I like podcasts. I specially like podcasts that get to the point.
Disappointingly so many podcasts often are blather and windy.
Specially the unscripted. Unscripted may work for an Arts Podcast, but for a technical podcast it is a real gamble.
Non Structured “Interview Episodes” very much depend on the interviewee and the interviewer having a message and getting to it.
Few listeners are going to listen for 10-20 minutes on the chance that a single minor point might eventually be made.
Poor Audio is another Podcast downfall. I often listen to technical – or should I label them more correctly as “spoken word” – podcasts while driving. If the audio is muffled, limited to midrange tones, recorded at too low of an audio level, or the dynamic range is abnormal, I can’t waste the time trying to guess what the 20-40% of the speech that is unintelligible might be.
That greatly changes for “Art Podcasts” where it may be the Music or full inflection of voices that need to be heard.
Podcasts without a short descriptive in their title usually get skipped. If the audio author didn’t think it noteworthy enough to put the subject in the title, it gets set aside.
The best Podcasts are those who have a clear topic, get to it, say it clearly, provide weblinks or webnotes, and skip the idle chatter.
It is amazing how much dross creeps in even when the Podcast is the highest quality – a recent re-edit of a very popular podcast reduced a 104 minute episode to 63 minutes without any re-recording. Dare say that the material if re-recorded would be conveyed with another 40% drop in time used.