So I finally got around to discovering the big bad world of Podcasting. And I got hooked in a hurry. Now, I can't claim to know everything that's being podcast out there. It's a big Netiverse after all. (And an even bigger Nutiverse, if you know what I mean.)
A lot of the podcasts seem to be news feeds from major as well as minor news channels in the US, something that doesn't remotely interest those of us whose lives don't revolve around the US of A. The last thing I want to do while driving to the gym, or taking my afternoon tea break, is listen to the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina, or Hurricane Rita. Because we get all that on prime time news TV, radio and in the newspapers anyway. Newswise, we're covered, thanks to satellite TV and India's excellent news media.
Nor am I really interested in the scores of amateur writers eagerly (over-eagerly) offering their unpublished novels converted into podcasts. But what I found after a bit of trial and error and searching and downloading a lot of junk, was that there is some really good stuff being podcast too.
Especially in the area of interviews and fact-based programming. Here are some of my currently favourite Podcast shows and the episodes I really enjoyed listening to. I can't claim they'll appeal to everyone equally, but then again, that's not really the point, is it? Each to his or her own, and that's the beauty of podcasting!
I'm not going to comment much on each one, since they're mostly quite self-explanatory. But basically, the Podcasts I've picked all have good audio quality, pro level or near-pro level, are well produced, have intelligent insightful content, and are way better than if the same material were to be available in printed or html/xml form.
The reason being is that these are mostly interviews, or shows by talented audio artists. And just as it is possible to read an interview, listening to it has a whole different charm. For instance, Maya Angelou, the veteran African-American writer, has a style that's wonderful to read, but actually listening to her speak is a whole different experience. I think you know what I mean.
So that's why most of my Current Fave Podcast choices are interviews or personality based stuff. I'm always looking for new stuff though. So if you hear a Podcast, or hear of one, do let me know. After all, the internet's motto is, or should be, (File-)Sharing is Caring!
A WAY WITH WORDS
This is a show about language, as the name suggests. Each episode is fairly long, a bit less than 50 minutes, which is a bit of a downside. But they pack a lot of learning into that time. Each episode focusses on a different subject. The episodes I've heard so far are listed above. The one on surfing is particularly entertaining, but maybe because I just love that surfing lingo. It's where we get most of our popular slang today - 'dude', 'chill', 'hang loose', etc. A great way to improve your language skills and learn a lot about the idiosyncracies of the English language.