Can you hear me?

Can you hear me?

: I’m starting to see/hear more good audio work from audio amateurs on the web.

Jay Rosen‘s independent study student, Linda Blake, has an audio blog with stories about and from people affected by AIDS. I listened to some of it (downloaded on my iPod) and it’s very good.

It’s very much in the style of Ira Glass on NPR’s This American Life: Let people narrate their own stories but make sure it is told as a story (not a ramble). — which features Glass right now — does a good job of telling you and me how we can create such online radio ourselves. And it has some of the radio that has resulted; I listened to a report about a German rider lawnmower race, also good.

Now that I have my iPod, I was hoping to hear more Chris Lydon interviews but, unfortunately, his work is now streamed instead of downloadable. Which leads me to a minor rant:

Why can’t we download all of NPR?

: I don’t understand why NPR streams most of its programs or sells others via Audible (about whose product and customer service I’ve had a few minor rants as well).

Of course, I understand why record companies don’t want songs downloaded; they want to sell records. I understand why, say, Stern doesn’t want his shows streamed or downloaded; he doesn’t want to undercut his syndication.

But isn’t NPR’s mission to reach the largest possible audience? Why not make all shows downloadable? It’s not as if that would undercut advertising revenue; they have none. It’s not as if they’re making a fortune from Audible; I can’t imagine they are (or they’d be offering more shows there).

In fact, I’d bet that if NPR made all its shows available for download as MP3s — freely shared — it would increase not only its audience but also its donations: More grateful listeners means more bucks, no? And by making shows available for download instead of streaming and allowing them to be shared (or BitTorrented), NPR would save a fortune on bandwidth. Can’t lose.

So open the gates, NPR, and let us listen: MP3 it!

: UPDATE: I had mislinked to Linda Blake’s site. It’s here.