Transcribe a Podcast

In this assignment, I want you to listen carefully to a podcast and be able to “walk the dog backwards” — to understand how the producer put together different clips of audio.

  1. Choose a podcast from the Third Coast International Audio Festival Shortdocs. These are generally 2-3 min long and very fun and creative. There are a lot of options.
  2. Listen with your headphones to the podcast once all the way through.
  3. On a piece of paper or on your computer (whatever is easiest), map out a timeline and mark down maybe every 10 sec.
  4. As you listen again (and again?), draw blocks for each type of audio that you hear. Indicate when the different blocks begin and stop, and how many layers are happening at once. For example, a block might be “sound effects of pans on stove” or “interview.” Don’t write down what they are saying. Just transcribe the different layers of audio on your timeline.
  5. Post on your blog three things: 1) the link to your podcast, 2) three things you like and three things you don’t like about this podcast, 3) an image or copy of your transcription (or, you can give me your transcription in class).

Due date: Wed., Sept. 17, 6 p.m.

Questions? Add a comment below!


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  • Anna Bahn

    The conversation from our history class about the Paris attacks also shook me. But in a different way. I’ve always been a little scared that something was going to happen again, but I always hoped it wouldn’t happen to me. The other night I was in a movie theater seeing the new Hunger Games movie, and I got scared whenever I saw movement around me. Ever since the movie theater shootings in the past few years I’ve been a little afraid of a shooter, and ever since I can remember I’ve been afraid of violence due to the 9/11 attacks and the many mass killings in America. I thought that this conversation was kind of enlightening because we pointed out to Dr. Smith that we’re almost a little conditioned to this violence. She had no idea, and was a little horrified to find out, that we grew up having “intruder drills.” Some kids said they started them in middle school, but I remember them as far back as kindergarten. We would lock the door, turn off the lights, pull down the shades, and huddle in the corner away from the door and windows, or at least that’s how my school district did this. My school had a lot of exchange students go through, my family housed three from Germany, and I know for a fact none of them have experienced this. Other countries don’t do this. And our generation thinks it’s normal.

  • Anna Bahn

    The conversation from our history class about the Paris attacks also shook me. But in a different way. I’ve always been a little scared that something was going to happen again, but I always hoped it wouldn’t happen to me. The other night I was in a movie theater seeing the new Hunger Games movie, and I got scared whenever I saw movement around me. Ever since the movie theater shootings in the past few years I’ve been a little afraid of a shooter, and ever since I can remember I’ve been afraid of violence due to the 9/11 attacks and the many mass killings in America. I thought that this conversation was kind of enlightening because we pointed out to Dr. Smith that we’re almost a little conditioned to this violence. She had no idea, and was a little horrified to find out, that we grew up having “intruder drills.” Some kids said they started them in middle school, but I remember them as far back as kindergarten. We would lock the door, turn off the lights, pull down the shades, and huddle in the corner away from the door and windows, or at least that’s how my school district did this. My school had a lot of exchange students go through, my family housed three from Germany, and I know for a fact none of them have experienced this. Other countries don’t do this. And our generation thinks it’s normal.

  • Anna Bahn

    The conversation from our history class about the Paris attacks also shook me. But in a different way. I’ve always been a little scared that something was going to happen again, but I always hoped it wouldn’t happen to me. The other night I was in a movie theater seeing the new Hunger Games movie, and I got scared whenever I saw movement around me. Ever since the movie theater shootings in the past few years I’ve been a little afraid of a shooter, and ever since I can remember I’ve been afraid of violence due to the 9/11 attacks and the many mass killings in America. I thought that this conversation was kind of enlightening because we pointed out to Dr. Smith that we’re almost a little conditioned to this violence. She had no idea, and was a little horrified to find out, that we grew up having “intruder drills.” Some kids said they started them in middle school, but I remember them as far back as kindergarten. We would lock the door, turn off the lights, pull down the shades, and huddle in the corner away from the door and windows, or at least that’s how my school district did this. My school had a lot of exchange students go through, my family housed three from Germany, and I know for a fact none of them have experienced this. Other countries don’t do this. And our generation thinks it’s normal.