CHICAGO – Due to sound quality flaws in streaming and digital audio, one podcast aficionado now recommends listening to podcasts exclusively via vinyl records.
“Vinyl just gives that warm, smooth sound that adds heart to otherwise sterile and overproduced audio,” argues Matt Sneed, the part-time sous chef looking to recapture the magic of high-fidelity. “Man. You just haven’t lived until you’ve heard Bill Burr’s earsplitting rants through a high quality turntable.”
When asked how he accomplishes this feat, considering podcasts are not available on vinyl, Sneed replied, “Sure, it’s kind of a pain in the ass to submit over 200 episodes of RISK! and Magic: The Amateuring to the pressing plant, what with all these fucking major labels clogging up the system, but it’s worth it for the warm undertones.”
Sneed, who blamed compromised digital sound quality on “those fascists” at iTunes, first hit on the idea when debating what to do next with the settlement money he received after he was injured on the job (he was hit by a car, but his messenger bike is fine).
“Yeah, I suppose I could find ways to save money on pressing costs, but it’s just so satisfying to skip the first 15 minutes of Marc Maron’s monologues with the needle by hand,” Sneed said. “It’s like jazz — it’s the words I’m not listening to.”
Sneed was careful to note the several drawbacks to his preferred audio medium. “I’m four years behind on the Joe Rogan Experience because it takes a seven record set for each episode,” he said. “Seriously, does an ad for protein powder really need to take a half hour? I have a fixed gear bike I haven’t rode in months. If I could find a way to make these portable and still sound halfway decent, I’d be caught up in no time.”
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Sneed is steadfast that the extra trouble is worth it. “Podcasts are an integral part of my life,” he revealed while searching online for a local blacksmith open on the weekends. “They help get me through the work day, even if I have to arrive 30 minutes early to set up my hi-fi system. Though it can get irritating when people trip over my power cord at the gym.”
Despite his struggles, Sneed plans to continue on his crusade for audio quality in podcasting. He insists, “I refuse to settle for a lesser alternative. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to press episodes of This American Life — but only the ones featuring the Ira Glass outtakes.”
Photo by Justin Gonyea.