Podcasts

Now for the podcast post. (gosh, that’s hard to say out loud!)

On my iPod Touch, I have started downloading podcasts. I subscribe to a bunch of them. Each time I sync the device with iTunes, it puts all the new ones on there. I had to mess with the settings for a while to figure out how to keep the ones I wanted on the device vs getting deleted because they were “old”. Basically, I keep the device setting (in iTunes) to manual.

National Public Radio (NPR) must haves: (and the average length)

    A Prairie Home Companion – actually, this is American Public Media (APM) not NPR (13-20 mins)
    Car Talk (53-58 mins)
    Fresh Air (42-48 mins)
    Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me (47 mins)
    This American Life – this one may fit better into the writing category (58-60 mins)

Writing Related:

    Garrison Keillor’s “Writer’s Almanac” – another APM (5 mins)
    Grammar Girl – all writers should listen to at least two of these (4-11 mins)

Misc:

    The Dog Trainer (comes from the same place as Grammar Girl) Not listened to it yet so it may get deleted (3-7 mins)
    That’s Gay – funny video podcast about/for us gays and lezbos (3-4 mins)

You don’t need a player to get or listen to podcasts. I normally either listen to them directly from the website or I download them and listen later. That’s how I used to listen to ‘Wait, Wait…’. I sometimes listen to “Writing Excuses” and “Litopia” (they have a sidebar chock full o’ ways to subscribe/download to podcasts).

The problem with podcasts is that you are listening to someone’s voice. And the beauty of voices are in the ear of the beholder. There are some people I cannot stand. Carl Kasell, who does the “Wait, Wait…” shows – cannot stand his voice. The idea of winning his voice on my answering machine just is not appealing. I enjoy him, enjoy his sense of humor and style, but nope no way on the voice itself. Grammar Girl has a good voice and enunciates well (good?). I can listen to Garrison Keillor all day and enjoy every second of it. Except when he gets long-winded and I forget where he started. Some podcasters insist on putting loud music on before and after. “Writing Excuses” also tries to be funny. Which they usually aren’t. Which is why I don’t listen to them very often. Again, your mileage may vary and my opinion is just that: mine. Lorna has no trouble listening to Carl Kasell.

The good thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them at any time. On the way to work, while waiting at the drs office, etc. “Grammar Girl” is best listened to when you can take notes. “Wait Wait…” is best listened to when no one will look at you weird for falling down while laughing.

Just don’t let them pile up on your computer or device. I save “Writer’s Almanac” and listen to them all at once, usually a week’s worth. Same with “Grammar Girl”, although sometimes she fries my brain. And don’t get a ton of them. Get a ton at first then weed out the ones you know you won’t go back to often enough to make it worth the space on your drive. I’ve tried out a lot more podcasts than the ones I listed above. Some were just silly/stupid, some were loud and obnoxious, some were just not for me.

Again and as always, I would like to hear from others who do the podcast thing. And if you don’t, I’d like to know why. And no, I won’t ever do one. I have an awful voice and the accent would drive people nutso.