I have 1,500 “classic” RSS subscriptions and 75 podcast subscriptions. Only a fraction of those regularly update themselves. Today I wish to gripe about poor implementation of two podcasts.

  1. Tiësto’s Club Life

    Or Tiësto’s Club Lifé, as I always read it. Tiësto is the acceptable face of dance music, the perfect middle-of-the-road DJ. Tiësto’s value proposition is dance music that is always in good contemporary taste – no old disco and nothing insane like happy hardcore. He, and it, are easy to like.

    His weekly podcast seems to have everything – chapter markers; custom artwork for each chapter; just exactly enough superminimalist introduction and foreground narration (in an accent that, true to Dutch form, suggests Tiësto thinks his English is better than it is). I listen to it, at low volume, while reading on the subway. It’s great for that usage.

    What’s wrong? Every podcast comes in under the name Radio 538: Tiësto`s club life podcast.

    • They can manage a diæresis on an e but they can’t manage an apostrophe – again, the Dutch mangle the English language and see right through it. The obvious explanation – they’re using some weird Vlaams keyboard that doesn’t have an apostrophe – is meaningless, as apostrophes are always typable on Western-language keyboards, you can copy and paste an apostrophe from somewhere else, and, crucially, RSS is XML and you can just use a character entity. They even manage a neutral apostrophe on the homepage. I’ve repoted this repeatedly, to no avail.
    • I don’t care what Radio 538 is. I have to search my list of podcasts every week just because it isn’t listed under T.

    The podcast exacts its own price through the opening theme music – a shockingly loud, screeching, dissonant sound effect that nobody, whatsoever, could possibly like.

    The opening sting is so painful and such a deterrent that I have set up an elaborate avoidance mechanism: I run some other piece of audio first, turn the volume down to next to nothing, start up Tiësto, and instantly jump to the next chapter. I have now done this for 92 consecutive podcasts. When I sink into your upholstered armchair, I don’t expect to sit on a thumbtack the size of a traffic cone.

  2. Monocle Weekly

    Not exactly as boring as Monocle (op. cit.; I have since recycled all my issues). Not an outright joke like the original video podcast – a dull, ill-narrated screencast redolent of 1970s British travelogues, an unfunny parody of Boring Postcards. This new weekly podcast, hosted initially by Tyler Brûlé –

    Double-page spread shows black-and-white photo of Tyler Brûlé emerging onto an outdoor staircase and a page of Times Roman text

    Perverse FANTASTIC MAN orthography: Mr. TYLER BRÛLÉ

    – merely shows a lack of finesse that would never be tolerated in the context of the print magazine’s overdetermined design and structure.

    • No custom artwork.
    • No chapter stops, again without custom artwork.
    • Name of podcast needlessly duplicated in episode-title field.
    • Giant unreadable slab of text in the description field.

    They already have FANTASTIC MAN–style B&W still photos of Mr. BRÛLÉ at work in the studio (with visible custom Monocle mikeflash), and of all guests; such photos are easily shot during each recording. The rest is basic housekeeping.

    UPDATE (2009.01.17): Mr. Brûlé’s minions managed to write the name of the podcast as “The Monocle Weely” on two of the four episodes issued to date.

Now, what odds do you give that any of these deficiencies will be fixed?

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2009.01.01 13:20. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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