Here is how to explore the vast world of podcasts:
I know. I know. I’m late into the ipod market. I just bought my first one – a 32gb ipod touch. I didn’t particularly want one nor need one, even though I am an avid music lover. The CD players in my car and home have always fulfilled my needs.
Having moved to a country area I discover that my favourite radio program is unattainable. Downloading the podcasts of the program is possible, so I thought about buying an mp3 player for this purpose. The difference in price was a determining factor, as well as my reluctance to buy into the proprietary nature of Apple products, and this resulted in the purchase of a generic brand mp3 player. I was suspicious when seeing on the device interface “artists” spelled with an extra “i” – “aritists”. If I had been able to see this error before purchase I definitely would not have bought it. Work mates told me that if I didn’t buy an ipod I would wish I had. They were right.
I pushed ahead though and downloaded the mp3 files of the podcasts from the program, then loaded them onto the mp3 player, only to find that I could not hear the program through my ear-phones as I drove along the highway in my car. This made me realise I would need to buy an ipod after all. So I did. Then I bought the necessary accessories: protective jacket, charger, and car FM transmitter.
The first “sync” between my pc and ipod transferred just under 1000 separate mp3 tracks. Some of these were the downloaded radio programs, some were of a lecture series from the State Library of Victoria, and others were French language lessons. The majority were of music tracks from my previously bought CD’s.
To my delight I found that I could subscribe to my favourite programs via RSS feeds through itunes, and these would be updated automatically from website to pc to ipod without me having to do anything after the initial addition of the subscription. This is how today’s technology should work – seamlessly and easily. And when I have viewed or listened to the program on my ipod it is automatically removed when I connect again to itunes. I can now listen, without ear-phones, to my favourite programs and music playlists whilst driving the long trip to work every day. I can forego the mindless drivel and advertisements on the local radio broadcasts, and improve and broaden my mind by learning interesting things told by the clever people interviewed by Margaret Throsby.
I also subscribe to TED talks and can load them onto my ipod and watch them at my leisure, although I still mainly do this on my pc, but I get notifications of the latest talks as they are available, so don’t have to go searching, then I can pick and choose the ones that interest me.
I have only touched the tip of the iceberg and haven’t even begun to search for apps that might be of interest to me. I have created playlists from my music collection and can play these loud in our house with an mp3 dock and speakers. I love this ability to tailor my listening consumption to suit my own tastes and circumstances.
The handling and management of ebooks is another area that interests me personally and professionally and I will investigate this further. I did download some ebooks using audible.com but found a silly glitch with my pc and itunes because our laptop has an administrator and two users. I access itunes and my ipod through my user, audible loads via the administrator and itunes and audible won’t allow the access from one to the other, even though they are all me: one of those problems caused by the proprietary nature of Apple and Microsoft.