Drop It Like It’s Hot

I know that a lot of people do their podcast listening during their commute to work. Ironically, adding a commute to my life reduced my podcast listening. I used to have 8-10 hours of listening time a day, and although I have 45 minutes in the car I don’t have all day to listen anymore. This forces me to reduce the number of shows I subscribe to, as they are stacking up unlistened.

One of the ones I’m dropping is the North Carolina culture podcast. I basically like the show, and it seems related to the public television show North Carolina Weekend which I also like. The problem is that the sound is so bad that it isn’t audible in the car. I often argue that we don’t need professional production standards, but it does need to be minimally audible. I listened to it yesterday and it had an interview where the interviewer and the subject were 20 dB apart in sound levels. To hear the answer to a question required turning up the stereo so loud that the next question would shatter the eardrums. This is a production style I lovingly refer to as “the Gillmor.” From here on out, that’s the fast track to getting me to unsubscribe.

This morning I heard an interesting interview from Jon Udell, whose podcast I really like, but it had the same problem. It was not quite as extreme but enough to be unpleasant and make hearing his guests difficult. If there are many more like that, with regrets I will also have to unsubscribe from him. I’m not trying to be a hardass, but one must triage the handling of one’s scarce resources. Now that my listening time is cut in half, things must go. Putting out hard to listen to shows is the way one nominates oneself to leave my list.

3 Replies to “Drop It Like It’s Hot”

  1. Sorry ’bout that Dave. I’m using a Telos One now and in general am getting better results than that.

    If you find out otherwise let me know, I’m still learning the ropes, audio production-wise.

    (The problem in this case, as I recall, was that they were on a speakerphone.)

  2. Jon, thanks for the comment. Speakerphones are brutal from a sound quality standpoint. I’m making another post talking about how I even that out in post-production. By and large, I try to control it at the point of recording by watching the meters and keeping the levels even. Should that not happen, it’s still fixable afterwards with a little effort. I’ll let you know if I hear problems with any of the ones past that.

    BTW, I really liked the interview. Interesting stuff about the XML feeds of municipal data.

  3. I’m actually dropping podcasts I like because there are too many and they all sound fine. I deemed Floss to be not good enough along with a few others.

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