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Podcasting Observations from a Listener
Dpeach (shrug) on My Thought Spot has posted two entries (1, 2)in the last little while about what bugs him or her about the podcasts he or she listens to. Statistically, dpeach is most likely to be male, so I'll refer to him or her as such from here on in.

Unlike many podcast listeners, Dpeach listens to 40-ish podcasts a week. I don't know what the average numbers are for listeners, but I'm pretty sure than 40 shows a week is well above the norm. Since he listens to so many, I'm inclined to take his thoughts with a little more weight than I might otherwise.

There are four things that drive Dpeach nuts:

  • Episode Creep: Shows that get longer as time goes on. We were guilty of this on our own JaK Attack! at one time, but we now make a conscious effort to keep the show at 30 minutes. We rarely succeed, but we're usually close.
  • Volume Levels: This is a recurring trend which seems to indicate that podcasters aren't getting much better at this. I agree that there's nothing more annoying that having to crank up the volume on a show to hear someone talk only to have my ears blown out a few minutes later by a bumper or song.
  • Songs: Dpeach doesn't like songs in podcasts. He figures that if he wanted to listen to songs, he would subscribe to an indie podcast. I can see his point, but we play an indie song every episode and while we don't get comments on the song every week, every single comment we do get on the song du semaine is positive. I agree that putting a song in the middle of a business podcast probably isn't appropriate, but it fits in many.
  • Profanity: I totally agree.
So there you go. Some insight from a relatively heavy podcast listener. Do with it what you will.

5 Comments/Trackbacks

You see lots of lists like this and they are helpful, speaking as a podcaster - In Latte Veritas and The Rules

But there's a difference between the comments of universal application and those that are particular to a single listener. No one, for instance, is going to like a podcast *because* it has terrible audio levels.

Some of our listeners fast-forward through the music on our show about modern etiquette (The Rules). Others agree with me that it breaks things up nicely and sets a great mood. My point being that one person's opinion on that sort of thing is not much use.

Hi Steven,

I'm not sure how you can state that lists like this are useful and then state that they're not much use. Confused...

Good assumption. dpeach is definitely male.

The second article linked above does have a happy story in it. One of the podcasts I listen to, Fitness Rocks, has decided to focus more on content and less on music. He still has a song in the mix, but it is at the end so I don't have to fast forward through it and miss some commentary. It is hard to fast forward through a bunch of songs while running, but I am getting better at it.

Thanks for the link back to my site.

For me the issue of volume / sound quality is make-or-break: if the volume or sound quality vary during the course of the podcast, or are significantly different from what I usually hear in music / audio books, I just turn it off.


I was saying that the comments of universal application are useful, e.g. get your levels right applies to all podcasts and all listeners will appreciate it. The comments that pertain only to one listener's view are not useful, e.g. "I" don't like music in a podcast.

This list was a mixed bag.

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