Podcasting (in case you don’t know) is a cool way to listen to your favourite radio show whenever you like on your iPod instead of at the allotted time it’s broadcast. The idea is that you subscribe to a particular podcast (such as the Adam and Joe BBC 6 Music show) and each time a new episode is released it is automatically copied onto your iPod (or any other MP3 player for that matter) and you can listen to it at your leisure, such as when you’re taking the train to work. Sounds great!
Of course, back when podcasting began it wasn’t so cool and I pretty much ignored it (which is what I tend to do with most technical things until they prove themselves capable of making my life better). Initially the only podcasts out there seemed to be recorded by American men droning on in monotone voices about some boring technology or other (or making some interesting technology sound boring as a result of their monotone, droning voices) – which is exactly the last thing I wanted to listen to on the train in the morning. So I steered clear.
But more recently mainstream media, such as the BBC to name but one, have picked up podcasting in a big way. Pretty much every radio show of interest has its own podcast and with the tight integration from software such as iTunes, it’s incredibly easy to subscribe to them. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Much like getting Sky+ revolutionised the way I watch TV – I “series link” all the things I’d like to see and watch them at a time of my choosing instead of being a slave to the schedules (and as a bonus feature I never have to watch ad breaks) – podcasting now means I don’t have to turn radio 5 on at 11am on a Saturday to listen to Fighting Talk. Instead the next time I hook my iPod up to my Mac the latest episode is automatically copied across and I can listen to it when I want.
As well as audio podcasts there are also video podcasts produced by a variety of people and organisations (even NASA) although personally I prefer not to squint at a small screen while on a train so will stick to audio for now. But as is often the case, something that I thought was a bit of a waste of time when it first came on the scene has grown into a huge success that’s been bought into by most mainstream media companies, not to mention talented individuals who would otherwise not be able to show their skills without getting a job in radio or TV. Still, better late than never!
Oh, and before you ask, no, I have no plans to ever record my own podcasts. I’d just drone on in monotonous tones about my hair, the weather and a whole bunch of other things nobody would ever be interested in. This site does enough of that already!