Tuesday, March 25, 2008

#19: Podcasts

Well, I got an ipod touch for my birthday and I carry it with me all the time now. I've never been a 'gadget' person, and wasn't really interested in ipods before. But the touch changed all that for me. It's so intuitive. And I just love the way it looks, feels, and works - a touchscreen with no dials! Besides all my music, I have access to the internet, maps, mail, pictures, stock listings, weather, etc - all right in my pocket. Confession: I now buy pants based on whether there's a good pocket for my ipod. (This sounds an awful lot like advertising to me even as I write this, but I swear I really don't own any Appple stock or anything like that).

For directories, I love NPR's directory of podcasts - searchable by topic, title, or provider - very easy to use! I use itunes to subscribe to podcasts and for music, but it doesn't run well on my computer and it can be difficult to determine what's really happening. I suspect that's because I'm using it on an older PC, rather than a MAC. I think MAC users probably have a very different experience.

I really enjoy "This American Life" and "This I Believe", but never had the time to listen when they were on the air. Now I just sync them onto my ipod and carry them with me, so I can listen whenever I get the chance. The library-related podcasts I get are "Book Lust with Nancy Pearl", and "Sirsi/Dynix", both of which I found in normal internet searching and added to my podcast sync list. I also like the Comedy Central videocast, because there are some days when you just really need to laugh.

This American Life - NPR
This I Believe - NPR
Book Lust with Nancy Pearl - Seattle Channel
SirsiDynix Institute
Comedy Central Videocast

The University of California Berkeley offers some of their classes via podcast, which is pretty cool, since it's not necessary to be enrolled in the class to get the lectures. Anybody can listen in on a Shakespeare class, or a psychology class, or macroeconomics or introductory physics. Wow! Talk about democracy and educating the masses!

I used to subscribe to a lot more podcasts, but found that I wasn't listening to everything. I guess it's like anything else - gotta set priorities and choose what's most important at any given time.

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