Why Podcasts Suck, Redux!


I weighed in on this subject some time ago here and I think it's high time for a rehash. Why?  Because they just won't give up! I'm putting links to Silverlight stuff into IttyUrl.net, which finally has a good, fast  new home (hasta-la-vista gate.com -- useless hosting company!)  -- and now I keep coming up with these podcast promotions.  NO, NO, NO!

Podcasts are linear, they are like TV, which has become virtually prehistoric for us Internet Geeks! A podcast cannot be indexed by Google, you cannot "Search" it to find the part you are interested in (if there actually is one!) , and, except in rare cases, it's not professionally produced media - not by a long shot. And you certainly cannot copy code samples from a FYOOKIN' PODCAST! I mean, if I want to listen to the BBC audiobook narrated edition of Ernest Hemingway's "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber", that's professional media! Podcasts, "NOT"!

As I opined in my previous post, we live in a technological era where any Joe Schmoe garage band can burn their own CD or MP3 and distribute it. That doesn't mean it will be any good. Same with Podcasts! PODCASTS SUCK.


What we have, as I've observed, is a number of blog / print authors who are, in many cases,  really good in their own right -- but who just fall to pieces when they try to produce a podcast. They are (unfortunately) spending a lot of time and effort producing these media pieces when they could be writing really good articles with downloadable source code. But they're not, because they don't understand why PODCASTS SUCK!

Marshall McLuhan, whose work is viewed as one of the cornerstones of media theory, said "The medium is the massage". What did he mean? McLuhan was the John Cage of modern media. Cage stretched the concept of what media really is, but in the musical domain. I can remember when I was younger, driving up Route 202 in Stony Point NY to see John Cage's house, and thinking "Holy Sh*t!":


You can't see much in the photo above, but Cage's house was a semi-cylinder - like a beer can with shingles on it! This guy was so avante-garde that he was light-years ahead of the crowd, in every thing he did.

I was in awe, because I believe that I understood who this guy really was.  Read the Wikipedia pages about these two giants, who set the stage for what is today, even though the Internet didn't even exist yet for either of them. They SAW the future, and they saw it with such genius vision, it is still just as relevant today!


I believe that both John Cage and Marshall McLuhan would have laughed at modern podcasts. I've also consulted with Dr. Dexter Dotnetsky, denizen of the deep at eggheadcafe.com, and he agrees. And, Dr. Dotnetsky would not play you wrong, dude!

Podcasts, even the "best of the best" by MVPs and Microsoft gurus -- many of whom I know personally -- are, in the main, essentially no more than mental masturbation with people breathing into the microphone and saying "Um" a lot. Sorry, but that's my considered opinion.

Oh, and did I forget to mention -- PODCASTS SUCK! Make no mistake, they really do. You want my unending appreciation and admiration? Write me an authoritative article with downloadable source code!  An article that I can FIND - because Google et. al. indexed it!  I'm not gonna download your dumb Mp3 podcast to my device! Go ahead, comment, make your case why I am wrong-- but, PODCASTS SUCK!

Now, if you want to see some media that is linear like a podcast, but useful and really entertaining, try this Silverlight streaming video of Chick Corea with Miroslav Vitous (bass) and Roy Hanes (drums) playing Thelonius Monk's "Rhythm-A-Ning". On October 10th, Monk would have been 91 years old. To me, Monk is quite alive and well, and his work continues to inspire jazz musicians worldwide. Recorded live at the Blue Note. ( More Monk Here)

Did you know that an unusually high percentage of programmers are also musicians - particularly the jazz flavor? It's true. I studied with jazz players in New York and San Francisco; used to play string bass and flute with the Robert Hunt Trio in New York, and I still keep up my flute chops today. It's easier to get three squares a day as a programmer, though!  Dream big, Be yourself, and Swing On! (Oh, and don't forget, PODCASTS ______).