What’s More Important? Quality Audio or Quality Visual?

I made the statement that audio is the most important part of a video.

Now I’m not sure.

After giving it more thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is both true and false. Read more and agree or disagree with me. Let me know your thoughts by voting in the poll below.

3 Reasons Why Audio is More Important:


1. A video with bad audio is distracting and annoying. It’s frustrating to hear the buzz of a fan in the background when there shouldn’t be.

Background noise that finds its way into your video is a clear sign of amateurism or bad budget spending. Even worse than background noise is bad volume control.

We’ve all experienced that point in the movie where the main characters are having an important and intense conversation, but instead of enjoying the story you’re looking for ways to up the volume and the remote is always in the last place you look!

2. Bad audio is much worse than bad visual.

If you watch an old video and the picture is a bit fuzzy or grainy, that adds to a sense of nostalgia. If you watch an old video and all you hear is wind ripping through the mic as you’re trying to enjoy a scene of your vacationing around Chicago, then you’ll find yourself once again, looking for a remote to fast forward the part.

Bad video you can get by with. Not every shot has to be perfectly lit and framed, not every pan has to be perfectly steady, but if you have terrible audio, then that’s much harder to get over than bad video.

3. Good audio doesn’t need video. If you were born early enough, you’ll remember an audio drama or adventure coming through the radio or tape deck.

The visual was created in your mind and the audio was the trigger. Sounds and dialogue can take you a long way.

I’ve never seen a fully silent movie that had at least no music. Yes, I know Charlie Chaplin was “silent”, but even in his films there was a soundtrack.

Truth is that silence is much more uncomfortable than having nothing to look at.

After more careful consideration, I came up with 1 really good reason why video was more important than audio.

1 Really Good Reason the Visual is More Important:

Now matter how good the audio is, if the video is bad, you’ll stop watching. I cant say the same is true about good audio.


What is bad video? There can be quality issues with the film, leaving you a grainy, or off color effect, but that’s not bad video. That’s effect.

You can even have a bit of flickering, but that’s not the worse thing about video. Bad video is when someone doesn’t capture the action they were following. Bad video is so shaky you start to feel sick if you watch too long.

Bad video is zooms that are too fast and pans that make you think you’re in the middle of a tornado. If I’m watching this, I don’t care how good the audio is, I’m turning that off. However an incredible video who terrible audio can be muted so you can enjoy the rest of the visual beauty of what you’re watching.

So vote now!

Here’s an example of both bad and good Audio. After watching, let me know which has a bigger impact on your viewing experience.

Audio Example from Complete Weddings – Videography on Vimeo.


Content – We aren’t ADHD, We Just Have Taste

Let Your Interest Be Your Guide

Let your interest be your guide.

Let your interest be your guide.

There’s a popular conception permeating the web that almost everyone who browses the internet has an attention deficit disorder.

However! This is really nothing more than an excuse to justify bad content.

Why do people stop watching most videos within a few seconds? Because a good video should capture your attention by then.

By now, the internet has made most of us, if not all of us, an expert on what a good video is. Not everyone may be able to communicate the key elements, but we can all recognize quality when we see it. More importantly, we know crap when we see it. The reason people are so quick to quit watching a video is because they recognize it’s not one worth watching.

Q: Is there a video length that works best?

A: No. So long as your video is good, captivates an audience early, and uses narrative in your story telling, then people will keep watching. For example, who expected to fully watch Kony 2012? Yet we all did.

Here’s a quality video, watch it as long as it keeps your interest:

Mast Brothers Chocolate from Brennan Stasiewicz on Vimeo

If you’re like me, you watched all 8 minutes and 47 seconds of it. Why? Because good content compels us to keep watching.

3 Benefits of Good Content

It’s worth the extra effort to create good content because:

  1. Good content deserves to be watched/read:Good content, no matter how long it is, will be enjoyed. Some good content is good because it’s length is appropriate, don’t forget that. But whatever the case may be, if your content is good, then your viewer/reader will want to finish reading/watching it.What this means is that your readership/viewership/customers/donors will be grateful for what you put together for them. Your content provides an added bonus and more value to your product.
  2. Good content deserves to be shared:The cream rises to the top. People will share and like your content if it is something they feel ok endorsing. You have to think of everyone who shares/likes as an endorsement. And when someone personally endorses something, they don’t take that lightly. Only good and great stuff gets endorsed. And with personal endorsements comes exposure.
  3. Good content connects you:Good content starts discussion. Today discussion can take many shapes. It may be people commenting on your video, or posting your picture to a Pinterest board. It’s all a part of the conversation that happens online. Anything that allows you to respond to and connect with people is part of that conversation.

Watch the video again. This time watch it fully through. Ask yourself, what are the elements of story telling in this video? Do they work? Who are the characters? Do I like them? Why/why not? What do I know about the characters and what do I think I know about them?

For more on building good content, check out the UnPodcast or the Accidental Creative.

Would love your thoughts and feedback, please leave me a comment, ask a question, or share your opinion!