The Problem with Podcasts

Apr 04 2017 Published by under [Etc]

Yesterday I received notice of a podcast. The topic sounded interesting, and they gave a teaser summary that had me considering listening. They even gave a table of contents for it, with the time point where various topics within the recording would be addressed.

The stuff I really wanted to know started 45 minutes into the piece, but I likely needed to listen to the earlier stuff to get the gist. Did I really want to spend an hour of my life taking notes on a podcast?

I don’t think podcasts should be forbidden. I listen to NPR discussions and interviews most of my day, and many podcasts present similar audio adventures. However, I really learn best when I read something, not when I hear it. Listening to Serial as entertainment is fine; if I really want to retain something, I need to read it.

I beg those of you who aim to provide information and skills to the public to remember that not all of us can benefit fully from listening. Please provide a transcript of each and every podcast for those of us who want or need it. That includes those of us who learn better with the written word, as well as the hearing impaired.

4 responses so far

  • Christina Pikas says:

    Me, too! Exactly - I listen to NPR a lot, but if I miss a bit, no big deal. I don't feel like I could use podcast content if it is something complicated I needed for my job

  • potnia theron says:

    me three. it's not just about how we learn. Its about speed of consumption. I can read a hell of a lot faster than listening, and I get bored sometimes. In the written, I can skip around.

  • Kaleberg says:

    I never listen to podcasts. Who has the time and patience? They are tedious at best. I gather the latest thing is to have an app to speed up the sound and adjust the pitch. Blind people have been doing this for decades now. Speech is just slow.

    (Granted, video is worse.)

  • Eric says:

    100% with you on this!

    Same with most videos as well - it is a rare subject that I will want to watch a lecture on for more than 10 minutes or so, especially if there is a transcript that I can read.

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