At the end of the day, the last thing I'd want to do is alienate anyone, or worse, overwhelm anyone with too many choices. It's lite going into Starbucks and just wanting coffee when they have all these mad blends on the menu and you feel like a five year old trying to decipher something that should be simple to begin with.
At the same time, I also feel a little torn, providing 128 all of this time, and then switching things up without warning. It's like looking forward to your favorite meal, and after taking that first bite, discovering that the cook cut back on the ingredients.
On top of that, not everyone has a high speed connection. Sure, there isn't as many folks on dial-up anymore, but not everyone has access to 10 to 15 mb/sec worth of downloading bandwidth either, and as large as these files are growing that maybe the only way one could download these files comfortably. On top of that, it makes it hard for anyone who wants to enjoy the show, but has a computer incapable of playing a file a big as, say, Ep. 12 is in it's remastered form.
Guess I've lost my perception of what it's like to not have access a newer pc or a fast connection (man, has working for an ISP spoiled me...), and I definitely have to consider anyone who may be a regular listener but doesn't/hasn't posted here yet. If they're experiencing any of the troubles above, they might stop listening, and honestly, I can't have that happen.
Here's an idea. After V2Buster's request for a separate feed for "Unplugged" episodes, I've been working on uploading the whole catalog of Unplugged to it's own separated RSS. Nothing would change on the main RSS as eps are released, but those who want strictly "Unplugged" can subscribe to that RSS not have to worry about Feed Client a new episode twice over. If I thought of the "Unplugged" edition in the beginning I would have done this from jump, but sadly here we are with an integrated feed. Since many folks subscribe to the main RSS already (especially on iTunes), the last thing I'd want to do is remove "Unplugged" and leave them with no place to find it.
Anyone savvy enough to utilize a RSS feed to pull down episodes, I assume, is also savvy enough to be able to tell what the purpose of that RSS feed would be. If there was a Feed that provided "Unplugged Episodes" only, then I'd hope that those who were only interested in that version of the show would pull episodes from that feed alone.
If I made a feed specifically for "Hi-Fi" eps (which would only be updated with any shows that run extremely long), this might suit the fancy of those who already enjoy the show at 128 kbps.
Most importantly, I'd make sure to to do it in a way that wouldn't overwhelm anyone.
- Nothing would change for the distro for the eps here, on iTunes, or MySpace.
- No reason to split eps and cause bedlam. If an episode runs long, it gets compressed to a bitrate and size that reasonable to download and placed in the main RSS. (Well, a far more reasonable size than 150 Megs...)
- No additional direct downloads for 14 different versions of the same episode would be posted in any blog or thread either, just what you've come to expect: Standard
. That's all.
- There would only an advisory underneath referring anyone interested in the "Hi-Fi" edition of a "Showkiller" to subscribe to the feed listed below in the "links" section. No direct links to anything but what is in the Main RSS feed, and if anyone is interested in pursuing the "Hi-Fi" editions, I'm sure they'll go through the trouble of subscribing.
- Using Ep. 12 as an example here's how it would look in a thread here or on "Gundamn! @ MAHQ's" blog site:
Gundamn! @ MAHQ Episode 012: "They Were Elevens" (80 kbps - 90 Megs)
- Unplugged Version
Also available in 128k! Subscribe to the "Hi-Fi Feed" in the Links below!
And that's the long and short of it. This won't slow down anyone who wants to grab-the-show-and-go and shouldn't confuse anyone (hopefully). With the show returning to it's original running length in Ep. 14, I doubt I'd have to post "Hi-Fi" versions often, but anytime I do, it's nothing to refer anyone interested to the RSS feed listed out of line of sight with the other links below.
My priority would be to the Main RSS feed first though. After both versions of an episode is uploaded there, I'd worry about the other feeds afterwards. Wouldn't want any releases to be delayed due to prioritizing any vanity feeds over the main one. Just a little "omake" for the audiophiles out there like me that enjoy the show at the current bitrate. ^_^
Anyway, it's just a thought I had and would be no trouble on my end to do as an afterthought.