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Personal :: Podcasts
  submitted on April 14, 2009, 8:21 AM


(Quick aside, kudos for Amazon for responding quickly to the problem alluded to in my previous post. I assumed it would be rectified quickly, nice to see that it was)

I wanted to throw out a quick post about podcasts, something that I have been getting into over the past few months. Podcasts have been around for quite some time, and I think there were a couple of primary factors that prevented me from getting into them. First, podcasts, like many things on the internet, are so numerous and cover so many different subjects that it becomes overwhelming to the point that you have no idea what's good and what's crap. It's kind of like blogs. The chances of me reading a blog that hasn't either come recommended from someone or is written by someone I know is minute. Similarly, just because I might be interested in a podcast on a certain subject, doesn't mean that I will just blindly search for one and start listening to the first thing that I find.

The second factor was fitting in podcast-listening into my schedule. I'm sure a lot of people have a commute every day that they use to read the paper (If they don't drive), or check e-mail, or listen to music, or possibly listen to podcasts. I'm fortunate enough that my commute consists of a 15-minute walk to work, but at the same time it doesn't leave me with a lot of dead time doing nothing. I also was't really sure if I would make time to listen to a podcast at home, so that made me a little hesitant.

The thing that ultimately pushed me in favor of listening to podcasts was Bill Simmons. Simmons had been working on this basketball book for quite some time, and because of it, his column output decreased quite a bit to the point where we were lucky if we got something once a week (Aside from his little ESPN The Magazine pieces). While Simmons is kind of a jackass sometimes, at the end of the day he's easily my favorite sportswriter, so I hated that I had so little of him to read. Plus, in his columns he was constantly making references to things that happened in the B.S. Report (The name of his podcast). So ultimately I decided that I would start listening to his podcast. I subscribed to it in iTunes, and basically I would listen to it in increments on the way to and from work. I could usually get in about 20 minutes at a time.

From there I started increasing my podcast listening. I believe I read a post from Wil Wheaton where he shared some of his favorite podcasts. So I subscribed to Stuff You Should Know which is the podcast HowStuffWorks.com runs. I also subscribed to NPR's Driveway Moments (Although it doesn't seem to get updated very often). Finally I subscribed to Tank Riot, mostly because they did a tremendous podcast on Mr. Rogers not too long ago.

I had these in regular rotation for a little while, when I realized that I'm always looking for new things to learn about LOST, so why not find some podcasts to listen to? I subscribed to the "official" LOST Podcast, which, while brief, is quite handy because it features bigwigs Carlton Cuse and Damen Lindelof, and they usually have some interesting conversations regarding the goings on in the show. The other LOST podcast I listen to I discovered on The Huffington Post, and it's a podcast by Jay and Jack. I believe it's the most popular un-official LOST podcast out there, and there are generally some good nuggets of information in each episode.

That's all I have in my rotation right now, and those usually keep me pretty occupied. I'm certainly open to more if I find any that are interesting enough, and I have listened to them at home on occasion when I get a little behind. All in all, though, I'd have to say that I've enjoyed my podcasting experience so far, as there is some good material out there, and it's a convenient medium to utilize for people who are out and about.

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