No more free phone-in on GCast

Photo by Darwin Bell from Flickr
Photo by Darwin Bell from Flickr is a free podcasting service that allows account holders to upload audio content. It then produces an RSS feed, which can be cataloged in podcasting repositories such as iTunes.

The thing I really liked about GCast though is that an account holder could register a phone number with their account. Then they could magically call a GCast 800 number and record the entire conversation. After hanging up, this phone conversation would be saved as an MP3 file on the GCast user’s account. This was awesome (and yes, I wrote “was”) because the phone is a technology most everyone is comfortable using. Easy peezy podcasting. That was then.

This is now. GCast is no longer offering this phone-in service for free, but for $99 a year. Below is the email message I received:

As you know, we have been offering the ability to podcast by phone for several years. Up until now, this service has remained free for you to use without limitations. We have been incurring significant costs to keep this service free and we now must take steps to lower our cost. Beginning April 1, 2009, we will be charging a subscription fee of $99 for this phone-in service. It will still be free to upload content through our website. Additionally, the subscription usage will be limited to 2 hours in any 90 day period.

Ah, the affects of the economy.