Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I almost never listen to podcasts for this reason, and because it is vastly more efficient to read than it is to listen to a couple of people talking who may or may not be sticking to the topic.

It's funny the market effect, if you're, say, John Dolan, it's vastly more time efficient to spend an hour and a half talking to your buddy and get paid for it than it is to spend many hours researching and writing a 1000 or 2000 word essay on a topic that nobody wants to pay for. It's kind of interesting the psychology here: people will pay for things which take hours out of their week, but won't pay for the thing which takes 3 minutes to read, even if the 3 minute thing contains more information. From my perspective; the denser information is more valuable!

Most of the podcasts I listen to are while doing things like exercise and housework that aren't compatible with reading.

The podcasts I listen to are all from the BBC, so they're scripted and produced for radio, rather than just being people chatting. Listen to e.g. [1] or [2] and it's all on topic (and being the BBC, ad-free).

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p066rd9t/episodes/downloads [2] https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006r4vz/episodes/downloads

The BBC's Podcasting House podcast [1] is excellent for discovering new, high quality stuff. They play you a single episode (often the first) of a different podcast every week. I've discovered some great shows through it.

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05ltqxn/episodes/downloads

You just have to let go of the need to be "caught up" or hear everything. Most podcasts don't really need that much continuity, so the need to listen to them ALL or even the idea of a "backlog" is just FOMO.

Think of it more like the old days of broadcast radio or TV. You listened to whatever happened to be on while you were listening and if you didn't hear something. . . who cares it's just entertainment?

Most of my podcast subscriptions I listen to only rarely. It's more like a shortlist of channels that have things I might be interested in hearing.

I tend not to listen to serial podcasts for this reason (unless traveling and I can binge on the plane).

I love reading, but podcasts let me consume knowledge or entertainment during activities where reading isn't possible.

That being said, for me, the biggest downside of podcasts is that although I'm willing to pay, there's no easy method of discoverability of high-quality, ad-free podcasts.

edit: However, I jump around in media fairly often - I often go months without listening to podcasts, so I have no interest in paying a subscription fee. I just want to pay a per-episode rate and get DRM-free audio files that I can use as I wish.

> it's vastly more time efficient to spend an hour and a half talking to your buddy and get paid for it than it is to spend many hours researching and writing a 1000 or 2000 word essay on a topic

I don't know what kind of talks those are, but the podcasters I listen to spend a lot of time researching for the episodes. I'm guessing few people can just ad-lib 90 minutes of interesting stuff every week.

It's worth noting that that's not all types of podcasts.

Just like you get radio shows that are talk radio or on a specific subject you get podcasts that are more akin to radio plays, like welcome to night Vale.

it's difficult to read while walking your dog, or making dinner, or doing the dishes, etc. That's the value add of an audio-only format for me.

Doesn't do anything for me; I'd rather listen to music or learn a language if I need to hear noise during such activities.

You can certainly get a lot of semantic information crammed into a short piece of text, but an interview gives you the cadence of someone's voice, which may be important in its own way. Audio can be very dense, but in ways that aren't strictly linguistic. People also tend to express themselves differently in conversation than they do on the page, and listening to an interview with an interesting person may actually tell you more about them than their writing, or even a cleaned-up version rendered in text.

Like, which conveys the situation better, "Oh the humanity" or the audio as recorded (you can in this case ignore the video, which was recorded separately)? https://youtu.be/pUVDmXvXcbk?t=39

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact