Over the last year or so I’ve gotten interested in podcasts – on demand audio programs which usually focus on a single theme or subject. Gradually my list of subscribed podcasts has grown to almost 9 hours of listening per week! Right now I concentrate on current technology news or astronomy related podcasts.
If you are not familiar with podcasting you can look at this Wikipedia article. There are thousands of podcasts on almost any conceivable subject and the numbers are growing exponentially. If you have some special interest, no matter how obscure, just Google for – podcast “your interest” – and I bet you’ll find at least one, probably more, related podcast.
The name podcast tends to make many people think that you must have an Apple iPod to listen to podcasts. This is absolutely not true. Anyone with a computer can listen to podcasts – you don’t need a special mp3 player, though that does allow you to listen while on the go. You don’t even need to have a special program like Apple iTunes to download podcasts. Nearly all podcasters have multiple ways to download their shows.
Admittedly, iTunes makes finding and organizing podcasts easy but even then, you don’t need an iPod. iTunes will play the podcasts and if you want to transfer them to some other player, the files are stored in the ../IPOD/PODCASTS directory (on windows) Best of all, almost all podcasts on the iTunes Music Store are free.
Here’s the list of the podcasts I currently subscribe to:
StarStuff – NewsRadio’s (Australia) weekly astronomy, space sciences and cosmology program. Hosted Stuart Gary.
Astronomy a Go-Go! A weekly Astronomy podcast for everyone! No fancy language just interesting facts you can take any where.
Astronomy Cast – Fraser Cain (Universe Today) and Dr. Pamela Gay (SIUE / Slacker Astronomy) take on topics ranging from the nearby planets to ubiquitous dark matter.
Cranky Geeks (Audio) – Hosted weekly by John C. Dvorak. With a group of expert panelists discussing the most controversial topics in tech.
Daily Giz Wiz – Every weekday Mad writer, Dick DeBartolo, digs into his massive gadget collection for the gadget of the day.
FLOSS – All about Free Libre Open Source Software. Hosts Chris DiBona and Leo Laporte. Weekly
Inside the Net – A weekly look at what’s new, what’s cool, and what’s useful on the Internet right now. Amber MacArthur and Leo Laporte.
Planetary Radio – Each week, Planetary Radio visits with a scientist, engineer, project manager, advocate or writer who can provide a unique perspective on our solar system and beyond.
Security Now! – Steve Gibson discusses the hot topics in security today with Leo Laporte. Published weekly.
StarDate – The longest-running national radio science feature in the United States, tells listeners what to look for in the night sky, and explains the science, history, and skylore behind these objects. Daily.
This Week in Tech – Leo Laporte, Patrick Norton, Kevin Rose, John C. Dvorak, and other tech luminaries in a roundtable discussion of the latest trends in high tech.
What’s New Now – Keep up to date with what’s new now in the world of technology. Jim Louderback and Patrick Norton. Weekly.