I find podcasts extremely overrated. Yeap, I know this is an extremely selfish and biased opinion, especially given the popularity of this “means of entertainment”.
But on the other hand, most things that suck have traction. I can’t recall something that was super ugly and didn’t have fanatic and passionate friends.
I will try to explain my view.
Too many podcasts have bad equipment. I find it extremely disrespectful and annoying to hear only half of what is discussed, due to low quality microphones.
I understand and respect, if the podcaster is completely amateur and hobbyist but most of them have 1-2 sponsors per episode. Not sure of the monetary reward, but a decent microphone cost about $100 or so?
Wasting time and mundane subjects
Why should I spend 70 minutes hearing a discussion where the important information is spread here and there if I can read an article of the same topic which will take me less than 15 minutes to read?
For example, I can recall a 70-minute long episode in a podcast, about VS code tips. There are tons of articles in dev.to alone which you can read all in less than 1 hour (all of them).
Be innovative fellas. I can find countless reviews of the newest Django or var vs let and const. Don’t be dull and boring.
I would be happier if the subjects were more unique, subjects that you cannot find easily around.
Too many podcasters fail to deliver enthusiasm to their audience. I don’t blame them. I can’t be enthusiastic if I don’t like what I am doing, either.
So the question is, as Steve Jobs would say: Why are you living someone else’s life if it is obvious you don’t like what you are doing?
So the podcast begins and the host starts doing some predetermined chit-chatting with their guests. I thought I was about to hear you to learn something, not to spot some fake spontaneity.
Sadly, if I want to attend dialogs between strangers, I would opt-in for Netflix. :)
I am not saying the podcast should sound like an interrogation, but one certainly need to keep a balance and not try to fill the time with low value small talk.
Lack of transcription or summary
Most podcasts don’t offer some kind of transcription or summary (with “links” to the respective time range).
Why is this a problem? First of all, you might need to skim some parts and no one can blame you for that.
Also, not all listeners are native English/German/Spanish/whatever speakers. Some words might be inaudible. Some phrases might be too much of a slang, only a native could get them. I think you are getting the point.
Blogs suck too
Many blogs don’t offer much quality to their readers (this might be one of those :) )
But in blogs, you can “just skim” or “read the headers” to see if it is worth digging deeper. So you dont have to listen the whole part to get the hint
Of course, it would be silly to say that if you are labeled as a podcast, you are doomed to mediocrity.
Some podcasts that are of high quality and are my first choices when I choose it as a mean of information are (random order):
- Kwik Brain (not technical, but totally worth listening)
- Software engineering daily
- JS party. I am impressed with the enthusiasm they deliver
- Python bytes
Of course, the list is only indicative. I am pretty sure there are other high-quality podcasts that I didn’t have to hear till now.
Thank you for taking the time read this article. I hope you enjoyed it. Podcasts could be a great mean of information and entertainment if done right but looks like this is not the case for most of them now. If you feel against my views or have any high-quality podcast to recommend, please let us know.