I decided to listen to the Nightvale podcast, and it was not at all what I was expecting. Not that it was bad, because it wasn’t, but I wasn’t expecting to listen to a creative writing story being told to me. My experience with podcasts has been pretty limited, I suppose. I’ve listened to a few podcasts just once, but I listen to Joe Rogan semi-frequently. Actually, I only listen to him when he has guest on that I like.
What is strikingly different between the Nightvale podcast and the other podcasts that I have listened to is the use of sound in Nightvale. I was actually taken aback by the sounds because all of my known knowledge of podcasts never had any sounds. So immediately I knew this was incredibly different. The fact that it was a creative story piece and not just a regular person talking in an interview style also added to that feeling.
The sounds used in Nightvale added to the experience of the story. Instead of just being read a creative piece in a monotone voice, the use of sound effects and background noise gave the piece an extra layer that couldn’t be achieved through a book form. I related my feeling listening to the podcast with playing video games because of the sound. In a video game, whenever you approach enemies or a stressful situation, the background music will change to match the scene. And that is exactly what was going on in Nightvale and I appreciated it a bit more because of it.
Something from the reading that really stuck out with me was the idea that podcasting is mobile medium. I thought about it for a moment and realized, the only time I’ve ever listened to full length podcasts is when I’m driving. I’ve never sat down at my computer and played a Joe Rogan podcast, other than a couple of minutes to introduce him to my friends. I only ever throw on a podcast on my iPhone and connect it to the bluetooth in my car. It’s interesting to think about.