There’s only one way to check if podcasting can change your life, and that is by diving completely into it. Since last week, I am the proud owner of a 20GB iPod, (the first Apple product I have ever bought) and it is hard not to be enthusiastic about it. It might not be the cheapest hard-disk MP3 player around, but it is by far the most funky. Especially the user interface was very intuitive, which is important for the ain’t-gonna-RTFM person that I am.
Anyway, I also installed iPodder and Doppler. Doppler is really nice, but depends on the .Net runtime, which might be a turn-off for some people. iPodder is based on Python and has just released a great upgrade 1.1. It includes the iPodder.net OPML directory and something I want to play with: executing custom commands on each MP3 that is downloaded. I’m thinking about: setting the ID3 ‘Genre’ tag to ‘Podcast’ so they show up in my ‘New Podcasts’ Auto-playlist, or converting to 64kbps-mono to minimize size (for those who ‘only’ have a Mini-iPod, or a Flash 256MB player).
I’m obviously subscribed to the classics: Adam’s Daily SourceCode and Trade Secrets. But my biggest discovery was IT Conversations: a podcast with contributions on politics, media and technology, and how they influence each other. This is where podcasting shines! Instead of listening to idle chatter and stupid music on the radio, you can now spend your time in the car in a very productive way.
Some recent shows I particularly appreciated:
- IT Conversations: Alex Steffen – WorldChanging.com
- IT Conversations: Malcolm Gladwell from Pop!Tech 2004
- IT Conversations: The Gillmor Gang
Conclusion: although it is not necessary to have a portable MP3 device to participate in podcasting, you won’t fully appreciate it until you do!