End of a podcast

In December of 2010, I launched Pocket Sized Podcast, a podcast about Apple’s iOS devices, apps, and the iOS ecosphere. Initially bi-weekly, I made it a weekly affair the following March. This past week, I released episode 163 and called it a day. Pocket Sized Podcast is now something to be looked back upon fondly.

Pocket Sized Podcast wasn’t a solo effort – I was very quickly joined by long time friend Peter Nikolaidis. John Nemerovski (Nemo), reviews editor at MyMac.com, joined in with his World’s Shortest Reviewcast segment, and Suzé Gilbert with her photography app reviews. Starting with episode 120, Ronnie Lutes became the full-time co-host, and the podcast entered its modern era. And finally, Vic Hudson agreed to be an “as able” co-host as well right near the bitter end, just before I buried the podcast in a deep hole in the ground. Each of them made the podcast better, and each of them made it enjoyable.

It’s hard to overstate how much fun I had doing the podcast, the occasional solo episodes excepted, of course. I cringed every time I listened back to those. But when Ronnie or Peter or Vic or some combination were on the other end of the line, as they usually were, we always had a great time, and I think we always managed to convey some small bit of useful information.

I started the podcast with the goal that it was going to be tightly focused, and it was going to impart useful information to the listener. I can’t be the judge of how successful I was, but I can say that I tossed out a lot of topic or conversation ideas as being off-topic or too general. Some of those I said no to were good, but they weren’t a fit for Pocket Sized Podcast.

The sound quality definitely changed over the years. I went through a few different mics and recording and editing workflows along the way, and it shows. At some point we also stopped using Skype recordings and everyone sent me local recordings of themselves. All these things helped immensely, but even to the end, I was never satisfied with the sound quality. Improvements were always possible.

I love the iPhone, the iPad, and yes, the Apple TV. I love iOS and the number of wonderful, carefully crafted apps available for it. I love the number of quality developers there are on the iOS platform who pour their hearts into making the best software possible. It shows, and it makes a difference.

For me, one of the best things about Pocket Sized Podcast was get a chance to have conversations with the developers who created these apps, as well as people who are experts in writing about them and analyzing the business of Apple. I was always surprised at some of the (to me) big names who would kindly agree to be on the podcast with us, and I always appreciated their willingness to speak with a couple of guys whose show they’d almost certainly never heard of.

I hope Apple understands how important developers that sweat the details and pour hours into getting them all just right are to iOS. People have to live, and the race to the bottom in app pricing has made this a difficult time to justify being an indie developer for many. If the majority of developers become people who do “just good enough” work, then iOS will suffer greatly.

There’s no mystery or drama behind the decision to stop after 163 episodes. Because of the tight focus and the refusal to go off-topic, we worked hard to find new apps to review, new topics to visit or revisit, and eventually it started feeling like a lot of work and a long time to talk about the same things over and over. I promised myself a long time ago that I would never just start mailing it in, and if it started to feel that way, it would be time to stop. This is that time.

I also owe a huge thanks to the listeners. We had some of the best and most faithful podcast listeners you could ask for. The best in the business, in my opinion. A podcast without listeners is just a podcast falling in the forest with no one to hear it. Ours wasn’t that, and I greatly enjoyed the interaction with and feedback from the people who chose to give us their time and ears every week.

Pocket Sized Podcast was a good podcast, I think. Maybe it wasn’t the greatest one ever, but I do believe it was good. It was fun, and I loved doing it for most of the almost four years of its life. I’m glad we did it, and now I’m happy and content to move on to something else and close that chapter of my life while the podcast was still worth listening to.