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Behind the Curve

March 9, 2007

True to my late adopter ways, I’ve just recently started listening to podcasts. When I first heard about them back in 2004 or 2005, I was all “oh, that’s annoying”. I’m a visual person; I’d rather look at things. I’m also impatient; I want the content now, not in 10 or 15 or 26 minutes after the audio file downloads. I tried one or two episodes of podcast offshoots of online journals early on but found the process tedious, even on the super-fast internet connection at the office. Listening to content is so slow compared to reading it. I listen to stuff in the car, sure—the radio and books and CDs—but there I don’t have any better options.

But now—now I have an iPod. Now I don’t have to listen to podcasts at my computer. That makes all the difference. It took me a couple months to realize this, though. It wasn’t until January that I put the first podcasts on my nano. I grabbed some of the Grand Targhee skicasts before our trip out there, and we listened to them on the drive from Idaho Falls to the mountain. (Using the FM transmitter that I’ve mostly made peace with even though the weather lately has seemed to make it harder to get good reception—or maybe 90.1 got that new transmitter I heard they were planning. I’ve been mostly using 90.3 lately, which isn’t great. We had no trouble finding an empty frequency in rural Idaho, though.)

Then not long after we got back from Targhee, Lil wrote about a knitting podcast she listens to, Pointy Sticks, so I went and got an episode of that one and liked it. Then I discovered I can subscribe to podcasts through iTunes (yes, I am very slow sometimes, please don’t tease me about it) and I’ve been steadily adding to my list ever since, starting with other knitting podcasts (of which there are many) and a couple quilting ones (of which there are few) and then my friend Veronica’s Food is Not Love and then some of the NPR shows, most happily Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me, which I often manage to miss when it airs, and just yesterday one that has workout music organized by beats per minute that I’ll try the next time I run.

It only took me one time to learn not to use the “Recently Added” playlist for my runs—a lady talking about knitting is not exactly a motivational workout accompaniment. Though I just Googled to find out how to edit the rules iTunes uses to build that list so I can exclude podcasts, so I should be good to go in the future. The biggest problem I’ve got now is there are so many podcasts out there it’s hard to know which ones to try next. Oh, and when I do find one that looks interesting, I sometimes find that they’ve stopped making new episodes. In that, it’s a lot like online journals.

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