I've taken a couple of weeks off from listening to podcasts and listened instead to a few great books. Now that I'm getting back to catching up on podcasts I have some pleas for those who are trying to make this a going concern.
- Don't bash the iPod - there are plenty of links and time devoted in podcasts to how terrible the iPod interface is. One of the most common complaints it the inability to fast forward and rewind. This is not an iPod problem, it is a user problem. Every day I happily fast forward and rewind through selections. It is not complicated you simply hold a button down, no need to even look at the iPod itself.
As an aside it is interesting that the same people who complain about not getting credit will post links saying "What's wrong with iPods," instead of "The iPod is by far the best mp3 player out there. Here are some additional features I'd like."
- Use mp3 tags that make sense - The iPod and other mp3 players have limited space on the screen. It's really annoying when your list of albums gets filled up with garbage that is meaningless on the player. Picking on Adam Curry's Daily Source Code, a list of album titles on my iPod that all say "http://www.c" doesn't thrill me.
The solution is to use the fields that are designed already. mp3 has a comments tag. The comments tag is the perfect place for comments such as links to the OPML file for your show. Please help the little people make their mp3 players useful again and stop filling them up with junk.
- Don't do camp productions - If you're a radio person who has done radio for a large portion of your life don't revert to campy productions just because you can. If you're putting on a show we have a contract. You agree to provide me with good content and I agree to give you my time. It's simple. But when it ends up that large segments of my time go to waiting for the person on the other end to remember what they wanted to say, or I have to constantly be listening with my hand on the volume because the production can't be bothered to keep sound levels consistent I'll quit listening rapidly.
It is not unlike the first time a friend stayed in a hotel with a telephone in the bathroom, or got their first cordless phone. Yes we're impressed. You can do it and you can do it easily without any work. However, listeners time, mine, is expensive. It would be so much better to have a show every 2-3 days that was well put together than a show a day that is rambling and has sound levels all over the place.
- Alpha software - When you produce alpha quality software it's really not so cool to charge for it. I might be more inclined to pay for software such as the iPodder clients (of several varieties) if I could get it to work as advertised. With the amount of work that would have to be done to get them going it seems it might just be easier to start over with Curry's original scripts
So there's my little rant about podcasting. Rest assured big brother and cronies won't point to it. Equally certain there will be complaints that I didn't credit the inventor of the sound wave, computer, electrons and other fundamental portions of podcasting appropriately.