There are some best practices in podcasting that haven’t changed a very long time. Many of them exist for very good reasons, ensuring that podcasts can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. The world doesn’t yet have a consistent internet experience, so there are some technical trade-offs we’re forced to make.
But not all of these trade-offs still make sense. Perhaps some never did.
It can’t be lost on you that there have been many technological advancements in the 16 years podcasting has existed. Much of those advancements can now support higher quality audio files. And most people still have the use of both of their ears.
We do not live in a mono world. Mono files aren’t any smaller than stereo files. Mono files inhibit clarity for some people with hearing loss. And all of the richness and warmth is taken out of far too many podcast episodes when they are bounced down to mono. Don’t do it.
Our stereo world keeps getting richer. New advancements from Dolby are here that will make podcasted audio more true to how we hear the world around us, regardless of where or how we listen.
But only if we can get over this misguided notion that podcasting was perfect in 2006. It wasn’t. It’s not. And it’s going to keep advancing. So should our thinking on boring technical aspects of podcasting. Sorry, but we have to.
Failing to do so puts us behind the technology adoption curve rather than at the front. While we can’t predict the future, it’s a safe bet that technology will continue to move in the direction of more bandwidth, cheaper storage, and higher quality sound reproduction that makes what we listen to much more rich and immersive.
Why fight against that?
This episode is a bit ranty, but that’s what you get sometimes. Perhaps you know of a podcaster who would respond to this provocative statement? If so (or if not), please tell one podcaster you know to listen to Podcast Pontifications. Feel free to throw me under the bus with them if you like.