I spent over ten hours in my car over the weekend, driving back and forth to Chicago, where I caught up on a number of podcasts. I probably could have listened to twice as many as I did had the owners of the podcasts taken the time to do a final polish of the material before broadcasting it.
I'm talking about editing. As a rule, podcasting far too often resembles blogging -- just a dump of immediate feelings/thoughts. It's the exception (like Out of the Past) where a discussion gets recorded and then edited before the world gets to hear it. Gone are the "ums" and "uhs", uncomfortable silences, excited stammering, and irrelevant asides. This doesn't mean that the soul has been taken away, merely the chaff.
Along with Out of the Past, I like what the guys from Outside the Cinema do: having a live broadcast where they discuss the happenings of their lives and a separate download of movie reviews. This allows for listeners to get either the personal or professional. This plays far better for me than those movie review/cinema discussion podcasts where the topic for discussion doesn't get addressed until an hour into the proceedings (I'm looking at you, Movie Meltdown).
Audio editing is a powerful tool. Take a listen to this story from NPR's On The Media, "Pulling Back the Curtain" about how effectively editing can strengthen a story:
Here are some more podcasts that I listen to regularly. Some of them could use some editing... some could use some hacking... but some are just right:
- Bad Movie Podcast
- Movie Geeks United
- Reel Pour
- Gentlemen's Guide to Midnight Cinema
- Lost Picture Show
Thoughts? Are you more of a verite purist or do you have a podcast you can recommend or that is in desperate need of editing? Feel free to leave a comment.