Licensing Deals / NMPA Discusses DOJ Consent Decrees / Net Neutrality Officially Ends