A cool thing I discovered is that the audio repair tool I use has a bug where if the hard drive runs out of space, it just repairs part of the file without telling me anything was wrong. So guess who’s spent hours “fixing” audio files when I should have been cleaning up hard drive space?
Ice, Ice, Baby
There’s a lot of sounds, besides the obvious one of people talking, that gets picked up by microphones and I get to hear while I’m editing podcasts.
One that triggers an instant “Ooh I want that!” is the sound of someone drinking something with ice. It could be iced coffee, pop, alcoholic beverage, soda water, juice - I have no idea what’s actually in the glass. But that clinking sound of ice in a cup as it’s being tilted up to someone’s mouth and then back down triggers an almost pavlovian response in my brain to want to go get myself some sort of drink with ice in it.
Here’s a clip of the sound I mean from a recent edit with all identifying sounds removed other than the ice. (You may have to click a few “x"s to let Dropbox just play the video in your browser)
How about you - want a drink?
Achievements For Podcast Hosting Launched at Transistor.fm
This was one of my first feature requests to @mijustin and @TransistorFM from way back when I first started using them to host podcasts. Love that they’ve nailed it so well, including beautiful looking designed badges.
Podcasters (people in general) love to share achievements, but often don’t even stop to recognize them when they happen. And nobody else can celebrate these kinds of things for you.
What If One Day the Podcasts Went Silent?
Justin Duke, creator of the great Buttondown email newsletter app, has an “About This Site” for his personal blog that’s a great read and motivator for creating a personal site.
This section jumped out at me as someone who helps create podcasts for a living:
One day, though, I made the mistake of accidentally messing up my syncing on my podcatcher of choice by pulling out my iPad that hadn’t been touched in a few months for a plane ride. For a few bizarre moments, I caught myself listening to episodes that was three months out of date. What started out as a minor annoyance (oh no, I need to spend the next three hours doing crosswords to the sound of silence!) turned into fascination and finally into horror as I realized just how irrelevant the content was — entire swaths of how I spent my day had the shelf-life of a mere fortnight or less.
Obviously I think it’s very healthy to not spend the majority of your day tuned into podcasts, despite the fact that podcasts are what puts food on my family’s table. I also noticed a similar thing happen when I unplugged from the daily or even weekly tech and news podcasts I was subscribed to - not much changed in what I felt I knew, and I had more time to spend on other things - namely editing client podcasts. :)
Dynamic Ad Insertion Issues Continue
If you’re outside the US, you’re no doubt familiar with podcast hosts saying “we’ll be right back…” and expecting an advert only for nothing to happen and the podcast to start right back up again. That’s dynamic ad insertion at “work”. See this thread from Marco:
Podcasts + Music in App Experience
I’m so glad Apple decided to split apart Podcasts into it’s own app. Initially I was skeptical that it made sense - why not have podcasts in the same “store” as where everyone was already going for music or movies or TV? It’s all media.
Now 3 years later it really looks like it was the right choice, at least from a user experience perspective. Obviously I have no insider knowledge on usage stats from Spotify or Apple, but Rachel Smith’s experience sums up the sentiment I keep hearing from Spotify users:
In the blessed pre-Spotify Podcasts days, I was a huge Spotify fan. I was paying for a subscription as soon as it was available in my region. Now I curse Spotify whenever they take away podcast content I previously enjoyed: Brené Brown, basically all of Gimlet. I say “take away” because I refuse to use their shitty excuse for a podcast-app-shoved-in-a-music-player that has made my once-great-music-player experience worse! Damn you Spotify, I won’t do it.
Like I said, without actual user data it’s impossible for me to say “Spotify’s approach is economically worse than Apple’s”, and I don’t know what kind of testing Spotify is doing to determine if a separate app would generate more revenue, but it certainly feels like it’s a better experience over all.