Making Sure Blog Talk Radio Still Sucks

by David on November 15, 2011

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Back in the day when podcasting was still just a gleam in the eyes of geeks, two companies launched to give people the ability to do live radio shows. One was TalkShoe and the other was Blog Talk Radio. I have NOT been a fan of either one for a very simple reason. Their audio blows. I mean it sucks out loud, and by that I mean it’s bad. It’s horrible. It sounds like you recorded you podcast under water with someone frying bacon in the background. I hope you get my hint.

If you look at the graphic to the right you will see the details of a file I downloaded from the Blog talk University (so an “official” BTR file) and you will see that the sample rate is 11. The typical CD quality sample rate is 44. Think of it this way, how many times a second do they take a picture of your sound wave. Another great way of thinking of this is by using the analogy of paint. How much paint do they put on their brush? 1/4 of what most people use.

Then you get to the Audio Bit Rate. Back in the day when people were worried about bandwidth (a worry that is almost obsolete) people would publish at

64 Kbps = Am Radio Quality if stereo.
96 = FM Radio Quality (I still publish at his rate for some of my podcasts)
128 =CD Quality

You can see that after barely putting any “paint” on their paint brush they then publish the audio with HALF of the quality of an AM Radio station.

As I was listening to this show, I thought, “I’m going to write a blog post about it.” I didn’t want to lose my place so I clicked the “Play in a new window” option and well. I’m still waiting. I get this a lot when I go to help people who want to move away from Blog Talk Radio. I finally had to click on pause and start to get the player to work.

With this in mind, as it is my job to know and understand all podcasting tools, I will be using BTR in the future to make sure I know what I’m talking about. If you want to be notified you can follow me on twitter at @learntopodcast and I’ll let you know. Right now I’m set for this Wednesday at 10 AM. 

When I visit their site, it is filled with ads. Now the fun thing is, many of those ads were paid for by the other hosts. That’s right instead of finding advertisers who want to sponsor your show, they charge you to sponsor other people’s shows. It’s part of their “publicity” that they provide. If you take their class on podcast promotion it amounts to (in my opinion) use Facebook and Twitter. Really? Wow. I never would’ve thought of that.

Maybe the thrill of having a live audience will offset the lack of audio quality. I’m also going to pay CLOSE attention as to how and if they submit a feed to iTunes as a “favor” for me. See this video to help explain how you can get married to BTR without a way of getting out of a very bad marriage.

There may be hope for BTR in the future as I saw this on one of their forums.

With this in mind I urge you NOT to use these services (or Podbean for that matter). If you need help, I have resources, and a quick start plan that will cost you less than $10 to start.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris December 14, 2011 at 9:03 am

Do you know if it is possible to migrate an RSS feed that is hooked up to iTunes from a BlogTalkRadio account to a self-hosted podcast?

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David December 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm

You would need to put a “new rss” tag into the rss feed. Being that this comes from blog talk radio, and being that they know what that “new rss” tag would move you away from them, I doubt it. That’s why I use feedburner and submit my feedburner feed to iTunes. Then if I want to change something, I pupdate feedburner which updates iTunes.

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N H July 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Seeing as though the foundation of BTR is audio and sound, it would stand to reason that more focus would be given to the QUALITY of that audio and sound. Nearly every show I’ve listened to on BTR sounds horrible, including the ones hosted by BTR staff. Just doesn’t make sense to me, especially when you have to pay approx. $40-$250 per month for premium features, but then receive way-less-than-premium sound.

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John Sweet March 16, 2014 at 12:49 pm

If we provide a decent quality audio our profits go down and I can’t go on writing shit poetry you morons.
After my wife left me because of my small penis I take it out on others because I was a bully victim at school and had to ride the short yellow bus.

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