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Microsoft Killed The Soccer Podcast Star? (EPL Talk Podcast)

Richard Farley joins for a special episode of the EPL Talk Podcast focused on the news this week that Microsoft has acquired Skype for $8.5 billion. For those of you wondering what this news has to do with soccer, you’ll want to listen to the episode to better understand how the acquisition will create waves in the soccer podcast world which could have damaging effects on soccer fans worldwide who consume podcasts on a regular basis.

In addition to the technology news, Richard and co-host Laurence McKenna discuss some of the Premier League storylines of the week including Liverpool’s continued impressive form.

We welcome your feedback or your thoughts regarding the points discussed. Please post them in the comments section below.

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  1. Joe

    May 19, 2011 at 11:23 am

    This podcast was an interesting listen but I just want to make a few points on what was said:

    3:00 – “I have an inherent fear that anything attached to Microsoft is going to crash and burn.”

    Perfect non-biased reporting there!

    4:25 – “Mac runs on a Linux kernel so Mac PCs are able to run more open source software”

    The whole Apple ecosystem (iOS, Mac, etc.) is one of the most closed source systems. Just look at their very strict approval process for iTunes and iPhone/Mac apps. It may be based on the Linux kernel but it can still be closed tighter than a fire door.

    26:10 – “The more creative people have Macs”

    I seriously hope this was a joke because it’s a completely stupid thing to say. This is a typical thing Mac users say when they are trying to “look down” on people that use other systems.

    You do say later on that you didn’t mean it to be a Mac vs Windows debate but both of you did let your prejudices come through.

    Personally I feel that Microsoft will still allow it to be used for free on any platform but will evolve it and give it better integration into their products e.g. Windows Phone, Xbox, Windows, Office, etc. It doesn’t meant that the Mac version will stop working but it might just mean that you are less likely to be given the future bells and whistles that are added on. However, if you say that you can create a perfectly good podcast with what you have at the moment, why do you need the extra bits?

  2. Simon

    May 16, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    This was the worst Podcast I have hard in a long time this had nothing to do with Football what so ever it was like listing in to a Bunnies meeting. How long in this podcast did you talk football like 5 min if I want this kind of stuff well I would go to cnn.. Shame on you EPL talk for putting this crap up. I no longer have you at the top of the list of podcast to hear. WFD is so much better than you at least I no they talk Football. And there is a reason why WFD never talked about this at all because it has nothing to do with the game.

    • Laurence EPLTalk

      May 17, 2011 at 4:33 am

      Hi Simon,

      Thanks for the feedback. I know what you mean, there isn’t much direct football comment in there. But it was relevant and clearly the comments here reflect that you can hear different things in the same podcast.

      With respect, EPLTalk isn’t aiming to be like WFD. WFD have spoken (at length) about things which aren’t directly linked to football before, I won’t go into specifics because it would be wasting your time and mine. Directly comparing the two doesn’t really attack the issue that you’re talking about. EPLTalk and WFD different in this market, a difference which I think most people are happy to read/see/hear.

      This pod is an embryo of a wider idea, showing the culture around football. I think that should have been made clearer throughout. I’d be interested to hear your views on the podcast. What would you like to hear?

      Gimme an email if you have the time.



  3. Harry

    May 13, 2011 at 11:31 am

    This is the 2nd time I listened to your show and all I got was a tech blog???

    WOW!! Guys…good show! I have my own podcast (yes I use skype via a Mac and actually it’s not even a soccer show…HAH!) and I know some of the trials and tribulations in using software to make sure that you get a good show. And the fact that you guys live at 3 different points in the world is also something special.

    Thanks for letting people know exactly how hard (and to a point time consuming) it can be getting a show together but how Skype has actually enabled people to come together and put things out like this especially when you are doing this just for fun and for little or no pay.

    If anyone is complaining about the show or the fact that “Mac Fanboys” went into detail about the SKype purchase and what it could mean for Mac users, I chellenge them to also try putting together a podcast 2 times a month AT LEAST and see what kind of challenge it is.

    Keep up the good work.

  4. Earl Reed

    May 13, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Conventional logic says that the market will dictate Microsoft’s strategy.

    That being said, I used to play Links LS golf a lot. Back in the late 90’s, it was the best computer golf game, way better than the EA junk. Microsoft bought the brand around ’99. Within four years they stopped producing newer versions of the game.

    I doubt they blow off $8.5 Billion in that same kind of fashion, but I do think they will attempt to redefine the market economics…if only to spite alternative OS users.

  5. dw

    May 12, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Well that was one half-hour of my life I’ll never get back 😉 Kind or reminds me of drunken college dorm-room conversations. I kept waiting for the promised discussion of football to start. You guys sure found a lot of ways to say “maybe Microsoft acquiring Skype will be bad for podcasting, but maybe it won’t”.

    BTW Is there even one other podcast that uses Skype? I’m not saying that there isn’t, but you didn’t give a single example of one in the podcast.

    • The Gaffer

      May 12, 2011 at 9:28 pm

      dw, a better question would be to name which soccer podcasts don’t use Skype — especially when there are more than one person on a pod and they’re in different locales.

      The Gaffer

    • Phenoum

      May 14, 2011 at 12:12 am

      Except that they never got to the “maybe it wont” part… They were too busy flapping on about how Mac’s run their life and they worship Steve Jobs. These guys CLEARLY havent’ a clue about the current tech landscape.

      Saying that Apple is MORE open than Windows? Acting like Audacity was only free for macs? This is a bunch of fanboi’ism from a bunch of fearmongerers – and Yes – you were actually doing that for 42 whole minutes. It speaks volumes to us to find out how incompetent you are with tech and I now realize why you never have a proper EQ on your guests. I’ve had heaps of problems with the trash audio outputs on iMac’s and MIDI issues on MBP’s. I’ve run professional audio for over 14 years and run into these problems about the same b/w the two OS’s.

      Oh – and the simple claim that MS buying Skype = no more skype for Mac’s is honestly a ludicrous concept to begin with. Yes – the ENTIRE point of this podcast is based on an unusually unlikely assumption. Also – revenue streams? There are MANY people who pay to skype-in and -out to actual landlines – there’s a revenue stream in place and established. There’s integration with BING, improvement to their WP7 phone OS’s mindshare, and taking Skype to the Xbox.

      In short – stick to what you actually have a clue about – and dont push your fanboi trash over the air like that. It’s annoying to hear you stumble over each other in spewing this stupidity, and I lost a lot of respect for you as competent hosts in this short podcast.

      • Laurence

        May 14, 2011 at 2:53 am

        The range of comments here demonstrate that the show didn’t express the message that we wanted it to. The ‘if’ factor was very important and something that we discussed off air A LOT. So the fact that it didn’t get said on the podcast is disappointing and I agree with you. It didn’t sound balanced in that sense.

        The title is misleading in my opinion, but it’s more flippant than serious.

        I still think that some of the points stand. Bigger companies buying up smaller ones can be a dangerous game in democracy online. That’s what I’m interested in.

        The mixture of responses that I have seen here and elsewhere online shows that two people online can hear the same thing and come away with completely different opinions. That’s great!

        I’d be interested to hear your ideas on this and football too, so if you have a moment drop me an email:


  6. ArthurPol

    May 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I don’t really understand the concern since there are dozens of multi-platform VOIP alternatives to skype out there, such as Google Talk, SIP, etc…

    Maybe you talked about this at the end of your podcast. I didn’t listen to the whole thing since it seemed like you were missing the obvious.

    Some of the speculation in the podcast about 20% podcasts going away because of skype really seemed overblown and not based on any actual empirical analysis.

    A greater obstacle to maintaining a pod is likely related to keeping up interest among contributors and finding revenue streams (for labor, rather than for equipment).

    If you look at the costs of putting a podcast together, the labor is by far the largest cost.

    Also, you all failed to acknowledge that many of Microsoft’s products are free and multiplatform. You never really explain why you assume they will necessarily monetize skype.

    I am not a Microsoft fan, by any means; and I am not excited by their acquisition of skype. But I think any speculation that this will “kill podcasting” is way overblown.

    • Laurence

      May 12, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      Really interesting points ArthurPol. I agree with what you say. This was exactly the kind of comment that I was looking for when I thought about the podcast. It was a very ‘of the moment’ idea to record and we thought it would be interesting to see what other people thought when we gave them some insight into how we make the podcast.

      There are a number of podcasts out there made with Skype, but you’re right 20% does seem high. Maybe it’s worth some more research and a follow up pod…

      EPLTalk is an experiment in that sense in trying to improve a blog over a period of time and finding the right people who are motivated with the labour etc. It is a real task to monetise a network like this and sometimes I stand back and am impressed with all of the behind the scenes stuff that goes on to make this possible.

      There’s a wider subject here as far as I’m concerned and I don’t know if that came over in the podcast. But it certainly is an interesting way of unpacking the wider issues around neo-liberalism and the free-markets online. They often have the most direct effect on a site like this…

      We both commented on the obvious points I guess, keep the feedback coming!



  7. Brian

    May 12, 2011 at 2:49 am

    How can you guys talk about how great a tool Skype is, when your podcast is possibly the WORST audio quality I’ve ever had to listen to? You guys act like Skype is some amazing technology, but sadly it’s become increasingly clear the reason I hardly ever listen- the poor audio quality grates on my ears. I wish you would invest in some technology that helped you out there. Like all Mac fanboys, you’re so blinded by your allegiance to your overpriced hardware and OS for dummies; you don’t realize the Apple brand is what keeps you from staying in the loop on proper audio recording devices. My hundred dollar soundcard produces better audio quality, something I was able to add to my self-built computer. Sadly, adding internal hardware is something that has never entered your collective fanboy conscience, because most Mac models are so restrictive in hardware configuration.
    I hear you guys talk about Mac being an open source network and had to rewind, just to ensure you weren’t talking about Linux. I am not sure where you can deduce that open source technology is synonymous with Macs and less with any other operating system.
    There was so much sad, unknowledgeable speculation I had to write in and just bring some awareness to a very biased, paranoid and ill-informed listening experience.

    • Laurence

      May 12, 2011 at 3:08 am

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks for the feedback. Keep it coming!

      The compression of the audio is actually the problem very often, it records fine and actually very clear, with little quality loss like you would expect any average machine to do. I don’t compress it so I can’t comment past that.

      Like I say in the comment above, Richard and I both work with Mac and PC on a daily basis.

      It was never really a Mac or PC podcast, it was about the market and the possibilities. Like I said, I wanted to unpack some of the ideas around Skype. I wouldn’t have made a 40 minute podcast if I wanted to compare Mac and PC.

      I don’t think there is an awful lot of PC bashing in this pod, Richard explicitly says that at 26:00.

      I have enough ‘FCP v Avid’ or ‘Sony v Panasonic’ conversations in a day, I don’t want to make a podcast about that. I don’t belief that Mac is more synonymous with Open Source, we say that it’s based on Linux and that is pretty much the world’s most famous open source affiliate.

      I hope you’ll be back some time soon for the football content, those opinions don’t change whether you record on PC or Mac.



      • Richard Farley

        May 12, 2011 at 3:35 am

        You’re a great man, Mr. McKenna.

      • oliver

        May 12, 2011 at 9:49 am

        it’s not based on linux BTW… it’s based on BSD which is unix. Linux is unix-like, but technically, it’s not unix.

        Just being pedantic 🙂

        • Laurence

          May 12, 2011 at 10:00 am

          I knew it as soon as I’d pressed ‘Submit’…a few days of typing frantically and sections of your mind begin to merge together. I think the point still stands, 🙂 right?

          Pedantic works well! Especially on a comment thread! Sharpens the mind, thanks for bringing me up on that!

    • Richard Farley

      May 12, 2011 at 3:43 am

      Wow. This is going to be a great comments thread. If only with Laurence or I had an extensive background in systems administration and application development. And if only you could go back the podcasts from January to March (you know, before the team started to break up) and hear the quality from when we had a studio set up.

      And if only anything I could say here would matter.

      Laurence! HELP!

  8. cj

    May 11, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Was looking to drop one of my soccer podcasts, and I’m glad you made the decision for me. What a pile of speculative crap and Mac fanboyism.

    • Laurence

      May 12, 2011 at 2:13 am

      I’m sorry you feel that way cj. It was prefaced as a ‘speculative’ podcast, a pilot idea of things that will/could effect us on the show. Not so much a football based show. Richard and I both work with Mac and PC on a daily basis, I guess we just didn’t make that clear enough.

      Thanks for listening. I hope we’ll see you back on the podcast again some time soon.

  9. trickybrkn

    May 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    The great thing about technology and internet apps, is that when start ups sell off to the big boys and get absorbed into the monster, the innovation really happens. Look at Friendster to Myspace to Facebook. If Redmond changes the nature of Skype, then someone will create an even better product to fill that need and make billions.

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