Joining the Pod People

You better sit down for this, folks... I have just acquired my first iPod. It was a St. Valentine's Day gift from my beautiful wife. My first thought was that I must have been talking too much and this was her way of getting me to hush. Then I remembered I had actually asked for an iPod some time ago. See, good things come to those who wait. Now I need help from all my readers as I learn to use it.

Unlike most pod people, my goal is not musical. I don't listen to much music, frankly. Nothing against it - it's just not my thing. I like a few random pieces but my tastes are so strange that no single artist or radio station can keep me entertained for long. My iPod, which I have named Pedro, is destined for more cerebral use.

Here's the problem: I drive an hour each way to my job, five days a week. We also live in a rural area outside Austin so it is a long way to stores, restaurants, doctors, and most everything else. Traffic flow in Austin is not very efficient. Thus I spend a lot of hours behind the wheel and I have long struggled to use this time in productive ways.

I used to listen to talk radio. That was fine for awhile but the commercials became tiresome. I also have zero influence over the topics. Then I got XM satellite radio, which provides more choices but still leaves me bored sometimes. Next I moved to buying CD lectures and audio books. This was much better but became expensive very quickly.

Enter Pedro and his podcasting capability. Now I can download a huge variety of radio, TV and other programming, customized the way I want it, and most of it is free. For example, I like watching Fox News Sunday on TV but I'm usually at church at that time. With podcasting I can download it and listen at my leisure later in the week. Furthermore, I can stop and start the show whenever I want. No more sitting in the car for five minutes after I get to work in order to hear the end of an interesting program.

So, if this works out I will be able to load up Pedro with audio that is both entertaining and enlightening for every minute of my drive time. There is also a wealth of amateur podcast material out there, so I welcome suggestions from you, dear readers. You know from this blog what kind of things interest me. Leave a comment if you know of relevant podcasts I should check out.

If you are not yet a Pod person, all I can say is that you will be in a few years. The entire concept of "broadcasting" is probably going to disappear soon. Instead we will all be reading, watching and listening to exactly the things we want and nothing more. This will not always be positive for society - we all need to get outside our boxes sometimes - but it's the way things are headed. We may as well make the best of it.

1 comment:

Jennifer F. said...

How great! I love my iPod. SOmetimes I'm jealous of those with long commutes since I don't have much of a chance to fully utilize it.

Keep in mind that you can also get books and lessons on "tape". I'm convinced that if I had a long commute I'd be able to speak like five languages. :)