Why are you doing this?
We love talk radio and we love the true-crime genre. We envision Sword and Scale becoming the most respected and well-known true-crime radio broadcast in the world. Eventually we would like to introduce a paid subscription along with the free podcast, which we hope to continue offering for the foreseeable future.
Are the stories on Sword and Scale true?
We do not cover any fictional tales on Sword and Scale. However, because most of the cases we cover are told by witnesses, who in some cases have their own agendas which are not always clear, we cannot verify that everything you hear will be 100% true. Although those associated with the production and content of Sword and Scale do try to stick to established journalistic ethics and standards, we are not a news organization. The stories on Sword and Scale are solely meant for entertainment purposes and should not be assumed to be fact.
Why do you cover such horrible topics?
Sword and Scale is an entertainment podcast that exposes real-life events by members of mankind. We do not condone the behavior of these individuals, but the reasons behind many of their horrific actions are fascinating to those of us who live normal lives, trying to generally be decent people. In exposing these people, maybe we can do some good by setting a clear distinction between us and "them". We do our best to cover the stories as nakedly as possible, in their stark reality rather than the glossed-over "photoshopped" version the mainstream media portrays. We do not play stupid little mind games with our audience, like refusing to say the name of a serial killer to somehow prevent them from being widely known, instead we expose these disturbed individuals and all the miserable surrounding their motivations to deviate from society's norms. In doing so we are in no way trying to glorify the perpetrator's actions, instead we are trying to bring to light what a sad and pathetic set of parameters lead to some of the most horrific crimes of our time.
How do I get your podcast?
There are a variety of podcast players available (many of them for free) which you can use to subscribe and have new episodes automatically downloaded to your device. Although we do not endorse any particular ones, a few popular names are Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, DownCasts, PlayerFM and BeyondPod.
What “app” should I use on my phone to listen and subscribe?
There are dozens of great apps out there for listening to podcasts, so we can't recommend a single one. However, these are some fan favorites:
If you're on an iPhone or iPad, the native Apple Podcast app works just fine and already comes pre-loaded on your device. Just search for "Sword and Scale" and subscribe to get episodes automatically downloaded as soon as they're available.
If you're on an Android or other device, some of the most popular podcast apps are: Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts & BeyondPod. Just search for these apps in the Android store and give them a try.
In addition to these options we're also available on Stitcher. However, we do not recommend it because they compress our audio which greatly diminishes the sound quality. In addition, they take a copy of our audio and host it from their servers. By doing so, we do not get credit for the downloads on their platform which hurts our ability to charge fairly for advertising. To make matters worse, they serve their own advertising in the Stitcher app and don't pay us anything. Bottom line: Don't use Stitcher if you can avoid it.
Why aren’t all the shows available?
Because of the limitations of RSS feed sizes, you may not be able to access every show through your RSS reader app. If you find that your app only displays recent episodes, you can still find older episodes by going to swordandscale.com and clicking the "Podcasts" link in the main menu.
How do I get older shows?
All shows are available at swordandscale.com by clicking the "Podcasts" link on the top of the page.
Because of the limitations of RSS feed sizes, not all episodes may be available through your podcast app.
Why can I can only get part of the episode to play?
If the episode you're listening appears to cut out part way through, then that is probably because it didn't download properly. Sometimes this happens when there is an unusually high load placed on the server by many people trying to download episodes at once.
If your episode is cutting out part way through, first delete the cache on your device. On a browser, you can do this from the "settings" menu. For example, on Chrome, click the button with three parallel lines just right of the URL box. Then click "settings", then "Show advance settings...", then click the button labelled "Clear browsing data..." On Internet Explorer, click the gear icon on the top right of the browser and select "Internet Options". Then click the "Privacy" tab and click the "Clear Sites" button.
Once you have done this, you need to delete the existing local copy of the faulty mp3. It's location will vary, depending on your setting, but if you're not sure you can search your system for it by typing the episode name as the search term. For example "Sword and Scale Episode 33".
If you're on an iPhone you should just be able to delete the episode from the native Podcast app by swiping to the left with your finger over the particular episode you are trying to delete.
Now you should be able to download the episode again and the problem should be fixed. If you're on a PC, make sure you download it to a different folder otherwise you may continue to experience the problem.
If you're still having trouble, please contact us for help using our contact us form.
Is this free?
How do you make money?
For the time being Sword and Scale is supported by the donations of a small percentage of listeners like yourself. We're always happy to get new supporters and if you would like to help keep this show going you can make a donation here.
In November 2015, we launched our first fundraising effort on IndieGoGo. We offered various perks for contributors and set levels we needed to reach in order to deliver a certain number of shows for Season 3 (which runs January 1st through December 31st, 2016). By the time the fundraiser had ended we received just shy of $30,000 which will go towards the production of 26 episodes in Season 3. That's roughly one show every two weeks.
The donations of our fundraiser along with additional donations throughout the year, merchandise sales, as well as selective advertising, allows us to cover server costs, file hosting, a small team of writers and contributors, as well as various graphic design and programming needs as they arise. As of yet, this has yet to be a profit-making venture and is largely a labor of love.
As the listenership grows and the show becomes more popular, the hope is to eventually offer a premium service to fans.
How do I get technical support
If you're having trouble downloading or streaming the show, please contact us. We'd be happy to help you get access or clear up any technical issues you might have.
However, please note that we're a small operation with limited resources so we cannot provide app-specific support, nor general technical support.
Why are random episodes missing from my podcast app?
The short answer is: they're probably not.
Many podcast apps allow you to "subscribe" to a podcast, which usually means that new episodes will be automatically downloaded to your device as they are released. These podcast apps also usually have a feature that will automatically remove or delete the episode once you've heard it in its entirety.
If you're looking at a section of your app called "My Podcasts" or "My Favorites" (or something similar), then you're probably looking at podcasts which you've subscribed to and are automatically being downloaded and deleted once you listen to them.
Each app is different, but the settings can usually be changed to suit your needs. For example, you may be able to change your settings to keep episodes on your device even after you've listened to them. Keep in mind though that this will take up more and more of the memory in your device until you manually delete them.
For specific technical support on your podcast app, please contact the manufacturer or do a quick Google search to see if you can find our how to change your settings.
How can I get the “secret episode”?
In September of 2015 we launched an IndieGoGo Fundraiser in which we raised almost $30,000 to offset the costs of production, hosting and various other expenses associated with bringing you a free program. Anyone who donated at the $25 perk level or higher received a free metal USB drive containing a hidden secret episode. These USB drives are collector's items for early supporters of the show and our way to say "thanks." Only 1000 of these USB drives were ever made and they are no longer available.
However the secret episode will be made available again to supporters who who pledge a $2/month donation or higher on our Patreon Page. Supporters who contribute $5 or more will also get a brand new premium episode, which will be recorded in mid to late 2016.
Do you accept story submissions?
Due to the high volume of messages we must go through regularly, we ask that you do not submit story suggestions unless you have a personal connection with the case and are either a victim, close friend or family member of the victim or perpetrator, or somehow have other exclusive information about the case that is not yet publicly released.