The Desert Sun Podcast #001

A few people have suggested I ought to try doing a podcast, and everyone seems to be doing one these days, so I thought I’d give it a go. I’m not sure if I’ll have the time to make a weekly podcast while also writing the blog; right now I have no idea how much effort is involved in this. I’ve bought a good microphone and downloaded some decent editing software so it’s not like I’m just talking into my iPhone, but I’ve got a computer whirring beside me and the room’s a bit echoey, so it might take a few goes to get the sound right. And yeah, the intro music is staying, so don’t bother complaining about that.

So I don’t know what format this podcast will take, in terms of length, content, or regularity. This first one is an experiment, to gauge how my voice sounds and whether anyone would be interested in me talking about other topics. I’ve chosen for my subject a talk I was supposed to give in Washington, DC last year called The Politics of Oil Production: an Engineer’s Perspective.

You can listen and download it below: my intention is to get it into Apple and all the other podcast services in due course. Do have a listen, and let me know what you think.


30 thoughts on “The Desert Sun Podcast #001

  1. Why on earth would you think somebody might complain about the music? Tremendously mainstream wouldn’t you say?

  2. It never occured to me to wonder what your voice sounded like. But if I had, that wasn’t it!

  3. Listing on my iPhone, I get to the bit about you going to talk to the US military, and then the music started again and the podcast recommenced. Not sure if that was deliberate…

  4. I had similar problems to JT on my ageing iPad and had to listen on my PC. BTW, love the Blue Grass, what’s the name of the piece? Is it you playing? Perhaps you could intro the next podcast with another Blue Grass piece?

  5. I do a regular podcast with a couple of other guys here in Krakow, which is hosted on Podbean. Through this we are automatically uploaded to Facebook, YouTube, iTunes and Spotify (oh, and Twitter). Nearly all of our new listeners come initially from Facebook, but I know that some continue to listen via YouTube and/or iTunes because they don’t really do Facebook and Facebook doesn’t keep people updated, even though we fling them a few zloty to publicise us.

    Echoey voice on yours is not as bad as some I’ve heard, but if you’ve a decent mic it’s wasted as long as you can hear the room as well. Small rooms, lots of soft furnishings and heavy curtains (drawn) will do a lot to help – or a surprisingly excellent alternative is inside your (parked) car, which will have a very well-damped interior.

    Anyway, I’m also a sound engineer who frequently has to improvise on a minimal budget, so if there’s any other info you’d like I’d be happy to help. Good luck with it!

  6. I read 4-5 times as fast as you can speak.

    Podcasts are for low transfer rate illiterates.

    Beee Suuuure tooooo speeeeaaaak slooooowwwwwly fooor theeem.

  7. That was ok. I had the same issues With spontaneous restarting. But pleasant speaking voice, ok tempo. I wouldn’t dream of complaining about the bluegrass. Not my taste, but it’s your podcast, not mine. Rock on, Timmy!

  8. Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Yes, there is an apparent technical problem with those listening on an Apple. The aim is to get the podcast on all the major distributors, iTunes, etc. I tried doing that yesterday but had some problems related to my hosting service, so I might take it off the blog altogether and host it with a third party. KrakowJosh’s suggestion of Podbean sounds like a good option.

  9. Tremendously mainstream wouldn’t you say?

    If I was in charge, this stuff would play 24/7 from speakers mounted on lampposts.

  10. love the Blue Grass,


    what’s the name of the piece?

    Banjo Signal, by Don Reno. The closeout piece is Groundspeed, by Flatt & Scruggs.

    Is it you playing?

    If I could play banjo like that I’d do nothing else.

    Perhaps you could intro the next podcast with another Blue Grass piece?

    I’m going to stick with the same end-pieces, but I might do a bluegrass podcast at some point.

  11. “I read 4-5 times as fast as you can speak.”

    I found near reading hike pottering around the garden, driving, cycling, walking, in the gym,washing the cars etc very difficult and find podcasts a great way to learn stuff or to just pass time.

    I also haven’t been able the listen because of iKit issues and will try on the PC later.

  12. I read 4-5 times as fast as you can speak.

    Well yeah, as BiND says, podcasts are for people who are doing something else which prevents them reading. I listen to podcasts on my daily commute, for example.

  13. Small rooms, lots of soft furnishings and heavy curtains (drawn) will do a lot to help

    That’s the exact opposite of my place, which is full of hard surfaces and bereft of soft furnishings. I don’t even have curtains! I need a padded cell.

  14. Quite good for a first effort, and with enough practice you, too, could probably come to speak “without hesitation, deviation or repetition”.

    Like some others, I’m a reader rather than a listener, though I appreciate the appeal for those commuting, exercising and so on. Unless you script a podcast, I’m sure you’ve found that writing also lends itself more readily to editing, leading to a more polished product. Your written pieces are well focused and take only a minute or so to read – some may find the 22 minutes of this piece too long. I did, notwithstanding your knack with story-telling.

  15. You sound like a Welshman who has spent a lot of time in the NW of England.

    My accent is a mess: grew up in a non-Welsh speaking but heavily accented part of Wales to English parents. Went to boarding school for 4 years in Sussex where the dullards I encountered thought I was from Yorkshire. Then 7 years in Manchester around nasal-speaking Mancs while dating a girl with an NE accent for a few years, and mates with a chap from Strabane who spoke pure gibberish which nobody could understand. Then I moved abroad. So yeah, a mess.

  16. I’m sure you’ve found that writing also lends itself more readily to editing, leading to a more polished product. Your written pieces are well focused and take only a minute or so to read – some may find the 22 minutes of this piece too long. I did, notwithstanding your knack with story-telling.

    Yeah, I’m in two minds whether to speak on the fly or to write a piece and read it aloud. I did a mix of both in the podcast, which is probably obvious.

  17. Was this about economic nationalism in the oil industry? I wasn’t quite sure 🙂

    Enjoyed it, look forward to more.

  18. Personally I thought you’re accent was slightly West Country in places.

    I enjoyed this episode and will keep an eye out for more. How about video blogging next?

  19. A++ would listen to in future 😉
    I think it sounds good, especially for a first go at it. There is a slight echo, but nothing that detracts from the content IMO.

  20. Can’t be dealing with Podcasts: too long and lack the patience.

    Scott Adams(Dilbert) is pretty much exclusively podcast nowadays and I have stopped dropping by his place as a consequence. ZMan does his Friday podcast, which I have never listened to all the way through, but he still posts a written blog the other six days.

    Granted, I don’t commute nor spend chunks of my day in repetitive manual labour, or as some insist on calling it, exercise.

  21. The thought of you doing a podcast had never crossed my mind, but occasionally, I’d wonder what your voice sounded like. I guess that’s somewhat close to what I’d imagined, but more posh than expected. I’m on an iPad, so look forward to you fixing the rewind problem. As for the music, If you had it playing from the lampposts, I’m afraid I’d have to join the rebels and plot your overthrow. Anyway, good luck with it!

  22. Down loaded and copied it to iTunes.

    As a podcast junkie I enjoyed it and would would subscribe. I have a few thoughts:

    The sound quality was OK, there’s much worse out there, but you shouldn’t let it get much worse as people are starting to expect higher standards.

    If you are just going to do monologues then 20 minutes should be your absolute maximum. I find it difficult to listen to a single voice much longer without my mind wandering, no matter how interesting the topic.

    Don’t script monologues, just give yourself some notes: Scripted podcasts tend to get flat and monotone and if you’re taking the time to script them you might as well post them. I download the Economist in audio and they use a number of professional actors and it still sounds a bit monotone.

    IMHO you should try do do something that adds to, rather than is a substitute for, your blog. For example you could redo this podcast with another oil industry engineer or maybe an economist in that field so you can explore ideas rather than just spinning anecdotes. Maybe find someone who does research in polyamory. Plenty of podcasts are recorded over Skype or similar so don’t be afraid of trying to get hold of people in different time zones.

    Podcasts lend themselves to occasional and even erratic posts so you shouldn’t worry about setting a target of, say once a week, and putting yourself under pressure and producing poor content, but always make that clear. It will also work well with the idea of having occasional or even regular guests.

    With that in mind, don’t just go for mates , a bunch of mates chatting isn’t that interesting to the wider public, especially if they’re drinking, its been tried many times.

    Good luck.

  23. Ok, what a I missing here?

    I am reading on an iPad and iPhone. It says:

    “You can listen and download below” but there is no link?

  24. Yup – found it in one of the newer posts.

    That’s my “entertainment” for Sunday’s commute sorted.


  25. Listened to it this morning and enjoyed it. I work in oil & gas and many of the stories of low level corruption are very familiar.

    Look forward to hearing more.

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