Storyspieler began in late 2004 when the rss format became popular and blogs really took off. Taking blogs a step further to podcasting happened rather quickly. Thanks to the mp3 format it was now possible to handle audio files without eating up storage capacity. Initially I used Radio Weblogs as my host because they supplied all the software bells and whistles.
At first I used the website provisions that were part of my personal ISP space. I quickly found that 24 megs didn’t go very far but it was a start. In the summer of 2005 I registered the domain Storyspieler.com which gave me some breathing room. The honeymoon lasted almost 2 years and then I had my first hacker attack. It took the form of someone downloading the same file endlessly which ate up my bandwidth. After that I had to require a user name and password.
The next step was to post the bulk of my readings on Internet Archive so that the bandwidth problem was solved. The Storyspieler site now just links to files that are on Internet Archive. Not being an HTML kind of guy I also resorted to creating PDF files that contain clickable links to groups of stories. Having come from a field where nothing survived for more than 3 to 5 years, I felt myself ahead of the game in dropping the tedious creation of pages in favor of something more reasonable
In the summer of 2009 I learned that Radio Weblogs would stop serving as a host at the end of the year. They really were a software company anyway. That sent me on a search for another way to host the podcast. After several trial runs of different packages that all had fatal problems I settled on WordPress as have so many others.
Along the way I’ve written and narrated a few stories and novels of my own. Through Gutenberg.org I connected with Cory Doctorow and have narrated 4 of his stories. I also contacted David Bauman who writes the Starman series and have narrated 3 novels. It’s always neat to work with living authors who can tell you their intent and how their coined words are to be pronounced.
One of my frustrations in that regard was the Jack London story The Bones of Kahekili which was set in Hawaii. It was full of words and phrases that I didn’t want to chance. I wasn’t so concerned with saying them like a native as I was in avoiding gross mispronunciations. By pure luck I was contacted by a high school classmate who had lived in the islands over 40 years.
But mainly I depend on Gutenberg.org for stories. Where else would you go to find Tom Swift and the Visitor From Planet X? I tend to do folklore for awhile, then Sci-Fi, Childrens Stories, and sometimes history. If you look over what I’ve narrated you’ll find it to be rather eclectic.
The majority of the readings I’ve done since 2004 have come from text at Gutenberg which is a site that preserves a wide range of books and documents that are in the public domain. It’s sort of like having a university library on your computer. Much as I use my local library and my county library I’m painfully aware of the limits of their stacks.
I’ve found many treasures at Gutenberg. The volunteers who do the heavy lifting have digitized many fascinating volumes.
One unexpected result was that people who are learning English as a second language can follow along as I read. The result however is that they’ll learn a west coast accent contaminated with a few pronunciations that are very mid-western. Everyone in my immediate family was either from Illinois or their parents were from there. Sorry about that.
Gutenberg is a great resource available to all and I hope you’ll give them a visit soon.
Recently the site was moved from Storyspieler.com to Storyspieler.net. This was done because the host for the original site wasn’t using the current version of server software and that prevented me from using the current version of WordPress. I apologize for the change but it’s important for the future.
Because I’m using a plug-in to show contents in alphabetical order, you’ll see a title and short description but no player or download option. If you click on the title that will bring up both the player and download option.