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Author Topic: Pseudopod 276: Our Drunken Tjeng  (Read 3674 times)
eytanz
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« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2012, 10:38:14 PM »

Quote
I wonder if in the future the fact that the story has a lot of effects and an alternate version is available could to be advertised in the intro, rather than have a large percentage of the listeners have a bad audio experience, then come to the forums to complain, and discover that there's an alternate after they've already had the negative experience. For that matter, what of all the listeners who don't read the forums or the blog? How will they know of the other option?

I don't begrudge Pseudopod's production team their decision to make a heavily produced episode - even though I do not enjoy listening to such episodes - but I think if they do so, they should assume that this will be a difficulty to a sizeable chunk of the listenership, and plan ahead as far as the communication goes.
from eytanz


Probably not - and here's why in ascending order:

THE GAME OF PSEUDOPOD!

(Detailed response cut)

Ok, fair enough. That all makes sense.

Quote
I have no idea how to ask this question without it sounding indelicate and making myself sound stupid so I'll just ask it out of sheer ignorance - is it substantially more complicated for itunes users than just going to the story page and right clicking the download link, saving to your desktop and then dragging the file into your itunes folder?  Because I could have done that 10 times in the time it's taken me to type this post.  

It's quite possible to do that. But, and here's the crux - if you do that, the episode will not be listed as an episode of the podcast, but will appear among your music. And, for example, it may start playing when you shuffle, or if you have any playlists based on when you last played music, or so forth. It will also not remember it's position if you stop in the middle and start again (this one is rather crucial), and it won't allow you to speed up or slow down play, nor make the "rewind 30 seconds" button available on an IOS device.

It's possible to fix some of these things, but that becomes rather tricky, and how tricky can vary by your individual computer settings (are you using a Mac or a PC? What type of iPod do you have? etc.)

Making it appear in the feed is a matter of creating a new wordpress entry for it, as opposed to adding a link to the existing one. I really can't see a downside to doing that, but maybe I'm missing something.
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Sgarre1
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« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2012, 11:50:49 PM »

Quote
Ok, fair enough. That all makes sense.

Thanks for understanding!


Quote
It's quite possible to do that. But, and here's the crux - if you do that, the episode will not be listed as an episode of the podcast, but will appear among your music. And, for example, it may start playing when you shuffle, or if you have any playlists based on when you last played music, or so forth. It will also not remember it's position if you stop in the middle and start again (this one is rather crucial), and it won't allow you to speed up or slow down play, nor make the "rewind 30 seconds" button available on an IOS device.

That makes sense - thanks for clarifying.  I will have to think more on why I thought making a whole new page would be a mistake - I might have no good reason at all, or I may just be forgetting something.
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lisavilisa
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« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2012, 12:57:42 PM »

My heart aches in compassion to the producer who obviously put a lot of creative energy into this episode, only to have us complain about it. I like the idea that the producer had, it was just too strong for me to stand.

Agreed, I appreciated the concept, and if it was only short bits I could have worked around it by piecing the rest of the plot together around the weird audio bits, but when I realized it was going to be the whole episode I gave up.
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Bdoomed
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« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2012, 04:19:29 PM »

It's quite possible to do that. But, and here's the crux - if you do that, the episode will not be listed as an episode of the podcast, but will appear among your music. And, for example, it may start playing when you shuffle, or if you have any playlists based on when you last played music, or so forth. It will also not remember it's position if you stop in the middle and start again (this one is rather crucial), and it won't allow you to speed up or slow down play, nor make the "rewind 30 seconds" button available on an IOS device.

It's possible to fix some of these things, but that becomes rather tricky, and how tricky can vary by your individual computer settings (are you using a Mac or a PC? What type of iPod do you have? etc.)

It's a few steps, but...
1. find the file in iTunes, probably easily located in "recently added"
2. right click
3. get info
4. options tab
5. Media Kind dropdown menu
6. click Podcast
7. click apply

ta-da! Smiley
I'm not sure, however, if it will automatically be put in with the rest of the cast, or on it's own separate podcast.  If that happens, it's an annoying process of messing with the metadata for which you need another program.  iTunes is weird in some ways with metadata and how it sorts things.
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I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?
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eytanz
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« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2012, 04:46:44 PM »

It's quite possible to do that. But, and here's the crux - if you do that, the episode will not be listed as an episode of the podcast, but will appear among your music. And, for example, it may start playing when you shuffle, or if you have any playlists based on when you last played music, or so forth. It will also not remember it's position if you stop in the middle and start again (this one is rather crucial), and it won't allow you to speed up or slow down play, nor make the "rewind 30 seconds" button available on an IOS device.

It's possible to fix some of these things, but that becomes rather tricky, and how tricky can vary by your individual computer settings (are you using a Mac or a PC? What type of iPod do you have? etc.)

It's a few steps, but...
1. find the file in iTunes, probably easily located in "recently added"
2. right click
3. get info
4. options tab
5. Media Kind dropdown menu
6. click Podcast
7. click apply

ta-da! Smiley
I'm not sure, however, if it will automatically be put in with the rest of the cast, or on it's own separate podcast.  If that happens, it's an annoying process of messing with the metadata for which you need another program.  iTunes is weird in some ways with metadata and how it sorts things.

Oh - that does work. Cool, I learnt something new.

Experimenting around, though, shows that it creates a separate podcast, which is still not ideal for people who try to keep old episodes in order. But the main advantage of having the alternate version come out on the feed is that way people who subscribe but aren't part of the community will be able to get it.
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benjaminjb
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« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2012, 09:59:57 AM »

I wonder how the Pseudopod team decides which stories get the "soundscape" process.

I'm torn here--on one hand, I'm all for exploring the capabilities of this new(ish) medium; but on the other hand, I come for stories, not for sound production and on a horror story podcast, I expect the story to get the feeling/theme across without any spectacle.

Oh, I guess I'm not torn at all, insofar as Pseudopod is a story-oriented podcast: fun soundscape/sound production makes the stories hard to comprehend.
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Sgarre1
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« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2012, 04:34:38 PM »

Quote
I wonder how the Pseudopod team decides which stories get the "soundscape" process.

There are no hard and fast rules, honestly.  The poolhall sounds and wind/s in "This Is Now" served to reinforce the setting, but also to give subtle audio clues as to shift in time setting of scene - perhaps not so subtle with the pool balls, but there were actually 2 types of wind used - one for the "back then outside" and one for the "now outside".

"What Makes You Tick", "The Line" and "Tippler's Bane" just seemed like givens, what with the alien perspectives of the reading segments.  Thus, the same held true for "Tjeng", although the setting was also completely alien, so 2 possibilities for production manifested.

"Revelation of Cormorants" was because the seabird cries seemed a natural, along with the advancing and threatening surf.  Plus the fact that the Cormorant is noted for having a distinctive cackle - all these sold me on the idea.

"The Drowner" because it was flash and because I wanted a way to underscore the difference between below and above surface.

As I said above - these instances will be rare but they will continue when the circumstances seem to warrant it.  They will not be liked by everyone.  I guess one way to look at it is that with nearly 300 episodes in the can, familiarity is apt to breed contempt and as there are a number of people out there newly working our same piece of ground, it only makes sense for us to try and remain distinctive, all while remaining committed to good stories and also while indulging my own perverse need for wide variety.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 05:37:15 PM by Sgarre1 » Logged
zoanon
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« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2012, 05:16:56 PM »

I've enjoyed all the soundscape episodes thus far (the what makes you tick voice still haunts me at times).
I liked the backround sounds of Our Drunken Tjeng, and if the voice had a bit less echo, and I had been a bit less tired, I would have enjoyed the words as well. as it is I kinda just meditated to the sounds on my walk home.
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WinBear
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« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2012, 02:56:13 PM »

I may check out the alternate mp3 (and thanks for that "media kind" tip. I knew about "media kind" from Smart Playlists but not how to edit it.) I'm a relatively new listener, so this is the first "highly produced" episode I've encountered.

I think a middle ground might have served here. I didn't think the vocal effect needed to be there all the time. I would have preferred to only hear it occasionally like at the beginning of a paragraph and fading out quickly or perhaps on certain words like "Our Tjeng."
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dragonsbreath
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« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2012, 09:13:36 AM »

Thanks sgarrel for the mp3
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The Far Stairs
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« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2012, 09:30:25 PM »

I, too, had to stop listening after about thirty seconds, because I couldn't understand a word (I was in my car).

HOWEVER, I continue to be in favor of Pseudopod experimenting with production. I've been doing quite a bit of production work lately, finishing up an audiobook, and I have a few suggestions:

1.) I think the reason why the other stories mentioned didn't draw many complaints is that the sound effects used didn't actually interfere with the narration itself. Noises with a constant, undulating presence (like blowing wind, falling rain, etc.) don't tend to take focus away from the vocals, because the listener's mind can tune them out to some degree. Basically, the mind thinks, "Oh, I'm familiar with this noise, and I know it's going to go on like this in the background for a while, so I won't pay too much attention to it." In that sense, they enhance the listening experience without getting in the way. Noises with frequent discrete events (like voices speaking recognizable words, footsteps, or environmental sounds that start and stop) tend to be distracting, because the mind has to take focus off the narration to recognize and evaluate the new sound. This will often cause the listener to lose track of the story.

2.) When the vocals themselves are processed you have to be very careful. One trick I've learned to deal with this issue is to create two identical vocal tracks, pan one to the left and one to the right, and then put the effects on only one of them. Whichever one gets the effects, lower the volume on that one slightly so that the un-processed one is dominant. That way you still have a clear speaking voice, but the listener's mind recognizes that something additional is going on (robot, demon, cybernetic rabbit, etc.).

Hope this helps!

P.S. Thanks for the Candyland references. That made my day.

P.P.S. Has everyone seen The Cabin in the Woods yet? Go see it. It's phenomenal.
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Jesse Livingston
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« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2012, 07:54:54 AM »

I enjoyed this story a lot at DSF, which is why I was a little quick to give up on the audio version.  I'm glad Pseudopod is willing to try out interesting stuff.
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rotheche
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« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2012, 02:47:46 AM »

Would it be possible to have both recordings on the feed, perhaps?  Different titles to make clear that they're different versions of the same episode.  Or, perhaps, have the one that the main audience - people in cars - will be able to listen to on the feed and the other, heavily produced one as the alternate, maybe.

SFX are fine - the right mix means they'll add atmosphere and not confusion.  But playing with the words makes it difficult to balance right (hell, some weeks, even having lyrics under a voiceover can be problematic if the music's just that touch too high - the brain tries to interpret both at once, resulting in mush.  I had a good few years in commercial radio production - in our ads, we always tried to instrumental under the voiceover for just that reason.  If we only had the full vocal of a jingle instead of a donut version, we'd drop the jingle further than usual).
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Sgarre1
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« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2012, 04:48:42 PM »

Quote
Would it be possible to have both recordings on the feed, perhaps?  Different titles to make clear that they're different versions of the same episode.  Or, perhaps, have the one that the main audience - people in cars - will be able to listen to on the feed and the other, heavily produced one as the alternate, maybe.

Answered earlier in this thread.
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Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2012, 11:48:16 AM »

Regarding the audio itself:
I downloaded this episode shortly after it aired, and then shortly thereafter found my iPod to be nonfunctional so it's been sitting on my hard drive until last week when I finally burned it to an mp3 CD.  I listened to it over my car's speakers going 80 mph on the interstate.  I often listen on car trips, but usually I listen on my iPod so that I don't have to worry about the other passengers.  This time I had the speakers adjusted to play only in the front left quarter of the car, and I tried to adjust the volume so that it was JUST low enough so that I could understand all the words.  In that listening environment it wasn't obvious to me whether the noise was sound production aftereffects or whether it was just a recording with a bad microphone.  The road noise drowned out the lower voice tones unless they were relatively high volume, and at that higher volume some of the higher pitches in the background noise were near my audio pain threshold, enough to make me wince.  I ended up turning it down a bit so that I didn't have to wince, but then I missed one sentence in every half dozen sentences.  If I'd been alone I probably would've just cranked it, but I was trying not to annoy my wife who was trying to read in the passenger seat.

I like that Pseudopod is willing to try things out, and I encourage it.  The only times I haven't liked the results are when I have trouble understanding the words themselves (and I do most of my listening with road noise).

Anyway, I listened to this the best that I could, and I certainly enjoyed the extreme weirdness of the setting, lots of good imagination there, and I value novelty very highly in stories.  I think I more or less followed the plot, and didn't really have any complaints about it.  I didn't feel very connected to the characters but I think that was perhaps not due to the writing itself but just trying to sort the words into meaningful sentences.

2.) When the vocals themselves are processed you have to be very careful. One trick I've learned to deal with this issue is to create two identical vocal tracks, pan one to the left and one to the right, and then put the effects on only one of them. Whichever one gets the effects, lower the volume on that one slightly so that the un-processed one is dominant. That way you still have a clear speaking voice, but the listener's mind recognizes that something additional is going on (robot, demon, cybernetic rabbit, etc.).

From personal preference I would advise against that.  The reason being, when I listen to my iPod I often have only one earbud in place to allow me to hear the world around me.  If that ear happened to be the one which only had super-distorted voice effects, then I'd just miss them entirely and it would not be immediately obvious that listening the other earbud would allow me to understand.  There was some episodes of the Dunesteef where they split the audio, such as having a voice with an echoey-but-incomprehensible-effect split between ears, and all I could hear were the echoey-but-incomprehensible-effect.  I listened to the whole story, hearing only one side of a conversation (between a normal sounding person and this echoey effect) and I thought it was SUPPOSED to be that way, like Charlie Brown talking to an adult (Wah-wah-wah-wah-wah).  Only later did I realize that I missed an entire half of the conversation that I completely missed.  Also on the Dunesteef, sometimes in the afterdiscussion they would play bits of the discussion in only one ear and alternate, and again I missed half of it unless I went to the trouble of fumbling with my earbuds while my hands are otherwise occupied.

So, while in general that might work fine, for me personally that drives me nuts.

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Sgarre1
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« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2012, 09:06:46 PM »

Hey everybody, check it out!  It's someone who dug "Our Drunken Tjeng" - production and all!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzaPz6-b6Tw
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #36 on: July 12, 2012, 08:48:38 AM »

Hey everybody, check it out!  It's someone who dug "Our Drunken Tjeng" - production and all!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzaPz6-b6Tw

Huh, the audio's not working for me, will have to try again on another computer.  Cool to get a plug like that though.  Smiley


Nevermind, a reboot and I could get it to work.  Neat!  It's nice to get mentions of the podcast outside of the forumites here that we talk to all the time.  A good reminder that there are thousands and thousands of listeners out there besides the few dozen who hang out here.  Smiley
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 09:05:25 AM by Unblinking » Logged

--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
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