Teaching Examples

Time-shifting and podcasts
February 14, 2006, 10:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m listening to NPR’s All Things Considered right now on “live” radio. Sometimes I get home early enough to do that. But when I don’t, I often listen to the program on my desktop computer the next morning, after Morning Edition ends.

I thought about this today while listening to someone talk about podcasting. A lot of such talk concerns local content, new content that was never available before, such as newspaper people making audio. And a lot of the talk is about subscribing, daily downloading, and listening on an iPod or other MP3 player.

But my most common use of podcasts is not by subscription and not on my iPod. It’s an on-demand asynchronous way to listen to my two favorite news shows. Podcasts from NPR let me get more of what I already like.

The last thing I need is to load up my iPod with lots of stuff that then causes guilt because I don’t have time to listen to it. Like stacks of books I don’t have time to read.

My consumption of All Things Considered via ad hoc downloads, by contrast, helps me compensate for my busy life, rather than adding extra busyness I would not welcome.

Podcasting is apparently working out well for BBC News.

As for original podcasts that are not extant radio programs, I like interviews with interesting people. Andrew DeVigal has done some nice ones for Interactive Narratives. The latest one (download MP3) is with Naka Nathaniel, the do-everything multimedia master of The New York Times.

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4 Comments so far
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I agree with both your comments. The time-shifting aspect of podcasting is a real help — it’s great to be able to listen to programs at times that fit in our lives. I caught up with this week’s Ricky Gervais and On the Media shows in my car yesterday.

While I’m not looking for more content to have to find time for, good informative or entertaining content — such as Andrew’s and the Gervais show — will always be welcome.

Comment by TL

So I wonder whether time-shifting radio programs is going to prove to be the bigger use for podcasting than listening to content that is produced solely for the Web …

Comment by Mindy McAdams

Some interesting thoughts on this in Steve Outing’s
current column
at E&P Online: Publishers are hedging their bets by providing print content in podcasts AND by creating new content centered on the print content.

Comment by TL

I’m very interested to hear about numbers for podcast downloads from organizations such as the Naples Daily News. Is it worth the time and effort?

Comment by Mindy McAdams

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