New Episode on our 1-year anniversary

Just for you blog-followers of Hi-Phi Nation, a brand new episode is available now on the webpage. The episode will be released on your podcast feeds Tuesday morning, which will mark the 1-year anniversary of the release of our first episode.

It has been a wild ride this past year. The very first episode of Season 1, still one of my favorites, receive 742 downloads on the first day of release. Since then, it has been downloaded 60,000 times. We currently have about 20,000 subscribers judging from the number of downloads new episodes get within a month of release, but across the board, episodes have eventually reached 50,000 downloads within a few months. We are well north of half a million downloads from around the world. This is not huge, but for an indie production done by one person in just a year, I think its pretty good. The only way to grow, with no advertising budget, is word of mouth.

I appreciate your patience with me this season as I juggle teaching and research as well as producing the show. I had to make a decision as to whether to finish production on a batch of episodes, and then release them more frequently, or just releasing them as I complete them. I decided on the latter, and it has meant about an episode a month. Behind the scenes, I am trying to secure a way to fund future productions, which involves a lot of grant-writing and grant-rejections. Its a high-risk, high-reward affair but its the only way I see of sustaining such a geeky niche show. That said, there is a lot of good news. I will be producing the show from Canberra, Australia, at the Australia National University, from Mid-June thru Mid-August, so send me your story tips from down under. I am also in the works for an entire season three based on one philosophical theme throughout.

Future episodes from this season will include questions about personal identity and the afterlife, another episode on the philosophy of music, and more collaboration with outside producers. Please continue to support the show through word of mouth, writing to journalists who cover podcasts, and donations through Patreon and Paypal. -Barry

Prudence and Podcasts

Greetings Hi-Phi Nation listeners. You may be wondering -and I know some of you are because I’ve seen messages on Twitter and iTunes-where are my Season 2 episodes?

I’ve been working on episode two all week, and hoped to get it out by Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, but alas, it just isn’t finished. I expect to have it out by Tuesday of next week. As many of you know, it is a big challenge to churn out content now that I am back at my 9-5 job, but they are coming. Here is how I envision the release of Season 2. I will be releasing episodes monthly going into the Christmas/New Years holiday break. I will be producing a large batch of episodes during that break and releasing in a more regular, bi-weekly schedule starting at the end of January, still with the aim of a total of 10 episodes by May. Hopefully I will also have time to update the website as well as thank all of you who have donated through Paypal and Patreon. Keep rating on iTunes, and stay subscribed, the episodes are coming!

Season 2 Starting Now!

It has been a while Hi-Phi Nation fans, but the first episode of Season 2 is scheduled to drop first thing in the morning in your podcatchers. But, you can listen to the full episode on the website and Soundcloud now if you can’t wait!

Rather than hold off until everything was perfect, and many episodes were done, I have decided that it is better this season to release episodes as I make them. You see, I am back at my day job this year, as a Professor at Vassar College, which means teaching, grading, and administering. But I have collected, and continue to collect, hours and hours of interviews and stories for the year, and I fully plan to release 10 episodes by the spring. We also have a new logo for Season 2 produced by the wonderful Katherine Zhou, whose artwork graced the cover of every episode of Season 1.


As always, I would greatly appreciate that you share the episode on Facebook, Twitter, or by word of mouth, and help the show continue to grow! I will be updating the website in the coming days to thank all of you donors who have helped support Hi-Phi Nation this coming season. In the meantime, happy listening!

Podcast Production Workshop

I am just completed giving the very first intensive two-day podcast production workshop for philosophers. The focus was the production of narrative forms and we included discussions of writing for audio, genres of audio for communicating academic ideas, voicing, and intensive software use and production techniques. The department at Sacramento State University invited me out for this and it looks like their administration, if not the Cal-State system as a whole, is interested in alternative forms of communicating scholarship, teaching, and course material and is providing equipment and training (me) for their faculty. I hope to see a lot of content from them soon. If you are in academia and interested in your own intensive workshop and equipment list, and think you have a sympathetic administration, send me an email.

The local NPR affiliate morning drive show Insight also interviewed me about Hi-Phi Nation in between segments about the wildfires in California and talking to a world-renown concern pianist. Here is a link to that audio.

A midsummer night’s update.

Greetings Hi-Phi Nation listeners! Its been a great summer for listenership so far. After great reviews from Slate Culture Gabfest, Huffington Post, and The Guardian, we are now halfway to our goal of 50K listeners per episode.

I am currently hard at work producing the second season, aiming for a late fall release date. You can most certainly help. I am currently looking for stories relating to a range of interesting philosophical issues. If any of this speaks to you, please send me an email, hiphination at gmail dot com. Revenge, addiction, free speech, numerology, weird art, mid-life crisis or conversions, becoming an atheist/leaving a religion or converting to a religion. Any other stories you think raise philosophical questions I also welcome!

Finally, we are the podcast spotlight this week at Discoverpods.

Philosophy of Music on RadioPublic

Out of all of the episodes I produced in Season 1, Episode 5: The Cops of Pop was the most fun overall, and it made me realized just how special the medium of audio could be for philosophy of music. I since sought out deeper thinking about music, popular and otherwise, and found episodes that really captured the spirit of thinking more deeply about the music we listen to, in a way that was still fun. I made a playlist for RadioPublic of those episodes, which I’m sharing here. If you don’t know about RadioPublic, it is a podcast app where you can listen to all your favorite shows, but it also contains playlists made by producers and curators of the best episodes of many podcasts you probably haven’t heard before. The playlists are done thematically, following an educational or entertainment theme of your choice. It is available on Android or iOS phones, and its free. You can download it from the link to my new playlist here, or from the website.