September 2019

Hi there!

This is the 24th full month that I worked on Listen Notes full-time. So it's two-year anniversary!

You can read past issues of this monthly update -- especially the first issue (Sep 2017)!

Product updates

1. Improved Listen Alerts. Added more search filters. Added RSS support. And made it a paid product.

Previously Listen Alerts was free to use. To prevent people from abusing our system, we allowed up to 10 alerts per account. Many people created hundreds of accounts (yes, 100s!) to bypass the quota limit. I couldn't find a good way to solve this problem except for making Listen Alerts a paid product.

2. AWS data transfer cost was increased a lot this month (~2.5x vs last month). I had to investigate & make some optimizations on the infra to cut cost a bit.

3. We've got a mascot: Introducing Llamacorn!!!

4. Added a new search filter -- you can limit search results within a specific date range. Example: Some very old podcast interviews of Wordpress founder Matt Mullenweg

5. Users are able to edit audio length of a specific episode now: Example.

6. Set up a Help Center: After conducting an extensive research on help center software, I'm surprised that there's not a cheap option (less than $20/month) with a minimal set of features I need. All vendors bundle a lot of useless features together and command an unreasonably high price :( Eventually I chose Intercom Articles, which adds $50/month to our operational cost.

7. Set up a store: Well, we have a mascot now. Next step: Listen Notes branded swags :)

Company updates

One of my old blog posts went viral around mid September: The boring technology behind a one-person Internet company This post was originally published in January 2018, ~four months after I worked on Listen Notes full-time. I have no idea why it surfaced on Hacker News recently (2000+ upvotes?!) and it got shared a lot on Twitter, Reddit, newsletters... But I guess long term investment paid off?

I'll continue to do some improvements on Listen Later and Listen Alerts in October. 

Some numbers

  • Database: 785k podcasts; 53 million episodes 
  • Website: 1.66M page views & 690k unique visitors in September.

Blog posts & articles

Go to
Thanks for reading! Drop me a line and tell me what you think about Listen Notes -- just reply this email or :) 


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