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

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

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

  1. It would be nice if cinch.fm would give you or top users the ability to specify a redirect URL for each post or all of the post for one account and leave that redirection system for a year or so instead of just 2 months.

  2. Bit.ly should spot this problem and offer a solution to allow closing services to have their users redirect their existing links to custom locations – bit.ly build the system, offer it to such a service that’s shutting down, and there’s no extra engineering or costs involved for anyone else. If you want to redirect Cinch links to Soundcloud, #boom. Someone else might want theirs to go to a Dropbox share or YouTube URL or wherever, no problem.

    Interesting that one reason for your picking soundcloud is their extra funding – we’ve ended up paying for accounts for many services in order to support ongoing development, for similar reasons.

  3. You look sad on this talk Robert, don’t be, there is still a bunch of things to happen on earth and in technology too you will discover :)

    I think one of the main problem on Cinch, and why I did not use it a lot, was the quality content, in this case enough people you could speak with.
    I think it’s not about just to post audio stuffs here, everyone’s not a Robert Scoble :), it’s about how you can engage conversations, and the quality of people you can meet in the platform and nice talks you can have. There were not at the beginning, so I stopped using it.
    I’m telling you: I loved Cinch UI, and I have things to share. But it’s was NOT an interesting point of contact. This could kill products like SocialCam too.

    It’s not all about the product: it’s also about the content you can find there, and about its quality, relevance for everyone.
    Soundhound does a great job to enrich the user experience, like what you mentioned with Flipboard. And they had great community of users (musicians, etc…). Makes the whole difference.
    I’m working right now with a startup to launch very soon and it’s one of the main thing we’re focusing on too.

    Let’s hope great new things coming for Cinch Team!

  4. haha. didn’t know you used CompuServe and newsgroup (and AOL, Prodigy).

    Of my own posts in newsgroup, i try to save important posts and repost on my site. But that takes huge amount of time. Since about 2008, it’s nearly impossible to find my own old posts in google’s newsgroup service at groups.google.com

    Also used CompuServe a lot in 1991-1994. Had archived my posts, but not sure i can find them quickly.

    Thanks for the podcast. interesting.

  5. This is why you need to have a place to store all your things. Facebook falls, all your pictures and your digital life in there is done for. Google+ goes away, that too. This is why I keep my comments in my own blog and any images that I want to publish on the social networks need to be on my blog first.

  6. So true. I worry about that a lot. Hopefully SoundCloud will make an import tool and Cinch will offer redirects. Otherwise you should hire an intern to go back and fix the link.

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