For as long as I was able to have the freedom of driving my own car, and therefore being out from the oppression of my parents choosing which radio station we listened to, I’ve been listening to talk radio. Not news talk, but the stuff that’s purely for entertainment. Which was quite prevalent when I was of the “just having gotten my first car” age. As time wore on, the formats of these stations I enjoyed changed. Where I stand now, is with one devoted talk station that is only sports themed. I submitted and listened because it was the closest reminder to an age gone by that I had left. This was the case for a few years, until I discovered a beacon in the aether of radio formats gone by. This “new” hope is known as Podcasting.
I put “new” in quotes because quite often when I’m in a conversation with people about my interests, I mention them in a very matter of fact way, which is met with a confused look and me having to go back and explain. This type of media has actually been around for the better part of a decade but has seen a second coming in the past few years. The short definition of a podcast that I usually give is as follows;
“It’s like a radio show that you download from the internet.”
Which seems to appease many, but the small percent who don’t really grasp the idea usually move the conversation ahead politely with a response of, “Oh, ok.”.
My little secret here is that, although podcasts mimics radio in many ways (Those being that it is people talking into microphones and the consumer listens), podcasts are that and so much more! I’ve heard it described on many of the shows that I listen to as “the wild west [of media]”, which is true. There are literally NO restrictions put on most shows. This means that they can go as far as the format will allow, and many podcasters are pushing the walls out in every direction. Another advantage of this freedom is that the topics being served up are limitless. I mean this, I challenge you to stump the podcast catalog for a subject of interest. Everything from quilting to theoretical physics, comedy to self help and advice.
I’ve saved perhaps the best advantage over radio for last, it’s completely On-Demand. If you have a show you like, you don’t have to wait until they are on the air, you just download their most recent episode. Want more still? Download their entire back catalog of shows. Oh, and most every show offers their content totally free, and getting them is super simple.
To start becoming acquainted, open up iTunes on your computer or Apple product, download a podcast catcher on your smart phone and GO! As I mentioned before, search for any topic of your interest and give a couple shows a try, you will be delighted.