I regularly download podcasts but find that often the
volume of talkback shows is too low to hear when I am in a busy, noisy area
(ie. walking down the main street, sitting on the bus). I currently use ipodder
from Juice for my downloads and it is a great app. But do others allow for
higher quality volume in the download? Is there anything I can do?
I definitely understand the problem. I find myself adjusting the volume on
many podcasts, and especially when I switch from one to another. The levels are
rarely the same.
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There may be things you can do, but it’s probably not worth the effort
compared to just turning up or turning down the volume.
The “problem”, if you want to call it that, is that podcasting (or
“podcatching”) programs like iPodder, now called Juice, are nothing more that
glorified file copy programs. On a regular schedule, check for new podcasts,
and copy down the audio file. In fact, the program doesn’t even realize that it
is an audio file – which allows podcasting technology to be used for
video distribution, as well as just about any other file type.
Podcatching programs don’t know about “audio”, all they do is copy files.
Typically MP3 files.
The real problem is in the audio recording, the MP3 file, itself. In many
podcasts the audio level in the recording is too low, too high, or too varied,
for comfortable listening. In my opinion, this is somewhat a reflection on the
immaturity of podcasting as a medium. Anyone can create a podcast, regardless
of whether they know anything about audio production. That means that while
their content may (or may not) be interesting, their audio quality – of which
the volume, or level, is one component, could be all over the map.
Unfortunately there’s no simple solution. You could, I suppose, load up the
MP3 file into an audio editing program such as Audacity, and therein adjust the
levels, or anything else you like, and then save it back out before listening
to it. But that’s rather painful. To be honest it’s much easier just to twiddle
the volume control on your MP3 player as needed.
Audio level is something that I do try two tweak as appropriate in my own
weekly podcast. It’s a bit of a challenge to get just the right mix of intro
and background music that compliments, but doesn’t overwhelm, the podcast