Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Common problems with podcasts (HAK5, DL.TV pay attention)

Over the past few years I've been shifting away from cable television towards internet. I have about 25 HBO, Starz and Encore channels, yet I find myself watching more and more tv on the net. A big part of my internet tv addiction is podcasts. My 16 gb iPhone holds 6gb of video and audio podcasts at any given time. Podcasts have a great advantage over reading blogs because I can listen and watch them on the go. I don't need an internet connection, I can listen to podcasts while I walk, drive and work.

Lately, I've been noticing a trend between most popular podcasts. Shows like Hak5, commandn, dltv, etc. are including a lot of extra chatter in their episodes. For example, a bunch of shows have bloopers at the end. Yes, they're funny and entertaining but a lot of people watch these shows for some specific reason and it's not bloopers! Let's take Hak5 for example. I love their show, I learn a lot, however, once they moved to Revision3, I started noticing that a lot of their content has deteriorated. Yes I know that the show is now weekly and it is really hard to produce a lot of quality material to fill in half an hour or more. Well, that's my point, who says we need an hour of content when most of it is chat. It may be a contract issue with Revision3 to produce a 30 minutes segment on a weekly basis but I think they're wrong. I'd settle for a 5 minute show with great material over 5 + 25 with 25 being talk anytime. Another thing that annoys me with Hak5 is their skits, I don't need to see that, they're pretty corny.

DL.TV has had major changes in the past few months as well and I understand they're experimenting with new formats but I think they're on a wrong track. Last episode was so boring. It used to be a 30-45 minute segment with a lot of DIY, tech reviews, etc. Now they have a 15 minute segment with a 10 minutes allocated for a lunch recipe site review, WTF! Seems like they're forcing it, their speech is monotonous and it's putting me to sleep. Go back to the previous format.

CNET, my problem with CNET is that they have so many different shows but once in a while I see the same small shorts inside other episodes. CNET Tips will appear on CNET LIVE, then on Editor's hour, then on Apple Byte, etc. I subscribe to all three and I see these tips three times! Then it's Molly Wood with her Buzz Report commercial. It started to appear at the end of CNET Loaded EVERY DAMN DAY! We get the idea, we don't need to see this repeated every day. Tekzilla with their survey advertisement is stealing 30 seconds of my life for every Tekzilla daily tip episode as well. C'mon, at least do it once a week.

The problem with all this is that it takes space on my iPhone, takes time to download and so far it doesn't apply but in the future it may, cable providers like Comcast capping download limits. Podcasts need to stick to their guns and not experiment (of course if they're not established yet). All of these gimmicks are similar from one show to another and they annoy me. Of course you can say who am I to tell them what to do. Well, I am a viewer and there is a lot of choice. There are other shows that have similar content but I find the shows listed in this blog very interesting and I want to continue watching them. I do hope they listen. I am positive that there are other viewers that find these items annoying just like me!

UPDATE: last week's HAK5 episode was unusually long, at 50minutes and change and it was all talk talk talk, wtf.

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