Saturday, December 03, 2005

My Favourite Podcasts

By now you probably have an portable MP3 player of your own, and if not then you at least can listen to them on the computer you're using to read this. In addition to the great convenience of having acres of music at your fingertips, there's something else you can do with it: listen to podcasts. Podcasts are like short radio shows that are downloaded to your computer at regular intervals. I've tried a few and wanted to recommend a couple.

The best one so far is NPR's "Story of the Day" (, which is on that page near the bottom under the "People and Places" group. It has the best story broadcast that day on National Public Radio in the USA and is always interesting. There are lots of other programs listed there that you might want to try too, but Story of the Day is the best, I think. Deanne and I actually lay down on the couch together and listened to about ten of them in a row. A story from Nov 29, 2005 about a band called "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah" is what inspired this blog posting, actually. It's an excellent story about how Internet exposure took an indie band from nowhere to "choose your record label" in a matter of weeks.

Quirks and Quarks is a science program broadcast on Canadian radio - they take the extra step of dividing each weeks podcast into seperate mp3 files, so you can listen to them one at a time, instead of having to fast-forward through the file each time you have a chance to listen to it. Kudos to them for thinking of that - so far they're the only one I've seen that does that. Look for the "XML Podcast" logo on the right side of the main screen.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporations' "Radio National" offer a lot of their programs as podcasts too; I used to enjoy the Science Show when I was able to catch it, and now I never miss it :)

You can download iPodder, a software program that will help you manage your podcast subscriptions, automatically downloading the programs and deleting the files when you're done with them. Don't be tempted to keep everything you've downloaded; well, I suppose you could burn it to a CD if you really wanted to, but I think its best to treat it like radio: listen to it, then delete it.

It's nice to be able to pop the headphones on, or hook up the mp3 player to the car stereo and hear the best programs from all around the world, in perfect clarity, whenever I'm ready to do so -give it a try :)


Kenneth said...

It's nice to get to know a fellow Maltese blogger.

(In case you're wondering where I hailed from, I got here from the Fark forum)

Brian said...

Hi Kenneth!
Sadly I'm not as Maltese as I'd like to be, but genetically I'm all there :) It was cool to see Malta on fark, wasn't it? I should post an mp3 of the MST3K character "Crow" and his rant against Maltese men - he really let us have it! They were watching a bad crime film that was shot in Malta in the 80s.

Kenneth said...

Oh, I'd really appreciate the mp3!

Should you have some time to spare and would want to explore a bit the Maltese blogosphere, have a look at at this index or this blog in particular.

Brian said...

Your wish is my command :) Take a look at I'll check out the index and stuff tomorrow; thanks for the help!

For those who don't know, Mystery Science Theatre 3000 is a television show in which a man and a some robot friends sit and watch a bad, *bad* movie and make fun of it. It ran for about ten years and was very popular with college-age people. This rant about Maltese men was from one of the robots, called "Crow".

Geo said...

Dec. 3, 2005? Have you disappeared? I'm interested in world travelers since I'm kind of a settled poet in retirement now.