I like a good podcast as much as the next guy. Heck, maybe even a little more than the next guy. BUT… SFFaudio lately has become an endless parade of posts about podcasts. Great podcasts, excellent podcasts, check-this-out-it’s way-cool podcasts.
In a recent post, Jesse said that one of the podcast audio drama series is one of his two favorite audio dramas. And that gave me pause. Wait a second here, I thought. Time out. Seriously? And the door opened to all kinds of issues. The main one being this:
There seems to have developed a dual standard of excellence on SFFaudio. First, there’s the FREE standard of excellence. Meaning, if it’s free, the standard for excellence appears to be lower. I couldn’t possibly call the audio drama I’ve heard via podcasting “excellent” if I compare it with almost any professional audio drama.
In reviews and commentary, I think we should be comparing audio dramas to audio dramas. The finest audio dramas ever produced – THOSE are the gold standard. People like Dirk Maggs, Roger Gregg, and Yuri Rasovsky continue to produce first-rate audio drama, and 99% of the amateur stuff is… well, it’s amateur stuff.
I’m all for letting folks know what’s out there – that’s really SFFaudio’s mission. But, in reviews and commentary, a reviewer needs a single standard of excellence, not two. If a piece of amateur audio drama garners a great review, it ought to compare favorably with a professional piece of audio drama that also got a great review. The same goes for podcast novels.