For Christmas, my husband, in a moment of gift-equity guilt,
gave me an iPod. Not just any old iPod,
either, but a big dog 60 gig iPod with video. This
sucker has room for all of the music I could possibly want to carry around with
me, and still have gobs of space left over.
Podcasting has been described as
"radio on demand." Anyone with a microphone and a computer can
record a show, or podcast, with information, entertainment, or chitchat, and
upload it to the internet. Podcasters register with a
service like iTunes, Podshow, or Podcast Alley. I then use software on my computer to
subscribe to the podcast. (By default, iPods are set
up with iTunes, but other software is available.) The software
monitors all of my subscriptions, and picks up new episodes when they are
added. I can then synch them to my iPod. It's not necessary to have iPod or another mp3 device, though. You can listen to podcasts using any mp3 player on your computer.
Media and business outlets are starting to hop onto the podcasting bandwagon. I am hugely grateful that NPR has finally
Wait... Don't Tell Me! to the line up,
and I also enjoy the Jack Horkheimer: Stargazer videos, since my public television
station only shows them in the middle of the night.
For the most part, though, the podcasts
I enjoy are a bit further off the radar. Many of them are being produced by
enthusiastic amateurs wanting to share their hobbies or occupations, or just
wanting to talk to you for awhile.
Here are a few podcasts I enjoy. (Note: While I have
flagged a couple of these for being R rated consistently, others may let a bad
word or non-politically-correct concept slip in from time to time. Use caution
when listening at work or around kids.)
Cast On: Brenda Dayne, an expatriate in Wales, talks about knitting and
life, and features pod-safe music to keep it all moving along.
Vintage ToonCast: Remember those great old cartoons from the
40s? A lot of them are in the public domain now, and this video podcast will
give you a new one each week. It's self-identified as "explicit"
on iTunes, but that's more for political
correctness (for example, brief representations of blackface or minstrel shows)
Everyday Muse: A guy decides to write a poem every day in 2006. To keep
himself honest, he puts them all in a podcast at the end of the week.
Librivox: This project
turns public domain books into audio books. Volunteers sign up to read a chapter
or a whole book.
Astronomy a Go-Go:
A thorough, but easy-to-understand, overview of what is going on in the night
Rs: Daily video Spanish lesson, taught by a very
engaging junior high Spanish teacher. The first sentence you will learn
is "I'll pay the bill." Very sneaky, amigo.
Knitting: Another podcast for knitters. Pick up your needles, and Daniela will
tell you what to knit. When you are done, then you will know what you have.
Look At His
Butt!: Two chicks with a thing for William Shatner analyze his shows, his
movies, his music, his career, and, well, his butt. And some other stuff, which
leads to an R rating.
Creek: Remember the two geeky guys on the AV squad in high school? Imagine
them as 40-somethings in a world where techies are now cool. That doesn't
even begin to explain this podcast from Canada. Rated R, guaranteed, every time.
Article © Cheryl Haimann. All rights reserved.
Published on 2006-02-13