For a long time I’ve loved Radio 4’s Pick of the Week show, as it deftly rounds up little snippets and highlights from the quite endearing amount of content the station puts out in seven days. But of course, it’s just a selection of Radio 4 content, and the show is broadcast on Radio 4, so it’s a touch homogeneous.
The Beeb also does Podcast Radio Hour, which is an admirable attempt at showcasing some variety of podcasts, although it inevitably spends a bit too much time on one person’s choices, and I never find this sort of curation of podcasts particularly helpful.
But I recently stumbled on the truly wonderful 41256, a podcast of just over four minutes, released weekly, which collects together bits of often unrelated audio. And it’s always a really good listen.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/379620338″ params=”color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]
The source of the clips is sometimes BBC documentaries, but often not. And the editing is usually quite slick, and often rather amusing in terms of juxtaposition.
41256 describes itself as an audio commonplace, which I like.
The shownotes are also great, and they’ve helped me track down the source of a good clip on more than one occasion. It also helps one to understand just how much effort must go into producing this podcast. The listening, noting down, editing, producing, publishing, shownote writing… All of it.
While I catch up on 41256‘s backlog, it’s become a lovely little buffer between the longer podcasts I tend to listen to.
On a not unrelated note, and something Caroline Crampton’s PodMail newsletter has covered previously, it’s sometimes tricky to know how to link to a podcast.
I’ve opted, above, to use the iTunes page. But I don’t use iTunes – not at home on my PC, and not on my phone to listen to podcasts. And iTunes doesn’t even host the files… They just kind of point to them. If you look at a podcast’s iTunes page but you don’t have iTunes, you can’t even preview the audio. It’s just… kind of a list of episode titles.
Also, when podcasters beg their listeners to leave a review, where is best to do this? Probably iTunes – but I don’t see how to do it. Maybe it can only be done via the iTunes app?
In this case, 41256‘s true source (i.e. the source of the audio files and, presumably, the feed iTunes draws from) appears to be on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/41256 – but this doesn’t feel right either.
I don’t really have a horse in this race, although I do listen to a lot of podcasts and enjoy reading about their production and precisely these sorts of issues. When John and I had a podcast, we gave it its own website, which felt like the right thing to do.