I love technology, and always have. I was the first kid on the block to have Commander a Tom decoder ring, and mounted a turntable on the back dash of my '65 Comet (unfortunately it only worked on smooth roads). My current automobile has a really cool, electronic sound and navigation system and last Christmas, I received an Apple Watch. I know you're thinking I have reached my techno limit, and so did I, until recently, I discovered something brand new to me… the fast growing world of... podcasting.
First off, I should explain what podcasting is, for those of you who may not be familiar with the term. Podcasting refers to audio, rather than video or written works, obtainable on a computer, car stereo systems and of course smart phones and tablets. In a way that audio books entertain us when we drive, or sit back at home with our eyes closed, podcasts do exactly the same thing. The only difference is that podcasts cover a plethora of topics and tend to be substantially shorter than books.
Podcasts are fantastic while driving, great in the gym, excellent when you just want to chill and awesome if you are visually impaired. I’ve been listening to podcasts on a regular basis for several years. If I have difficulty getting to sleep, I simply click my old IPhone on my night table; put an earbud in my ear and drift away to the sounds of thousands of forties and fifties radio shows. There is nothing better than chasing bad guys with Jack Web in Dragnet, or running all over Cairo with Rocky Jordan, not to mention The Saint, The Shadow or one of hundreds of detectives from that era. Unfortunately I drift to sleep in a matter of minutes and have never been there when the crime is solved.
Another of my favourite podcasts is Ted Talks. These are a series, usually one a week, of lectures or presentations recorded live, in an auditorium, or similar. The topics range from politics to physiological, from food to home remedies. Most of them are quite interesting, and they last 45 minutes or so. Recently Ted Talks has been divided into categories, such as health, technology, science, etc.
Another favourite is TWIT. Now before you wonder if I am being profane, TWIT is an acronym for This Week In Tech. It is an extremely interesting show, which deals with the latest and greatest advances in technology, as well as delving into the companies behind the gadgetry, software and social media. These also tend to run about 45 minutes and always feature interesting guests.
If technology or world events are not your thing, or you simply want a break from current life, you can turn to lifestyle podcasts such as any of the thousands of cooking podcasts that exist. Podcasts on baking cookies or creating exotic meals are found everywhere. My friend Rich Helms, a long time podcaster, is also a master bread baker, and is looking into creating a series on how to make the perfect loaf.
It was suggested by Christopher Green that I should consider turning my articles into podcasts. What a concept. With no clue on how to proceed, Chris was most helpful in getting me started. Now I podcast my articles every Monday and, to my amazement, my listening audience is growing furiously. I think there is something interesting about hearing the author’s voice, rather than just reading his works.
So how do you hear my (or anyone’s) podcasts, you ask? It is very simple. If you are an android user, simply go to the app store or google and download the most popular podcasting app, Stitcher. Once you open the app, just hit the search icon (magnifying glass) and type in my name. It will come up and give you the option to subscribe. I should mention there is no charge for these or most podcasts available. Then, every Monday you will get a notice that a new podcast is available, and presto, it’s like having me sit beside you in the car… maybe that is not necessarily a good thing.
If you are an apple user, just go to your IPhone or IPad app store and download iTunes podcast or Stitcher as well. Follow the same instructions and bingo, we’re connected. How easy is that?
Podcasts range from news stories, travel articles, lifestyle and health issues, political views, current events and so on,. The list is endless. If you are tired of hearing the same stuff on your radio or television, try listening to millions of people offering their expertise on life around us… me included.