The Escape Pod is ready to depart

Hailing frequencies open… Forums Podcasts The Escape Pod is ready to depart

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
  • Author
  • #832

    …starting on Monday. I’ve finally found a length and format that suits me for podcasting.

    Stay tuned.


    Live in one hour. The suspense isn’t really killing me. It’s more like it’s lightly tickling my left ankle, which isn’t exactly a place that I’m ticklish.


    It can now be found on the main menu page; it’ll be the top item every day, just by virtue of being that day’s date.

    Here’s what it is, basically: over the course of about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, I read a heavily rewritten version of that day’s events on the timeline menu, radio-morning-show style. There are sound clips, music clips, and me attempting to be funny. It’s actually very tightly scripted – no going off-the-cuff. The Friday edition is nearly five minutes, as it covers Friday through Monday.

    I gang-record these in one sitting, and generally edit them the same way. Still working on sound quality, but this time, no cooking while I’m podcasting.

    Still contemplating a longer, more free-form “weekend edition” down the road if I have time, but my recent attempts to get back on that horse have produced what I thought was unusable material. I’d really like to not have to completely script out something lasting 30 minutes – that’s an amount of writing that is more properly directed at material for one of the next books. At the same time, if I don’t script it out, even with an outline I tend to fall victim to ramble-itis. Flack makes this sound terribly easy. Or, for all I know, what I’ve recorded is fine and dandy and I just need to stop being self-conscious and post it.

    In the meantime, however, until that particular dragon is slain, there is the Escape Pod – written tight, edited tight, delivered lightning-fast. You could probably listen to an entire Escape Pod during a commercial break on TV or radio.

    I just hope folks like it; maybe it’ll catch on with an audience that isn’t already here, or following the site via Facebook or Twitter. The further I got into it, the better feeling I had about it, to the point of throwing in MST3K-style “zingers” at the end. I also got better at it with each one recorded: Monday’s is a wild mix of bits from takes 3-7 (!!). Tuesday’s through Thursday’s: done in one. Almost made it through Friday in one take, but had to redo the second half of it once because I got tongue-tied.

    One other thing – they won’t stick around long. When Tuesday rolls around, I’m going to change the date and filenames in the Monday post and use that same post for next Monday; in other words, when next Monday rolls around, the post for this Monday will be long gone.

    Let me know what you think; I had a select few friends listen to it over the weekend and got everything from “oh… okay…” to “that’s cool” to “God, you have an annoying ’80s radio voice.” Somewhere in the middle, one expects, lies the truth. If it doesn’t catch on, I’ll put the thing to sleep after about a month and it’ll join countless other short-lived experiments.


    Week 2 of the Escape Pod is in the can. Not a huge amount of feedback so far, but downloads are off the scale, so somebody’s listening.

    The second week’s Escape Pods sound a lot better – the first week’s installments were “overdriven” and I’ve fixed that. There’s also a formal intro sequence to kick off each one, lasting about 11 seconds total – it’s a little attention-getter.

    You’ll also hear a Mr. Flibble shout-out, and me trying not to trip over Russian names.

    Any comments so far?


    Note to self: don’t ever, ever use a vehicle as a recording booth again. Now, to be fair, if I hadn’t recorded this week’s Escape Pods in the car while my wife was in her doctor’s appointment, I would’ve had no other opportunity to record them last week, at all. But between be being a little bit sniffly and nasal as it was, and then sitting in a tank full of reflective surfaces designed to keep other sound out (and therefore, by definition, acoustically ricocheting my own nasally voice around my big, already acoustically reflective melon of a head)… baaaaad idea. I also wasn’t using the terribly nice headset Mark got for me a while back: leaving that at home was big mistake number 2. (And this is before we get into the handful of places where the sounds of traffic outside the vehicle actually made it into the recording.) So this week’s Escape Pods don’t sound as good as I’d like. I actually dropped a bit of reverb in on my own voice to make things sound a little less like I was in a small metal box.

    Wednesday’s is pretty funny, fair warning. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Offline

    So, do you have a central location for all your podcasts so I can download them all in one shot? Because, if you expect me to show up every day to download just one, that ain’t gonna happen. Sorry.

    Also I want to download any of your older stuff. I found three of your podcasts from last year in your blog page but I know you have a lot more.

    You see I usually only listen to podcasts when I am on the road. I don’t have the time to listen to them at home, especially when they are more than an hour long. I’m looking at a long train ride up ahead and so I’m trying to load up beforehand. I got all of Rob’s podcasts and now I want all of yours.



    I’m archiving the already-run ones here, though be aware that the ones dated to this year will eventually be re-recorded – I recorded three weeks’ worth of them today, and while I was writing them, I had a little brainstorm and realized that by being less specific about the date (say, for example, “it’s March 25th” instead of “it’s Monday, March 25th”) in the script, I could get a bit more mileage out of these than I might’ve gotten otherwise. It’d be nice to eventually have a primary and an alternate for each date, but with some days of the year, it’s a stretch to come up with enough material for one two-minute podcast. This will also mean the thing goes seven days a week… whew.

    The edited segments from weeks two, three and four thus far add up to about half an hour total.

    The first week isn’t in the archive – the sound quality (and my voice) on those were just a little bit embarrassing, and will be re-recorded somewhere down the road.

    • Offline

    Thanks! I even got a couple episodes from the future! Wooooo! I feel like I’m traveling in time! ๐Ÿ˜€


    I finally wised up after Flack’s Retroist post today and created an actual archive page so people don’t have to go digging around in a directory.

    Everything is recorded for the next three weeks, but only produced through this coming week; I’m leaving things open in case I pick up a sponsor (fingers crossed), which will require breaking things up a bit. I don’t want to have stuff produced a month out and then have to redo it all, but quiet time to record stuff is such a precious commodity that it’s good to have this much of it “in the can”.


    If I might brag just a little bit about my ability to “spot” which music goes where…

    …well, just listen to the May 5th edition. (You can already get to it on the archive page.)

    If I have decent audio of an event of historic significance, I like to let the thing play out and sink in. And I don’t always slather it with music either – sometimes it’s best to back the hell off and admit that real life doesn’t have a dramatic underscore.

    This was a case where I felt I could get away with it. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    A couple of minor procedural notes:

    The Escape Pods for the first week of July can already be snagged ahead of time on the Archive page. I try to work quite a bit ahead on these, so anyone wanting to grab ’em for holiday listening-while-traveling purposes can stock up ahead of time. Not that anyone’s asked, but I also try to go out of my way to make these something that can be listened to in the car with the kids. Once in a while I’ll pick a sound clip from a show that might have a “hell” or a “damn” in it, though I try to avoid that where possible; on the other hand, I deliberately edited out “What the f*** are we gonna do now?” from the “Game over, man!” clip from Aliens a while back, for that reason.

    The very first few episodes have been remastered and reposted, but I’ll still have to redo them for a variety of reasons (along with the next couple of weeks’ worth after that). In any case, there they are.

    I’m slowly re-editing older installments to bring them in line with the “house style” that finally emerged in late April, but recording and editing new ones takes priority.

    A few of this month’s installments have supplemental material from the “Escape Pod archives”; what that boils down to is this: I sometimes acquire and edit down sound clips way ahead of time, even before I write scripts. Some of the early installments for July were written while I was mobile and either didn’t have internet access, or only had limited access, and only after I’d recorded them did I realize that I’d left something out. The July 4th entry is one of those cases (and also expands that installment to a meaty ten minutes).


    Escape Pod installments are posted through the 4th of September on the archive page, so you can grab ’em in advance of your holiday weekend road trip.

    September 4th is also a big milestone for the ‘pod: it’s been happening, every day, for six months. Sometimes by the skin of its teeth, but it has been happening.

    Are there any thoughts on the Escape Pod at the halfway point? A worthwhile project? Barely bother to listen? I can’t promise any huge mid-course corrections in the format, since it’s written and recorded weeks ahead of time, but feedback has been rather limited on this project. I figured the six-month checkpoint is a good time to gather feedback.

    Steve W
    • Offline

    No offense, but I haven’t listened to any of them yet. It”s not through iTunes, so I don’t bother. I like my podcasts to sync up all at the same time with my phone.

    By the way, there’s three podcasts with the name Escape Pod on iTunes.


    All of the January Escape Pods are finally done; work is proceeding on February and the completely re-recorded March installments. I’ve written and recorded some “refresh” script segments to add to older installments; after that, barring further refreshes on what will likely be an annual basis, the “daily” phase of the Escape Pod will at last be done.


    OK, guys. Before I go announcing it to all, can I get you to kick the tires on something for me?

    I’ve set up a separate section for the Escape Pod – actually, it’s the original section, as the “podcast” directory was already there – so it can have its own RSS feed. I have also been experimenting with a couple of plugins to auto-renew whichever post is 366 days old. (Today, for example, it brought May 31, 2015’s post up to the front and now it’s May 31, 2016’s post.)

    I still have to compose most of the year’s worth of short (dare I say…auto-tweetable?) descriptions, so…far from complete. Yay, 366-episode podcast? ๐Ÿ˜†

    I’m not crazy about my “EG” avatar being shown with every post in the timeline format, and yet… I really dig the timeline format. Went through about a dozen plug-ins trying to get that right.

    Let me know what you think.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.