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November 2014
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Episode-37- Quality of Audio and Video Content is More Important than Quality of Production

I constantly meet podcasters and potential podcasters that are obsessed with production quality.  Now don’t get me wrong you should try to make your audio and or video quality good but many seem to be attempting to emulate FM Radio or Hollywood Cinema when it comes to video.  People do not listen to podcasts, watch videos on youtube or seek out any form of alternative media to be impressed with production quality and great audio effects or stellar cinematography.   They want information and entertainment that FM Radio and Hollywood don’t provide, so stop tying to emulate them.

Worse yet are the people who have yet to produce one episode or video because they are trying to “get it perfect”, screw perfect!  With out a full crew of professionals perfect doesn’t exist.  This type of material needs to be put out several times a week, the focus must be on the audience and giving them the content they are looking for.

  • http://socaldrumsociety.com craig

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    Agreed. But also think that killer content with production value that exceeds the competition is just another way to ratchet up the overall value. That of course, depends on what the content is about. Mine is “production oriented” so the need for high production value is a given.
    good stuff. SO STOKED VAYNERCHUCK IS COMING.

    cz

  • http://www.jackspirko.com/members/JackSpirko/ JackSpirko

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    @craig, well yes if your show is about how to make great audio or great video than you better dang well do it good yourself. Again to be clear I am not opposed to working to make this stuff better just letting falling short of perfection keep you from publishing often. Trust me frequency and quality beat the shit out of top quality production but low frequency and/or poor quality of material.

  • http://www.jackspirko.com/members/bzeider/ Brandon Zeider

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    Completely agree Jack…to be honest I kinda miss the old school TSP episodes. Ok, only because I miss the car rants haha (“hold on while I give this guy the finger”).

    But I didn’t care that your audio quality wasn’t top notch.

  • http://socaldrumsociety.com craig

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    Totally get what your saying Jack, although if I was picking nits, I’d have to say that when you mentioned that “you don’t care” about the audio quality (driving home the point that it’s about the content) you miss one important thing– and that is that a NEW comer to the show could very easily be put off by the quality, and instead of listening for long enough to get hooked by the content– they’ll make a negative judgement about the show, and bail. Because in the listeners mind, the quality of the audio- especially is equated to the quality of the content. You may not think that the case, but it is true. If I make a video with shitty picture, bad edits but the audio is still good, it’s “watchable” . If I make a great image and the audio is shit, most people will just turn it off.(fact) Lot’s of folks comment on how they miss the raw quality of the early shows, and I’m sure that’s the case, but one thing you’ll never know, is how many folks failed to stay with the show because of their perception of it being “not pro”.

    If people dig your content, they’ll cut you slack, no doubt. But if they aren’t hooked yet, the podcaster stands the chance of losing the listener. So, IMHO there is no reason that with the gear available today, anyone coming outta the gate shouldn’t have solid audio.
    A couple things that newbies can do, is learn to Normalize files, and just spot check the files for equal levels from show to show before publishing. That, and ditch the fancy condenser and get a decent Lav mic ( 100 bucks ) . The fancy studio mics are fine, but are designed to have the talent parked within about 6 inches of the mic at all times.
    Put a lav on, and you could dance the funky chicken across the room, and still be intelligible.
    One last point. RE: spelling and punctuation. I think that the same rings true for that. If the author doesn’t care enough to spell check and use proper syntax and punctuation, what does that say about their commitment to the accuracy of the content, or their opinion. It absolutely raises flags in the readers mind, rightly or wrongly so.
    As daddy said: If your gonna take the time to do it, take the time to do it right.

    Ok then– nit’s picked.

    : )

  • http://www.jackspirko.com/members/JackSpirko/ JackSpirko

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    @craig but if I worried about that for even a second you know what I would have today as far as TSP? NOTHING. Someone is always going to be put off by something. Your views, the way you part your hair, a background hum, your accent, etc, etc, etc. SCREW IT, just get going and make it better as you go.

    As for spelling, again I don’t care, now I do spell check but that doesn’t catch everything. You want perfect grammar read the Times! Seriously anyone who worries about looking for where someone else didn’t put a comma is worried about shit that doesn’t matter and not worth slowing down for.

    So while you should not write like a retard if you can have a few errors and 5 articles a week or no errors and 2, the five will get you more readers, more loyalty, more money, etc.

    Plenty of people produce technically stellar content, far less are successful and many of the most successful are far from technically stellar. So screw around with nits if you wish, my advice is let go of perfection and produce your ass off. Produce long enough and quality improves.

    I can show you in a few hours a thousand blogs with better writing than mine and a thousand podcasts with better audio than mine, they will all have something in common, they are all less successful.

    To me there are acceptable levels and you try to stay well above them but anyone who has a red flag raised due to a typo can very well go screw as far as I am concerned. Why? For each 1 person that cares I can reach 100 that don’t really care and the more I put out the more I reach and with a 100 to 1 ratio well………………………………..

    Again I use good gear and I worked hard to make stuff better but by the time it was what most consider “good enough” I already had a thriving business.

    One last thing NEVER fear the loss of something you do not yet have. Worrying about what some new person might do is exactly that.

  • http://www.jackspirko.com/members/amator/ David Galloway

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    Thanks Jack. This podcast was the kick in the ass I need right now. I’m making a goal to get my site in order (need to install wordpress and update SMF) and get at least 2 podcasts in the bag by the end of the weekend.

  • http://www.jackspirko.com/members/aaronfrankel/ Aaron Frankel

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    Completely agree Jack. I have spent the last couple of weeks searching all around the web for information about podcasting and video podcasting. Everyone seems to obsess over quality instead of content. Even in their delivery of the information, the quality is amazing, but the content sucks. I am listening to these Jack-Wagons carry on and on about quality and the content bites. I want to smack most of them with my shoe.

    I am among the folks that started listening to you early on. Yeah, the quality “sucked”, but the content was awesome and it was kind of fun to listen to you randomly scream at other drivers. Heck, that made it feel like you were on a road trip with an old friend ranting and solving all the worlds problems. I just adjusted the EQ in my car to even out your “A”s and kept listening.

    If what you have to say is good then the quality of deliver just isn’t that important. I think the only people that will complain are the ones that weren’t that interested in the content to begin with.

  • http://www.jackspirko.com/members/cajonezzz/ Craig z

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    I hear ya Jack. One thing for sure: The frequency of the content (good quality) is paramount.
    When TSP is missing for a couple days, both my wife and I comment about how we are missing that part of our day.
    that’s probably the most daunting thing for me in starting this new vidcast/blog. I really don’t think I’m prolific enough to get something out worth reading (certainly can’t do video quickly enough) to have a new show hitting everyday. I’m going to try damn hard to get a running start at it though, by frontloading the content to give me a month of shows/posts.
    It’s freaking work for sure.
    I get downright frustrated when I look at my rss feed and there hasn’t been a new Tim Ferris post in a week.
    How dare he…..

    good stuff.

    cz

  • http://www.jackspirko.com/members/secter1/ Lionel Turner

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    Agree Jack. I also see the majority of sites saying that production counts most. I started listing to the TSP after you started doing it full time but now i am listing to the older ones (around 280 right now) and after a couple minutes i forget that your audio is even different. Content is the only thing I can think of that allows that to happen.
    I have a MP3 player that sounds good for being a cheap one until I let the mic get to close to my mouth(the mic on the recorder, not a headset) . Any suggestions on a cheap answer to my problem?

  • http://www.suburbansurvivalblog.com Jack

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    Great points in this video, Jack! Love it!

  • http://www.jackspirko.com/members/cajonezzz/ Craig z

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    Looking forward to the next installment of 5MWJ!
    Missing it!

  • Paul Sikorski

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    I’ve listened to your podcasts from the early days in the car and it is true…Its the content and not the quality that counts 100%. How many people have watched a multizillion dollar hollywood over directed/produced piece of garbage that you wonder how you can ever be repaid for the time it stole from your life let alone the money lost. Or you can watch someone homemade youtube video and be totally entertained and inspired. Glad you brought up the topic! Thanks and keep up the inspiration.
    Paul Sikorski