Friday, March 6, 2009

How Long should LOTROCast Be?

Hey, all!

I am in a bit of a conundrum right now and I need your input.

For the first few episodes, I tried very hard to keep length within 30 minutes, or no more than a minute or two over. This previous episode, I even cut out or truncated some of the normal features (I would have liked to explore the Bullroarer server a bit more, and I didn't even do a server rundown).

What has happened is quite the opposite of what I feared...when I started the podcast my worry was that I would run out of material in a few months and would become one of those podcasts that hits the skids after 10 episodes. The reality is very different. Thanks to contributions from the community and some ideas that I have come up with, we should be running for a while. In fact, sometimes it seems like there is too much information that we try to pack in.

This leads me to my question: Am I being to restrictive with my time limit? I'm not talking about becoming one of those podcasts that goes for an hour and a half before doing anything...I'm talking about an extra 10 minutes or so, bringing my ideal time to up to 40 minutes. Is this too long? Is 30 minutes right? What do you guys think?


  1. I believe it is important that you don't impose a minimum time (such as 30 minutes), or you may get to the point where you are trying to create filler to complete the podcast. This will come across to the listener as "forced". Also, if you have more material than time available by all means simply carry it over to the next podcast. I used to listen to several WoW podcasts and some of the better ones were typically around 90 minutes and it wasn't wearisome to listen to. I recommend testing out a maximum length and then toy around with it. So when is the next podcast coming out? :)

  2. I don't think you should worry about length at all. If you have information enough for an hour, as long as it stays interesting for the whole time, go for it. The main thing is making sure it doesn't become boring and monotonous. If there's only enough stuff for 15 minutes, then only use 15 minutes. It's not really something you can control.

    Keep up the great work!

  3. I think a time window between 30 and 45 minutes isn't a bad thing. Once you start approaching an hour, you get to the point where someone might have to listen in two sittings, which isn't necessarily good because they might forget/neglect to come back. Don't try and keep hard and fast to an exact time like 30 minutes, but give yourself an window.

  4. My personal preference is longer than 10-15 minutes but absolutely no longer than 1 hour unless absolutely necessary, and even then only for a special occasion. Voyages of Vanguard used to annoy me to no end going for well over an hour, sometimes two hours, with no real reason for it other than a lack of judicial editing.

    I only use my Zune (or iPod) when I'm walking, which is roughly 1 hour at a pop, or when I'm commuting to/from work, which is just under a 1 hour flight. So, for my personal listening habits, the typical 30-60 minute podcast works perfectly. Any more than that and I'm looking at two sessions to finish the show and that may not even be in the same day.

  5. Keep it as long or as short as it needs to be. This is the internet, not radio or TV, so you're not restricted to length. If you've only 10 minutes worth of stuff for a show, then it's 10 minutes...if you've got an hours worth of stuff, then it's an hour.

  6. If you have a clear seperation in contents, you can handle like: 4 recurring subjects, some music, some news/announcements, some music, a Them for the episode, music and then aob. You can browse for copyright free music or ask community to send it in. Music should be like 20 seconds each time. //my 2 cents

  7. Hiya! I happen to host a podcast about Turbine's other game Dungeons and Dragons Online. When I started, I thought much as you did and worked hard to keep the show to 30-40 minutes. Eventually, I realized that people like the show longer and now clock in around an hour. I agree with everyone's posts that the length should be dictated by content - go as long as it takes to do what you want to do for the episode!

    Incidentally, I've been doing the show for a bit more than two years now and may be able to help answer any questions you might have. There are all sorts of things that I wish I had known when I started out, so if you ever want to get a question answered, send me an email at ddocast ((((at))) Congrats on starting up a cool new podcast!