Culture

Sorry but Podcasts blow

OK, IÂ’m a glutton for punishment so here goes: Podcasts blow.

There. IÂ’ve said it. Rest assured the flames will begin wending their way to my e-mail inbox shortly after these words get published on the Web. But somebodyÂ’s got to say the EmperorÂ’s not wearing clothes and it might as well be me.

I realize the politically correct response is to genuflect before self-appointed oracles predicting the imminent end of conventional radio. Maybe thatÂ’s the future. But in the meantime, the blunt truth is that much of the current podcasting fare simply is lame, unless youÂ’re into hearing narcissistic ramblings and wonder-of-me routines that go on forever; unless youÂ’re fond of on-air phlegm-clearing and bad FM-radio-voice impersonations; unless youÂ’re a fan of loudmouth no-nothings spouting off on their latest pet peeve.

Such are the growing pains that surround the growth of any new medium. Unfortunately, the mega-decibel hype around podcasting has artificially raised expectations to the point where the reality was bound to disappoint. And thatÂ’s exactly what has happened. IÂ’ve spent a lot of time listening to podcasts and IÂ’d very much like to find something that makes my ears perk up. But listening to some guy kvetch about being forced to do the washing, cleaning, cooking and the stale pizza he ate for dinner just doesnÂ’t do it for me.

If thereÂ’s a silver lining itÂ’s useful to recall how blogging evolved. During the early days, there were generally slim pickings. While some blogs were mildly informative or amusing, most were simply forgettable. It took time but the landscape eventually got populated by interesting contributors, a phenomenon that continues unabated to this day.

With new podcasters adding their voices each day, IÂ’m quite certain history will repeat itself. YouÂ’re just going to have to keep a pair of earplugs handy for the time being.