Andrew [Show Intro with music in background]: This is MuggleCast - Episode 6 for September 11, 2005. If you haven't finished reading Book 6 yet, then you probably shouldn't continue listening as we do talk about several different spoilers. Hey Kids! Welcome to another exciting editions of MuggleCast. I'm Andrew.
Ben: I'm your favorite Kansan, Ben.
Jamie: I'm Jamie.
Eric: I'm Eric.
Andrew: And let's get things started by first getting you updated on the past week's top news with Micah.
Micah: Thanks, Andrew.
We begin with Apple, who on Wednesday released a special Harry Potter iPod and the first ever audiobooks in the HP series. The iPod features the Hogwarts crest engraved on the back, and sells for $299. Along with this new iPod, the Harry Potter audiobooks are available through the iTunes Music Store. MuggleCast even got a special mention in Apple’s most recent e-newsletter: "To date, customers have subscribed to over 7 million podcasts. The number keeps growing all the time. In fact, we recently added such podcasts as and (much to the delight of fans of Sir Harry) the MuggleCast and PotterCast to our growing podcast library."
JKR has updated her site to talk about the new audiobooks and her reason for making them available.
And are you eagerly anticipating more scenes from Goblet of Fire? Well, Warner Bros. confirmed this past week that the next trailer will be released September 16th in select cities with Corpse Bride, the new Tim Burton film. Corpse Bride will be released in all theaters on September 23rd. The trailer is expected run a little over two minutes.
New high-resolution poster shots from the movie and one giant billboard of Harry hanging out in Times Square are available over on MuggleNet’s Main Page.
And finally wrapping up news on Goblet of Fire, last Sunday, Entertainment Weekly listed the midnight book release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as one of the "key events" of the past 25 years. The release is joined on the list with the movie Titanic and the launch of MTV. The list will be used for an upcoming CNN TV special.
Moving from Goblet of Fire to Order of the Phoenix, the fifth Harry Potter film is said to have a budget of at least $150 million. This however, is just speculation for the time being.
And finally, on Wednesday, not too shortly after the audiobook announcement, JKR spoke out against purchasing signatures on eBay due to the lack of authenticity. She said: "As far as I can tell from watching the 'signed' Harry Potter merchandise on e-Bay, for every (as far as I can tell) genuine signature there are six to ten fakes. Therefore, I am now advising Harry Potter fans in search of rare and/or signed editions and also audio digital files that it is much safer to buy from reputable/authorized book dealers only rather than e-Bay and other similar auction houses." We have previously reminded visitors to not purchase off of eBay for these exact reasons, and we insist that you will get scammed. I keep telling myself the toast with Dumbledore’s picture on it wasn’t worth $3,000. But, it tasted pretty good.
Andrew: [Laughs] Oh, Micah.
Micah: That’s all the news for this September 11, 2005 edition of MuggleCast. Back to you guys.
Andrew: All right. Thanks, Micah. And Micah has also asked us to request if you have any ideas for maybe the transcripts or his news (how he does it), drop him an e-mail at micah at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Now, we have a contest update. Eric and I.
Andrew: Isn't that right, Eric?
Eric: That is correct, Andrew once again.
Andrew: So we are closing the contest [snaps fingers] NOW!
Eric: Yes, the contest is closed. If you can hear this, it is over.
Andrew: How many entries did we get?
Eric: Okay, as of now we have. Well, I say as of now, but...Okay, the final toll was 609 entries!
Andrew: So, 3 of the 609 people will be entered into our contest. We're going to go through and pick out the Top 20.
Andrew: Then we're going to put a poll up.
Andrew: So, only listeners of the show will be able to access it, and then they will be able to vote on their favorite ones. Then by I think Episode 8, we will have our winners, Top 3 Winners.
Eric: Something like that. We'll have a question: "Do you listen to the show?"
Eric: And if not, you can't vote.
Eric: So the Top 20 favorites will be voted on.
Andrew: And also...
Eric: or voteable. And then the Top 3.
Andrew: And now the prizes...
Eric: Yes, we have PRIZES!
Andrew: We had to make some quick adjustments to the prizes because of some shipping, what was the word I used earlier?
Eric: Shipping constraints.
Andrew: Shipping constraints.
Eric: And we're not talking about Emerson/Melissa or anything like that. In the nick of time, Dave over at Alivan's has come and saved our butts and says: "You know what? We want to sponsor your contest." So I tell you what, we have brand-new prizes for the Top 3 Winners of our contest! Third Place will receive a House Scarf of any color from the Alivan's store depending on what's your favorite House is, and what will look good, and what will bring out your eyes.
Ben: Oh, sweet.
Eric: Yes, sweet.
Andrew: Okay, second prize...
Eric: Second Place will win a "Wizard School with Andrew Mayne" DVD from your Wizard Wares section of Alivan's . And what it is, it is a guided instructional video for real-life magic.
Andrew: Ooooh. Snazzy!
Eric: Yes, done by this guy, Andrew Mayne.
Andrew: And what is the GRAND PRIZE?
Eric: And the GRAND PRIZE (once again this contest is sponsored by Alivan's), and our GRAND PRIZE is a Limited Edition Padauk Wand, Michael Brolly Design. There are only 300 of these. And it's a very nice, nice, nice looking wand. Looks very sharp, very nice. As I said, there are only 300. So, that's it!
Andrew: Then also, First Place will get top priority in having a walk-on, co-hosting role on...MuggleCast!
Eric: Yes, MuggleCast!
Andrew: So you'll be able to come on...
Andrew: Isn't that cool? [Laughs] I didn't check with Ben or Jamie, but whatever.
Eric: He didn't tell anybody this, he kind of just said that. Hold him to it. We'll have this on audio, and Micah will transcribe this, so he'll have it in text.
Ben: So you'll go down in MuggleCast history pretty much.
Jamie: Forever. Forever.
Ben: Forever. Forever.
Andrew: As being the first...
Jamie: Forever, man.
Andrew: ...guest co-host. So what will happen is if First Place does not want to be in it, because some people might be a little wary or nervous or just not want to do it, Second Place will get the prize. If Second Place doesn't want to, Third Place will. And then we can also go Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and the runners-up.
Eric: In the event, that due to parental constraints or shipping constraints or whatever constraints, if you can't do the show we will give it to somebody else. But we understand. We will credit you accordingly.
Andrew: Moving right along. Ben, you have a series of notes.
Eric: A series of unfortunate notes.
Andrew: And assorted announcements.
Ben: Yes, that is correct. Okay. Well, a few shows back, we mentioned that we want to know how people are listening to the show, and tons have people have e-mailed in. I have a list of people and ways they listen to us. K'Dawn, from Rio Rancho, wrote a speech about MuggleCast and delivered for her class. So yeah, we're helping kids get good grades now. You see? You see how that works?
Ben: So it was an impromptu speech about our podcast.
Andrew: Hey, let us know what kind of grade you get.
Ben: Yeah. And how awesome it was. Laurel, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a sign-language interpreter and she listens to our show to practice conversations with her interpreting skills. So, she's a signer for the deaf, and listens to our show to sign what we're saying to practice. I thought that was pretty neat.
Jamie: That's awesome.
Ben: A lady from the Navy listens to us while she's cleaning...
Eric: Whoa! That's cool.
Ben: ...her boat in the morning. So we're also helping protect our country with the Navy.
Eric [in booming voice]: IN THE NAVY!
Andrew: A lady from the Navy?
Ben: Yeah, a lady from the Navy.
Jamie: That's really cool.
Ben: Cleaning her ship in the morning.
Andrew: Do you have her name?
Ben: Let's see here. Marsha. Marsha, 23, from San Diego. Her IP Address is...I'm just kidding.
So Marsha is the one that listens to us. She says that she likes MuggleCast, and that all of her Navy buds laugh at her when she's cleaning. They think she's crazy for laughing at herself. She thinks that if they were listening too, that they would find it extremely hilarious.
Andrew: Of course, we're just brilliant!
Ben: Okay. One final one. Mrs. Lehman's class from Tahoka High School listens to us on Friday afternoons during their Harry Potter unit. So, if you're in Mrs. Lehman's class, here's your shout-out!
Ben: Mr. Nelson's class, we have not forgotten about you. We have not forgotten about you. Remember us. Okay. Before we move on, I have some other minor announcements. If you're on the MuggleCast section of the site (www.mugglecast.com or www.mugglenet.com/mugglecast), you can see a link to vote for us on Podcast Alley, which I recommend you do about once a month. So this way you can help us get up toward the top of Podcast Alley. Boost our popularity. That type of thing.
Andrew: Yeah. What happens is that Podcast Alley resets their votes every month.
Andrew: Come October 01, 2005, we're going to lose all of our votes, and that is when you start voting all over again.
Andrew: And it is pretty easy to do.
Ben: And Andrew, what is the thing about the blog again? I'll let you take this one.
Andrew: Oh, right! If you got to the MuggleCast Section, click on Blog, and right there we have a little button that takes you to this iPod book. It's a free iPod book that you can download. Now, the reason we're promoting this is not because we're being sponsored by them. [Laughs] Despite what people may think. We're actually recommending it because it really is a nice little book that you can review on your computer. It has a great area on podcasting and how to subscribe to podcasts through iTunes .
Andrew: So, that's why we have it.
Ben: Download it all.
Andrew: We recommend it.
Ben: Okay, and I have gotten some e-mails in the past few weeks from Australian people, and they want to know...they don't think we give enough consideration to Australians. Well, for those of you who know, Andy from Harry Potter Fan Zone was supposed to be on MuggleCast today, but right now it's 4:00 AM there.
It didn't really work. So for those of you who know Andy, he's Australian. He's from Sydney or Melbourne or somewhere around there.
Andrew: All right. Thanks, Ben. Those announcements rocked. Now we're going to move on to our Main Topics of the Week. Then we will get to voicemails. We have a lot of things to talk about on this show actually. So, let's get started right now. Ben, I know you wanted to talk about Katrina.
Ben: The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet have both joined up in a drive for the Hurricane Katrina victims. We actually have some corporations that are going to match whatever donations we bring in.
Andrew: I didn't know that.
Ben: Say we generate $10,000 in donations, there is this company - I believe in Kansas City that is going to donate $10,000 to match it. Keep your donations coming in. We're trying to help these people. They are going to be rebuilding for months. They need all the food and water and resources they can get.
Ben: That pretty much covers it.
Andrew: Yeah. That pretty much covers it. We also want to talk about...let's get to some news here. Let's see. Earlier this week Apple announced on top of a few different things (a new iPod, a new iPod phone) that there is also a Harry Potter iPod. I wasn't all too impressed because it just has an engraving of the Hogwarts symbol on the back. Hogwarts' crest.
Ben: You're trying to get us thrown off iTunes , aren't you?
Andrew: No, I'm not trying to. I don't think they will. On top of that, not only a new Harry Potter iPod, but JKR has released Books 1-6 in audiobook format. Digital, online, exclusively on iTunes for $50.00 apiece or all six at $250.00, I believe it is. So, this comes as a surprise to most people because JKR has said in the past that she didn't want to do this type of thing. Or release it in e-Book format because it is too easy to get it pirated. Does anyone have ideas on why she would have done this?
Ben: She realized how's there such a...a lot of people use iTunes . Maybe she actually saw the Harry Potter podcasts and thought if they get all these listeners and they're all so high up on the list, why can't we just sell these books?
Andrew: I am sure she checks iTunes all the time.
Ben: There's obviously a large fan base. Yeah. She takes iTunes pretty seriously from what I've been told.
Obviously, she has a very large fan base. It's that type of thing. She realizes some fans want to listen to it on their iPod. It doesn't have anything to do with the podcasts, but it could be they want to listen to it on their iPods, or listen to it on their random MP3 players. Or they want to listen to it on the way to work or that type of stuff.
Andrew: Yeah, I agree. And who knows? Maybe our podcast showed because we finally have some solid numbers now on download. And we have...is it okay to tell everyone?
Ben: Just say upwards of 50,000 downloads.
Andrew: Okay, I'll say it, although you just did. [Laughs] We have roughly 50,000 subscribers - which is just awesome. That easily puts us up there as one of the top podcasts online. Right up there with "This Week In Tech" and...Hey, maybe we're NO. 2. I can't think of any really, really, big ones. That is really cool.
Ben: On the iTunes Music Store when you're competing with National Public Radio it is kind of hard to keep up with millions of people who listen to them everyday.
Andrew: They're not a real podcast. They don't count.
Ben: We're the only unique podcast up there.
Andrew: The thing is, what kind of cut does JKR get from this? How much money does she get back for each audiobook sold?
Ben: I think if she doesn't get at least 50% she is going to have to go on welfare.
I was being sarcastic. I don't think it matters if she got any of the money back because she's a billionaire in case you forgot.
Andrew: I know, but obviously she gets some.
Jamie: I think it's just her trying to spread the word of Harry Potter a bit further. There are situations where people can't read the book. If they are going on a long drive or something, it's just nice to put a CD in or listen to their iPod and they can hear all the books. I don't know. It doesn't really work for me. Half-Blood Prince and Order of the Phoenix must be like 25 hours, and I don't think that I could listen to it for that long. I just want to sit there and read it for myself.
Ben: She's closing the digital divide...digital divide...digital divide.
Jamie: Yeah, she is. Like Steven Frye and who does the American ones? Jim Dale.
Jamie: They do their own voices, and that interferes with my own feelings about the characters and how I think they speak. I don't really like that. So, I prefer reading them myself. I think it is a fantastic idea because it is spreading Harry Potter further and further, and it's giving people a chance to listen to them on the move when carrying a 25-kilogram book isn't very practical.
Andrew: I don't know if JKR knows this, but it's actually relatively easy to pirate what you download off of iTunes .
Eric: Andrew, I think that is why she did it. I'd rather have her give it out than have somebody hack into it. You know what I am saying? I think she knew they were going to get it, and...
Andrew: What? You thought she knew they would be able to hack it?
Ben: Nobody cares what you're saying, Eric.
Eric: No, but they hacked her own site, so she has to be aware...
Andrew: You hacked JKR.com! [Laughs]
Eric: What I am saying is that even before she released it to iTunes , you could get it. You could get e-Books. A lot of them were frauds, but some of them were authentic and you could actually get electric versions...
Ben: Electric? [Laughs]
Eric: By her releasing them, it is a good thing, you don't have to..
Andrew: So, on top of that, as if it couldn't get any better for Harry Potter fans, Steve Jobs doing a search for Harry on his demonstration computer at the keynote (where he released all of this information), our podcast was featured to the world. How cool is that?
Eric: Ooh. That was awesome.
Ben: That was pretty sweet.
Eric: Like, dude! MuggleNet, yo!
Jamie: I am sure it wasn't quite like that.
Andrew: Apparently he's impressed with there are even Harry Potter podcasts.
Jamie: Can I welcome...
Eric [in fake British accent]: He said: "Oh, MuggleNet mate!"
Jamie [in fake American accent]: Can I welcome Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple. Hey man, this is Steve Jobs...MuggleCast from MuggleNet. Yeah man! Dudes!
Andrew: Well, you know what? Steve actually called me. He wanted to come on the keynote and speak with him, but I couldn't get a flight out there.
Eric: That's really awesome.
Jamie: We only allow really successful to people to come on, don't we? So we though he didn't really make the cut. He's only made like $25 million or something.
Andrew: Yeah. Only $25 million.
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