Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Celebrating fifteen hours of F1 news // Another F1Minute anniversary as the podcast continues to grow

Published by Christine

Sidepodcast image

Today, I'm celebrating the 900th episode of F1Minute. If you played them up back-to-back, and never took a break, that's fifteen hours of Formula One news content in bytesize chunks, covering all the important developments in the sport since October 2007.

Whilst the length of the show has remained a constant, many other changes have occurred for F1Minute since its inception.

A newly designed site, an iPhone/iPad app, and a rather fancy presence on the Sidepodcast homepage are some of the more visible updates, but there are behind the scenes tweaks that have made F1Minute better and easier to create.

60 seconds to Mars

When the podcast first began, each episode provided a round-up of the day's Formula One action, all the news squeezed down into 60 seconds, with several stories crammed into one show. Gradually, it became clear that some of the stories were not getting the attention they deserve - as much as you can give in a minute's long programme, anyway. Rather than one show a day, it became one show per story, with the potential for multiple episodes at a time.

Rather than one show a day, it became one show per story

In terms of writing the show, it didn't take long to be able to turn the stories into a succinct update that was going to take roughly a minute. I can judge the story as I write it, and can instinctively tell whether it's going to be too long or too short. I don't always get it 100% right, but 900 episodes in, and I'm almost always spot on. Along the way, I'm constantly learning, things such as noting that including quotes will take longer to read, due to pausing to distinguish between my voice and the quoted person.

I have a template in our audio editing software that is set with the outtro music where it needs to be to make the show a minute long. There is some leeway in the intro and outtro music, and tweaking titles can also help squeeze the show if it is getting too long. Things are also much better now that the date is not included in the show - you can't make saying September any shorter than it is, and even pronouncing it "twenty-eleven" doesn't make the date much smaller.

Fifteen minutes of fame

Occasionally, on a good day, I will be able to record F1Minute in one take. When I first started out, I did edit a couple together but it never sounds as smooth as one readthrough. That can happen on the first attempt, but usually it takes two or three. If there is an exceptionally complicated name to pronounce, it can take even more, but if I find I'm struggling on a certain bit too much, it's easy enough to tweak to get it done.

The entire process takes about ten or fifteen minutes, which is reasonable for a one minute show. That time has been extended recently, with the addition of sourcing a picture for the post, and ensuring that the app has updated correctly, but even then, it will be thirty minutes at the most.

For something so small, and such a regular feature, it's important that the process of creating the show isn't too troubling or time-consuming. We're constantly evaluating the process and trying to improve, to keep it interesting. So far, it seems to be working. 900 episodes on and it's just as much fun as when I started.

If you want to keep up to date with all the goings on in Formula One, stay tuned to the F1Minute site, the app, or via Twitter and Facebook.