I’ve been experimenting with Garageband to create a TMCQ podcast. Partly this is because most of the music I’ve been listening to is all but inaccessible to anyone but me, but mainly it’s because I am a sheep-like follower of the zeitgeist.
Podcasts are everywhere. When the Telegraph has started broadcasting one (awkward and annoying though it is), you know that it has reached some kind of tipping point.
But do people actually listen to them? The podcasts I’ve sampled – those of 3hive.com and Stylus Magazine, for example – have been too dull to listen to without wanting to skip through most of them and I’ve had to unsubscribe. Jeffrey Zeldman has been broadcasting a computerised version of his blog for a while now, but it is difficult to see how this could be of interest to anyone apart from Stephen Hawking fetishists.
My guess is that life is too short and podcasts are too long for it to ever become an essential part of modern communication. We can skim read easily, but can’t skim listen. For minority music interests, they are perfect. For audiobooks (and the spoken section of comedy radio), they’re great. But for the mainstream (Telegraph, Zeldman etc.), it looks like a waste of time. Having said that, I’ll be interested to see the reaction to a TMCQ podcast if and when it arrives. Watch this space.