The Curious Autodidact

May 8, 2009

What you don’t listen to Podcasts?

If you are over 50 put on your seat belt and dip your toe into the waters of podcasts. You will be impressed at the variety of education and entertainment that is available free of charge on-line. Further you may never listen to another radio advert again. You can choose what you want to listen to, and when, on your schedule according to your tastes and wants.

There are many ways to access this new world. For free you can download I-Tunes and listen via your computer. One the cheapest ways to have a more transportable player is to buy an refurbished i-pod shuffle.

The shuffle family

Young people have no clue who in the world would want an i-pod shuffle but it’s a simple cheap way to try this technology without emptying your pockets. A shuffle on-line refurbished will set you back about $39 and many weekends they feature free shipping, choose the color you want and wait to get the best deal.

There is an on-line tutorial on the I-Tunes website that will walk you through the process of downloading these pod casts. It’s free, although it says subscribe there is no charge for most pod casts, and you don’t even have an I-Tunes account. You can have many hours of enjoyment paying nothing for it except the initial payment for the device.

It’s easy to download I-Tunes, and it is free. Once you have downloaded it, you can browse the podcast area on the left hand side of the I-Tunes store.

Just being by picking a a topic that interests you. What about an NPR show from out of town, or one your local station no longer carries? You can fish around for topics you like and if you think it’s a super pod cast keep it on your list, if you don’t like it press delete and try another.

When you log onto I-Tunes you can press refresh and it will stream in the new editions of the pod casts you have asked for automatically. You can right click and press “show description” to see if that’s something you are interested in. If you are keep that episode it not delete it and move on. Once you learn to manage your “library” of pod casts it will come naturally to cull through what you may or may not want to listen to.

Done listening? Erase and refill. With a shuffle you can’t see what’s on it, since there is no screen, but adopt an attitude of pleasant surprise. I don’t put too much on it, I listen to what’s there, fast forward if I’m not interested, erase, refill, and repeat.

You can also use this clever software for making cds for friends of pod casts of interest or download music onto your shuffle from your favorite music cds. Or pay for music by the song at the I-Tune music store. They also have full-length books available for a fee. Many universities stream their lectures on-line too, you can go by topic or by university.

This is a wonderful way to learn things while you do some boring task, while you are exercising, commuting or cooking. You can get an adapter for the pod to play it in the car through the tape player for less than $5 and this is a fantastic way to make a long road trip seem more pleasant.

This wide world of pod casting is one you will enjoy and soon will wonder how you did without, why you didn’t become an early-adapter. Turning on the radio in the car will soon seem to passe and you will be surprised that you can’t simply fast forward through the ads or rewind to catch something you weren’t sure you heard correctly.

Pod cast helps further the mission of the internet as an educational tool of merit and flight of fancy.


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