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general jinjur [userpic]
by general jinjur (general_jinjur)
at September 8th, 2008 (11:34 am)

A guide to podfic on Livejournal

A podfic is an audio recording of fanfiction. They come in all different lengths, from drabble to epic, and can be standalones or series. Gen, slash, and het are all well represented with podfics, and they are produced in a wide variety of fandoms. Stargate: Atlantis is currently the most active podfic fandom, with Supernatural and due South rounding out the top three.

Just like other fanwork, podfic ranges in style and in level of polish - and just like other fanwork, people learn by doing, and their output is heavily influenced by their surroundings. Not everyone has access to a quiet, acoustically neutral space. Everyone has an accent. Everyone has a voice that's different than everyone else's voice. That diversity can be part of what makes podfic such a pleasure.

Podfic file types are most commonly mp3, but often m4a, and sometimes wav and even ogg. A few readers also make their work available as m4b in addition to mp3, and cybel, who converts files to m4b on behalf of readers, coined the term podbook to describe the result (here), which includes cover art within the file, and will bookmark automatically when play is stopped.

m4a and m4b compatible software
wav compatible software
ogg vorbis compatible software

The most common software used for recording podfic is Audacity, which is free, opensource, and available in mac, linux, and pc flavors. Garageband and Sound Studio are also in use (both for mac OSX).

Finished files are usually uploaded to a file sharing service such as mediafire, yousendit, or megaupload. Files in any fandom and any file format can be permanently hosted at the off-lj audiofic archive.

Audfic and audio trailers are the audio-only equivalent of vids, in which the audio track from the original source(s) are edited together to tell a new story. isiscolo coined the terms aud and audfic (here). There are not very many of these extant, but here are the few I have found:

Teaser for "a "lost" episode of Stargate: Atlantis, by zoetrope. McKay/Sheppard.
Audio trailers for Missed the Saturday Dance, by zoetrope. Stargate: Atlantis, McKay/Sheppard; multi-media WWII AU.
Revelation, by moonmip and dulthar. Stargate: Atlantis, McKay/Sheppard, available with or without music.
A Private Conversation, by isiscolo. due South, Vecchio/Kowalski.

cupidsbow coined the term podvid to describe her multimedia presentation of Keylines (Stargate: Atlantis, McKay/Sheppard implied, other pairing implied), described as a cross between a songvid and a podfic.

Podcasts, audio shows published serially, sometimes include podfic, and there are a few that are entirely (or almost entirely) made up of podfic. They can also be full of dramatic readings, articles, and audio plays. There are a lot of fannish podcasts off-lj, and not really that many on-lj, though a couple are listed below. I haven't made a great effort to search them out for this list.
Googling fanfiction podcast or searching itunes, podcast alley, and similar sites will turn up plenty.

A note on inactive communities:
Podfic communities, even the most popular and active ones, tend to have content in fits and starts. (Personally, I blame the editing process, which is very time consuming and deadly boring if you've been ambitious enough to do anything of length.) A few of the communities on the list have never had a post - but that doesn't mean that they don't want your post - it probably just means they've run out of steam. Podfic begets more podfic, and one or two enthusiastic readers can lead to much, much more. Podfic also rarely gets much feedback - people tend to listen away from the computer, and sometimes weeks after download, which also discourages some readers. Inactive communities are on the list, in the hope that they will become active.

Tech support:


podslash includes gen and het, despite the name.
amplificathon annual challenge, but open to posting year-round.
animanga_podfic includes all anime and manga fandoms
hoerbuecher german-language podfic, includes original fic as well as fanfic
audio_slash spanish-language podfic

Single fandom:

Battlestar Galactica (2003)
galacticpodfic posting is challenge-based
ar_podfic adama/roslin

The Big Bang Theory
paradox_podfic sheldon/penny


Doctor Who

Drake & Josh

Gyakuten Saiban/Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney

Harry Potter
hd_acoustic harry/draco

podfic_heroes (currently in search of a mod)

Hikaru no Go
ihikago posting is challenge-based

House, MD




The Sentinel

Stargate: Atlantis
sgapodpeople no m/m slash

Stargate SG1

Stargate, all series

spn_multimedia includes other media
spn_audio_novel novel-length material
motelwincest wincest only
spn_gen_podfics gen only
clspn_podfics posting capslock_lspn stories (friends-only, but open membership)


JRR Tolkien


spnfic_podcast Electronic Voice Phenomena, includes podfic, generally grouped by theme
bbtl_fans Fans of off-lj audio drama Buffy Between the Lines
sl_podcast Strangely Literal - podcast of jossverse fic. lj includes non-podcast content.

Created September 8, 2008. Last revised July 11, 2009.


Posted by: cupidsbow (cupidsbow)
Posted at: September 8th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)

This is awesome! Thank you so much for taking the time to put it together.

I do have one question, which is slightly outside of your scope, but you're so much more knowledgeable than I am about this area that I'm hoping you might be able to answer it anyway. Do you know if there are any other podvids out there? I'm really curious about the form, and want to do it again, but I'm such an amateur that I'd love to see how someone else has tackled it before I embark on my next project.

Posted by: general jinjur (general_jinjur)
Posted at: September 8th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
cindy librarian

oh, damn. i meant to include your podvid in the related forms section! will fix that in a moment. and no, i haven't seen any others - i *have* seen something else, on youtube, that could also be described as an illustrated podfic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQlZX6ydhaA - it's a meta knight story, from the kirby nintendo series. it isn't quite the same sort of thing that you did (unsurprising, since live action media and gaming have such inherently different sources), but it's sort of close.

also - how would you feel about having your podvid in the archive? i've been mulling it over for a while, whether it's within the scope of the archive or not (audfic isn't), and right now i'm thinking it is.

Edited at 2008-09-08 04:23 pm (UTC)

Posted by: cupidsbow (cupidsbow)
Posted at: September 8th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)

A link! *dives on it with glee* Thank you. :)

also - how would you feel about having your podvid in the archive? i've been mulling it over for a while, whether it's within the scope of the archive or not (audfic isn't), and right now i'm thinking it is.

I'm happy for it to be included! Actually, I was going to email and ask, once I'd had the time to re-record the story as a straight podfic. I thought it might make more sense to archive them side-by-side (if you were amenable), so that people could pick what suited them best.

Also, I have a secret hope that the form will take off, and there will be more, because I kind of love the idea of seeing how other people would put pictures to their words.

Posted by: general jinjur (general_jinjur)
Posted at: September 8th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
cindy librarian


my impulse is to include both as variations - listed separately, similarly to the way that podfics available with and without music are listed, or the way that things are listed in different file formats. i'll also create a category for podvids, and a file category for wmv. i'm not sure how i could include them both in the same entry while keeping consistency with the rest of the entries, but it may be possible. give me a holler when you re-record?

i love the idea of the form taking off.

eta: http://audiofic.jinjurly.com/keylines-podvid

Edited at 2008-09-08 06:19 pm (UTC)

Posted by: cupidsbow (cupidsbow)
Posted at: September 9th, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC)

Oh, that is so cool! You rock. *beams* Thank you.

As soon as I've finished this current round of marking, I'll get on to doing the straight reading.

Posted by: tismabel (tismabel)
Posted at: September 9th, 2008 11:14 am (UTC)

What a wonderful resource, thanks for posting. I don't think podfic readers/compilers get enough kudos (for the reasons you mentioned and because many of them ask that you leave feedback for the authors instead of they themselves).

Posted by: keerawa (keerawa)
Posted at: September 11th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)

Thank you for posting this, general_jinjur!

Posted by: the world's most huggable supervillain (zabira)
Posted at: September 11th, 2008 09:52 am (UTC)

fabulous post, general! i love your insights into the patterns of podfic-making, and i very much appreciate what you say in that second paragraph. amen!

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: general jinjur (general_jinjur)
Posted at: March 1st, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow, and please, a question


hmmm. well, most of the podcasts i've encountered seem to be mp3 or streaming media of some type. and they tend to be very easily playable. they may sometimes have one or two still images includes in the file, usually a title card of some sort.

m4b *podbooks* though, do generally have a cover image included. they are basically mp3s except that they allow bookmarking - so if you hit 'stop' in the middle of a file, then 'play' again, they don't go all the way back to the beginning - they pick up where you left off. vlc, winamp, itunes, realplayer, and quicktime will all play m4b files.

if you're having trouble, do you want to link me to an example of a file you can't open? i may be able to give better help that way.

Posted by: ndmzero (ndmzero)
Posted at: March 2nd, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
Re: Wow, and please, a question - wrong word - fanmix

Thank you for the quick response

r, if I said I mistyped and meant a fanmix, would that make a difference - I'll find one if you need a sample. The one I just tried said I needed to register or have the proper operating system (I have Windows XP) -- I don't want to register at a bunch of sites, but I don't remember getting that message before.

So, does fanmix make a difference or would it still help to have a sample?

Posted by: general jinjur (general_jinjur)
Posted at: March 2nd, 2009 02:02 am (UTC)
Re: Wow, and please, a question - wrong word - fanmix

it makes a difference, and it would still help if you pointed me at one. :)

i think fanmixes are often zipped or rar'ed or compressed in some other way - but definitely point me at the one giving you trouble!

Posted by: cybel (cybel)
Posted at: February 17th, 2010 03:57 am (UTC)
Dean Thumbs Up

Ha! SPN is far outstripping SGA these days. Not to gloat or anything. ; -)

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