The History and Mathematics of Codes and Code Breaking

Tag: One-Time Pod

Podcast Building: Substance and Style


In the Zodiac Killer episode from the One Time Pod, the podcast creator kept her audience engaged both through stylistic aspects and an interesting topic. I particularly enjoyed the use of ominous background music that changed as the speaker told the story to build the mood—it was also just the perfect sound level so as not to be distracting. Also, the topic of the Zodiac Killer was a great choice because it is a story that is still very prevalent in pop culture today, and I liked how the creator included hints of this, for example when she mentioned Ted Cruz at the end of her episode. The subject matter allowed for a more in dept description of the Zodiac Ciphers, because the audience was likely paying attention anyway because of the popularity of the topic. Based on what I liked about this podcast, I definitely am going to put a lot of work into picking the subject matter for my episode—as a more interesting topic will make it easier to spend time talking about technical aspects of cryptography without losing audience interest. Also, it made me realize the power of background noise in building the mood of an episode.

The Captivating Story of a Serial Killer

The first thing that I noticed in the podcast "A Killer on the Loose: The Zodiac Ciphers" by Kelsey Brown was the background music. The music went well with the topic of the podcast. The music sounded very ominous and I think that relates to the dark theme of the podcast. Without even completing the podcast I was compelled because the background music captured my attention and made the podcast more interesting. The music would transition with the story when Kelsey would talk about the different subject matter.

One of the things that I admired about the podcast was Kelsey Brown’s use of storytelling. The podcast was very fluid. This makes me want to make my podcast in a similar way. I think that if my podcast was not fluid, there would be a disconnect with the listeners. Kelsey Brown’s podcast is so alluring because of how smoothly it transitions.

The topic of the podcast was very interesting to me. I am an avid enjoyer of murder mysteries, and crime television shows like Criminal Minds. I actually researched the Zodiac Killer a couple of years ago because the zodiac killer was a topic on one of the episodes on the show. I decided to listen to this podcast because the topic relates to my own interests in life. I know that for me to keep the listener’s attention in my own podcast, I have to be passionate about what I am speaking of.

Analysis of One-Time Pod "Something Out of Nothing"

I listened to the podcast “Something Out of Nothing” by Maria Sellers. In this podcast, Sellers explained how a bi-literal cipher could point to Shakespeare not being who we really think he is.

Overall, I found the entire premise for the podcast to be very interesting. For me, the topic directly undermines a concept I learned in high school, and I am sure the same applies to many others. Due to this, I personally believe that the topic would be easy to present to almost any audience and keep their attention for the short fourteen minutes that it runs.

I also really enjoyed the introduction that featured several different voices. The pacing was nice and everyone flowed together perfectly. The chosen music fit very well, and it was used appropriately. The topic itself was interesting, but these stylistic choices helped me initially engage.  

One technical aspect I appreciated was the reintroduction of Seller’s music as she moved to different “acts” in her podcast. Not only did I find it clever that she chose to section off her podcast in this way, but her use of the music to bring in each section sort of felt like the curtain was closing and then opening into the next point. Based on other podcasts I have listened to, however, I would have loved to hear some more of the music or even other sounds/music.

This podcast has helped me realize how important the topic itself is. I will also be looking into using other voices and music when necessary.

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