Four Things Not To Do When Podcasting

I love listening to podcasts. They are a tremendous tool in the ever present battle to keep up with the craft of programming.  Podcasts help me keep up with industry news, learn about new patterns and technologies, and hear about what others are creating on the web.

Here are four mildly irritating patterns that I often come across and wish every podcast would avoid:

  • Unhelpful podcast episode names.  Leave out podcast name from the track title, I already know the name, and it just takes up valuable screen real estate on my mobile device.  Start with the show number so that the podcasts naturally sort correctly on my device.  Then list the name of the interviewee (if applicable) and topic.  On an old iPod size screen,  I need to be able to tell what the show is about in the first several characters. Otherwise, I can't distinguish between shows when they're shown vertically in a playlist.   Put the date of recording at the end. I don't need the date to pick a show, but I may need to be able to see it for context when time sensitive information is mentioned.  So a show name like 153: Paul Irish - HTML5 Boilerplate (6/2/2012) would be fantastic.
  • Excessive banter.  I listen to the podcast for the content related to the web (or whatever the topic is).  A few anecdotes to bring familiarity and set tone are great.  Talking for more than a few minutes about your kid's last soccer game isn't what I'm interested in.
  • Long intro music.  A few seconds is great, a few minutes is a waste of time.
  • Immediately loud intro music.  Podcast are always at different levels of volume, and when one ends and the next begins, give me time to adjust my volume by fading in the intro music so you don't immediately blow out my ears.

Written by Alex Brinkman who lives and works in Denver, but plays in the mountains.