Tuesday, November 22, 2011

low quality podcasting

I'm gunna rant.

Lameness abounds, and I gotta voice my disappointed with the vast majority of podcasting on the paranormal lore. Good grief, some of it just sounds awful! Most of the shows on BlogTalk, Inception Radio and UFO Paranormal Network are almost impossible to try and play the role of listener, the audio quality is inexcusably bad. There are guests I wanna listen to, but I'm appalled by the crummy sound. I've been doing an on-line radio show using my humble desktop computer, and my audio quality is pretty good. We live in an era of amazing and inexpensive technology that should make all of these shows crystal clear. It's not that hard people.

Done ranting.
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12 comments:

michael said...

I am a new listener to your podcast. I have been using gpodder in my linux netbook to download them. I must say that I have been very impressed with your stuff and I must also agree that the quality of other similar podcasts is a turnoff. I am so glad that you are doing what you are on your site, and I hope to share with you some of my own experiences in the near future. I am not sure I am a good fit with your target audience, but from what I have heard and read on your site, I think you will be able to relate somewhat. Any way, thanks so much for all your great work.

Michael

Red Pill Junkie said...

It's probable that the low quality of podcasts that are run through services like Blogtalk & Inception Radio are due (partially) to the limited bandwidth each user gets, since the servers of those sites accommodate many shows simultaneously.

When I listen to Micah's radio show each Tuesday night, usually the audio quality of the live broadcast (Ustream) is inferior to the downloadable MP3 file they release later.

Add to that the fact that most folks are not willing to spend money on a decent microphone, or that they will broadcast on *any* regular room without regard of sound insulation and waves bouncing out of reflective surfaces (like windows) :-/

Mike Clelland! said...

I record my podcast with a $19 headset from radio shack.

Red Pill Junkie said...

But you use one of them fancy-pancy Mac computers, dontcha? :P

travis said...

i definitely agree too. theres some really interesting stuff on those podcasting networks you mentioned, but i have also had to turn off some shows because the audio is just so terrible. as RPJ pointed out, they are probably trying to save on bandwidth by using very low encoding rates (Joe Montaldo has said several times they are constantly going over their monthly bandwidth limits, even though they have "unlimited" hosting) however it is still possible to get halfway decent audio quality even at 32kbps, or at very least get the levels somewhat balanced out!
thanks for taking the time to make your own podcasts very pleasant to listen to

Mike Clelland! said...

Good grief YES, I absolutely use a Mac!

I am at a loss to understand any one who doesn't.

I also do illustration work, and that pretty much requires a Mac.

Red Pill Junkie said...

In my defense, I can only claim:

a)AutoCAD was a PC-based software for the longest of time, which pretty much shaped the choice of architects and designers.

b)Macs are obviously superior products... but they are still too damn expensive for some of us ;)

Curiously enough, back in college I learned to use a Mac, and I was in awe with a machine you could actually start to work in with no previous training; but like I said, my career choices forced me to remain a Windows slave ;)

Laurence said...

Mike,

With fee tools out there, like audacity. Great tools that come on the Mac, "GarageBand" and a app I beta test for " WireTap Studio", the software is there for high quality production. Even the hardware, low costs mics, headsets, should not be a deterrent to excellence.

Any how I think you could come up with a " Best Practices for Podcasting" . Here is a link that should help others along, from the CDC, no less

Best Practices"

Be well

Laurence

Mike Clelland! said...

Laurence,

I would include SKype, and a free piece of software, the SKYPE RECORDER.

M!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the fact that your one- click podcasts always work on my ipad without any trouble at all. I've had problems with Unknown Country's podcasts, they just stop in the middle sometimes. And since there is no time track to slide forward to where it stopped, you have to start from the beginning again. Yours never does that. Thanks!

Tim Brosnan said...

Because there are so many guests whose interviews I want to hear, I'm a regular listener to UFO Paranormal Radio Network, but HOLY TOLEDO is the sound quality bad. And you're right about there being no excuse. Bandwidth schmandwidth. Their audio files are way large enough to contain far better sound. (Another thing you didn't mention is the horrible spelling and grammar on UFOPRN's index pages. I'm glad for Montaldo & company, but I do so wish they'd clean up their act.) So hats off to you, Mike, for insightful interviews, good audio quality, well-written text and clean, attractive web design.

Frank Hale said...

It's got nothing to do with using a Mac. I recorded a number of podcasts with a friend earlier this year and we both used nothing more than Skype and a $20 headset and the quality was great compared to some of the podcasts I've heard from BlogTalk radio and Inception network. I used skypemp3recorder on a Windows box to capture the audio and I used Audacity to bump the bass and edit dead air. There is really no excuse for crummy podcasts these days. The technology to record this and do it well is almost less than the price of going out to dinner with you family.