Monday, August 25, 2008

Why don't I give ratings to podcasts?

There are several places where you can go for podcast reviews (directories, podcasts and blogs). A lot of those have a rating system, just as you see with reviews of books, movies and so many other products. On-line reviewing seems to beg for a rating system, yet I feel very uncomfortable to apply such over here. I cannot bring myself to use one and I think I must explain why.

There are enough relatively objective standards one could measure podcasts by. Audio quality can be very easily rated. One could give an indicator to represent the informative and entertainment value, but I think you cannot add these up. One element may compensate for the other. One element may be more important than the other, or so strong in particular situations, it saves (or ruins) the whole thing. Most of the university lectures have rather poor audio and little entertainment value, but they are so good. Most of the radio shows turned podcast, are great on audio levels and entertainment, but yet can be so bland and predictable, I feel they are not so good.

I have noticed, not just with myself, some podcasts do it for you. What is more, whatever podcast does it for me, may not do it for somebody else or even for me at another moment in time. What I am getting at is that podcast quality is fluid and when starting to compare, it becomes more fluidly so. I am so interested in history, I may enjoy a rather poor podcast in history more than an outstanding one about physics - or just the other way round, it may make me more critical of history podcasts and enjoy a rather mediocre on about physics. And for you it may be different in a whole range of other aspects.

However, when you read my impression, you can get a feel of what I like, you get an impression of what the podcast does and you will get an idea, enough idea I suppose, whether it is worthwhile for you to check the reviewed podcast out. And a rating of 4 out of 5, or 3.5 doesn't make any difference. Only, maybe, an extreme rating, but most of the time, you can't give them, otherwise the whole system is moot. So what remains are those that are trumped by the content of the review anyway. Hence, I concentrate on writing about podcasts, say about them what I have to say and leave it at that. That is all you need.

More about the blog:
About Anne is a Man,
What to write about a podcast?,
When do I write in my blog?,
When do I listen to podcasts?,
Time to start again.