What are your podcast pet peeves as a listener?

Oh man, I’ve got lots of pet peeves as a listener. I’ll go over like 5 of them and maybe I’ll do this again later.

1 Maybe my biggest pet peeve is super long intros. So, shows that have like 5 or 10-minute-long intros. You need to get to the point. This is not like radio. You are not trying to waste time to run out the clock. Podcasting is an on-demand medium. You need to respect your listeners time. Having a one-minute theme song before the intro and then 5 minutes of commercials is not respecting my time. Also it shows a certain ignorance about podcast listeners. Most podcast apps allow you to easily skip ahead. Podcast clients like PocketCast actually lets you automatically skip certain amount of time per podcast. So if I know you have 5 minutes of garbage at the start of every episode, I can just tell my app to skip 5 minutes at the start of every episode. This also goes for long outros. Why are you playing the theme music for 2 full minutes after the show is over? We are done. The show is over. Let me move on to the next show.

2 Another big pet peeve of mine is stereo neglect and abuse. I listen to podcasts mostly with headphones or earbuds. So stereo issues are really apparent and annoying. First is the neglect. Certain recording set ups will put some people on the right channel and others on the left. So, you get this terrible effect of one person’s voice being in one ear and the other person’s voice in another. I hate it. Honestly, unless you are making a music podcast, your show should just be in mono. Why do you need stereo? And that brings me to the abuse of stereo. Don’t use stereo panning as an effect in any way. It is totally obnoxious. It might sound cool in your desktop speakers or in the car but in headphones it is just annoying.

3 Your files are just too big. 300 megabytes is huge for a podcast. Unless you are doing a really hi-fidelity podcast, you should be encoding your files between 96 – 128 kbit/s. And in my opinion that also should be mono too. If you are encoding at 320 kbit/s stereo you are just doing it wrong. Not everyone has unlimited data or fast internet connections. When they realize how big the file is they either are not going to download it or cancel the download. You are losing listeners because of your file size.

4 I hate all these fake shows. There are so many of them. These are the shows that buy twitter followers, they buy iTunes reviews, they buy YouTube Subs and views. Everything about the show is an illusion. Their number one priority is to appear to the naïve to be some kind of popular expert. Sometimes the person is selling some online course of questionable value. Other times they are trying to trick advertisers. This is what really gets me. Businesses will advertise with someone that has 100 thousand twitter followers and ignore the person with only 1000. Meanwhile, the 100 thousand followers are all fake and the account has almost no engagement. Anyone can look and see this. You can see they only get maybe one or two likes per post. Advertisers fall for these fakes all the time and it hurts everyone. Well, everyone but the scammer.

5 I know it is super common but my last pet peeve is trading reviews. Looking at podcast reviews has become totally useless because of all these fake reviews. And you might say that they are not fake reviews, we just both like each other’s show. Sure. Sure. Cool story bro. As a guy who runs several podcasts and is a podcast junkie too, I know what is really going on. It is totally obvious. I see all those 5 star ratings with monosyllabic reviews. I predict that someday soon Apple may completely phase out ratings and reviews.

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jasonrigden@jasonrigden.com
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