Sunday, October 07, 2007

Podcasting 101 - Why aren't you listening?

OK kids, as you may or may not know was originally conceived as a place for music reviews…heck it even says so right underneath the title. If you’ve been visiting for a while, you know that I've occasionally ventured away from my iPod to the Movies or even those barbaric book things. However, as I’m sure you'll be surprised to learn, because is rather small, record labels don’t send me free music to review. The good news is that I’m a junkie when it comes to anything I consider to be good music but the bad news is that I’ve only got so much disposable income to play with. I will admit to trying to find a more cost effective manner in which to procure new music, but as my willingness to fund the Russian mob’s music download sites has waned and the though of paying the RIAA $222,000 for the privilege of reviewing their artists now seems like less of a perk than it once did, I find myself with less and less new music to listen to and, in turn, review. Not to mention there just hasn’t been a whole lot of new music released lately that I even like.

So with that little diatribe out of the way, I can continue on to the point. As my previous non-Twittered post states, the well ran dry and I was left with not a lot to listen to. As such, I found myself revisiting one of my own older posts that ran along the lines of Podcasting. What is podcasting you ask? Well podcasting is more of an idea than a physical thing. The idea being that if you’ve got something to say, a microphone, a computer and an internet connection you can reach as many people with your words as will listen. It puts the power in the hands of an individual with an idea and takes it away from the major broadcasters who believe that said idea doesn’t fit into their format. Technically, I guess that a podcast is a thing too, in that at the end of the day you have an audio file that you can post and others can download and listen to at their leisure. If you haven’t guessed, I’m a convert…and I’m not the only one.

As a self-admitted liberal geek, I listen to a lot of National Public Radio. As it turns out, NPR has fully embraced the idea of podcasting their broadcast shows in order to have them reach a wider audience. Want an example? Well, you’re going to get one anyway so you might as well just go with it. Lets say you, like myself, like to listen to NPR on Saturdays. You start your mornings with Car Talk and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and listen all the way through A Prairie Home Companion on Saturday night. Up North, you used to listen to Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know but your new local Charlotte NPR affiliate doesn’t carry it. What do you do? You can now hop online or into iTunes and subscribe to the Whad’Ya Know podcast which will let you download an hour of the show, usually a day after it airs every weekend. Want to know the best part, other than you can now listen to it whenever and wherever you want? It’s FREE, 100% abso-stinking-lutely free! Keep in mind that this example is for a more mainstream show that’s already “out there” in the public consciousness, not to mention that all the other NPR shows I mentioned are also available as free podcasts. So you say NPR is to mainstream, too right or too left leaning for your particular political persuasion? That’s fine, because there’s so much more that’s available if you just look. Political, entertainment, social commentary, educational; it’s all out there just waiting for you to find it.

As I must have mentioned about a million times here at On the, I love audiobooks. In the past, I’ve always pimped as a great source for them…and it is, but it’s a subscription service that you have to pay for. I recently found a link through a post on either Gizmodo or Lifehacker (or both actually) that led me to offers novel length works, and short stories for that matter, by lesser-known or unknown authors in a serialized podcast format. If you find a story you like, you can subscribe to it in iTunes or your own favorite feedcatcher. If the story is new, you’ll get a new podcast episode ever time one is release. If the story you pick has been completed, you can choose to download the entire thing at once or episode by episode. You, again, also have the opportunity to listen at your leisure and it’s completely free.

I just want to go on record as saying, I Love This Site! does ask, and quite fairly so I might add, that if you like what you’re hearing you consider making a small monetary donation, though I’m sure a large donation wouldn’t be thrown out of bed. Podiobooks does get something for the trouble of hosting the book on their website, but the author gets the majority of any donation you may make. It’s really a win, win situation in that you don’t have to drop $50.00 on an audio book you may or may not like, and if you do like it you can shoot the author a little something, at the very least an email, to let them know you liked what you heard.

I've managed to gleefully work my way through several of the available titles in recent weeks and can report that just as in music, there are some outstanding undiscovered writers in the literary world. Two names that just scream out to be mentioned are Mur Lafferty and J.C. Hutchins, both of whom have several titles available on Mur Lafferty has written a continuing series by the name of Heaven. There are three seasons of Heaven out now (Heaven, Hell & Earth) with a fourth on the way. J.C. Hutchins has penned a trilogy entitled 7th Son and is currently in the process of wrapping up his podcast of the final volume, Destruction. His previous two books being Descent and Deceit. I was so impressed with their work that I’m planning a few special pieces in the near future to talk about them specifically, so keep checking back.

So if you’ve been wondering what’s new On the pod, after a bit of searching, it ends up being podcasts and Podiobooks by some really talented writers. I urge you to check out, and just to get a taste of what’s available to you out there. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

1 comment:

Evo Terra said...

Thanks for the fantastic review of, Joe. I'm glad you are enjoying the books and our service enough to spread the word!