Simplicity vs. Stupidity

It surprises me when sites make it difficult, if not almost impossible, just to directly download the mp3 of a podcast. Hasn’t everyone received the memo yet??

When I went looking for this podcast interview with Sir Ken Robinson, I found it here in Episode 88 of the MediaSnackers podcast. There’s a nice shiny Odeo player there, and a clearly marked way to sign up for the feed, but no direct download link. I don’t want to listen right now on the Odeo player. I want to listen to it in my car on the commute home. And I don’t want to clutter up my GReader with yet another feed right now just to get one simple episode. If it’s good, I’ll come back and subscribe.

But I’m nothing if not persistent. So I found that if you click on the title text (“MediaSnackers Podcast#88” just above the progress bar in the Odeo player), it will take you to the Odeo page which then has a link to the downloadable mp3 file. I wasted 5 minutes looking for that. I doubt many others would. I don’t even care about having to visit a second page to get the download link. But at least give some kind of clue that it’s there!

C’mon people!

And this is not simply a one-off situation either. I decided the other day to take a listen to the No Agenda podcast with John C. Dvorak and Adam Curry. Yes, Adam Curry for crying out loud.. one of the founding fathers of podcasting! Take a look at their page ( There is a play button – which me no want – and a “Get” button. A-ha! But there is no love in the deceptively simple “Get” button. That requires you to sign up or log in. Nowhere else on that page do I see a link to the mp3. You simply have to subscribe to the feed to actually download mp3 files. For shame!

Why are people still doing this? The idea is to make things easier not more difficult. Is it to generate extra page views? Is it some attempt at lock-in? Make your content and the experience engaging enough and I will stick around. Make it difficult and I will not.


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One thought on “Simplicity vs. Stupidity

  1. mod parent up.

    so to speak. I whole-heartedly agree. I think podcasting is great, but i want to be in charge of when I download anything over 1 MB. which means I need a dang link, preferably one that doesn’t prompt my browser to play an media, but opens a download.

    Thank you very much.

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