Loving Those Podcasts…

Learn and Burn…When I got my lovely little iPod Nano for Christmas, I quickly fine tuned my I-tunes program, edited my various music tracks and did my first “synch-up.” Soon after I was going off to the gym listening to my favorites, Johnny Cash, the Dixie Chicks, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, and other personal favorites.

One day, in one of those weird moments of serendipitous chance, someone sent me a link to a page on “iTunes University.” For some reason I never thought to go there. And through that little wormhole I fell into a much broader universe: one that led me into the world of podcasts on everything from my favorite hobby, astronomy, to language lessons, news and science shows, and on, and on.

Best part, being a first class tightwad (after all, I am the guy who writes SMW’s Money Advice columns) I discovered that all this great stuff was free.
I’ve now gotten into a habit where, once every seven to ten days, I dump all the stuff I’ve heard into the trash, download another fifteen plus hours of new podcasts, and synch up the iPod to refresh my listening options.
Since I spend about 8 hours a week in a gym, I’ve got several of my favorite shows now to keep me company. For me that’s mostly science, news and financial shows. How great is that? I feel like I’ve added so many hours to my week to learn and to enjoy this information—when in truth it was just blank space.

During 30 minutes on a treadmill at the gym, you have the option of tuning into one of six television programs. But what fun is that? In the age of the download, the whole idea is for you to be able to listen, and or watch, those things that you are particularly interested in.

I realize that, for most people a conversation on GRBs, the detection of incredibly powerful Gamay Ray Bursts, in the distant universe billions of light years from earth, is not their thing. But that’s the whole point. In the age of the Internet, we can follow our own specific interests. And if that doesn’t include watching Larry King do one more show on the emotional meltdown of Britney Spears that’s okay. To co-opt a line from my friends at Southwest Airlines, with the expanding world of podcasts, all of us are now free to move around our own universe.

Martin Brown
Money Editor


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