Constant Listener Weekly—March 2, 2018

I hope you won’t miss me too much…

This is just a note to say that I’m going away next week, so there won’t be a new issue of the newsletter. I’ll resume publishing on March 16th.

There’s a strong possibility that I won’t even listen to a single podcast in that time, which will be a little strange. Keep your ears open, and if there’s anything you think that I shouldn’t miss, feel free to drop me a line here: ben@constantlistener.com.

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Constant Listener Weekly—February 19, 2018

Have you seen the news about The Daily?

In case you haven’t, The New York Times’ wildly popular and exceedingly well-made news podcast will soon be distributed on the radio in partnership with American Public Media. I’ve had a bit of a strange reaction to the news, in that it makes me cringe a little. I have written in the past regarding my feelings on daily news podcasts—which you can check out here. I haven’t entirely made sense of this desire I have to demarcate the world of podcasting so rigidly from the world of radio, but the two are rather different approaches to a similar shared media.

Among the chief enjoyments of the podcast format is its inherent plasticity. It is a breeding ground for new ideas, often because it isn’t often beholden to the formal rigidities of something like the broadcast clock. Having a sense of playful experimentation as a foundational quality has led The Daily to flourish precisely for the ways that it doesn’t fit the mold of traditional news media. I know that the podcast won’t change as a result, but it does change the way listeners might interact with the show.

We’ll see, who knows. Enough of this screed, hop down below for this week’s recommendations!

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Amid the joy of the Third Coast conference, questions about the essence of podcasts

Last month I had the great fortune of attending the 2017 Third Coast Conference, put on by the Third Coast International Audio Festival. Though it was only my second year in attendance, I already feel an unabashed love for Third Coast and all that they have done for the furtherance of narrative audio storytelling. Following their work over the years has only served to make me that much more of a perceptive listener to, and observer of, the world of audio. In this present moment, adopting a bird’s eye perspective of the podcast landscape reveals the Third Coast organization and conference’s indelible fingerprints on this century’s communal listening experiences. From Re:Sound, to Radiotopia, many of audio’s major players can credit the organization as having been integral in their growth. That its rise in prominence has coincided with that of the podcast medium is largely by design and not mere coincidence.

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