The Sword and Laser discussion

Too many podcasts to listen to books!

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message 1: by Vance (new)

Vance | 362 comments I am in the same dilemma that Veronica was in (not enough time for podcasts AND audiobooks), but I am having a hard time kicking my podcast habit. I listen to about 2.5 hours a day, and this could get me through a LOT of audiobooks. Before podcasts, I would listen to 20 to 30 books a year, now I struggle to get through just a few.

Is there a Podcasts Anonymous?

message 2: by Mlybrand (last edited Feb 09, 2011 11:42AM) (new)

Mlybrand Lybrand | 22 comments I need to belong to PA as well. Hello, my name is Mark and I am a podcastoholic.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Really? Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't even like podcasts. They just bore me. I've only listened to one S&L. Or a few minutes of it, anyway.

message 4: by Mlybrand (new)

Mlybrand Lybrand | 22 comments Could just be a case of chocolate or vanilla, but there are loads of interesting podcasts out there. Really depends on what you are interested in. But, since we are trying to get a PA chapter started, I probably shouldn't be telling you where the nearest bar is.

message 5: by Vance (new)

Vance | 362 comments Some of the podcasts are radio shows, from NPR, BBC and other great stations, only you get to listen when and where you want to. Others I like because they are very niche specific (like S&L). I actually know about S&L because I listened to Tom and Veronica's other podcasts (their "day jobs").

message 6: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4190 comments I've given up on some of my long-time podcasts. I almost never download TWiT anymore; it's become too long without value-add (too many ads, too much inside baseball talk, and sometimes, the guests just suck). I still have the subscription, but only download and listen if the topics and/or guests sound interesting--about once a month, if that. Some of my gaming podcasts fall into this category, too.

Same goes for This American Life and The Moth, both of which used to be staples in my "podcast diet" as it were.

My biggest problem with podcasts is how long some of them are getting. After an hour, I've got no interest to listen and frankly, the hosts usually start rambling/getting persistently off topic anyway (Leo, I'm looking right at you).

This leaves me plenty of time for books. ;)

message 7: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6352 comments How about listening at 2x (1.5x)? I only watch twit live these days, and dispose of sf/writing podcasts while driving or trying to sleep.

message 8: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4190 comments Tamahome wrote: "How about listening at 2x (1.5x)? I only watch twit live these days, and dispose of sf/writing podcasts while driving or trying to sleep."

Might help to go faster on some, but truthfully, with some of the ones I've all but given up on, I'm not interested in listening to it, period. The ones that "used" to be good and are definitely nowhere near as good now that they've gotten bigger, I mean. Most other podcasts (I listen to 8-10 per week, those are the ones with regular schedules), I listen to like talk radio while I'm at work. If something catches my attention, I may stop to listen. Of course, of those 8-10, 3 are music podcasts, so those are easy.

For S&L and 1 or 2 others, I usually listen as soon as I get home from work and download them. That way, I can listen while cooking dinner or having sports on tv on mute.

I reserve audiobooks for driving, chores (including cooking if there are no podcasts), the gym, etc.

message 9: by Hilary (new)

Hilary A (hilh) | 40 comments I have about 40 days of podcasts to listen to...which means I probably will never finish it. I listen to stuff that terpkirstin mentioned (TWiG, TWiT, East Meets West etc.) when I just need some background noise while doing stuff. I don't listen to audiobooks because I get too distracted and I don't have the time to anyway (student = virtually no commute to make = no need for audiobooks really).

The only ones I pay attention to are things like S&L, Hypothetical Help and This American Life where I either am interested in the topics or they just are enjoyable to me. They are short and sweet (compared to an audiobook) and can be consumed right before bed, instead of having to rewind the audiobook and relisten to parts I may have forgotten or not completely understood.

message 10: by Keith (new)

Keith Kelly (nedkelly) | 79 comments Yeah I have this problem all the time. Currently i'm subscribed to around 13 podcasts, most of which belong to Scott Johnsons Frogpants studios. I've had to cut down recently as i was subscribed to around 20.

Mostly I just delete podcasts that are more than a week old. Particularly daily podcasts and news podcasts. Weekly and Monthly podcasts i'll leave longer before deleting.

I agree with most of you guys. Podcasts that are over the 1 hour mark are too much for me. Unfortunately this seems to be a growing trend. I prefer my podcasts concise and on-topic (Film-Sack being the exception...those guys can go off topic as much as they want and its still great.)

Would have liked to subscribe to Scott's new daily show "The Morning Stream," but a daily 90 minute show is just way to much for me to handle right now, especially with my queue of audio-books waiting.

message 11: by Neil (new)

Neil (rucknrun) I am also afflicted with the listening to too many podcasts to listen to audio books. I thought about listening at 2x but I think i would have to pay more attention to them. Might be counter productive. I listen to them a lot when I am doing tedious tasks at work.

message 12: by Vance (new)

Vance | 362 comments It sounds like we have enough to form a PA club! I really need to make some hard decisions and just cut some out. I could cut out Buzz Out Loud (Tom's old show) because it covers the same stuff as TNT (Tom's new show), and some of my niche podcasts (archaeology, science, history) could wait and be listened as a marathon, like an audiobook. TWIT really could go, and I find This American Life sitting for a long time un-listened anyway. Time to cull the herd!

message 13: by Joe (new)

Joe Osborne | 94 comments I too, subscribe to WAY TO MANY podcasts and feel compelled to listen to them if I've gone through the trouble of downloading them. I've recently solved that problem by viewing/listening to them by streaming them rather than subscribing, oddly that way I feel less compelled to view/listen to those i'm not really interested in.

message 14: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey J | 38 comments I find the 2X (after I figured out how to do that, took me longer then I care to admit to) helps a lot. I have finally cut a couple of podcasts and seem to be able to just keep up with them and an audio book. I keep trying to listen additional books to what we are reading and listening to podcasts and keep up on my shows and work. Yeah, I don't have a problem I can quit anytime I want...

So where is that sign up sheet?

message 15: by Vance (new)

Vance | 362 comments I think we have uncovered a serious underground problem, maybe we should contact Frontline so they can do an expose!

Now, we also have to remember that Tom and Veronica are both actually in the business of creating this addiction!

message 16: by Neil (new)

Neil (rucknrun) Very true. Good content is hard to find. I am just trying to get through all my podcasts. Luckily I don't have the audio book addiction too. I am still happy reading.

message 17: by Mlybrand (new)

Mlybrand Lybrand | 22 comments If Frontline did the expose, it would just end up being another podcast for me to listen to :(

message 18: by Cams (new)

Cams (camuel) This is a problem I'm battling with as well. I've been listening to podcasts and audible at 2x for a long time, but I can do it with audiobooks only once I'm into it. I subscribe to many of the TWiT podcasts and enjoy the rambling ratholes. In fact, with Security Now, I listen to it mostly for the banter. The content is generally too geeky for me. And the dynamic between Leo and Paul Thurrot on Windows Weekly is great so I listen to that even though I have little interest in Windows.

message 19: by Sean (last edited Feb 10, 2011 11:06AM) (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments I've become really bored by tech podcasts with their constant talk about the latest cell-phones. That was news-worthy back when smart phones were new, but now it's the equivalent of reporting on the latest Dell Inspiron or Compaq Presario.

message 20: by Vance (new)

Vance | 362 comments OK, here is my new resolution. I am going to reduce my podcast intake to one per subject. One tech (TNT), one sports (PTI), one music (All Songs Considered), one comedy (Wait, Wait, don't tell me), one science (Nature?), one history (In Our Time), one books (S&L), one gaming (The Final Score).

That still seems like a lot, but it is a fraction . . .

message 21: by Craig (new)

Craig | 53 comments I find that podcasts are great when I want to multi-task - i.e. listen while driving, working, etc. If I hear something I want to focus on, I can stop what I'm doing and listen more actively or replay.

For reading books, I find that I get more immersed in the book when I am holding the book and reading with my eyes.

I like to occasionally listen to audio story but tend to get distracted more easily and often have to re-listen to catch things I missed. Actually reading requires more focus and improves my retention.

message 22: by Abraham (new)

Abraham | 33 comments I typically listen to podcasts whilst running to work, or working out. There are so many amazing podcasts out there, and fortunately they are of different lengths, so I can chose them according to the time available. I don't think I would want to do that with a book.

I am old skool when it comes to books, adding my own inflections, my own images and stressing the correct places. Also, I find that when I listen to podcasts in the background my recall is not as good as it would be as if i had read it the medieval way, with paper and print. Immersion is also better when I am reading rather than listening.

message 23: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Paine | 13 comments I struggle with this constantly. I actually rely on podcasts for my news consumption, along with some narrow interest topics like tech and automotive. I subscribe to just enough to be able to JUST keep up. THEN my Audible subscription renews and I fall woefully behind. If only I could listen to this stuff for a living...

message 24: by Goldesam (new)

Goldesam | 9 comments Luckily I have a job that allows me to have my headphones in almost constantly. I mostly listen to the network and various other podcasts like How Stuff Works (and other "Stuff" podcasts) The usuals like This American Life and Wait wait Dont tell me, the Moth, radiolab, Freakonomics, and Sci Fi oriented shows such as the Galactic water cooler S+L and my one gaming podcast The Shaft. and I still get audiobooks in. I LOVE my job!

message 25: by Kris (last edited Feb 10, 2011 06:58PM) (new)

Kris (kvolk) I have found lately that podcasts help with day to day life but books are now a reward for that infrequent time i have for myself to just relax.the classic case of quantity vs quality time.

message 26: by Will (new)

Will (longklaw) | 261 comments I have to listen to podcasts all day at work just so I don't get too far behind. I prefer podcasts over audio books because I can tune them out and not worry about what I missed. With books I would probably spend a lot of time re-listening to sections.

message 27: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Dunn | 40 comments I was wondering if anyone knew of a S&L quality podcast for mystery/thriller and the like?

message 28: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Littler (alittler) | 24 comments Oh man, I totally have this problem, I really have to clean out my subscription list, right now I have... 78 podcasts subscribed to.

message 29: by Vance (new)

Vance | 362 comments What is funny is that there are so many podcast addicts and Veronica, who literally makes her living by podcasting (Tekzilla, and Qore is similar to a podcast), can somehow focus on audiobooks over podcasts!

message 30: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin | 14 comments I have trouble keeping up with podcasts too. I have to listen to Slice of Scifi, the Dragon Page, Twit, Scott Sigler, I Should Be Writing, and Grammar Girl. I groan when another Escape Pod story comes on or another Clarksworld magazine come on and I have to make time to listen yet again. However, I don't want to miss something good.

I have the same problem with my stacks of books and DVD seasons.

message 31: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4190 comments It's funny to read how many of us seem to be the same--we have jobs that allow us to listen to audio while we work and use podcasts to do just that.

I'm definitely in that boat. With my subscribed podcasts, I usually have 1 or 2 to listen to on an average workday. Then, for the rest of the day, I listen to music while working. If I get behind on podcasts, I don't have any issue deleting most of them (though there are some, S&L included, which I'll listen to no matter how far behind I am and won't delete).

I definitely couldn't listen to audiobooks while working--both require too much of my brain. That's why I look forward to driving and to the gym--those times are reserved for audiobooks. I try to listen to audiobooks at other times, like while I'm watching sports (with the TV on mute). Doesn't work nearly as well, I get distracted by words on the screen or the like. And if I've got nothing going on, I find it too easy to nap (especially since right now I'm on pain medicine).

message 32: by Thomas (last edited Feb 12, 2011 07:06AM) (new)

Thomas Masterson (zaphod717) | 40 comments Definitely too much podcast out there. No time for audiobooks. Maybe if I had a longer commute, but I'm not moving for THAT! I listen to a few religiously, but some others just generate a backlog and I delete them unheard. Really enjoy S&L, Hijinks Ensue, Best of the Left, and Skeptics Guide to the Universe...
But I can totally stop any time I want to.

message 33: by Alfredo (new)

Alfredo | 62 comments I have a strange, but related problem. I listen to a lot of podcasts and enjoy them a lot, butI can't stand audiobooks. I love audible for its support of podcasting, and I have tried several times to listen to books, but I feel I get distracted and lose the book. With podcasts, I normally can handle listening while doing other tasks, with books I find it impossible. Even exercise while listening seems to much for me. Even though I do it with podcasts every day.

message 34: by Josh (new)

Josh (firequake) | 30 comments I'm lucky to have a job where I can listen during some of the slower times, so I can usually consume about 2 hours or so a day. I'm a big podcast fan, but I entirely agree that the quality of podcasts has degraded over the last couple years, to the point I'm not listening to half what I was. I'm down to 4 that I listen to consistently (S&L, TWiS, NSFW, Film Riot). My issue with audiobooks is that they are not as engaging as actual reading. I like having the ability to highlight and make notes in my kindle, something you cannot easily do with an audiobook. The fact that audiobooks cost nearly 3x the price of the kindle books doesn't help either.

Nukethewhalesagain | 27 comments I´m in the same boat as Alfredo. I can't for the life of me listen to audiobooks but I listen to 4 hours of podcasts per day (at least). If I try to listen to an audiobook, I'll usually get distracted. I think its because I listen to a lot of conversational style podcasts which is a lot easier to keep focused on than one person.

message 36: by Dobie (new)

Dobie (IndianaDobie) | 22 comments I'm glad that I'm not the only one that has this issue. I have friends that tell me how much I would enjoy books on audible, but with all the podcasts I listen to I just don't see when I would have time to listen to them.

message 37: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6352 comments Josh wrote: "The fact that audiobooks cost nearly 3x the price of the kindle books doesn't help either..."

I think they should offer longer audio samples, like the whole first chapter. I guess you can read the kindle app sample instead.

message 38: by Mike (new)

Mike Rentas (mikerentas) | 65 comments I was having the same problem, and noticed the constant stream of babbling in my ear was really stressing me out. I made a point of not listening to any podcasts in January, and I found that a) I didn't miss them, and b) I have a lot of really good music.

I've started re-introducing them into my commutes during the past couple of weeks, but often I just stop half way through when the hosts get annoying. It's nice not to feel like I have to listen to everything I download.

message 39: by Don (new)

Don McDonald (dmmacs) | 114 comments Alfredo wrote: "I have a strange, but related problem. I listen to a lot of podcasts and enjoy them a lot, butI can't stand audiobooks. I love audible for its support of podcasting, and I have tried several times ..."

I find that I can listen to podcasts while working (I'm a software engineer) but I can't listen to audiobooks. I need/want to pay more attention to the books to get the level of detail where you can just get the general gist of the podcast and its good enough. The podcasts just don't matter as much (no offense Tom and Veronica). Its the same as with any other news program, it can be on as background noise and I'll generally get enough out of it to be satisfied but with books that's not very satisfying.

message 40: by Vance (new)

Vance | 362 comments I started listening to audiobooks in the mid-80's, pretty much when they really got started, and for some odd reason I have never had a problem staying in tune while doing other things.

The reason the podcasts were so addicting is that so many of them were current news and information stuff, so I felt the need to listen as soon as they came out. I have cut back on those to just a few, but let myself keep others that I can allow to "archive" for later listening.

Most of my deletions were due to overlap. I decided I could do without This Week in Tech and This Week in Google, for example, because I listen to Tom's Tech News Today. As a result, I was able to get back into The Last Argument of Kings audiobook.

message 41: by Noel (new)

Noel Baker | 364 comments I am also in the too many podcasts boat. My current dilemma relates to TNT and buzz out loud. I've listened to BOL for years now. I now find that I choose to listen to TNT in preference even though the timing of it's daily release is not good for the UK audience. Tom is great at realising that some of the US specific stuff sometimes needs a bit of explanation for non US audiences but Molly and Brian increasingly are US absorbed and trundle on for hours without consideration of the wider audience. Recently they spent ages talking about Superbowl adverts! Yawn City.

Molly also lost a lot of tech cred with me when she totally failed to recognise what a terrific device the iPad would be. Her anti apple bias is now too tedious for words. As time is limited, it will be a sorry farewell to BOL for me now.

message 42: by Vance (last edited Feb 16, 2011 09:14AM) (new)

Vance | 362 comments I was also caught in the BOL/TNT dilemma once Tom left to do his own show. They really do cover the same stuff and it was like a divorce where the children have to decide who to live with! As part of this purge, I did the same as you and went with TNT.

message 43: by Neil (new)

Neil (rucknrun) I just cancelled my subscription to BOL too last week. I agree TNT won out.

message 44: by Vance (new)

Vance | 362 comments Noel, Tom is an admitted Anglophile and I think this gives him an awareness of how the news is viewed on a bit wider scale! :0)

message 45: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1702 comments Mod
mauve1976 wrote: "Really? Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't even like podcasts. They just bore me. I've only listened to one S&L. Or a few minutes of it, anyway."


message 46: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Vance wrote: "I was also caught in the BOL/TNT dilemma once Tom left to do his own show. They really do cover the same stuff and it was like a divorce where the children have to decide who to live with! As par..."

Tom has a talent for keeping discussions focused -- just compare TWIT when he's hosting to the ramblefests when Leo's on -- while Molly gets sidetracked too easily. But the flip-side is that TNT suffers from a lack of snarkiness. Sarah's almost there, if only she'd learn how to rant and rave, but Becky is way too nice.

message 47: by Vance (new)

Vance | 362 comments Veronica: it would be worse if she said she LOVED podcasts of all types, but just couldn't stand S&L!

True (and here we are talking about Tom behind his back!), Tom makes it a point to "pass the ball around" as well, keeping all the players in the game. My early concern would be that it would be TOO structured and organized, but it has loosened up a bit over time. But you are right, they need to keep one designated ranter/loose cannon on the panel!

message 48: by Dylan Northrup (new)

Dylan Northrup | 39 comments Joe wrote: "I find the 2X (after I figured out how to do that, took me longer then I care to admit to) helps a lot."

Is there an automated way to have my podcasts go 2x on my iPod classic? I've heard there are ways to manually configure individual episodes of podcasts to play at 1.5x or 2x speed, but not ways to get that behavior by default. If I could do that, I'd be a happy camper and might actually have time to listen to audio books.

I know I can kick up the speed of audio books, but please tell me there's something for podcasts as well.

message 49: by Jay (new)

Jay Daze (jaydaze) I've found myself cutting back on podcasts just because they were taking up waay too much time, too much mental space. I don't really need to have people talking in my head 24-7 (well, except for the voices that are already there...)

message 50: by Been (new)

Been | 125 comments I'm constantly having to trim down my podcast list due to it growing way too large and I constantly end up having 5+ hours of unplayed episodes (right now it's up to 14.4!). Like virtually everyone else here, I too had to make the choice between BOL or TNT, as listening to both every weekday just wasn't working. Eventually I chose Tom and TNT, but I still miss the BOL crew. In the end I still have to trim out a few episodes here and there when they get too numerous just to make room on my iPod.

Saying that, I tend to drift between audio dramas like the Big Finish Doctor Who series and Orson Welles' old radio stories depending on what takes my mood at the time. Ultimately the less frequent podcasts like "A Life well Wasted" and "Hardcore History" I'll happily leave sitting around for a while as I know they're not going anywhere and they'll still be just as good when I finally do get to them.

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