paraka: A baby wearing headphones and holding a mic (Default)
paraka ([personal profile] paraka) wrote in [community profile] podficmeta2011-08-23 10:44 am

Streaming Podfic

So I just made a post over at [community profile] podfic_tips about how to embed streams of your podfic but I thought it might be a good idea to talk about why I think people might want to offer streams.

Many of us listen to podfic on portable players so can't imagine why you'd want a stream, but trust me, some people do and there are also benefits to the podficcer.

  • Potential for Increased Feedback
    There are a lot of reasons why podfic doesn't get as much feedback as other fan works but one of those reasons is that often people are listening to podfic away from a computer or a away from the page where they can leave feedback. If someone is listening to a stream though, they're never leaving the page and that can increase the chances that they will leave feedback.

  • Getting New People Interested in Podfics
    There are a lot of reasons why we love podfic but one of the reasons I hear cited the most is that you can take fic with you to places where you normally wouldn't have access to fic (out for walks, during house work, at work, etc.). Streaming kinda takes away from that benefit however there are people out there that have heard of podfic (or will hear about podfic) who have never given it a shot. It's not that they have anything against the idea, they just don't really know what it is and downloading something they're not sure they'll be into seems like a lot of effort (or they download it and forget about it, so it sits there gathering virtual dust). But if podfic pops up on their circle/flist/feed and all they have to do is give it a click I think more people will give podfic a shot. And once they realize how awesome podfic is, some of the other benefits can take over.

  • Ease of Listening to Shorter Podfics
    Some of us are prejudice against short podfics. It's not that we don't like them! But by the time we download them, then sync them with our players it's just beginning to feel like too much effort. For a short podfic, listening to the stream can just be easier. This is also great when you see a quirky podfic that you'd like to listen to once but know you'll probably never listen to again. That happens to me a lot during [community profile] amplificathon, I'm hugely monofannish so tend not to listen to stuff outside my fandom but [community profile] amplificathon provides such unique stuff that I want to give it a try. But once I download it, I forget about why I wanted to listen to it and it ends up gathering dust in my unlistened to folder :( (I can't be the only one who does this, right?)

  • Listening on a Computer You Don't Own
    Sometimes people are listening to podfic on a computer they don't own. Historically my own listening was done mostly on my computer at work. I didn't have any problems with downloading the files to my work computer but some of us aren't as blasé about it (especially if you listen to the higher rated podfic). Having a stream lets you listen to the podfic without downloading it directly.
    There are also those times when you're stuck somewhere with access to a computer and internet but it's not one you necessarily want to download podfic on (for example, when spending hours at your parents house helping address wedding invitations for your sister >.> Podfic is really helpful in those situations, let me tell you).

  • Instant Gratification
    If you are someone who listens on a computer, streams give you the chance to start listening to the podfic right away rather than waiting for the download to finish.

  • "Try Before You Buy"
    All of us have had that experience where we download a podfic but for some reason it's not a podfic we're able to listen to (sometimes tech issues, sometimes a background noise will drive you batty, sometimes a podficcer's style just doesn't work for you, whatever). If there's a stream available, you can listen to the first couple seconds and see if the podfic will work for you. Or conversely, if there's a podficcer that you've been avoiding because a previous podfic of their's had those issues, you can check to see if those issues were a one time thing or if the podficcer has changed since then.

I don't think streaming is ever going to replace downloads but I think it's a nice addition. There are probably more reasons out there why podfic streaming is awesome but those are the ones I can think of at the moment. There are also reasons why some will object to streaming so I'll now open up the comments and we can get discussing. :)
juniperphoenix: Drawing of a phonograph emitting rainbow swirls of sound (phonograph killed the music-hall star)

[personal profile] juniperphoenix 2011-08-23 05:31 pm (UTC)(link)
These are all great points. The one potential drawback I can think of is excessive bandwidth use, which may or may not be a problem depending on where one's podfics are hosted. That wouldn't be an obstacle for me personally because my webhost offers unlimited bandwidth, but I know not everyone is in that situation.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)

[personal profile] luzula 2011-08-23 05:57 pm (UTC)(link)
I agree that it's great for short podfics! [personal profile] helens78 did a series of podficlets that she posted streaming (from SoundCloud, I think), and I found that really convenient. I'd just click the button, listen for a few minutes, and then feedback directly.

I don't think I'll ever listen to longer podfics that way, though. I usually like to do something while I listen (do housework, walk to work, etc) and that wouldn't work with streaming. But we all listen differently, so maybe other people would like it.
calliglad: (Default)

[personal profile] calliglad 2011-08-23 05:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Someone told me a little while ago that they used my podfic to better their English - that they listened to the podfic while reading along with the story to iron out pronunciation. Since English is such a fiddly language, filled with homophones, I couldn't think of a better way to use and appreciate podfic. And, of course, I was extremely touched :)
calliglad: (Default)

[personal profile] calliglad 2011-08-23 06:09 pm (UTC)(link)
I was also going to go on to say (but forgot to) that streaming podfic could make such a use more convenient, particularly if the stream is archived on the same page as the story.

I also agree that it may be a wonderful way to introduce people to podfic. People are much more likely to choose to listen to a story that they were already interested in reading, and they can access that podfic more directly through a stream than committing to a download.
anatsuno: a white woman presses earphones to ber breasts (podfic!)

[personal profile] anatsuno 2011-08-23 06:47 pm (UTC)(link)

Indeed you are not alone in the downloading of intriguing podfics at amplificathon time and then the dust-gathering and languishing thing. /o\

And yes, I would think an embed would be a rgeat incentive for those who hesitate to download shorter podfic. I don't, because some of my forever faves are short things from before I would have hesitated at the 'cost' of handling a shorte podfic, which means I know deep in my soul that I could be missing out on something aMAzing if I refuse to download short things. BUT I know many people do!! So if we can make it so that they give shorter things a try, why not. :D

Thank you for this post. <3
anatsuno: a women reads, skeptically (drawing by Kate Beaton) (Default)

[personal profile] anatsuno 2011-08-23 06:59 pm (UTC)(link)
You could allow yourself to record the MOST basic thing about these short podfics only: give them a podfic.short tag and nothing else. Then you'd have a handy way to go back to them when (if) you (ever) have more energy to add more tags... ??
dossier: the ancient ancestor of Herbatus Unimoosis (Default)

[personal profile] dossier 2011-08-24 07:11 pm (UTC)(link)
I really like this idea, and yes, I would listen to shorter pieces if I could give it an immediate click.

I started adding a podfic link in same delicious tag on the original fic link, rather than a separate item. that way it's in one place, with all the various tags and both the podficcer and author are tagged. It helps me keep my tags and links under control, too.
yourlibrarian: Intrigue-crushd72 (BUF-Intrigue-crushd72)

[personal profile] yourlibrarian 2011-08-30 04:18 am (UTC)(link)
That's such a great point about shorter podfics. That could be a boon to both the podficcer and the author if someone also doesn't want to open tabs for a number of short fics.
yourlibrarian: Angel and Lindsey (Default)

[personal profile] yourlibrarian 2011-08-30 04:57 am (UTC)(link)
Exactly! What's more I imagine it could lead to things like podficcers recording batches of "themed" short fics, responses to challenges and such.
inkjunket: (heart parade)

[personal profile] inkjunket 2011-09-12 03:52 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks so much for the encouragement to post a streaming option. I'd never have thought to do it, and didn't even really know I could. These reasons convinced me, your [community profile] podfic_tips post gave me the technical know-how, and now I've successfully embedded a streaming option in a podfic I just posted. \o/ Thank you!
ext_512358: man peering around a book at two half-naked women (Default)

[identity profile] 2011-11-10 06:59 pm (UTC)(link)
[personal profile] fire_juggler and I would like to thank you for setting up the streaming option for all the [community profile] pod_together podfics. We had one listener who claims to be completely lost on technical issues and says she wouldn't know the first thing about downloading an audio file and playing it, but the streaming was easy! She thoroughly appreciated having that option.