No, we have not converted The AIR into an auditory temple to Bob Dobbs (not that it wouldn’t be really cool to do that), but in the spirit of Slack and The Church of the Subgenius, this week we’re all in reruns. Luckily our shows are so fantastic that they hold up to repeated listenings. You can tune in to The AIR website, or listen in on this little virtual doohickey…

The reason for the reruns is simple. It’s my birthday. I produce most of the shows on The AIR, and I don’t wanna work that much this week. I have some long-gestating PopCult posts I need to write, plus a magazine article to finish, and I plan to take my birthday off and just relax.

So, Tuesday, instead of a brand-new episode of Radio Free Charleston, we’re going to bring you all of our most recent shows all day long, with a break at 3 PM to bring you recent episodes of The Swing Shift, one of the other shows I host on The AIR.

But back to Radio Free Charleston, you may have noticed that, for the last month or so, I’ve made the new episodes available as downloads. It was a good idea, but apparently was still too complicated a concept for many people to grasp. It hit me over the weekend that I could upload the shows to YouTube, with just a still frame on the screen while the audio plays. Everybody knows how to use YouTube.

There are many reasons I haven’t tried this before. And some of them may cause me to quit doing this after I try it for a few weeks, but for the time being I plan to embed a YouTube clip of each week’s show here in PopCult, in the same post where I beg people to listen to it at The AIR.

And that is the first reason that I haven’t done this before: I don’t want to cannibalize my audience for The AIR. However, I also want as many people to listen to RFC as possible, so both of those concerns sort of balances this decision out.

Also, Radio Free Charleston is NOT a podcast. It’s a radio program. We pay a (fairly hefty) rights fee so that we can stream music programs on The AIR, but those rights to not extend to posting those shows on YouTube. In the event that a record label files a copyright claim against one of our shows on YouTube (which happens more than you’d think on the RFC video show), then ads may appear before or during our clip. CDBaby is a real jerk about this. In some cases rights owners can order the video clip taken down or muted.

The music rights issue is why we won’t be doing this with our other programs. With RFC most of the music is owned by the artists, and they appreciate the extra exposure. In the case of a show like Beatles Blast, I think that band is pretty happy with the level of exposure that they’ve already received and don’t really need our help.

I also don’t want people to think I’ve thrown in the towel on every doing Radio Free Charleston as a video program again. That will happen, and probably sooner than you expect.

Like I said, we’ll do this for the time being. If nobody bothers listening to the YouTube version of the show, then it won’t be worth the effort of rendering it and uploading it. But if it finds an audience and doesn’t turn into a hassle, then we’ll keep doing it.

Let’s try this out with last week’s episode, right here…