Podcaster Adam Curry has been on a quest for over a decade to create the perfect podcasting device.
Curry, who rose to fame as an MTV host in the 1980s and 1990s, now lives in Austin. He’s spent the last 13 years producing various podcasts, including the long-running No Agenda Show.
Podcasts allowed for audio stories, interviews and other content to be released digitally online, unlike radio content which requires a transmitter. And a lot of the editing work also happened on a computer. “The frustration was ‘how do we get the recording studio into the computer as well?” Curry said. “If you really wanted to do it properly with all the processing, it will cost you a lot of money.”
Though he developed several prototypes, the idea didn’t gain significant traction until he joined up with two Austin men who had tech industry experience. “We met through my podcast,” Curry said. Together they formed a company called Small Batch Audio.
WHAT THEY DO: Small Batch Audio has developed a small recording device called Podcaster Pro.
Amateurs are able to use this device to obtain “very close to NPR sound,” according to the company’s marketing materials.
The device, which is about the size of a hardcover book, offers real-time audio processing, eliminating the need for time-consuming post-processing work. It also has a feature that allows users to tune out ambient noise and allow remote guests to not hear their own voice.
WHO THEY ARE: Curry is the president of Small Batch Audio. He has started several companies, including one called OnRamp Inc., which changed its name to Think New Ideas and went public in 1996. It was acquired in 2000.
Gene Naftulyev is the CEO of Small Batch Audio and has worked as a consultant for clients such as PepsiCo, Target and American Express. He’s also worked for startups that have launched successful Kickstarter campaigns.
The Chief Technology Officer is retired chip designer Charlie Thompson, who previously worked in Austin for companies such as Motorola and Silicon Labs.
INVESTMENT: Rather than raise money from outside investors, Small Batch Audio is going the crowd-funding route. The company is trying to raise $500,000 through an Indiegogo campaign.
“We’ve done all the development work up-front, so we’re not developing with other people’s money,” Curry said. “They are placing orders and then when when reach the goal, they will get their box.”
An “early bird” donation of $497 gets you the Podcaster Pro, but there are also options to donate lesser amounts to simply support the cause.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Curry said their main challenge is reaching their crowdfunding goal.
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