I love music. You’d have a really hard time finding me with my iPod close at hand but you won’t hear much music coming from my iPod. I listen to spoken content almost exclusively. Because I’m a bit of an information junkie, I was really taken with the invention of podcasts. podcasting is simply embedding a file, usually a piece of audio content, into an RSS feed. (What’s an RSS feed? Basically a special kind of link that’s always up to date. Want to know more about RSS? Check out the article at Wikipedia.)
The variety of podcasts being produced is incredible. There are a lot of tech podcasts, probably because that’s the world podcasting started in, but you can find something for nearly ever topic. (Yes, even that thing you’re thinking of right now.) If you’ve never added a podcast feed to your iPod, I encourage you to give it a try. The easiest way to get started listening to podcasts is iTunes. The podcast directory is in the iTunes Store, but don’t worry, you’re not actually buying anything when you subscribe to a podcast. Every podcast there is free. Just enter a search in the upper right hand corner and see what you find.
I’ve got nearly a thousand individual episodes of podcasts on my iPod, so I’m won’t post an exhaustive list of what I listen to, but I’ll give you a few that I like to get you started. My favorite podcasts tend to have a Mac focus, so if you’re a PC fan, you might want to steer away from some of them. (Or you could just get it over with an buy your Mac.)
Never miss an episode:
- The New York Times Audio Digest (This is the only paid podcast I listen to. It’s included with Audible Gold subscription)
- The New York Times Tech Talk
- BBC Documentary Archive
From an advertising perspective, I think they are an incredible way of reaching a dedicated audience with a very targeted message, whether it’s a tech enthusiast or a knitting enthusiast. The problem has been that there haven’t been great tools to measure the audience for an advertiser, which makes it a difficult investment for the people who have to account for their media spending. There finally a little hope on the horizon for the creators of podcasts with the founding of the Association for Downloadable Media. (Read about it in this article from the New York Times.) This means that the variety of podcasts produced will only increase. That’s good news for everyone.