Mattins: A micropodcast of daily readings

December 2, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, Russell Davies noted that most podcasts of the kind we (meaning, I think, Russell, me and some like-minded folk) listen to while wandering around are quite long for most of our wanderings – typically 30 minutes or more, like the radio programmes we post at Speechification. There’s room in the world for shorter, regular podcasts – micropodcasts if you will – to fill the shorter gaps: bus stops, changing trains, a stroll to the shops, that kind of thing.

Lots of non-podcast content works well at this length – things like Thought For The Day (OK, there is a podcast of that) or Channel 4’s 3 Minute Wonder films.

TFTD – or rather, the Humanist Society’s secular version, Thought For The World – collided in my head with the daily readings we had to do at school. At my (rather posh) school, every student was issued a mini Gideon Bible on arrival, and the first lesson of every day was 5 minutes longer than the rest to accommodate a mandatory daily reading. “Today’s lesson is taken from Matthew Chapter 5, beginning at the third verse…” and so on. Together with the increased ease of creating podcasts these days, I thought I’d give it a go – with a literary bent, obviously.

Mattins is a daily reading, every weekday, no more than 5 minutes long. The 5 minute limit is imposed by Audioboo, which makes podcasting from an iPhone startlingly simple. Every morning over my mandatory first coffee I take a book down from the shelves, hit record, and read a short extract. Audioboo takes care of uploading, hosting and syndicating each “boo”, and I can also extract this quite simply by munging the RSS to a standalone site with Feedburner and a bit of Simplepie tweaking. The choice of extract is almost-random – I like finding bits I’ve dog-eared in something I read a long time ago, or a good bit I read the night before, or I might just read the first couple of pages (five minutes is a lot shorter than you think).

I hate the sound of my own voice, but I’m aware that’s pretty common, so I’ll let it go. I’m also not a great reader-out-loud in general, and given it’s first thing in the morning and I’m only half way through the first caffeine shot, it’s not exactly broadcast-quality material. I stumble occasionally, and mispronounce stuff. But it is a nice thing to do for myself, and some people might like it too.

So, here’s Mattins: a daily reading. If you like that kind of thing.

Micropodcasting is officially easy. I look forward to seeing more things made this way.


  1. Nice — two books that I always wanted to read and needed an extra spur to track down (We & Savage Detectives).

    Maybe take a look at the Moth: It’s heading into the 8-15 minute range, but it’s essential and strengthening.

    Comment by John — December 4, 2009 @ 12:04 pm

  2. […] Mattins: A micropodcast of daily readings | booktwo.orgMICROPODCASTING(tags:podcasting audio net ) […]

    Pingback by Warren Ellis » Links for 2009-12-04 — December 4, 2009 @ 6:42 pm

  3. […] Mattins: A micropodcast of daily readings | “Mattins is a daily reading, every weekday, no more than 5 minutes long.” […]

    Pingback by APFOL: November 29-December 5 « Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog — December 6, 2009 @ 8:16 pm

  4. Impressive effort James! looking forward to listening to it!

    Comment by Eoin Purcell — December 6, 2009 @ 11:05 pm

  5. […] Mattins: A micropodcast of daily readingsAnother cool project from the mind of James Bridle. Short, random-esque readings to start the day. […]

    Pingback by The Daily Square – Summer Wine Edition | Booksquare — December 8, 2009 @ 1:30 am

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