Waypoint Radio - Podcast Quality Control Issues


#1

As discussed in this thread on the Waypoint subreddit, there are a number of reoccurring issues with the podcast - most notably the automated advert system.

I’m not looking to dunk on the team, but I thought it might be wise to raise the discussion here on the Waypoint forums.

As I mentioned on reddit, it seems like Waypoint have been trying to use an automated ad system that inserts regionally appropriate adverts into the podcast. There is music (“Miss You” from the EP “Pale Machine” by Bo En :yum: ) that plays at certain points of the podcast where adverts should be, presumably as a fade in/out from the break. However, as the ad system isn’t working, this results in an out of place chunk of Bo En interrupting the podcast discussions.

In addition to this, previous podcasts have had problems such as Austin accidentally keeping his Skype call looped into the audio, wrong episodes being uploaded and general poor quality audio recordings.

I can definitely appreciate that the crew are small and no doubt overworked already, but is there any way production could be improved?

One idea I’m just going to throw out now, is recruiting community volunteers to assist with post-production work. Even just using freeware like Audacity would provide enough tools for someone with the right skills to greatly increase the quality in terms of level balancing/normalisation and general clean-up.

To reiterate, I’d like to keep this thread constructive. I absolutely love listening to Waypoint Radio, warts and all. It’s just a shame that such fantastically entertaining discussions are often mired or interrupted by technical issues and I think it would benefit everyone if they could in some way be fixed/improved.


#2

I’m not sure if it is that it’s not working. It might be that no ads are appropriate for your region.

I’ve only gotten a handful of ads in the podcast, and I’m guessing those were worldwide and that generally people haven’t been interested in targeting Ireland for ads.

Though regardless of whether it’s technically functioning, the fact that it appears to not be working will affect listeners.


#3

I doubt they have no ads for Massachusetts/New England, which is where I am, and I have only had the weird bo en fade in for probably a few weeks now.


#4

Same for me. Also Massachusetts. Maybe they really do have no ads for us.


#5

I moved to London, England from Canada, and over here there are ads on WR, always at the beginning and end and I think sometimes also a mid-roll – but the mid-roll ad actually comes in at a totally different time than the music, which I find kind of hilarious actually.

But hilarious is probably not what they are going for.

(Also, the UK ad is this very long ad minishow/infomercial(?) thing featuring an impossibly stuffy Englishman saying “Hello, and welcome to Bose Recommends. Today…” and it is so awful and conservative and the tone is so, so, so not in line with Waypoint Radio that it, too, is accidentally hilarious)


#6

In Massachusetts too with no ads. The music always fakes me out and I check the time to see if it’s wrapping up. For a while there were some Google Home ads but they weren’t coming in where they were supposed to. Nothing recently though.


#7

In Sweden myself and I’ve heard the directed ads maybe 3 times?? Usually just nothing and at times the music cue too.

I do have to add that it is super disconcerting hearing an ad in Swedish when listening to an american podcast. I listen to many american podcast so I am so used to hearing ads for Leesa, Audible, Red Apron and what have you, that a podcast ad knowing I’m from Sweden is extremely odd and like “wait how in the hell do they know???” (ofc I know the info is available to them when I dl it, but this is the first time I’ve become aware of it!).


#8

Hey ya’ll! Thanks for the feedback here. We switched to a new podcast system mid last year and have been finding these issues and trying to fix - but you’re totally right - when it doesn’t work it’s… not great.

The ads are dynamically served in place of the old hard recorded ad break that a lot of podcasts operate on. There’s a reason to move that way, but sorry you’ve had issues with it and hearing your feedback is super helpful, we’ve in fact been alerted to a lot of QC stuff that we’ve fixed on here and twitter.


#9

Yeah, I think I’ve had one ad ever, here in Ireland. And I don’t like ads but I’m fine to be monetized in this one instance so it’s kind of a mixed feeling.


#10

Thank you for the info here Joel. I commented in the original reddit post and said that this felt unprofessional and it really does, not to speak badly about the work you all do, but it doesn’t sound good when it’s been 6 months of wierd ad breaks and music interrupts while literally every other podcast I listen to has this figured out.

If the new ad breaks aren’t working can you just go back to the whole recorded ad break thing that other podcasts do, until you all have this working? It’s just not a great listening experience.

Thanks for all you do.


#11

I can see why a dynamic served ad makes sense for a company/podcaster, but yeah, it’s been an active distraction for an otherwise great podcast. I’m used to the traditional way podcast ad reads were done and generally prefer that style.


#12

Australian here. My partner and I used to love tuning into Waypoint, but we’ve dropped off recently due to sound quality issues; the biggest sound issue for us is the volume.

I don’t want to dunk either but we’d love it if the sound could be normalised, that way it could be played in the car without blowing our eardrums or missing entire exchanges.

Part of this issue is the automated ads. The ads in Australia are super loud, prompting a mad rush to the volume dial.


#13

Yep. I don’t even know if it’s something that they can control, and I imagine it’s on Noodle Box’s side but DAMN those Noodle Box ads are deafening.


#14

Just chiming in a data point: using pocket cast in Korea, never hear the ads. I don’t mind it much, but it is weird to hear the music come in and out without anything happening.


#15

So what if you moved to doing hard ad breaks? I am biased in preferring this.


#16

Listening from the Philippines. I just download the episodes and listen to them offline. I also hear the fade-ins but never any ads since the change from pre-recorded ones. It’s weird! I get why it bothers other people more, but personally, I’d sooner the audio levels get improved.


#17

…I guess you can count me in as someone who usually gets the Google Home ads but lately has been just getting sudden music over the actual discussion, and happens to live in Massachusetts?

Is it really that localized, or did we all just happen to post about it?


#18

It’s not just Boston, I’m in Southwest Michigan in a decent sized city, besides, I’m close enough to Chicago that you’d think there would be something. Besides, do the ads need to be that regional if that’s what’s causing the issue?


#19

Is this also the place to mention that Waypoint Radio seems to be a good 25-50% quieter than almost any other podcast I listen to? I have to crank my car radio to almost full blast to be able to hear properly, and forget about trying to listen to it on the shower radio. I pretty much can’t listen to it other than with headphones.


#20

thanks for all the feedback ya’ll!

definitely a few things we can fix right now, and a few things we can fix in the future laid out here.

appreciate it