There were no easy guides to podcasting back in 2005 when I started. Yes there were definitions for the likes of RSS, and the close-knit community was working out best practices for the online intricacies, but it was a wild west as we made everything up.
And that included the equipment everyone was using. While others were using their laptops to capture the sound at home, recording to professional grade radio-quality recorders while in the field, I had taken another route.
I was using my Sony Minidisc player, and discovering the joys of its recording jack plug.Was it harder to use than the other options? I have no idea, it was just… different. That was by me, this was the wild west after all and the best validation was the community celebrating another episode being released.
Then Battlestar Galactica came along.
The back half of the first season of Ron Moore’s re-imagining of the Science-Fiction classic saw the show runner offer a podcast of commentary tracks that you could watch along with the show. Remember, this is early 2005 and looking behind the scenes in this much detail, in almost real time with the episode release schedule, was unheard of. Moore was, like many of us, right out on the bleeding edge of media.
And Moore was just sitting at his desk using a Sony Minidisc recorder, just like me. Out on the edge, I had found a brother-in-arms.
Now, there was a cute difference; once Moore had recorded his one-take commentary track, he posted it to the web team to do all the fiddly bits around the edges! But here was the spirit of podcasting. Take whatever you had, do the show, put it out there, and come back the following week and do it all again (but slightly better).
That’s what I was doing as well. That’s what all of us were doing; just ask Jason Evangelho of this parish. In fact, Jason and I are still taking the same approach here on Voice. We’re out at the edge, we’re doing what we love, and we’re getting a little bit better with every post from us and voice from you.
Ron Moore’s latest sci-fi series, ‘For All Mankind‘, launched its podcast last week. It’s incredibly polished. Hosted by Krys Marshall (who plays Danielle Poole in the series), there are guest stars, historical context, a full musical and audio soundscape each week… yet I miss the intimacy of Ron Moore with a glass of whiskey, a Minidisc, and a padded envelope.