Recovered from the Wayback Machine
Now that you’re all thirsting for more after my little ode to the car wash, I thought I would move in for the kill with podcasting.
Something’s been bothering me about this fuss over “podcasting”, and I think I’m figuring out what it is. The term “clever” is what did it for me. It’s really nothing to do with “timeshifting” your audio or anything like that – it’s just a “clever” way to use a sexy consumer gadget. It’s a rationalization for the iPod and for doing things the Apple Way.
Because, after all, when you strip it down and figure out what the meat is, it all actually gets easier when you’re dealing with things other than iPods. “Podcasting” would be a matter of hacking some batch files for my Archos; with an iPod and iTunes, you have to actually code to an API…
Podcasting is now the ‘hip’ thing, the stuff that tingles all the toes. Scoble is ga ga over it (note to self, tell Scoble about car washes), and Adam Curry is determined to become the Howard Stern of the garage waves. We are probably on the verge of a mass saturation of the Internet to bring down the routers.
i.m. orchard says he’s falling for the podcast hype. He writes:
With this switch of perspective, I think I’m falling for the hype. The key is to get out of the way: aggregate, queue, and play in the background. Yeah, there’s going to be a lot of awful crap out there, and lots of dorks eating breakfast and lipsmacking into the microphone as they blab (this is me, shuddering)—but as the number of podcasters expand, we will start to hear some blissful hams showing up with things worth listening to.
The key is to get out of the way. More good writing.
People talk about why they started a weblog, and say they were attracted to its unique characteristics. They then seem to spend an inordinate about of time trying to push it and pummel it into formats that we’ve had for hundreds of years. But you know, if it’s fun for folks and they get a kick out of it, more power to them.
But will it take off? Unlikely.
I can chuckle through a bit of twisted writing and mangled grammar and it can have appeal that goes beyond style and mechanics. That appeal could be because I like the person; or it could be because there’s bright specks in the writing and that makes the rest palatable. Heck, I wince to think of my own twisted writing and mangled grammer over the years, but I haven’t chased everyone away. Just most of the conservative Republicans.
However, I cannot handle a screechy voice, or excessive use of pauses (’uhm’, ‘ah’, ‘urh’), not to mention dead, pedantic tones and fake playfulness. Broadcasting, both visual and audio, is a skilled task that usually requires a great deal of training in addition to having a decent voice. Unlike writing, it’s much more difficult to ‘tune’ out the bad. I notice this about my own recordings, which is why I’ve only subjected you to these twice.
Additionally, as has been said elsewhere, audio files can’t be searched, or easily annotated with meta data, and can become significant drains on resources. As Scoble later wrote, because of Podcasting I need to be able to email around large files. Many email systems won’t accept files that are bigger than 2MB’s in size.
Omigod, I am visualizing being inundated with 10MB sound files. It’s enough to make you want to unplug. Viagra spam done vocally – there is a hell.
Still, teaching people proper podcasting behavior (think static location and ‘broadcasting’ the URI, as well as text translations of the audio, and never, even emailing podcasts to your friends) should take care of most of the concerns. And I for one wouldn’t mind hearing what some people I read sound like (and many of you who I’ve heard have very nice voices). As i.m. said, The key is to get out of the way: aggregate, queue, and play in the background.
But I think about spending time in the mornings or during the day reading weblogs, and I’m reminded of those who say they get all their news through blogging, and now we’re talking about loading blogger podcasts into our audio devices to take with us while we drive or walk or hike and I wonder where this particular world will end.
Will it even invade my car wash? Pink and blue and yellow prose competing with pink and blue and yellow foam? Seems a shame somehow. But what do I know? I think car washes are cool.