Podcasts and blogs that I subscribe to
(but don't really have enough time to listen to or read).
Those in CAPITAL letters are my favorites. The others are more uneven, or I haven't checked them out yet properly.
A note on podcast subscribing.
- Don't download ALL podcasts from a show at once. Unless you don't have a life, and don't make breaks for eating, sleeping or doing anything else than listening, you won't have the time to ever listen to them all. Use the manual download setting, or just download the most recent episode, otherwise your computer will fill up and explode. Most episodes are available for later download anyway.
- If you're new to podcast listening, and trust my taste and interests endlessly, start with downloading my current iTunes podcast playlist here. Then just import it to your own iTunes, listen and you can always erase all you don't like after the fact.
A note on podcast production.
I'm not a podcast producer myself – yet! – however, as a podcast addict, I have some advice for those who are:
- Use the highest quality mp3! Too much compression destroys not only the listening quality but can even make it impossible to understand what people are saying.
- Edit your show! All those ahhs and umhs and unnecessary chatting is boring! Put yourself in the listeners position. It's nice to appreciate the familiar atmosphere between people in a conversation, but remember that people are listening and if they need to bullshit they can just go to the nearest pub. Stick to you topic, you can be entertaining anyway but there's no need to be boring.
- Don't record interviews and conversations in noisy atmospheres. It's something very different to be there live and to listen to a recording of it. The unconscious filtering out of noise is much more difficult to do when you listen to a recording, maybe partly because of the lack of visual help. If you want a conversation to have a sound atmosphere, you will usually win very much by carefully adding it afterwards, so you have control over how it sounds later.
- If you record conferences, make sure to arrange the recording carefully before you start, it's certainly not good enough to just record from an audience position. Preferably record each panel speaker on a different channel – if that's not possible, put the mike as close as you can to the speaker. Avoid room reverb, it makes it very difficult to follow the speach and destroys the listening concentration very soon. Then it doesn't matter anymore how good the speach or debate was. If you have only one mike and speakers are far apart, try to be physically close to the speaker. Think TV reporter on a street.
- Record in a soundproof studio if possible, with a mike and channel for each speaker. If you can't do that, put a stereo mike on equal distance from all speakers.
- Use compression on all speach, preferably on each separate speech channel, otherwise on the whole recording. Professional radios do this, that's why it's usually very comfortable to listen to radio voices: you always hear what people are saying and don't get your hearing damaged when people burst out in loud laughter. Some people start a sentence on a loud note and end it in unintelligible mumble. If you don't compress this, nobody will hear what they say, especially if they want to listen to your podcast in a loud car. Nobody likes to turn the volume up and down all the time, especially when you never know when somebody makes a joke and everybody burst out in 150 dB laughter after having mumbled for many minutes. This is important if you want people to enjoy your podcast.
- Learn about how to use mikes. For example, if you have the mike close to the mouth, things happen which you're not aware of unless you listen with headphones during recording. Explosive consonants like P and T hit the mike if it's straight in front of the mouth and feel like a fistblow in your face. Avoid this by a) putting the mike closer to the corner of the mouth b) keep a little bit more distance c) have a “puff protection” between mouth and mike, basically a thin sheet of cloth d) cut off frequencies below 70 or 100 Hz during or after the recording (most mixers and some mikes have a button ready for this).