The last time I blogged about Podcasting, I was just learning a little about it myself and now that I’ve had a chance to explore the Podcasting world a bit, I’m starting to figure out who’s who. I found that the definition of Podcasting on Wikipedia is a good starting point if you’d like a very succinct definition. Podcast Alley is a good site where you can find the top 10 podcasters, based on a voting scheme that appears to be changing to avoid voter fraud. You’ll notice that currently at the top of the list is the Dawn and Drew Show, brought to you by a young married couple Podcasting from an old farm house in Wisconsin. Typical of much podcasting, the commentary is very raw, a little like a George Carlin routine, so be forewarned in case you are offended by that kind of language.
Adam Curry is considered the ‘Godfather of Podcasting’, and his is an interesting story. He was a VJ on MTV from 1987-1994. That’s the exact same period of time I was living in Amish country about 5 miles from where they filmed the movie ‘Witness’ and without cable TV, I wasn’t able to tune into MTV for the entire duration so I never saw Adam’s shows. After we moved back to Greeley, CO, and joined the rest of civilization with cable TV, I found that the music world had passed me by and that they invented a new station for my generation called VH1, MTV having been co-opted by a new generation of rap/hiphop lovers and weird reality shows. In any event, Adam does an amazing job with his very professional ‘radio voice’ podcasting from a cottage in the UK where he lives with his wife and teenage daughter. He’s always experimenting with his recording setup and manages to sound great whether he’s doing the podcast from his car, an airliner at 42,000 feet, or even while emptying his dishwasher in the process.
I’ve been hearing a lot about Podcasting lately, which is a little like audio blogging. I like to listen to audio programs but when I’m at my computer it’s hard for me to listen to an audio program because it interferes with my concentration. I sometimes listen to music when I’m working on the computer, depending on what I’m doing, and some of my most enjoyable CAD work was done while listening to my favorite music on my walkman back in the day when that was the only way to listen to music at a computer ;-). But I really can’t concentrate on working when there’s an audio (i.e., non-music) program in the background. However, when I’m walking, driving, or riding my motorcycle, listening to an audio program is a welcome addition. So for some time I’ve been downloading a 30 minute daily radio program from Kenradio.com for playback on my iPod. I’ve been surprised that more daily audio programs were not available in that format, but that may change soon.
Jason Calacanis, founder of Weblogsinc, recently blogged about ‘how to’ get podcasts. It involves downloading and installing iPodder and then populating it with feeds. The feeds are very much like syndicated feeds for regular blogs, often identified with an XML tag. The iPodder software will check nightly for new audio blogs and download them automatically and put them in your iTunes library. Previously, to listen to an audio blog, you had to find the URL, download the .mp3 file, save it in some location on your hard drive, import it into your iTunes library, and then drag it into your iPod. Now that has all been reduced to a single step, i.e., dragging it on to your iPod. Ken Rutkowski of Kenradio.com says he will be arranging an Podcasting feed soon and it will be a welcome addition. Currently, I have to go looking for his daily show’s .mp3 file in one of his folders (www.kenradio.com/audio) because getting it through the main page is a pain in the neck, requiring a login that never seems to work.
I’ve listened to a few of the podcasts that Jason mentioned in his blog, like Coverville out of Boulder, CO which is a music show that features covers of popular music. Another show, Gadling, is dedicated to ‘adventure’ traveling. ReelReviews, a movie review podcast, gives in-depth movie reviews of older movies. Kenradio is still my favorite, but it would be nice to find a few more podcasts.
This just may qualify for the longest lull in blogging history. This saga left off in June, 2002 with me mentioning about starting a blog for my high school reunion which was nearly 3 years ago. Well, after I did that, I sort of started using it as a personal weblog. As you can see from these previous postings, this blog is more of a personal blog, like I’m writing to myself and now that I’m reading it after 3 years, I can see that’s certainly the case. I can’t think of maybe 3 or 4 of my geekiest friends who would be interested in the subject matter I’ve written about.
If for no other reason, I’ll keep this blog alive for the purpose of saying that I’ve been blogging since October of 2001, which, as you can see from the date of the first posting in the archives.
Finally, the weekend has arrived. I managed to get the local chapter EAA newsletter out this week, but just barely made it. I try to get it out on time to notify the others in the group about the upcoming monthly meeting and thanks to the fact that most of them now have email, I can do it with less lead time than when I mailed each one out via postal mail. I feel like I’m writing it to myself sometimes since I’m not even sure it’s being read by others in our little EAA Chapter 1117 Website. I’ve thought of keeping some of the newsletters on-line, but can’t justify the space for old newsletters so I only keep the latest one. Writing a newsletter is a lonely business and judging by the number of folks who have abstained from volunteering to take over the job in the past 6 years I’ve had it, not a very sought-after role either. 🙂
I updated my guest book today so it’s not quite so generic, but am still waiting for my first entry.