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#1
Old 10-06-2014, 11:16 AM
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Is it strange that I hate podcasts?

Everytime I click on an interesting sounding link and it drops me at a podcast page, I feel annoyed and disappointed. Podcasts take forever, are filled with all the ramblings of an ordinary coversation, and feel like terrible ways of conveying information. I feel like I could read the contents of a hour long podcast in 5-10 minutes, and listening to people stumble along is tiresome and frustrating to me, and often results in me just giving up on listening before the 'cast' gets interesting (assuming it every actually does.).

Am I strange? Do other people love this medium? Why is it so popular these days? Is it just because it's easier to have a couple of people ramble into microphones for an hour than it is to actually sit down and type something? What the advantages from the listeners' end? I guess there are situations in which you can listen but can't read - the obvious one being 'while driving' - but I don't have many of those in my life.
#2
Old 10-06-2014, 11:29 AM
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I am not a heavy podcast listener but I never miss This American Life on my Monday morning drive. There is an art to oral storytelling that I enjoy and though I could read the same story, it's just not the same.
#3
Old 10-06-2014, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by LVBoPeep View Post
I am not a heavy podcast listener but I never miss This American Life on my Monday morning drive. There is an art to oral storytelling that I enjoy and though I could read the same story, it's just not the same.
But that is, I believe, an actual, produced...SHOW.

So maybe I just hate the bad production values of most podcasts.
#4
Old 10-06-2014, 11:31 AM
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No, I don't think you're strange. I agree with you.

When I taught, the principal was big on having the kids do podcasts. Junior high kids rambling on, losing their place, and giggling is interesting to their parents, no one else.

Last edited by Pai325; 10-06-2014 at 11:31 AM.
#5
Old 10-06-2014, 11:39 AM
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Seems odd to me, but everyone's tastes are different. I listen to a lot of podcasts from produced shows to the described rambling depending on the people and subject. Far preferable to current talk radio or music stations that repeat the same songs over and over.
#6
Old 10-06-2014, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Cumberdale View Post
Far preferable to current talk radio or music stations that repeat the same songs over and over.
Well, yes, everything is relative, but this is like saying "Podcasts are better than being poked with a sharp stick."

Actually, that said, I usually enjoy my local NPR radio station, so I guess I should contest that point.
#7
Old 10-06-2014, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Airk View Post

So maybe I just hate the bad production values of most podcasts.
That's quite possible. There's nothing that makes me want to listen to a podcast less than bad audio or *shudder* the soft mashing of something being eaten.

I pretty much only listen to podcasts when I'm driving or at work where readings not really an option. I wouldn't really want a podcast for my free time, I'd rather read something then, too.
#8
Old 10-06-2014, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Pai325 View Post
No, I don't think you're strange. I agree with you.

When I taught, the principal was big on having the kids do podcasts. Junior high kids rambling on, losing their place, and giggling is interesting to their parents, no one else.
Yeah, it's not even interesting to the parent but we have to pretend.

In general I don't like podcasts. The only exception to that rule is Startalk Radio with Neil deGrasse Tyson. The format still annoys me a bit but the fun that they are obviously having while making the show comes through and keeps me listening.
#9
Old 10-06-2014, 12:04 PM
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I like podcasts quite a bit, but I also agree that I'd prefer written articles most of the time. The thing is, they fill completely different entertainment needs: articles are something that I can read quickly when I have a few free minutes, podcasts take much longer to consume and only really fit into my schedule when I'm driving. I can (and do) consume massive amounts of written material each day, especially if it's a slow day at work; I've got two 30-minute podcast sessions each day at most, and sometimes I'd rather be listening to music, you know? So there's definitely some frustration if a writer I like cuts back on articles to add a podcast, as more than a few have done over the past several years.
#10
Old 10-06-2014, 12:45 PM
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I used to really be in to listening to podcasts while I was working out. At least, the cardio bit. I listened to a lot of the How Stuff Works podcasts.

But then the "big" one, Stuff You Should Know, started getting really loose with their rambling and trailing off. I don't quite know when in the timeline of the show that this happened, as I was listening to old shows and new shows randomly. But it became unbearable for me to listen to because I just can't stand all of the "extra words." And giggling, and anecdotes, and awful nonsense.

For some reason this really put me off all podcasts. Possibly because SYSK was the first one I started listening to and it helped me find the others. I know the others under the How Stuff Works umbrella were still tight and to-the-point, but I still got off them altogether.

They (HSW) did put out some movie-themed podcast and it was just awful. Just two women sitting around telling their personal movie-going anecdotes. It was like a bad SDMB thread being read out loud.

Anyway, not all podcasts are bad and not everyone dislikes rambling. But it definitely can be hard to find a well-edited, consistently "sharp" podcast if that's what you crave.

And yes if you prefer the written word and are in a situation where you could just as easily read as listen then....podcasts don't make any sense. But they make a lot of sense for a lot of people.
#11
Old 10-06-2014, 12:50 PM
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I think a big part of it is how it fits into your lifestyle. I almost never have time to sit down and read stuff uninterrupted, but my daily work routine in the lab involves a lot of mindless tedium (aka science). I can very easily listen to interesting things as I work, and I do.

That said, I agree that quality is vital. Good podcasts don't involve a lot of rambling or chitchat; they're focused, well-written, and professionally delivered. Tending toward British comedy as I do, I like the Daily Bugle and the QI elves' There's No Such Thing As A Fish. There are also some good history ones that I like.
#12
Old 10-06-2014, 01:15 PM
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I don't care for podcasts, I'm MUCH rather read an article than listen to one.

The situations where some people like podcasts, like driving to work, I prefer to pay attention to my surroundings.

It's just not my thing.

On the other hand, my spouse does not read for entertainment. He'd probably much prefer listening to a podcast. Reading just isn't his thing. And that's OK.

As long as podcasts are an option and not a mandate it's fine.
#13
Old 10-06-2014, 01:40 PM
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In fact, Broomstick posted a similar thread a while back: Does Anyone Else Find Podcasting As Irritating As All Heck?
#14
Old 10-06-2014, 01:51 PM
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They do, mostly, suck. There are a couple consistently good ones, like Dan Carlin for example. I listen to his as soon as they are released and I am working my way through older episodes from before I "discovered" him.
There are others, Generation Why comes to mind, where I often listen for a few minutes and shut off the episode. They manage to have an interesting and listenable episode just often enough to keep me from abandoning them entirely.
Podcasts remind me of public access TV from the 80's.
#15
Old 10-06-2014, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airk View Post
But that is, I believe, an actual, produced...SHOW.

So maybe I just hate the bad production values of most podcasts.
That's it for sure. Way too many people think "hey, i can talk and have a microphone. I can podcast!". IIt's like saying most documentaries suck because you're including home movies.
#16
Old 10-06-2014, 02:16 PM
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A podcast is just a radio show. You can have good podcasts done by professionals or bad, rambling ones done by amateurs.
#17
Old 10-06-2014, 02:28 PM
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The self-publishing of the audio world. Loathe them.
#18
Old 10-06-2014, 02:35 PM
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I strongly dislike podcasts. They are huge time wasters. I could read that same information in less than half the time.

Cracked.com has added podcasts. I listened to a couple. Same irritating and useless chatter.
#19
Old 10-06-2014, 03:18 PM
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Podcasts are good for special circumstances, like walking, working out, long drives, etc. To just ingest information, I don't bother with them. I'm with those who say they'd much rather read an article.

I feel that way about video links, too. When I click on an interesting link and it takes me to a video, I leave instantly. Usually I don't want to take the time, or I'm at a place where I can't have the volume up. I can skim an article to get to the meat of what I want to know, but you can't skim a video (or a podcast).
#20
Old 10-06-2014, 03:33 PM
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I do tedious work in front of a computer all day. I'm glad I can go to stitcher and listen to all sorts of inane ramblings that require little focus to follow. Of course, the idea of just sitting there, listening to one and doing nothing else would be awful.

But when used as a somewhat entertaining background noise, they are a godsend.
#21
Old 10-06-2014, 03:34 PM
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Yeah; Videos are super frustrating too - I run into a LOT of them in "how to" or "Game help" sort of searches, and they're USELESS. 15 minutes of someone uhm-ing and ahhh-ing to get 30 seconds of information.
#22
Old 10-06-2014, 03:39 PM
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I'd much rather read the content but there are times when that's just not possible. I do have a few that I look forward to:

Mission Log never fails to make me laugh.
Hardcore History is gripping.
Freakonomics is usually interesting
Various NPR programs so I can catch up on Wait Wait... and SciFri on my own time.
#23
Old 10-06-2014, 04:08 PM
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Maybe it's just that I'm a visual person and read and comprehend at the highest rates, but I don't really get any pleasure out of listening to someone slowly tell me about something. I'd rather have the choice to skim general material and/or slowly dissect a complex or thoughful paragraph. It's only slightly related, but seminars etc. that consist of someone... slowly... reading... the powerpoint... slides can make me homicidal.

Which is how I feel about most videos for news, info, how-to, etc. SOMETIMES a video is essential. 99 times in 100, well-written text is better.

But we're in a world where most people can't write two coherent sentences, a large number can't be bothered to read anything but the Like button, and too many have time to listen to a slowly rendered aural or visual exposition.
#24
Old 10-06-2014, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeghead View Post
I think a big part of it is how it fits into your lifestyle. I almost never have time to sit down and read stuff uninterrupted, but my daily work routine in the lab involves a lot of mindless tedium (aka science). I can very easily listen to interesting things as I work, and I do.
And I'm 180 degrees the opposite. Most of what they fit into a 30 minute podcast could be written properly and be something I could read in 5-10 minutes, and I'd rather read it than listen to someone jabber in a usually unorganized fashion about things.

Same thing for instructional videos. Unless there's some real non-obvious trick to it that you have to literally see to understand, it's probably better off written as a set of instructions.
#25
Old 10-06-2014, 05:37 PM
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A big part of the rambling "shooting the shit" stuff that people dislike in personality podcasts is due to unfamiliarity. Long time listeners probably don't see it as rambling they hear it as listening to their "friends talking." They know the personalities and the references where a new listener is just going to say "what the hell?"
#26
Old 10-06-2014, 06:11 PM
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Or maybe the format just doesn't appeal to some of us. I don't know why that is so impossible to understand. It's not a matter of familiarity, or lifestyle, or quality of production, it's that it just doesn't appeal to everyone.

It's as if someone said "I don't read for pleasure" and someone says "Oh, if you just try War and Peace/Dickens/Poe/John Clancy/whatever you'll love it!" No, not really, some people just don't care for reading.

Ditto for just about every other form of human expression. Sometimes, a person just doesn't care for a format or genre.
#27
Old 10-06-2014, 06:56 PM
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Why are people accepting "aimless rambling" as the definition of podcasts? That's like accepting fan fiction as the definition of a novel or public access programming as the definition of a TV show.

NPR, WNYC, PRI, and other sources of professional audio content put out podcasts and they're anything but aimless rambling.
#28
Old 10-06-2014, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Or maybe the format just doesn't appeal to some of us. I don't know why that is so impossible to understand. It's not a matter of familiarity, or lifestyle, or quality of production, it's that it just doesn't appeal to everyone.

It's as if someone said "I don't read for pleasure" and someone says "Oh, if you just try War and Peace/Dickens/Poe/John Clancy/whatever you'll love it!" No, not really, some people just don't care for reading.

Ditto for just about every other form of human expression. Sometimes, a person just doesn't care for a format or genre.
Well, for lack of a better term --"no shit."
#29
Old 10-06-2014, 07:20 PM
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Just recalling other threads where we had posters popping up with "try THIS!" or "maybe if you listen in this context you'll like one!" despite people saying no, they really just didn't respond to the format. It's like some people can't believe other people don't like the same things they do.
#30
Old 10-06-2014, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Just recalling other threads where we had posters popping up with "try THIS!" or "maybe if you listen in this context you'll like one!" despite people saying no, they really just didn't respond to the format. It's like some people can't believe other people don't like the same things they do.
But if you say "I don't like X because of Y," it's not unreasonable for people to suggest examples of X that (in their judgment) don't involve Y.
#31
Old 10-06-2014, 10:22 PM
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I notice that everybody that doesn't like podcasts is using this as a platform to demonstrate their superiority to podcast listeners. Well, ain't you special!
#32
Old 10-06-2014, 10:46 PM
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There's nothing strange about you if you don't like podcasts - of all the forms of media invented that are easily accessible, podcasts and web videos would have to be the easiest ever to avoid completely if you don't like them.

I personally have about thirty podcasts a week that I listen to, mostly comedy ones, a couple of skeptical/scientific ones, and a few that don't quite fit a category. Sometimes the rambling is the best part of it - not everything enjoyable in life has to involve specific knowledge being shared efficiently.
#33
Old 10-06-2014, 11:28 PM
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Probably the same kinds of people that don't like talk radio.

I like articles, but I can't read an article while driving or while playing Hearthstone on my iPad. It's not hyper dense information, but it's ok.

Sometimes, it's the only way you'll get that particular sort of information - I listen to The Angry Chicken, a Hearthstone podcast (it's a card game), and the 3 hosts banter and talk about stuff which just doesn't translate well into text. You could transcribe it, but then that's all that additional work which frankly these guys aren't getting paid for.

It's true, articles are probably easier to read and digest, but that's because the writer has taken the effort to write clearly for you, and edit accordingly. If you had to read inane rambling paragraphs, that'd be just as bad if not worse. So it's either podcast or bust for these guys, and podcasts fit my niche.
#34
Old 10-07-2014, 02:59 AM
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Podcasts aren't meant to be informative, they're supposed to be entertaining. If you go in looking for facts then you'll probably be very frustrated. For me the meandering is the fun part, though all the talking over each other, and also live audiences, can be annoying.
#35
Old 10-07-2014, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Tabby_Cat View Post
Probably the same kinds of people that don't like talk radio.
I listen to a fair amount of talk radio, but I couldn't even conceive of listening to a podcast. The comparison to public access TV is apt. I prefer my entertainment professionally produced.
#36
Old 10-07-2014, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Ellis Dee View Post
I listen to a fair amount of talk radio, but I couldn't even conceive of listening to a podcast. The comparison to public access TV is apt. I prefer my entertainment professionally produced.

Again, plenty of podcasts are professionally produced.
#37
Old 10-07-2014, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
Podcasts aren't meant to be informative, they're supposed to be entertaining.
This is where the non-professionally produced ones fall down. They are so ineptly done that they lose any entertainment value they might have offered me. I tire pretty quickly of any podcast that lacks focus or wastes too much of my time on the participants laughing at their own jokes. If a podcast seems too much like I am overhearing a conversation from a neighboring booth at Denny's, I'm done.
#38
Old 10-07-2014, 08:12 AM
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I listen to a ton of podcasts. Some are educational, some comedy, some atheism based. They've taken the place of music when I'm driving, mowing the lawn, weed whacking, landscaping, cooking, doing handyman jobs. Love em.
#39
Old 10-07-2014, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
But if you say "I don't like X because of Y," it's not unreasonable for people to suggest examples of X that (in their judgment) don't involve Y.
I am not disagreeing.

In fact, in one thread when I said one of my frustrations with podcasts was how slow they were compared with reading someone replied with the name of a program that speeds up audio, which was an entirely relevant contribution.

Even so, I don't quite get where people stating "I don't care for X" comes across as hating or acting "superior" to those who do like X. I don't like lima beans, either, but I don't hate people who like lima beans, or feel superior to them, and I fully support their right to eat lima beans and enjoy them. Likewise for podcasts. If you enjoy them, great. Have fun.
#40
Old 10-07-2014, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
The situations where some people like podcasts, like driving to work, I prefer to pay attention to my surroundings.
because unless you never listen to the radio, think about what you're going to make for dinner or chat with someone in the passenger seat, you're just as potentially distracted as someone listening to a podcast.
#41
Old 10-07-2014, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
Podcasts aren't meant to be informative, they're supposed to be entertaining. If you go in looking for facts then you'll probably be very frustrated. For me the meandering is the fun part, though all the talking over each other, and also live audiences, can be annoying.
Bzzzt. Thank you for playing. Many, many podcasts do purport to be informative discussions on actual topics of at least some degree of actual, informative interest for people in the same hobbies - even if it's just "hearing the opinions of people who are experts on this sort of thing". It's EXACTLY the same as an "interview" typed out for publication, only those have all the useless hemming and hawing and uhming and ahh-ing cut out.
#42
Old 10-07-2014, 09:55 AM
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So do well-produced podcasts. If you don't like it, you don't like it.
#43
Old 10-07-2014, 10:15 AM
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The thing is, all your complaints could be said about TV, too. You don't listen to podcasts to get information. If that's your goal, of course that's going to be annoying. They are a form of entertainment, like video.

Would you really rather read about most TV shows than watch them?
#44
Old 10-07-2014, 11:01 AM
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Some of them, sure. I'd read Breaking Bad the book series long before I'd watch the show.
#45
Old 10-07-2014, 01:13 PM
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I think it varies wildly from podcast to podcast. Since there's practically zero barrier to entry for any schmo who wants to produce a podcast, many of the resulting podcasts suck hard. But there are plenty that are fun/interesting/educational etc so it's just a matter of finding the ones that you like.
#46
Old 10-07-2014, 01:21 PM
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I'm hearing impaired, so even listening to the radio is a chore. Podcasts are all but useless to me, so i do get annoyed with ones that I'm sure contain extremely interesting content, but don't offer it in any other medium.
#47
Old 10-07-2014, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Why are people accepting "aimless rambling" as the definition of podcasts? That's like accepting fan fiction as the definition of a novel or public access programming as the definition of a TV show.

NPR, WNYC, PRI, and other sources of professional audio content put out podcasts and they're anything but aimless rambling.
Quoted for truth. In fact until this post I realized I didn't think of the stuff on NPR as a podcast at all, it was so organized. I actually also hate most podcasts because they are so rambling. Some very very few ones are good.
#48
Old 10-07-2014, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Inner Stickler View Post
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick
The situations where some people like podcasts, like driving to work, I prefer to pay attention to my surroundings.
because unless you never listen to the radio, think about what you're going to make for dinner or chat with someone in the passenger seat, you're just as potentially distracted as someone listening to a podcast.
I'm sorry, that's YOUR interpretation of what I said. I did not say people listening to podcasts were any more distracted than anyone else. The passenger next to me is part of my surroundings. This time of year I like to look at the fall colors.

Podcast fans are almost certainly less distracted than the bozos who text while driving.

But hey, I have to wonder why you're so hypersensitive to my preference in entertainment.
#49
Old 10-07-2014, 01:46 PM
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Whatever helps you sleep at night.
#50
Old 10-07-2014, 02:06 PM
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Even my favorite podcasts tend to be dry - both in content and in audio quality. Voices are always over-crisp and super-close-miked, as if the speaker is breathing in your ear. Given that so many podcasters are male, and often somewhat androgynous-sounding, this can be oogy.

Last edited by Beware of Doug; 10-07-2014 at 02:07 PM.
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