Thursday, November 3, 2016

Podcasts Part I, Reflections on Podcasts

I have never been a fan of podcasts. To me they seem inconvenient. I searched for a podcast to listen to and came upon Fresh Air. I had listened to Fresh Air before on the radio and it did not occur to me that it would be classified as a podcast. I think that the delivery mechanism, more than the content, determines if something is classified as a podcast. I also learned about the NPR One app for accessing and scheduling the delivery of podcasts to your device.

Fresh Air is produced by radio station WHYY in Philadelphia. It is associated with NPR. It is a weekday broadcast that covers the contemporary Arts and other issues. I listened to an interview with Stephen Colbert. They talked about the ending of his last show, The Colbert Report, and the beginning of his current position with Late Show on CBS. They discussed how the Late Show is influenced by the network, if there is any interference, and if he feels limited by CBS’s language restrictions on curse words. They also discussed Colbert’s feelings about the Presidential campaign.
In listening to the podcast, I noticed that the audio quality was good, but a bit heavy on the bass. I think that may be an effect of their sound engineering. While it was not objectionable, it did make them sound a little flat. There were a few drop outs of the audio, but no real buffering.

I generally prefer to read news stories which allows me to reread sections at my discretion to make sure that I am understanding the subject of the story. However, because of the conversational tone and language that was used in the podcast, I do not feel that it would read well. I did not mind listening to this podcast even though some Colbert’s answers were fairly lengthy and detailed. It is here that the conversational tone worked and the language was easily comprehensible.

I will be listening more to Fresh Air and other NPR podcasts now that I know how to easily access them. NPR has been very smart to streamline the process of searching for and scheduling listening to their podcasts. They may have won me over.  


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