I had some time to spend on the road today driving between some of our remote sites. On a tip from Alan Creech, I headed over The Red Herring’s e-merg podcast and downloaded the first five (okay, all) of the podcast interviews he’s got posted. I then ripped-and-burned four of them onto CD so I could listen to them in the truck. I tossed in Bono’s address to the National Prayer Breakfast as a warmup, after which I listened to Ryan Bolger, Aaron Flores, and Steve Taylor (2 parts). All good stuff, I’m looking forward to listening to the next ones. In the meantime, I can recommend those I’ve heard already.
I don’t quite have this podcasting thing down yet… I think it’d be fun to try, and I think it’s cool how easy it is to download one and listen when it’s convenient. I wish The CBC would publish a podcast of The Vinyl Cafe for this reason… but I’m still old-school enough that I’ve got to take extra steps to put it into a media format I can use. All them newfangled toys cost way too much money to keep up with the latest all the time.
Now, just to be clear, I’ve downloaded and listened to a number of podcasts or other similar bits of MP3 voice so far, and one thing that I would implore budding podcasters… please, learn what an audio compressor is and how to use it! Buy one or download one, I don’t care, but for the love of pod, please stop making me adjust my volume every 20 seconds between screaming in my ear or making me strain to make out all those unintelligible mumblings. Back in the old days when I had a say on the church sound board and sermon tapes, all tapes were recorded from a compressed audio feed. This is one thing emerging church podcasters shouldn’t want to duplicate from the inherited church: bad audio tapes. Making bad audio on digital media doesn’t help, either.
Broadcasters will commonly use an infinity:1 compression ratio so listeners never have to adjust that dial. C’mon, it’s an easy and inexpensive step (find some free software) and it’ll ensure your message is listenable. After you’ve solved that issue we can talk about making your podcast sound like it didn’t take place in a hollow tube, but please, just get this down first, okay? For the love of pod, just do it.