TOPcast - This Old Pinball's Online Podcast
Pinball Podcast - Special Guests and Interviews about the Coin-Op Industry!
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is TOPcast available as a Podcast? (iTunes)

    Yes! You can hear TOPcast via iTunes or other PodCatcher software.

    For iTunes, launch iTunes on your computer and using the "Search iTunes Store" function enter "topcast", and you'll find us on iTunes. Click on the small arrow inside our TOPcast line item, and all the episodes can be seen and accessed. You may listen to them on your computer, download them to your iPod, or burn them to an audio CD right from iTunes. Or you can use the iTunes store link.

    Shows are also available via a Rss feed. For PodCatcher software or to syndicate TOPcast on another site, use our RSS feed link by copying this URL:
    to get all the TOPcast shows. Please keep in mind all TOPcast shows are subject to copyright and fair use.

    You can also burn audio CDs of TOPcast from iTunes by doing the following:

    • Launch iTunes.
    • Pull down the 'Advanced' menu.
    • Click on 'Subscribe to Podcast...'
    • A text box will appear asking for a URL. Enter:
    • The iTunes podcast screen will come up, and iTunes will load the latest TOPcast episode to your hard drive. Click on the small triangle arrow to the left of the show title to see all the TOPcast episodes.
    • Pull down the 'File' menu item, and create a 'New Playlist' (call it TOPcast).
    • Right click on the hard drive loaded TOPcast episode you want to burn, and select 'Add to Playlist', and select the new TOPcast playlist. Note that 'Add to Playlist' will only appear (when right clicking) after the episode desired is downloaded from iTunes to your hard drive.
    • On the left side of the iTunes menu, click on the TOPcast playlist. The new TOPcast episode should appear there. Delete any other episodes that reside in this playlist.
    • Pull down the 'File' menu, and select 'Burn Playlist to Disc'. The TOPcast episode will be burned to a blank CD in your drive.

How Do I Burn a TOPcast Show to an Audio CD?

    This can be done through iTunes (see above). Or just download a show and save it to your hard drive from the Past Shows download page. Then use your favorite CD burning software to burn the file to an audio CD (I use the Nero StartSmart software that came with my CD burner). Just note if the file is longer than 80 minutes, the show unfortunately won't fit on a single audio CD disc.

Will TOPcast have a new 'Season'?

    Yes. TOPcast airs with new shows in the February to August time frame. During the fall and winter (September to January), Shaggy and Norm get pretty darn busy with other projects, so TOPcast goes 'on vacation' during that time.

Why TOPcast?

    TOPcast originally started out as an audio pinball technical show, to help listeners with pinball repair. But the show has expanded into an audio pinball history archive, with TOPcast interviews of many pinball designers and artists that have worked in the industry for many years. The good thing about this format is you get to hear the pinball personalities in their own voice and words, and unlike text, you hear their accents and emphasis, which adds to the historic content.

Are the 'Live' Broadcasts Different than the Downloads?

    Often, yes. When doing interviews, after the fact I can edit out dead air, 'umms', and other distractions. Or maybe move some sections around so logically the interview doesn't subject-jump as much. This makes the download file smaller and better for listening. Also sometimes interviewee will request certain things be removed after the interview. So the 'live' broadcast can be different than the downloaded version. Note all live shows have been discontinued. All shows now available only has a downloadable podcast.

Can I Advertise on TOPcast?

    Yes certainly! The cost is the ridiculous price of FREE. All that is needed is a 30 second voice file with your pinball product or message in MP3 format, and email it to Shaggy for processing.

How is TOPcast funded?

    Shaggy pays for all the TOPcast expenses. If you want to help donate to TOPcast, all we ask is you support the 'This Old Pinball' DVD project by buying the DVDs. Or donate some time to the project and do a promotional drop.

Who are Shaggy and Norm?

    About Shaggy.
    Shaggy got into pinball in 1988, buying a Gottlieb Spiderman as his first game. This was followed by Williams Fire, F-14 and Pinbot. But some life changes forced him to sell all of his games and get out of the hobby by 1989. In 1995, he got back in, buying some 1960s EM pinballs and some 1990s dot matrix games. From there Shaggy honed his pinball repair skills, writing the repair guides at and filming the repair and restoration DVD videos at Shaggy also writes for both the Pingame Journal and Gameroom magazine.

    His collection ranges from post-WW2 EM games right up to present. He repairs and restores all games from this post-WW2 period. Shaggy states, "if you are only an EM or Solidstate collector, I think you are really missing out on the 'full picture' of pinball. Pingames evolved, and if you don't understand, know, and play the beginnings of the flipper pinball from 1947 to present, it's difficult to really understand how thing have progressed and evolved. I think to be a true 'pinball fan' you should be able to play and work on both EM *and* Solidstate games."

    About Norm.
    Norm got into pinball in the early 1980s, buying mostly EM games. As time marched on, Norm started also buying the newer solidstate pinballs. Again Norm lives in both halves of the pinball world (EM and Solidstate). He also specializes in cosmetic restoration (he lets Shaggy fix the games!)

    Norm's first games purchased were CCM Olympics and Gottlieb Pinball Pool. These came from a local Detroit pinball dealer (Damon, RIP), who was known for his incrediblely priced $125 'working' games. Went on to buy a Williams 1958 Short Stop, Fireball, Haunted House, 1960 Nags and 1951 Sea Jockeys, which he still has today. Enjoyed getting all the game and jukebox periodicals about the hobby on a monthly basis to help feed his coin-op hobby fix. Was a contributing writer to Pingame Journal, Gameroom and Pinball Classifieds. Enjoyed finding and hunting down coin-ops in every conceivable way (before the internet) via word of mouth, auctions, newspaper ads, operators, telephone books, estate sales, buddies, you name it - every game has it's own story. Met Shaggy at an Auction in 1998, where we immediately hated each other. The rest is history.

    Norm was the creator of the 'This Old Pinball' DVD video series in 2000, coming up with the idea and doing the writing on the first three videos. Shaggy was always part of this equation, but Norm was the brain child behind the video series. Originally Shaggy was not Norm's first choice as the lead tech in the videos. But after the role was turned down by Norm's first choice actor, he offered the role to Shaggy. Shaggy took over much of the work from Norm with TOP4 to present, as Norm's life got a bit too complicated to handle all the work.

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All TOPcast shows are copyrighted and only available for distribution through this site.