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Goodbye Podpress, it's time for a new mp3 player

Dec 10, 2007 • general

I've been using PodPress, a WordPress plugin that adds an audio player to your posts, for about a year now. But today I'm saying goodbye to this plugin. Although Podpress includes size and duration, adds iTunes tags, and shows download counts, it is filled with compatibility problems with WordPress. It seems every time WordPress updates to a new version, PodPress breaks. Lately PodPress has failed to work entirely, despite supposed compatibility.

mp3-o-matic playerI switched to a different mp3 player (mp3-0-matic -- see image on right). I had to go back through each podcast post on Tech Writer Voices and add some

The incompatibility of PodPress with WordPress is largely true of dozens of plugins that break each time WordPress upgrades to a new version. It is part of the hassle of open source software. Add this hassle to the lack of professional support at the PodPress forum, and the "free" aspect of open source software starts to add up -- my time is worth some value.

The mp3-o-matic player is largely obscure, but it seems to work well. It allows you to pause and restart the audio, and it sends a clear message to the reader that there's an audio file to play. If you have any feedback about the player, I'd like to hear it.

Also, if you wouldn't mind providing a little more feedback, I have another question. Since its inception, I've hosted the audio for Tech Writer Voices on a separate blog. My rationale was that when you look for podcasts, you want to find immediate mp3 files to download. Now I'm thinking of making the podcast a separate category on my blog here at, available as a clear tab at the top. What do you think?

12/28/2007 Update: I didn't like this mp3-o-matic player so much after all, and switched to the One Pixel Out Audio player, which is more popular. The main reason I like it better is because when a user clicks the One Pixel Out player, something immediately happens (it expands, starts showing the dynamic sound gif), whereas with the mp3-o-matic player, it seems to freeze while loading.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.