Cinch.fm mobile audio service shuts down, demonstrates troubles of when you bet on services you don't control

Last night Cinch.fm (an audio service for mobile phones) announced it was shutting down (the parent company, BlogTalk Radio isn’t shutting down, just the Cinch.fm). Major bummer because I have more than 300 recordings on the service including some really historic ones with folks like Instagram’s founder, Kevin Systrom and more. That interview is here. Or it will be until October, when Cinch.fm shuts down for good.

In the past year I’ve moved my iPhone audio recordings to SoundCloud, which is really a great service and has much more funding behind it.

Last night I recorded my thoughts about what happens when services shut down and take parts of the Web with it:

Yes, I already have downloaded all the files, but any links to them will break. So, this is a real bummer.

Anyway, my Cinch.fm casts are at: http://cinch.fm/scobleizer
My new SoundCloud channel is at https://soundcloud.com/scobleizer

This is a real problem with using third-party services you don’t control to hold your life.

As more and more “contextual” services grab pieces of our lives, and study them, what about us will disappear if those companies disappear or decide to “pivot?” Something I’ll be thinking about as Shel and I work on our new book, “The Age of Context.” Speaking of the book, I took a couple of weeks off, but the book continues to hum along. More news coming soon.

No, this won’t get me to stop betting on third-party services like Google+, Facebook, or Twitter, but it does show there’s a risk to locating your content on places where you have no control or ownership.

Here’s the email Cinch.fm cast sent all its users last night:

Dear Cinch.FM users,

It is with great sadness that I announce that we are shutting down the Cinch.FM service. While we continue to believe that easily creating audio content has an important place in the digital world, we just do not have the engineering and product resources to maintain the service while continuing to invest in our main property, BlogTalkRadio. We’d like to make the transition off of Cinch.FM as smooth as possible for you by providing the steps necessary for preserving your content.

Effective August 20th, 2012, no new accounts can be created on Cinch.FM and for those of you with an existing Cinch.FM account, you will no longer be able to create new audio recordings.

Your existing content will remain online and available until October 20, 2012 – two months from the shut down date. Cinch.FM players that have been published on your blog or any other website will continue to function until that date. In addition, the RSS feed for your account will remain available for the same period.

If you would like to save any of your recordings, please log in to the Cinch.FM web site immediately and download your audio content. To download your content, you may login here. If you have a large volume of content that you would like to download, we recommend that you use the RSS feeds available in your account and a podcast client.

After October 20, 2012, your content will be permanently deleted, and we will not be able to retrieve it.

I know that many of you actively use the Cinch.FM service, but please know that this turn of events saddens us as well and we are truly sorry. We’re incredibly thankful for our Cinch.FM community of users.

Again thank you for being a Cinch.FM user.

Sincerely,

Bob Charish, COO Cinch.FM