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December 17, 2011 2:38 PM   Subscribe

I seem to post a lot of FPPs that revolve around podcast or other audio content these days, and It's gotten me curious... how often do you stop and listen to the content in links of that kind? Is it more or less likely than the chances you would watch a video?
posted by Artw to MetaFilter-Related at 2:38 PM (101 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

FWIW with me for both audio and video I usually end up getting around to them way after anyone has lost interest, which means I often don't get to join in on the initial commenting frenzy but still find they have a lot of value. That favourite that pops up on your Youtube post four weeks after it's been posted, that's me...
posted by Artw at 2:43 PM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I dunno about anyone else, but for me, I've never listened to a podcast and probably never will.

I don't watch most videos, either. The reason is simple: I can't skim. They talk too slow. I get bored.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:46 PM on December 17, 2011 [33 favorites]


I'm more likely to watch a video because they usually come in discreet, digestible parts. The audio stuff that gets posted is usually, for instance, part 1 of a 100 part series that I'm theoretically interested in but realistically too impatient to get into.
posted by Think_Long at 2:48 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


FWIW with me for both audio and video I usually end up getting around to them way after anyone has lost interest, which means I often don't get to join in on the initial commenting frenzy but still find they have a lot of value. That favourite that pops up on your Youtube post four weeks after it's been posted, that's me...

That's the norm for me as well, although I watch way more videos than I listen to audio (which is strange because I frequently ignore the video and just listen), but I think I may watch far fewer videos than most people on the internet.

I've never understood the argument that "kids today" are all about making and watching videos as a way of exchanging information, since it's basically a time-bound medium in a way that text is not.
posted by OmieWise at 2:48 PM on December 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


I almost never listen to anything posted other than music, the same goes for videos which are just speeches. Who has that kind of time?
posted by caddis at 2:49 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a tendency to listen to audio more cause it doesn't have to take up all my attention, but I usually read a few comments to see what people are saying bout it before I commit.
posted by The Whelk at 2:51 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am way too impatient to watch almost anything over 10 minutes, and podcasts/audio usually are (thus I usually read the summary of the Mefi podcast, which I am super happy to have). Video is usually not compelling enough for me to watch, frankly. If I see a link that goes to YT or Vimeo then I'm not going to bother clicking. This goes double at work.

I will definitely read the comments on a post if it's well written, though, and if the comments urge me to watch I will give it a try.

Naturally, I disobeyed my own rule and watched Threads though a Mefi FPP. Which I have NOT forgiven you all for.
posted by librarylis at 2:52 PM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Podcasts are my least favorite method of content delivery because they are generally less focused and dense than an article or video on the same topic would be. Making a good podcast is extremely difficult, especially once you start to involve other people and guest stars. That said, the podcast has become a really popular medium because it's extremely easy to do and many people do it in real time; i.e. an hour length podcast is given an hour to produce.

I almost always skip a single-link podcast posts. That's fine, every post need not be for me.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:54 PM on December 17, 2011


I'm pretty sure I have skipped every FPP revolving around podcasts. Considering there's hardly ever timestamps or anything, they're just too opaque for my attention span.
posted by griphus at 3:15 PM on December 17, 2011


(Videos are a little easier because I can skip to something that's visually interesting. To that effect, I've never watched a TED video either.)
posted by griphus at 3:16 PM on December 17, 2011


If it's a podcast that interests me, I'll at least give it a shot. I tend to not like all that many podcasts, though. From my experience posting podcasts I've noticed that they tend not to get very many favorites unless they're on very narrow subjects, so I'm guessing that others also don't try it out very much unless the subject is something they're already interested in.
posted by Kattullus at 3:16 PM on December 17, 2011


I usually skip these unless it is something that the whole internet is talking about and I haven't seen or heard yet.
posted by grouse at 3:19 PM on December 17, 2011


I never do, and I'm an avid listener of podcasts. I listen to podcasts when I'm out for my constitutional; at my computer I rarely have 10 uninterrupted minutes.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:27 PM on December 17, 2011



I dunno about anyone else, but for me, I've never listened to a podcast and probably never will.


I don't quite want to say I will never listen to a podcast, but I've so far never been even slightly tempted to do so. There's something about what someone above called the opacity of the format, and being locked into the real-time nature of it, that just doesn't excite me.

But different strokes for different folks, etc; I'm certainly not suggesting that there be fewer audio-based FPPs or anything like that.
posted by Forktine at 3:32 PM on December 17, 2011


I listen to podcasts all the time at work, so if it's something that interests me I'll save it. I rarely comment in the thread, though.
posted by sleepy pete at 3:48 PM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love finding new podcasts and am considerably more likely to listen to something presented as audio, as long as there's a lot of context provided of what it is and why it's good, than I am an amount of text that would take a similar time to read, for whatever that's worth.
posted by gracedissolved at 4:00 PM on December 17, 2011


I'm a lot less likely to click on something that's audio only, despite the fact that 9 times out of 10, unless the visuals are the point of a video, I click away and let it play in the background so all I get is the audio anyway. The main thing is that usually videos are short, and very frequently podcasts are not, and I'm not going to listen to something that's an hour long unless it sounds damned interesting. There seems to be something about the podcast format that just leads people to talk too damned much.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:08 PM on December 17, 2011


I only usually comment in threads like that when i've already been listening for a while. I only listen to podcasts when i'm going to sleep, but I do bookmark a bunch of ones that get posted on the blue.
posted by empath at 4:08 PM on December 17, 2011


Now that I think about it, someone please compile a list of podcasts that are just engaging enough to not be boring, but not exciting enough to keep me awake... My current go-to audio ambien is The History of Philosophy podcast (and that's not at all meant as an insult)
posted by empath at 4:11 PM on December 17, 2011


Never. I have never listened to a podcast from the front page of the blue. Then again, I also basically never watch videos longer than 30 seconds, so I may not be your target audience. Apparently, I hate technology.
posted by decathecting at 4:25 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I usually skip podcast posts. My job doesn't lend itself to listening to podcasts, and commuting by train, I like to have visual input, not just audio. If I drove, maybe I would listen to podcasts, but now? Not so much.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:52 PM on December 17, 2011


I only listen to podcasts in my car - it's the only place & time I have that I can focus on them. I'll occasionally watch a short video, but almost never a long one. I may be stuck in the past, but I like to read the web.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:59 PM on December 17, 2011


I like the idea of podcasts, but unless I'm going on a long road trip, I never listen to them. They seem like they were designed for commutes, and I don't commute.

For videos, if it's short, I'll watch it. If it's longer, I'll mark it as "watch later" on YouTube or Vimeo. (Assuming it is on one of those two services. And I'm interested.)
posted by adamrice at 5:03 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


You've probably been back for a little while, but regardless: welcome back Artw!
posted by Jpfed at 5:05 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would rather read. Unless it is a video about cute animals. No podcasts- I wander off too easily.
posted by kamikazegopher at 5:27 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


i don't have the time to listen, unless it's music - i can read in a few minutes what might take up to an hour to talk through - and yes, when you're working 60 plus hours a week and have many other things to do, it certainly matters
posted by pyramid termite at 5:31 PM on December 17, 2011


I'm very hard of hearing and many podcasts don't have transcripts, so unfortunately I pass over a lot of them. Same thing with youtube links that don't have decent captioning. I don't have sound on my work comp, so this would only involve listening once at home.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 5:31 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are only two podcasts I listen to and I'm not looking for any more. I would probably skip any audio-only FPP unless there was something grievously wrong with it and I had to for work.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:31 PM on December 17, 2011


I also wait and watch multiple videos together. I often look at metafilter during times when it would not make sense to have noise coming from the computer (early in the morning before my boyfriend is awake and at work). I've definitely watched more videos than podcasts/audio links.

This question just makes me want to know what the ratio of video:audio is.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:38 PM on December 17, 2011


I've found that unless someone has Garrison-Keillor-level engaging delivery, I'm not able to stay focused on an audio-only presentation. Video, even if it's just video of the person standing in front of a podium delivering their talk, helps keep me anchored in. So I don't do podcasts in general, and I've only tried to listen to a few audio-only FPPs, and not too successfully.
posted by drlith at 5:39 PM on December 17, 2011


Very very rarely. I watch videos occasionally, mostly if they're supposed to be cute or funny, but generally I'd much rather read and won't bother if I can't.
posted by dilettante at 5:44 PM on December 17, 2011


Generally, I will only listen to podcasts that I can download and listen to later, like when I'm walking, or on the bus, or falling asleep at night, and it can grab my full attention. If I listen to a podcast anywhere else, I miss 3/4 of it. So I probably won't listen to any podcast linked to from here right away. Same with video: unless it's a SLYT, I will rarely watch something linked-to on the spot, unless it really interests me, and then I will keep it in an open browser tab and watch it in 5 minute chunks, between doing one thing and another.

Now if it's the MeFi podcast, that gets recursive, since I'm listening to something about Metafilter that was linked to on MetaFilter. So I have to be sleep-walking on a Mobius strip in order to pay attention to it.
posted by not_on_display at 5:48 PM on December 17, 2011


I far prefer reading to podcast or video. As Chocolate Pickle said way upthread, podcasts/videos don't allow for skimming. If it is a podcast directly addressing areas of mega-interest for me, I'll give it a shot--usually saving it for later. Videos, especially SLYTs, I rarely if ever click, under the analog: Your favorite band sucks.
posted by beelzbubba at 6:02 PM on December 17, 2011


If it's a post about a music video or an artist, I'll often play a track or three in the background while I'm working or reading something and be happy for it. Sometimes I'll keep an askme about one or another sort of music suggestion open throughtout the day and just pop open a new link every five minutes.

Podcasts, though, I don't have a natural spot for in my day. Which sort of sucks because I have really genuinely enjoyed the couple of live podcast recordings I've gone to. But I can deal with multiple verbal streams at once, and my job is to read and write all day and a lot of my leisure time is spent reading as well, or playing an immersive game where I don't want to be distracted by chatter, or playing an instrument so my ears are engaged, etc. So I don't have that hour every day where listening to people talking is a natural good fit. I don't have a commute to kill time during.

But I favorite those threads sometimes anyway, and if I ever end up with ten hours a day to fill with other people talking I'll have a good well to draw from I guess.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:24 PM on December 17, 2011


Unless it was a song, I'm not going to listen. I'd much rather read. Same goes for video; I'd rather read the transcript than watch people talk.
posted by spaltavian at 6:38 PM on December 17, 2011


Most audio links are all over the place.
Most video is on Youtube or a couple of other sites.
I've already enabled javascript and flash for those sites.
I haven't for sites all over the place. This is not a big thing but often big enough.
posted by Anything at 6:39 PM on December 17, 2011


Yeah, agreed. A lot of the time I have other people around in my house who don't want to have to hear whatever I'm listening to. And if I'm reading MeFi on my phone then any kind of extended video or audio stuff is pretty much a non-starter. I might watch a short video or something if circumstances are favorable and lots of people in the thread think it's awesome, but generally I'd much rather have the post content be text or photos. I most often skip audio/video posts.
posted by Scientist at 7:00 PM on December 17, 2011


I frequently set links for audio and video aside to listen to them at my convenience. The down side is I generally forget to link the thread where I found them and go back and comment later. (Ditto long text posts that get dumped into Instapaper.)

I have listened to TED talks but generally anything over about 5-10 minutes is too long for me unless I can download it and watch it on my TV.
posted by immlass at 8:02 PM on December 17, 2011


I've never listened to any podcast. As I understand it, it's like radio. I only listen to the radio in the Jeep, and as we have the CBC in Canada, my spoken word needs are already adequately met.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:07 PM on December 17, 2011


I dunno about anyone else, but for me, I've never listened to a podcast and probably never will.

I don't watch most videos, either. The reason is simple: I can't skim. They talk too slow. I get bored.


You can skim podcasts. People listen to them at double speed.
posted by ignignokt at 8:18 PM on December 17, 2011


I read quickly and sporadically (looking away and coming back a lot). Podcasts and TED-length videos require more time and sustained focus for me, so I usually avoid them. Please don't change your posting habits for my convenience, though - I can't read everything anyway.
posted by zomg at 8:22 PM on December 17, 2011


There's only so many podcasts that a human being can keep up with. That said, I did listen to pretty much everything in that Vox Romana post.
posted by Winnemac at 8:43 PM on December 17, 2011


Whether video or audio, I generally only am willing to commit the time if the discussion thread seems to be highly favorable, or if the topic of the FPP fits into my own life without convincing.

Otherwise, I'll read the comment thread, might participate based on others' comments (trying to keep from saying anything which relates to content I haven't consumed), or I'll ignore it altogether.

To be fair, I'm like this with just about all MeFi posts. Either the comments will convince me I should partake, or it's already something that makes me go *ping*, or it's something I likely won't consume.

I assume most people are this way in most of their lives. (I could also be wrong.)
posted by hippybear at 8:51 PM on December 17, 2011


Maybe I'm an outlier, but my short attention span leads me to listen to podcasts more easily than I read long articles. Then again, I tend to listen to podcasts while playing online games, driving, or doing some other activity (so that I'm not just sitting still).

But I'd very, very rarely listen to a podcast episode the day it was posted. I'd throw it on my iphone and get to it between a week and a month later.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 8:58 PM on December 17, 2011


I really like podcasts and listen to many! I guess I'm a freak. But it's what I listen to on my walk to/from work and often when I'm cleaning the house and whatnot.

However, I generally check MetaFilter when I'm at work and it would be a pain/distracting to listen to a whole one. So if something sounds interesting I'll favorite it and come back later to try it over the weekend or whatever. But I do the same thing with videos where you need the sound. Of course my computer at work is a piece of shit, so even videos that don't need sound have become iffy.
posted by grapesaresour at 9:11 PM on December 17, 2011


I don't like podcasts unless they mainly consist of music in a genre I like or something that doesn't require my full attention. I read much faster than anyone can talk so I find myself too impatient for podcasts.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:39 PM on December 17, 2011


Like many people, I will listen to a song, which is audio, and I will watch a film, which is video.

I listened to a podcast once, but in general if it's people talking I want to read a transcript. I have never gotten through more than 30 seconds of a "TED talk" and doubt I ever will. You'd think the world's premiere geniuses who are here to save us all would know how to summarize their ideas in a textual blurb for us commoners.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:50 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the podcast is about something I'm into in the first place, I'm far more likely to download, listen and not comment at all. To wit, not long ago I was introduced to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History on the blue. Can't remember if I commented or not but I damn sure downloaded and listened to every episode I could.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:43 PM on December 17, 2011


I avoid podcasts and videos. We are bandwidth-limited so I save my usage for stuff that I think is going to be tremendously interesting, important or entertaining. Podcasts are too long and videos are a lot of preamble before getting to the main item so I usually pass them by.
posted by Lynsey at 11:52 PM on December 17, 2011


I trying to remember but I don't think I've eve listened to a pod cast linked off the blue. I know I've downloaded a few Metafilter podcasts when the write up sounded interesting but then I never got around to listening to.

Video is 95% the same thing. Occasionally it'll be something short that needs visuals to convey (like my foray this evening into pruning espalier) but otherwise I too hate the essential inability to skim, skip ahead, flip back, repeatedly re-read difficult sections and generally consume content at a rate I determine rather than at the rate the presenter prefers. Besides you can't grep an audio stream.

And don't get me started on video still photo slide shows. *Ugh*
posted by Mitheral at 12:29 AM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I listen to podcasts and internet audio 0% of the time.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:54 AM on December 18, 2011


No podcasts. Listening to audio-only content is something I do while out and about, and it has to be fairly bland, like language tapes or old, comforting music. If the content is actually interesting, I tend to walk into walls because I stop concentrating on where I'm going and start arguing with the podcast. If the content is boring, I fall asleep on public transit. So, no podcasts.

Videos, yes, so long as they're not especially long.
posted by zennish at 1:24 AM on December 18, 2011


I'm more-or-less with Chocolate Pickle. Certainly, I never listen to podcasts any more. The ones I have tried struck me as lazy, amateurish attempts to make programmes, by people who can't be bothered to actually make a programme. Life's too short to listen to someone wittering on like that.

I'll give videos a shot if they're short, or if they sound funny or interesting, but my cursor is always at the ready to fast-forward or to close it down. But I'm more likely to give videos a chance because there are some very good ones out there. Also, I'm not averse to watching thirty seconds of a cat doing something silly. I admit it.
posted by Decani at 1:32 AM on December 18, 2011


I haven't seen too many podcast posts (must be checking in at different times than you do), so I can safely say I haven't listened to any.

I love podcasts, but a very specific range of them. If they fit my interest, I'll definitely listen. I'll probably ignore most podcasts posted on the blue.

Having said that, I'll also ignore most videos posted on the blue. Why? They take too effin' long compared to simply reading text.

I know, I know...the internet gave me ADD....
posted by The ____ of Justice at 2:04 AM on December 18, 2011


I hate watching videos on Youtube, even the ones I enjoy. It makes me itch, being stuck doing something for a fixed amount of time (especially when it wants both my eyes and ears) - you can't make 5 minutes and 2 seconds go by faster just by watching harder. The thing is, I can't really read much faster than I normally do (and still read everything), but at least I have the illusion that the time it takes is up to me. (Or, I instapaper the article and pretend I'll read it later - Youtube's "watch later" function has really made things easier for me there.)

However, I love podcasts, or radio shows in podcast form. Not ones like TEDTalks or Radiolab, where people seem to take forever to say something they could express in a few paragraphs. But things where the point is the discussion (In Our Time, the Slate Culture Gabfest, Smiley and West, Pop Culture Happy Hour, Start the Week), or that are about something intrinsically interesting to me (Savage Love, A Way with Words, A History of the World in 100 Objects), or that give me a look into other people's worlds I would never get otherwise (White Coat, Black Art), especially ones where I have a crush on the host (This American Life), or that tell me about a variety of topics I might not think to look into (Thinking Allowed, Philosophy Bites), or that are just easier to pay attention to when I'm trapped on the bus (The Economist, The History of Rome), or that I punch my short attention span in the throat for occasionally because they seem so worthwhile (New Yorker Fiction, Science Magazine), or that are really just a dude talking to me for hours, only his passion for his subject transforms the experience (Dan Carlin's Hardcore History).

If there's a link to a podcast that seems interesting in an FPP, I'll subscribe to it and listen to it later, perhaps months later. If it's a one-off interview or presentation, I'll probably never listen to it. That's my loss, though, and I don't think you should change the way you post because of people like me.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 2:25 AM on December 18, 2011 [12 favorites]


I've listened to a few long form interviews from FPPs and really enjoyed them. But I also listen to a lot of podcasts in general. I'm way more likely to listen to something if I can download it to my iPod though, then I can listen while I walk around or sometimes at work. Strangely I don't remember any FPPs with actual podcasts, just the interviews, and given how popular podcast questions are on ask.me I'm surprised they aren't more popular.

I very rarely watch videos, either from metafilter or anywhere else. I'm happy to sit and read a page of text but watching a video makes me feel like I'm being forced to sit still and concentrate in a way I don't like. But then I don't watch much TV either (don't currently own one) and these days find a whole movie too much for one sitting. I think I'm out of practise.
posted by shelleycat at 3:09 AM on December 18, 2011


Oh yeah, for videos I'm always willing to make an exception for Maru.
posted by shelleycat at 3:11 AM on December 18, 2011


I only listen to conversational or comedy podcasts, which is where the audio medium actually makes sense. I thought that I'd like science or philosophy podcasts, but I actually prefer to read that kind of information (I also don't like audio books).
posted by atrazine at 4:44 AM on December 18, 2011


IF the writeup sounds interesting, I'll give a listen. Sometimes I'll mark and download it for later, sometimes I even actually DO listen to it later...

But the overall trend here seems to be people who don't listen to them, and I hope that doesn't discourage you. Just yesterday while cleaning I listened to multiple episodes of that "How Did This Get Made" podcast, and have added it to the list of podcasts I subscribe to, (I tend to subscribe to A LOT, but often skip episodes that don't appeal to me,) and am very pleased you posted it as I'd not heard of it.

Even quick looking through your recent posts, I think your recent Zero Punctuation post inspired a day of catching up on those, and I sent multiple people the link to the William Goldman interview.

(Hell, even your non-audio/video links -- I didn't realize how many of the FPPs I found interesting were yours. Keep it up! :-D )
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:08 AM on December 18, 2011


I tried listening to management 101 podcasts that I found somewhere on the green but the delivery bored me to tears. From this and other self-help type stuff I've listened to there seems to be a presentation trend of little actual information with an awful lot of dramatic pausing and over-emphatic repetition. I also don't like the stream-of-conciousness style of many discussion-based podcasts - years of listening to artfully edited radio shows make me madly impatient with what feels like painfully drawn-out non content and I'll get distracted by my own thoughts and miss any nuggets of good stuff.

Oddly I'm much more forgiving of video format ramblings but twenty minutes is about my limit for any one viewing.
posted by freya_lamb at 5:27 AM on December 18, 2011


I don't listen to podcast links. When I read I often scan back to re-read an important paragraph. Can't do that with a podcast. Plus, I figure if it were important, they would have put some time and effort into writing about it. If it isn't important enough to write, it's not important enough to listen.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 5:51 AM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's ridiculous.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 5:53 AM on December 18, 2011


I've found that podcasts are great when you're playing Minecraft. Most of the digging parts of the game don't require much brain so it's pretty easy to pay attention to On The Media or All Songs Considered while I'm playing.
posted by octothorpe at 6:18 AM on December 18, 2011


So are those Mefi podcasts a waste of mod breath? Even the mods making them don't appear to have much use for podcasts.
posted by pracowity at 6:23 AM on December 18, 2011


That's ridiculous.

So what?
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:25 AM on December 18, 2011


Look, if you want to hear serious interviews with celebrities, listen to the WTF Podcast. If you want more casual interviews, listen to The Nerdist Podcast. If you want to learn about history listen to The History of Rome. If you want science news, listen to Quirks and Quarks. If you want the newest Rouge-like game news listen to the Metafilter Podcast. That should cover just about everything, now no one needs to post any more podcast links.

Seriously though, I actually do enjoy the podcast links and have discovered a few new good ones thanks to Metafilter posts.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 6:43 AM on December 18, 2011


Even the mods making them don't appear to have much use for podcasts.

We enjoy making them, they're not too labor intensive and other people enjoy listening to them. I listen to them myself from time to time The MeFi podcast is sort of specifically so non-mods will know a little more about what's been going on at the site if they're the podcast-listening sort.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:08 AM on December 18, 2011


I listen to audio more than I watch videos but I think this speaks more towards the quality (actually, my lack of interest) of the videos (and the fact that watching anything on youtube is a pain at work) more than the quality (actually, my non-lack of interest) of any (especially your) audio posts.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:13 AM on December 18, 2011


Oh also, I'll download a bunch of podcasts from Mefi and then take them with me when walking, if I really like something I'll subscribe.
posted by The Whelk at 7:15 AM on December 18, 2011


I've listened to a couple of podcasts over the years but I don't do so regularly. Music is a nice background but podcasts deserve to be listened to and that's not something I can do most of the time (especially at work).
posted by tommasz at 8:08 AM on December 18, 2011


Two of my favorite podcasts just collided. This week Radiolab featured the work of Roman Mars. His podcast 99% Invisible might convert some of you who don't think they'd like a podcast. I think it was either here or BoingBoing that I first came across The Moth and The Memory Palace which I still subscribe to. I really like podcasts and have used them in posts and listened to them in posts.
posted by Toekneesan at 8:28 AM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a lot of time to listen to podcasts and am fairly inclined to give something a go if it jibes with my interests. However, I am unlikely to leave a comment in those types of posts, because I don't want to comment before listening/reading the content. I'll usually favorite those FPPs to bookmark them, but then am usually too lazy & forgetful to go back and comment.

That said, I did listen to pretty much everything in that Vox Romana post.

Link, plz.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:28 AM on December 18, 2011


If an FPP'd podcast is on iTunes I usually subscribe in the mood that one day I'll be after something to listen to. I've found a couple of podcasts I like that way. If it's not on iTunes I don't bother because I don't know how to make non-iTunes mp3s not pop up inbetween songs on random play. I should probably get an app, or something.

Out of curiosity I looked at my seven (seven! count 'em!) FPPs and the sole podcast got the fewest comments, followed by the video posts, and then the "oh look, a website!" posts.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 8:48 AM on December 18, 2011


I have 973 new-to-me podcast episodes stacked up in iTunes right now, and am generally only slightly listening to more per week than are automatically added as they are created. Since I've found that the quality of individual podcasts can vary quite a bit from the baseline of the series, if I'm going to add a new podcast to my roster, I make a commitment to listen to at least 5 episodes...if I feel like I can't commit to even that much, I won't start. Videos don't generally come with a built-in serial commitment like that.
posted by Kwine at 9:54 AM on December 18, 2011


While I wouldn't go so far as to say "if it's not worth writing, it's not worth listening to", I don't generally listen to podcasts or watch vlogs because the majority of them make me feel as though their creators managed to save time for themselves by wasting my time — they didn't write a script, they didn't have a coherent plan of what they wanted to cover, and they didn't edit it, so the podcast or whatever winds up being rambling and lengthy and circuitous and way too impressed with its own wit and if I wanted to listen to even more of that I'd just listen to my husband I love my conversational steamroller, I do.

There's one podcast I do listen to regularly, because it's by Zen teacher Cheri Huber. In a good week, I get through more than the current one, but there are something like seven-plus years of archives, all worth listening to, and I've made my way through only a fraction so far.
posted by Lexica at 10:15 AM on December 18, 2011


i love podcasts and tend to sample any audio file posted i see.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:52 PM on December 18, 2011


Podcasts almost universally seem to be too long and not-tightly edited enough. The same problems can occur with video, but usually less often it seems like. If there is a summary, or time indices for particular content included in the write-up I'm far more likely to listen. If there is a transcript I'll hit that instead. If I had a long commute I might queue things up for the car ride, but I don't right now.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:27 PM on December 18, 2011


I will listen to single songs by anyone, or whole albums by artists I like though.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:28 PM on December 18, 2011


There are people I love like brothers who do podcasts that I almost never listen to, because they are so. Long. Less is really more when it comes to podcasting.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:47 PM on December 18, 2011


BrotherCaine: Podcasts almost universally seem to be too long and not-tightly edited enough.

True. About half of my podcasts are radio shows, which tend to be a lot better crafted, though there are exceptions. The Guardian, for instance, has really well made podcasts. I tend to get annoyed with podcasts that are poorly recorded and presented. Sometimes a podcast will cover a subject which isn't very well covered anywhere else, so I'll look past the amateurish production.
posted by Kattullus at 2:49 PM on December 18, 2011


One of the things I've been discovering about Metafilter is ye olde posts. There's plenty of "discovery" on the front page, but when I run across something somewhere else, like Marc Maron's interview of Louis CK, I can come here to find out what Mefites thought of it and find pointers to things like Maron's interview of Todd Hanson. With well over 200 podcasts from Maron, it's nice to have some signposts.
posted by morganw at 3:48 PM on December 18, 2011


This is interesting...I didn't realize this many regular posters felt that way about podcasts. Personally, I love audio-only MetaFilter content. It allows me to "read" the site without occupying my eyes (OCCUPY MY EYES OH NO I CAN'T UNDO THAT PHRASE IN MY HEAD NOW ACK), so I can do other stuff like clean my room, organize files/emails/music, knit, fix things that need fixin', etc.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:27 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I always prefer to read rather than watch or listen -- it's just faster for me.

Most of the time I keep MF open in a tab at work and read a bit when I'm waiting for a report to run or my slow-as-molasses work web-based apps to update. It's not wise for me to be watching videos at work, and as stated above, most podcasts are too long.
posted by ladygypsy at 7:57 PM on December 18, 2011


Honestly, almost never. I see a podcast and, even if I'm not really doing anything, think of it as too great a time commitment.
posted by codacorolla at 8:01 PM on December 18, 2011


I will watch some videos if they sound interesting, but almost never if they're over five or ten minutes; videos are kind of hard to fit into my day, both because I tend to check MeFi when I get a minute but not tons of minutes, and it's a lot easier to read an article in pieces than watch a video, and also because certain times of day it's not convenient for me to listen to anything with audio.

Podcasts are mostly the same but I'm more likely to save them for later -- sometimes months or years later -- because I can listen to them while I do other things that involve my hands and no other verbal stuff. I probably end up saving more podcasts than not, but listening to VERY few in the end really. And when I do I'm not likely to go back and comment later, usually because I've waited so long the thread has closed. But I do appreciate them.
posted by Nattie at 9:30 PM on December 18, 2011


I hate video and audio. There is occasionally stuff that sounds like really interesting content, including TED stuff, and unless I am in a self disciplined place already I will not watch it. I need to really focus and probably take notes in order to take in what you are saying if you are sitting in front of me in a one on one meeting, and if it's just a video I will drift off. I don't remember the last time I listened to an audio presentation. To watch a video, it has to be
a) information that really benefits from the visual presentation (and ideally the post would tell me that: I'm thinking of something like this)
b) Dr Who or other entertaining tv, usually watched while cuddling on the couch.
c) information I really absolutely cannot get in any other way (and I resent that, is it so hard for the content creators to provide a transcript? It is rare for something to fall into this category, I'll usually wait til there's an article on the same topic.)

That said, my youtube habit is pretty much entirely soccer highlights - I'm not sure where that fits into 1-3 above.
posted by jacalata at 12:37 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


So if it has a transcript, are people more likely to check it out? (not sure if anyone is even still reading this... but its something I've wondered about too)
posted by selfmedicating at 9:14 AM on December 19, 2011


So if it has a transcript, are people more likely to check it out? (not sure if anyone is even still reading this... but its something I've wondered about too)

Yes, definitely.
posted by codacorolla at 10:02 AM on December 19, 2011


If there's a transcript, I'll almost always at least skim it. Sometimes that will get me to listen to/watch the original.
posted by Lexica at 11:22 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd read a transcript for a podcast way before I'd think about listening to the podcast.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:26 PM on December 19, 2011


I listen to podcasts when I play video games. That way I don't feel like my time is being wasted and I actually listen to a lot of podcasts this way.
posted by catwash at 2:15 PM on December 19, 2011


If you have a podcast FPP, chances are I'll subscribe to it just to see what it's all about. If I like it, it stays in rotation, otherwise it's dropped.
posted by arcticseal at 11:57 PM on December 19, 2011


I like that many TED talks have transcripts; if they don't I generally don't watch them. Podcasts or audio are the same. I don't have to visit the material at the pace of the presenter when I have a transcript.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 9:51 AM on December 20, 2011


I'll download a podcast if it looks interesting and throw it into my podcasts folder to transfer to my MP3 player along with the regular podcasts I listen to (90% of which is R4 stuff). Only actually listen to podcasts when I'm doing stuff that requires no mental activity like washing up or going for a walk... unless it looks super interesting then I might break off.

Video I might watch there and then if it's short, or book mark for later
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:00 AM on December 20, 2011


I never listen to podcasts. Boring. (Except I tried to listen to the Savage Love one, but even that, I listened to maybe 1 and then I was like 'SHORT ATTENTION--OOH, SHINY.')

I never really watch YouTube videos, either. It's like pulling teeth for me to watch one. I hate the fuckers.
posted by saveyoursanity at 2:03 PM on December 20, 2011


I listen to podcasts (and audio books) when my brain is largely free, but my body (and possibly eyes) is occupied. Driving, gym, cooking, lots of things like that. Video over a minute or two would have to be very exceptional to have me watch it at the computer; there, my mind is fully on what is in front of me and video is much much too slow. I hate news sites (I'm looking at you CNN) that have a good chunk of their content only available in video. I generally prefer to read if I'm at the computer. Actually, in general, I prefer reading for content that isn't strictly entertainment.

Yes, Maru is always an exception. Well, cute cat videos in general, but Maru especially.

In the context of Metafilter ... I'm in front of the computer. I'm not going to listen to a podcast there. I could queue it for later listening, but honestly I generate enough 'listen/read later' content every day to last a week, so that stuff is unlikely to actually get listened to. If its music, I'll let it play while I move on, and come back to the thread to comment, though usually its to bitch about yet more prog rock. If it is extremely highly recommended, I might listen to it later. Non-music video over 2 min almost never gets viewed; the odd science or related (eg TED, a few others) might make the cut. I have to watch those at home, though, so timing of when I encounter them matters. I'd typically only view them after 11PM when the day is winding down.
posted by Bovine Love at 9:26 AM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I almost never listen to podcasts, unless it is a niche topic that I am hyper-interested in.

Conversely, there is this interesting local radio show (as in, actually airs on a University radio station, then gets podcasted), The Transmigration of Miguel Sanchez, where the aim seems to be to highlight the rambling banter that ruins most podcasts.
You constantly feel like they are going to wrap up their digressions and side banter and get to the next segment. And suddenly, an hour is gone, and they've discussed nothing that has any relevance to your life.
YMMV, but I think it's great, and at least an appropriate homage to the medium.
posted by Theta States at 9:30 AM on December 21, 2011


I made a audio-documentary centric post... it has a transcript, but, eh, like they say, about it: "

(it) is produced for the ear and designed to be heard, not read (reed). We strongly encourage you to listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that's snot on the page."

I was unaware people, Buy 'N Large, don't like (to) click links to topical audio-salve. I mean, I can read a paper, while listening, and then get two streams of ideas in, rather than just one (while chewing gum &c.). Otter folk's mileage's may very, certainly. Something something [ancient] tyranny of the written word. The technology of written words are like the gates to a segregated country club. Or the "you must be [this] tall to ride signs at a fun park... the written word is our most ancient shared and hegemonic barrier to entry, separating the global haves, and have nots. As it ever is. I could, but won't argue that written words are the root of "Religious" ideation. When two neighboring spoken cultures approach, to negotiate the realities of contiguous space in a linear world, delineated by location and autocthony, people must do far more (and come to deeper shared meanings) to "navigate" the differences bourne of "linguistic uniqueness", while we with written words can simply use "transitory" methods, like just "Plopping" in some "approximately similar" term, and saying "look, we know what each other means". Written language has made communication into a "formula", like a times table, rather than the messy, difficult job of argument and dispute, up to the point of realization of shared meanings, hopes and dreams... while, the complexities involved in a particular phrase or set of words is frequently only poorly transmuted in translation. Each Written culture has long history of "zealous religious-like warfare... to preserve the hegemony, and continuity of written word".

Conflict is at once both predicated, and solved, by two "sides" coming to terms with unshared, differential terms for the same objects and subjects. "Gods" and "spirituality"; "immaterial matters" are simply the most impossible to establish "concurrently congruent terminology" for.

So... guess all I just mean (roundaboutly); is thanks for sharing the spoken words, and auditory journeys, people who do-do so. I am half joking, because I know just how immersed we all are in "the under-examined technology of writing", and how absurd it may turn out to be, to question, or examine writing as a technology, rather than mode of expression (to see the limitations, proneness to absolute fundamentalism, downsides, and segregating privilege inherent in written culture, and definitely do not mean to offend readers (I am one myself), I have embraced, and appreciate the indelible privilege I have of having been born by odd chance, in the dominant (and spreading more rapidly each day) global human mode (not simply "english", all written culture shares far more than may be apparent, written, now Juridical, society, predicated on writing, codified behavioral and ideological pathways (where is the space for elenchus in a text? Has a book been so skilled at shaming, in the paucity of knowledge on a subject, that it actually embarrassed anyone recently? Even in private, where "reading" is done? [public dialogue and discourse can occur in writing now, so, y'know, that's neat, but really, things like "IM" are coming closer and closer to the ideas of spoken culture, fast, out of pocket, on the fly, neologisms, flexibility towards older 'rules' like spLeeing, and Grammar]) I also appreciate written words though. Everyone is pretty great. Merry Holiday.
posted by infinite intimation at 11:13 AM on December 24, 2011


tldr: Yeah, reading is, totally, faster and easier to transmit a "precise" message.

Precisely transmitted messages are not actually always "Accurate" (see Accuracy/Precision Fallacy [it's a big, under-recognized one, everyone loves straw men, no one likes accuracy/precision debates]). It also leads to belief that easy shared understanding is the same as accurate shared understandings. Words, spoken carry emotions which are cleaved in the written word. Just because I know what sequence of words you or I have scribed... I don't usually know (deep down, or accurately, or fully, truly) what you mean.

Course, the person whose lawn is the written word might now just say "then yur doin' it wrong - STFU an' get off my pedantic, precisely defined and regulated grammatically precise lawn".
posted by infinite intimation at 11:25 AM on December 24, 2011


Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by infinite intimation at 11:27 AM on December 24, 2011


ew, for the record, apologies; I didn't make the post as some sort of "point making exercise"... it was interesting link to me [full-stop], and I have weird hold-ups and thinking exercises about written words, about this concept in a wider, socio-cultural perspective, not because some people prefer links that are readable vs spoken words... it takes all of us, the post and the thinking are not supposed to "complement" each other, or make some grand, stabby-point (also, I love to readers, writers and poetic speakers alike).
posted by infinite intimation at 11:47 AM on December 24, 2011


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