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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Friday, 22 March 2013

Podcasts... still!

Podcasts screenshotAs another week ends, with the threat of snow and a wind chill factor that makes me glad I'm indoors (and yes, it is the penultimate week of March!) I thought I'd write a long-overdue blog post. This one is about podcasts.

I still listen to quite a few podcasts, although the method by which I receive them has changed over the years; it used to be Juice, which downloaded to my hard drive, so that I could copy the MP3s to my Samsung SGH-i600 until I got an iPod Touch and iTunes took over.

When Downcast eclipsed Apple's software offering, I considered it a worthwhile investment, given all the good reviews, and used that until I decided that carrying both an iPod Touch and an Android Phone was a little unnecessary. The question was, is there a decent 'podcatcher' for my Galaxy S?

Well, there is now - it seems that PocketCasts (for Android and IOS) has come of age, and I am really happy with it - the 'Smart Playlists' option is impressive, and, now I'm used to - and can remember - how the interface works (there's a fair amount of subtle gestures that are required to get things done) I don't really need anything else.

In fact, I think podcasts are the main listen for me, certainly while I'm doing the housework or sitting at my computer; driving tends to mean my attention is shared with the radio (either BBC Radio 4 or Radio 1 - for research purposes, naturally!)

Being a creature of habit, I have certain listens at various times of the week:

- Friday mornings

- Friday evenings (just before bed):
A Point Of View

- Saturday mornings
The Bugle (the perfect way to start the weekend with a laugh)
More Or Less
The BBC Friday Night Comedy Podcast

- Sunday evenings
The Colonel Radio Show (rather rude, but quite entertaining to fall asleep to)

It's just something I wanted to remark upon - in the same way as television broadcasts used to be 'appointments to watch' I now have certain times to listen to podcasts... I am sure there are others that pop up when they've been published on certain days of the week (Prime Minister's Questions on a Wednesday, for example).

The rest of the week is scattered with a variety of offerings - I nearly four years ago I wrote a blog post about the shows I listen to, and some of them still exist! A more recent arrival, however has been Audioboo and the art of the 'audio journal' - it's interesting to hear what's going on in other folks' lives and so - I guess a little like listening to the Archers, but in 'real life' I will have the narrative tales of Richard Vobes, Lloyd Bayley, StriderPaul and many others play out in my ear.

It's amazing how much audio content there is out there - especially speech based, and as a real alternative to the anodyne hit radio that squanders the FM (and DAB) broadcasting spectrum. And as for internet radio... well, I'll save that for another blogpost, I think!

If you're interested, here's the current list of podcasts I listen to in a rather untidy (but podcatcher compatible) XML format: http://www.mus-ic.co.uk/other/rss/podcasts.xml.

Posted by james at March 22, 2013 10:10 PM

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