Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Will Blog Talk Radio Hosts Soon Get Higher Quality Audio?

For weeks, maybe even longer, my friend Tim Arthur has been talking about podcasting and the quality of our show, Room 3026 Live. His argument, after researching the topic pretty extensively, is that if we are going to take this podcast seriously, we need to consider getting off Blog Talk Radio.

In short, the complaint is that our show doesn't sound very good. When you compare the sound quality of Room 3026 Live to other shows in iTunes and Stitcher, we sound like beginners.

To support his position, Tim points to a number of blog articles. Most recently, he referenced this one from the School of Podcasting. In short, the article talks about hosting needs and resources (i.e., Libsyn and Blubrry).

At this point, my brain starts swirling with problems and potential solutions. Should we stay? Should we go? I immediately turned to BTR for answers and I found this:
HI Mike, yes we are working on higher quality audio, look for this major announcement in your email in the next coming months. ~ John Sweet, Assistant Director of Operations at Blog Talk Radio Employee
I then turned to my connections asked the following:
Heard some interesting news about BlogTalkRadio today. Is it true that we could see increased quality soon? #fingersCrossed
In a Facebook response, Amy Domestico wrote:
Morning Damond! We are constantly striving to improve audio quality, I will be hosting a show soon with the man who makes all of our audio work to explain some tips and tricks to get better audio and whats ahead for us in that department.
To which I replied:
I appreciate your chiming in on the question and the support BlogTalkRadio has shown our show Room 3026 Live (i.e. Lincoln MKX Lounge, for one).

In the beginning, over 400 episodes ago, I knew very little about podcasting. One minute we didn't have a show and in the next, we did. Since that time, we're growing more aware about the quality of our episodes. 
For starters, we have moved up from the telephone and now have a mixing board with real mics. Thanks to Skype, we are able to play sound bytes locally and better manage their levels.

For months, our listeners/supporters are asking us to consider increasing the quality of our shows to better match the level of other shows on iTunes/Stitcher. We would like to make this happen.
Having been on BTR for almost 2 years, I feel a sense of loyalty to the network and would like to help it grow even more.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure how much longer I can hold on. Here are a few of my needs (interests).
  • Most importantly, I would love to increase the bitrate to a 96kbps - 128kbps vs. the 32kbps we get today.
  • A better and easier way to play audio files from withing places like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and RSS feeds (Google Reader).
  • The ability to hyperlink to a certain point in the show.
Based on what you know, do you foresee BTR making any significant strides to address these items?
Again, thanks for all you do.
As of this article, I haven't heard back from Amy or any other BTR representative. Although, I imagine the Thanksgiving holiday may be one reason for the delay.

I would love to get your feedback on this topic. If you are a host on BTR, what are your needs and interests? If you have been a host on BTR but later moved to another solution like Libsyn or Blubrry, what has been your experience? Has anyone considered using YouTube as an alternative platform? Please leave your comments below.

Until next time...

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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