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Re: [podcasters] Article: Audio Content and Podcast Usability

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  • Jamie Forrest
    ... John, Thanks so much for your thoughtful and helpful article. I have been feeling many of the same things as I listen to all the new podcasts that are
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 13, 2004
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      > Article summary: "The first part of this article will help you decide
      > if you want to create podcasts and audio content. Assuming you want
      > to dive into podcasting, then the second goal is to help you do it
      > right; usability applies to podcasts."
      >
      > Here's the link...
      >
      > http://oristus.com/resources/podcasting.html

      John,

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful and helpful article. I have been
      feeling many of the same things as I listen to all the new podcasts
      that are popping up. Everyone who is currently producing or thinking
      of producing podcasts, or any audio content for that matter, would be
      wise to read John's article. Especially important is the notion that
      technology never supersedes presentation; just because your blog is now
      in an audio format, doesn't mean it's better all of a sudden.
      Producing an audio program is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from writing a
      weblog. Below are just a few follow-up comments to John's article:

      > Test all of your equipment before and after your recording session.
      > Check your microphone(s), check your software, check your outlets.
      > This might sound like silly advice, but just get in the habit of
      > checking everything. Remember, editing audio isn't fun. It sucks up
      > time that you could be using to produce new content.

      Audio editing can be a crucial aspect of your production. I am an
      audio editor/engineer myself, and very often what it takes someone 10
      minutes to say off the top of his head can be pared down to about 6
      minutes of valuable content. Yes editing is time-consuming, but it can
      be fun, and it definitely makes for a better show in the end.
      Listeners probably do not want to hear you ramble; they want something
      that's tight and terse.

      > Test your content on various output devices. Some people will listen
      > to your content with headphones, others with a decked out PC sound
      > system. Check your volumes and your channels. Have the right balance
      > of sound to voice. Experiment. Have users "try" your content on their
      > own devices. Don't give them advice and don't help them. Throw them
      > the file and let them tell you how it worked. Use their feedback to
      > improve your production. Once you have a good system in place, and you
      > feel that your listeners will be happy, save your settings. Make back
      > ups of everything, including your settings.

      I can't emphasize enough how important this is. Your radio show will
      likely be heavily compressed (when translated to MP3 format), and
      without the proper regard for adequate volume levels and equilization
      settings, your show will end up sounding like total crap. Listen to
      NPR, observe how they mix their shows and try to mimic it. The more
      professional your show sounds, the more likely people will continue to
      listen. That said, content is everything. Even if your show sounds
      great, if you have nothing interesting/entertaining to say, people
      won't listen.

      Jamie Forrest
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