I have managed to avoid owning an iPod for a long time because I tend to spend my time doing other things. At home we have a Squeebox which streams WAV/MP3s through the hi-fi, and a Pure Evoke 3 DAB radio which also takes an SD card containing MP3s so I didn’t feel like I was missing out. But I decided recently that I needed to explore and understand what podcasting was about.
I remember reading, with general indifference, an article some time ago about Tim Curry, who is credited along with Dave Winer as being one of the original podcasters. However I eventually came to the conclusion that I must be missing something and picked up a Shuffle.
Contrary to the happy iPod customers that I work with, my first experience was not completely smooth; I plugged in … I like the fact that the old Shuffle model plugs directly into the USB port without cables … and got the ominous flashing orange/green lights. One factory reset and test sync later I started exploring the podcast directory.
So far, I’m enjoying listening to:
- Boagworld.com (feed), “for those managing web sites”
- SmallBizPod (feed) – look for the interviews with Ben Casnocha and Jason Calacanis
- Lucy Kellaway (feed), who rails against management jargon
- Hanselminutes (feed) – included a very useful show on synchronising internet calendars
- The Daily Telegraph Podcast (feed)
I tend to do so while I’m walking to/from the station. And I think I can see the point now – podcasts are much more engaging than just reading words and clearly bring out the personality of the podcaster. I did find myself wanting to skip to the summary sometimes, which is where the transcripts become important – but I’m also enjoying the indulgence of listening to the unabridged version, at the original speed, which is an antidote to scanning large quantities of RSS feeds as quickly as possible.