By all conceivable measures, the weekly Unblinking Ear Podcast has been an abysmal failure. Downloads have been declining steadily. The podcast I posted last week received about 21% of the downloads of my last podcast of 2010. Perhaps I'm flattering myself here, but I think this may be a case of too much of a good thing. Its frequency devalued the podcast as a commodity (in as much as anything that's free can have value). The weekly arrival made each podcast less an event than part of a routine. At worst, it became a regularly scheduled irritating bit of self-promotion from yours truly. Basically, doing the podcast on a weekly basis had the exact opposite effect that I anticipated. Oh, Four Loko, why did I believe you?
The task of assembling each podcast, which drains more than a few hours of my week and changes the way I listen to music. I find myself listening to new releases less for the experience of an album and more as a survey of the best tracks to play. I'm listening to more records but spending less time on each particular album. I'm absorbing more information but not maximizing my enjoyment of the experience. That's also more or less the reason I haven't been doing any writing on the blog, as some of you have noticed. Superficial listening is not conducive to analysis.
Between my general burnout and its lack of success, there's really no reason to keep doing podcast weekly. So I'm going to take a little break to recharge. The podcast will be back eventually, in all likelihood sooner rather than later, probably a few weeks. Hopefully, it won't be like a Mets injury where one can tack a month on to the projected time. Once it does come back, it will no longer be weekly. I've been considering making the podcast longer to compensate for doing less on them, which is a definite possibility.
In the meantime, enjoy this edition of the podcast. And I will be trying to focus on getting some writing done in the interim, so you can probably look forward to a bit of that.
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