Having produced The Best Family/Work Safe Storytelling Podcast for the past 26 months, I’ve learned lots about audio programing. It takes lots of work to get digital audio to sound good — proper mike choice, mike technique, audio equipment, editing software, etc… When video podcasting started growing in popularity, the conventional wisdom among podcasters was that video was harder to produce than audio.
And you know what? We were all wrong. Video is easier to produce than audio. Exhibit A? YouTube.
Part of the reason is that digital video devices are so much more prevalent than their audio counterparts. Just open the Sunday newspaper and look at ads for electronic stores such as Fry’s, Best Buy, or Circuit City. How many digital audio recorders do you see? None. On the other hand, how many video recorders do you see? Pages and pages.
And these video cameras are extremely easy to use. Most can be operated by depressing a single red button. Hit that button, point the camera at a subject, and you are regular Cecil B. DeMille. Now Mr. DeMille may have had a better eye than you or me, but the technology of capturing image and sound is orders of magnitude better than what he had at his disposal. Hitting that one red button and you not only capture automatically white balanced, focussed and motion-corrected video, but auto-gain controlled and filtered audio as well.
Compare and contrast this experience with digital audio recording. There is no big red button — I’ve looked! You have to deal with XLR, 1/4 inch, 1/8 inch, or RCA jacks. You have to set preamps and EQ settings. Recording audio is harder than recording video.
Ah, but what about editing, you may ask. “Editing video must be harder than editing audio. Right, Ron?” Again, a misconception. Entry-level video editing is easier than entry-level audio editing because when you drag a video clip into a video-editing timeline, you see pictures. Everyone knows how to read a picture. Not many people know how to read a an audio waveform.
Oh sure, once your video productions become more complex, video editing becomes harder. But at the entry-level, where anyone, a student, an employee, or my mom can hit a big red button and do some minor editing? That is by far simpler.
And I think the folks over at YouTube will agree with me:-)