Welcome To The JAG Show Podcast!
Oct. 2, 2020

The Power of the Mute Button

The Power of the Mute Button
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Editor's Note: Today's show was recorded Thursday afternoon, before news broke that President and Mrs. Trump tested positive for COVID-19.

“That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck."

CNN's Jake Tapper recapping Tuesday's Presidential Debate

The sh*tshow that was Tuesday night's debate may have finally gotten us to the change that I've been crying for since at least 2016.  A mute button.  If, in my radio days, I could manage to stop talking after 14 seconds when Katy Perry started singing, a person running for political office should be able to shut it after two full minutes.  It sounds, as of this recording, that the Commission on Presidential Debates may finally give moderators that power.  Nothing was accomplished Tuesday night, and for any undecided voters that still want to cast a ballot on issues, they are no closer to an answer now than they were at the beginning of the week.  If you give each candidate an opportunity to talk, you might learn something.

2020 might become, among many other things, the year of the mute button.  Almost all of us have learned to use it on Zoom calls - when we need to cough, sneeze, drink, eat, etc.  At least those with common courtesy do anyway.   In a podcast, the mute button is extremely useful.  For example, I recorded a podcast with a host and 4 panelists recently.  The two things that made it flow very well are that the host called on each panelist individually, and that everyone muted their mic when not speaking.  I had the speakers on 5 separate tracks, and the editing was very straightforward.

Yesterday, I recorded a show with a client while my wife and I were dog-sitting.  There was running, and barking, happening upstairs.  I muted my mic when I wasn't speaking, and the edit was easy. 

Now, all things in moderation of course.  If you're having a lively conversation in a podcast, there's no need to mute yourself in a frequent back-and-forth. But if you're going long periods of time without speaking, mute yourself. Your editor will thank you.

Fascinating piece of news this week between the connection in "plosives" and COVID spread.  Podcast editors often have to eliminate plosives, or the little puff of air that comes out of your mouth with hard consonants like P and T.  (For a demo of this, hold your palm in front of your mouth and say the word "pizza.")  You'll feel a little puff of air.  Well those little puffs of air, or "mini jet streams" can carry COVID-19 particles.  This was covered last night here in Detroit by Channel 4. https://www.clickondetroit.com/health/good-health/2020/09/30/how-chance-of-spreading-covid-19-through-air-changes-based-on-what-words-are-spoken/

In other podcast news this week, Spotify is testing polls for podcasts - hosts can ask one question per show and have listeners weigh in: https://techcrunch.com/2020/09/23/spotify-adds-an-interactive-feature-for-podcasts-with-launch-of-polls/?guccounter=1

Apple bought Scout FM, which turns podcasts into radio stations, and shut down Scout's apps on Apple and Android, possibly to use the technology in its own iOS application: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2020/09/25/heres-how-apple-could-use-new-podcasting-acquisition-scout-fm/#52b8875a7974

Wondery, the company that produced Dr. Death and Dirty John, may be up for sale for the low, low price of $200 million. https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/podcast-company-wondery-explores-sale-for-at-least-200-million?utm_source=podnews.net&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=podnews.net:2020-09-28

Podcast Movement Virtual's schedule is out.  Ticket prices go up next week. https://virtual.podcastmovement.com/schedule/

Locally, the Detroit Podcast Festival is October 16-18. https://www.detroitpodcastfest.com/

As always, if you have questions about podcasting, or need help launching (or even tweaking) your show, feel free to reach out - jag@jagindetroit.com or on social at @JAGinDetroit.