Friday, October 28, 2005

Public service podcasts



About a fortnight ago, I put up a little link saying MP3 players would be obsolete within a year. Which is why I went straight out and bought one. It doesn't do to be too up to date.

Anyway, in classic late adopter fashion, I have been exploring the wonderful world of podcasting. Over the last year or so my media consumption has been completely revolutionised by RSS. I suspect it is about to be revolutionised again by podcasting. Basically, podcasting is a system which allows you to subscribe to podcast feeds which automatically update your mp3 every morning with audio files from your favourite sources. (There is already such a thing as vblogging, which is the video equivalent.) Podcasting is particularly great for me here because the only English radio I have is Eagle 810,the US forces network's station in Japan.

Anyway, podcasting allows me to syndicate my own stuff instead of relying on Airman First Class Reul Brenhauser to make the decisions for me . I have been having a great time listening to all kinds of programs on my morning and evening drives. I'm not particularly musical, so most of it has been talk radio. There is already a reasonable amount of quality content available (in order of interest):

NPR
BBC
ABC
CBC

I think the culture of podcasting is that people like me are supposed to get into subscribing to the ramblings of some chap sitting in his underpants in a log cabin in Oregon going on about his interest in collecting 1920s tomato soup cans. I have found to some extext that my RSS subscriptions have gradually come to be dominated less and less by the New York Times, Guardian etc and more and more by interesting tomato can blogs. However, I'm at the start of my podcasting life and that Oregon guy is going to have to wait a bit for my attention.

Meanwhile, in addition to my public broadcasters, I have discovered a load of universities are podcasting lectures straight onto the web (in order of interest):

This and this are both round ups of lectures from the Boston area universities.
Berkeley
Princeton
Georgetown
Stanford
Havens Center
Virginia

This morning, during the drive to the station, I was listening to Daniel Dennett talking about why tiny parasites that drive ants like four wheel drives can be compared to organised religion and other ideals. He is a clearly a very brilliant man and his lecture brightened my morning (although I didn't feel his analogy was as insightful as it seemed.)

3 comments:

suzy said...

Thanks for the links. I'm going to have to explore podcasting... Eagle 810 really is dire. I listen to Radio 4 and ABC News Radio online when I'm at home, but it would be great to be able to take stuff with me for the train.

rockstar said...

I wish you hadn't bothered telling us about the wonders of mp3s. Dad spent yesterday researching them....can see this is next thing on his shopping list

buyo said...

I would advise against the one I bought. It records, which is something the iPod doesn't do. But it also crashes all the time.