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     Home »  Doctor Who: Podshock »  Why is this such a concern?
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    Why is this such a concern? Views: 2255
     Saturday, April 15 2006 @ 12:44 PM EDT
    Something as been bothering me lately about the recent Podshock podcasts.

    In recent podcasts, Louis has expressed fear that Podshock episodes were going a bit too long. In Podcast #33, Ken complaints about spending the first 40 minutes alone on news.

    Why is this an issue?

    Podshock is a podcast which means it can run as long as it wants or as short as it needs to be.
    Unlike writing the college 5-pages essay or the fixed 30 minutes news cast, podcasts are a format free of time restrictions in which length does not matter.

    For anyone who has or does complaint about the long podcasts of Podshock, then my advice to them is: dude, it's a podcast! recorded on your computer not some TV show unsaved on your TiVo. No one says you must listen to any podcasts including Podshock in a single sitting. You can listen to as much of a podcast as you want whenever you want.
    If you can only listen to 20 minutes at a time, then listen to 20 minutes and save the rest for another time.
    That is the great thing about podcasts: you can listen to as much as you want whenever you want. And you can listen to it again, if you so wish.
    There is no rule or law that requires listening to a podcast all in one go.

    If it is a question of bandwidth, then the simple solution is cut the frills. Voice takes up less space than music especially lengthly audio clips from Doctor Who episodes.

    Neutral

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     Saturday, April 15 2006 @ 01:33 PM EDT
    Bravo! My thoughts exactly. For me Podschock is like a favourite weekly radio programme. It's always interesting and I think the material justifies the length. As long as Louis doesn't burn himself out editing the things together! Smile

    Mike

    "There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything we believe in. They must be fought."
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     Saturday, April 15 2006 @ 01:54 PM EDT

    For Louis, the main issue is the amount of post-production time that it takes. If the podcast is too long, then they may end up recording another episode before the prior one is released, and then you end up with it taking longer and longer between episodes.

    There are some that are turned off by the podcast spending too much time on house "cleaning issues". Self promotion is something almost every talk show does and even many networks do it as well. We all complain about this stuff, but without it, we would probably not get some vital information that is stuck amongst the chaff.

    In this modern day, it seems most of us suffer from ADD. Anything that takes too long to get to a point has some people getting antsy. It is fine for a scripted program to get on message and stay there, but in a show that is recorded live, unless you have a forceful host that can keep the discussions on topic, they tend to stray. Sure, Podshock could be scripted, but then it would lose some of the charm of the interaction between the hosts. Also, some people feel that since this is a podcast about Doctor Who, that it should avoid other topics that are not related to Doctor Who.

    Though it may seem like an anachronism, there are still many modem users out there. Can you imagine how long it takes to download a 50 MB file through a noisy phone line?

    I feel that Podshock is a very good podcast, but there is also a lot of room for improvement as well. The hosts, Louis Ken and James have been very gracious at accepting all comments, whether they have been paise or criticism. Now, unless one or more of them gives up their careers to produce the podcast "professionally", some issues will probably never be addressed due to time constraints. It probably would take longer to get the podcast down to the 60 minute sweet spot many people are hoping for.

    Also, there are other podcasts that have producers behind the scenes, and voice talent that has fewer responsibilities behind the scenes. Those podcast have a more polished feel, but also have many more person hours put in the scripting, plotting and development behind the scenes. Unless the core group expands significantly, there is just so much that the three hosts can do.

    A lot of this also depends on what the hosts goals are with the podcast. Do they want the podcast to remain approximately the way it is, or do they strive for something different? I do not know, but this is an interesting question. I'm sure they would like more participation from the listeners, but that would probably defeat the goal of getting the length down, unless it is well managed.

    There are many interesting and valid points on all sides of this issue, and the debate can only improve the podcast. It is difficult to please everyone.

    Taras

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Saturday, April 15 2006 @ 02:30 PM EDT
    I thought the main concern was the fact that if recorded to a CD, you can only get a certain amount of time on it (less than 80 minutes?).

    But how many people actually record the thing to a CD to listen to it?

    A secondary concern has to be download bandwidth, but that's only marginally higher as the show gets longer... it's a 1:1 ratio, and I guess doubling the show's original length does cause bandwidth issues, but for the most part, I'm betting fans like a longer show.

    It's like going to a party. No one wants to leave it less than an hour in... gimme a two-hour-max show, and I'll listen to it intently.

    Past 2 hours, and even I may stray a bit, but I have good stamina for Who talk.

    Sean.

    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
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     Saturday, April 15 2006 @ 11:11 PM EDT
    this is wierd, I posted a reply to this hours ago and it isn't here.
    basically, I picture Louis hunched over his Mac chain-drinking cups of coffee editing away until 3 in the morning.
    I have no qualms with the length of the show, and in fact wish it was longer, but I understand how labor intensive it is to get the program out weekly, and I am appreciative of what we have.
    Thanks, Louis.

    Heath Holland
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     Sunday, April 16 2006 @ 12:27 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  hdutch007] this is wierd, I posted a reply to this hours ago and it isn't here.

    If I had a nickel for every time I hit preview instead of submit, thinking the opposite, only to find that I did not post the message, and then went off to look at something else, I'd have a healthy stack of nickels... Frown

    Taras

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Sunday, April 16 2006 @ 12:57 AM EDT

    Thanks hdutch007. I don't know where your message went... I don't see it here. Perhaps there was a hiccup on the forum and it was lost. I do apologise for it.

    Yeah, I really wish it didn't take so much time in post... I love doing it, it just carving out the time which is an issue. I wish it was only staying up to 3 in the morning to get it done, but it is more often the case that I am up until 6 or 7 in the morning getting it done only to catch a few hours of sleep before heading off to the 'paying' job... Thursday night into Friday morning of this week, I decided to call it quits at 5am because I was too spent to continue on it. I picked up where I left off late Friday night into the wee hours before it was completed (edited, mixed down, converted, MP3 version generated, both uploaded to the server, both feeds entries created, the feeds uploaded, the 'cover art' created, and then finally the web site updated).

    Unfortunately it is not the type of work that I can just put an hour in here and there during the week. I can't work on this like that, once you get into the workflow of it, you follow it through. "Oh, I just want to do this..." "let me just finish this segment..." "before I stop, I just want to do this..." and so forth... before you know it, another couple hours just passed.

    Having said all that, yeah, certainly a one hour podcast is quicker to put together in post than a two hour postcast. The vast majority of people are not burning them to audio CDs... though there are a few and it made a good excuse if you will to shoot or aim for the 80 minute marker.

    I think we all accepted the fact that the show is not going to come in at the same running length week after week. Thankfully, unlike terrestrial radio when a show has to fit a time slot in certain schedule, we have some flexibility with our podcast to vary the length. Otherwise, big chunks would have to be edited out and gone forever to make it fit an arbitrary time slot.

    Having recorded episode 35 this today, I suspect we are looking at another show running close to 2 hours, if not just over it. Even with limiting the feedback down to about 3 pieces.

    As for bandwidth, sure it is a consideration... but we have just bumped up our service plans to accommodate what we need. It comes at a cost, but thankfully some listeners have donated to help offset these costs, and we do appreciate their generosity.

    We have received some comments from listeners asking us to keep the show down to no more than an hour and a half... but I can honestly say we received equal amount of comments, if not more telling us they don't mind the 2 hour length or asking us to make even longer! LOL.

    So in the end, it is more about striking a balance between the post-production time and our audience desires.

    Would we quit our paying jobs if we could make a living doing this? Probably, yes! LOL. Since that doesn't seem possible at this point, we just do what we can.

    Once again, thanks for all the feedback on this matter. We won't be able to please all the people, all the time in terms of our running length, but hopefully we can please most of the people, most of the time.

    Cheers,
    Louis


    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Sunday, April 16 2006 @ 01:10 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  tarashnat]
    [Quote  by:  hdutch007] this is wierd, I posted a reply to this hours ago and it isn't here.

    If I had a nickel for every time I hit preview instead of submit, thinking the opposite, only to find that I did not post the message, and then went off to look at something else, I'd have a healthy stack of nickels... Frown

    Taras


    Hopefully, not wooden nickels. Wink


    Oh my... I am sounding like my father... *Does the New Earth hospital have a cure for that?

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Sunday, April 16 2006 @ 02:18 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Louis] *Does the New Earth hospital have a cure for that?

    "Hope, harmony, and health."

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Sunday, April 16 2006 @ 09:16 AM EDT
    Louis, have you ever considered just doing the show live, with very few edits? That would save a lot of time in post production. I know you guys like to cut to commercials and add sound clips, but you could always just have the opening theme, then go live (no edits) for the length of the episode. I have seen this on lots of other podcasts. I think a lot of fans would totally understand.

    Heath Holland
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     Sunday, April 16 2006 @ 09:36 AM EDT
    .
    And I don't see the shows getting any shorter this next few months, what with reviewing the Sci Fi Channel's latest episode, AND talk about the new Series Two episode each week!

    All this activity, it's going to be difficult to keep it down to 2 hours!

    Not that I'm complaining...

    :-)

    Sean.

    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
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     Sunday, April 16 2006 @ 01:12 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  hdutch007] Louis, have you ever considered just doing the show live, with very few edits? That would save a lot of time in post production. I know you guys like to cut to commercials and add sound clips, but you could always just have the opening theme, then go live (no edits) for the length of the episode. I have seen this on lots of other podcasts. I think a lot of fans would totally understand.


    Essentially, our episode when we did a commentary for The Christmas Invasion was recorded this way. Since there were no sound clips to drop in and no breaks... just us gabbing for an hour about what we were seeing on the screen. We did loose James' UK connection over the net 40 minutes into it, and had to reconnect with him and pick up where we left off, but outside of that piece of editing... it was recorded "live" all the way through. And yes, post-production on that is much simpler. There still some post editing in terms of adjusting volume levels if needed in certain areas on certain tracks or editing out a cough or sneeze or something like that.

    Though there will always be some editing work due to the fact that audio coming in outside of the studio if you will (i.e. James, and now Ken, Mike or Russel, etc.) is recorded separately (together) at the same time and then later is merged together. So attention has to be paid to making sure it is all in sync in the final product.

    Speaking of commentaries, we have been talking behind the scenes about doing more commentaries...

    And perhaps on a occasion we can do a "as-is" recorded episode with little post work... Of course post also includes

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Tuesday, April 18 2006 @ 03:04 PM EDT
    Well...having weighed in on the side of shorter podcasts in the past (offline), I thought I'd share my current thinking.

    The main reason I'd like to see shorter podcasts, or at least segmented podcasts, is that many people listen to them on their commute.

    The average commute (outside of the NY area), is not two hours one way. Big Grin

    As other folks have expressed, it's tough to listen for hour, and then come back to it 8 hours later in the middle of a discussion.

    That said, I love podshock, and am ecstatic to listen and support it in whatever length that it comes out to.

    In fact, I've often found myself with one ear on podshock, and one ear on my daily first-thing-in-the-morning conference call, just so that I can listen to it all in one go. Smile

    I also agree with Sean, that discussing two episodes a week, plus news, reviews, feedback and other listener-submitted stuff, is a LOT to fit into any amount of time.

    One thing that other podcasts have done is to split their podcasts into multiple pieces every week. For example, you might do news and feedback in one piece, and then do reviews and listener-contributed stuff in another.

    I'm not saying that would work for podshock, but other shows have gone that way.

    Finally, I think that Louis does a tremendous job of editing the show together, and that work he does is a huge part of the podshock experience. So, while I agree that certain parts of podshock could be presented "raw", I really enjoy all the edits that he does put in, not so much becuase they "cut out the bad", but because of the fun stuff (sound effects, quotes, etc.) they add.

    Tim

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     Tuesday, April 18 2006 @ 04:31 PM EDT

    Hmm... I just realized that the last paragraph of my previous posting here is cut off mid-sentence... I should correct that sometime.

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Tuesday, April 18 2006 @ 04:32 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Louis]
    Hmm... I just realized that the last paragraph of my previous posting here is cut off mid-sentence... I should correct that sometime.

    Cheers,
    Louis

    We could just assume that Ken cut you off... Twisted Evil

    Taras

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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