Thursday, April 10, 2014

I replaced radio with podcasts

So, I may be late to the party. But I don't feel that way. I actually listened to many earlier Podcasts and precursors to Podcasts. Some were called webcasts. Or netcasts. (There was actually something called a webcast before it was an audio/video stream or file, but maybe we will talk about that some other time.) (No I am not talking about spiderman!) (Fine, it was a pre-cached internet back when the 14.4 modems were fast. It pulled content while you were reading that fit your preferences and history so that when you were done reading, the next likely content you wanted was already downloaded.)

So, anyway, Podcasts have replaced my radio listening almost entirely. This happened fairly slowly, but now is almost complete. What has happened is that I was able to find a reliable app, that wasn't iTunes to listen to them with.  I use the iPP Podcast Player that works on my Android devices.

This also lets me create my own mix of content. I am not at the mercy of a broadcast schedule or selection. And its can be free. (there are paid podcasts, but I don't listen to any of those.)

Here is my current list:
  1. Freakonomics Radio
  2. Debug (this is a computer geek discussion of technology)
  3. Dead Robots Society (This one is about writing and publishing fiction.)
  4. Star Talk Radio (Neil Degrass Tyson from the Haden Planetarium answers questions.)
  5. Federalist Society Event Audio (Conservative Political presentation and panel discussion recordings.)
  6. I added Hello Internet, but the episodes seem to be slow in coming.
  7. I reacently added NPR: Planet Money. 
  8. Finally, today I added Grammar Girl.
I expect that as time goes on, I will add and remove some. modifying my selection.

Now, just like my rants about the superiority of on demand programming. I have some observations here.
  1. Many of the podcasts that I listen to have sponsors. So the Podcaster pitches a service or product for money. Just like an add on the radio. 
  2. Unlike radio, (talk radio), podcasts can be listened to later. That's one of the things that gets me interested. I can binge on handful of programs before I add it to the subscribe list. And then I can listen to the latest or older programs based on my preferences. 
  3. Like radio, there isn't a big barrier to putting out current and timely content. If you are set up to produce radio, it should be simple to edit and publish that content as a podcast. So even "breaking news" could be podcast if you wanted to. There would just be a publish and download delay. So while it may not work quite as well live reporting, its a tradeoff that for the content I prefer works.
  4. Since its not just live, I feel like there is more of an effort for accuracy on the part of the Podcaster that the Broadcaster on the radio. Sure they can be the same guy, but there is less of a push to fill air time. You can edit the dead air out. But on live, even with a small delay, there is a limit to the opportunities to check a reference or restate something to make it more accurate.
  5. Finally, the ability to pre-download a selection of content for travel, or whatever purpose, makes Podcasts fill a whole new niche of consumption for me.
So this is how Podcasts have replaced radio for me. They weren't quite ready in the past. But today, they are mature enough to step up. If you've tried them in the past, give them another shot.

And if you listen to podcasts that you like, or you make a podcast that you want to suggest, drop me a link in the comments and I'll take a listen and reply with what I think. 

No comments:

Post a Comment