September 22, 2006

Podcast Crazy!

When iTunes 4.9 was released in 2005, adding support for podcasts, I was really excited about all the sorts of free content I'd be able to garble up. Unfortunately, nothing really popped out at me with the initial release.

It wasn't until last December, when The Guardian UK's Ricky Gervais Show podcast was released, that the awesomeness of the podcast really hit home. And then, due to the overwhelming popularity of said podcast, after their initial twelve episodes, Ricky, Stephen and Karl decided to switch to the paid-subscription model. Hence, the podcasts took on a foul flavor for awhile.

Today was one of the very few days I've had pretty much all to myself. I took an extra day off work after the Mammoth trip, and I spent it sleeping in, reading, napping, having a quick lunch with my sweetie, and then more reading, browsing, napping, etc. The overwheling boredom I felt late this afternoon led me to check out some of the available podcasts through the iTunes Music Store. And what a goldmine I discovered!

Did you know that they now have university course lectures available online... for free? That's amazing to me. What a fantastic idea! UC Berkeley offers 59 separate course podcasts via iTunes. Fifty-NINE! I don't have much hard disk space left on the iMac, but that didn't stop me from downloading almost 500MB of audio podcasts (I'm still reticent about getting into the whole video-podcasting thing - my computer doesn't seem to want to play mp4 files, for some reason).

Right now I'm listening to the introductory lecture from a UC Berkeley course called Phil 7: Existentialism in Literature and Film. And before that I listened to some of Sandra Tsing Loh's commentary on her NPR weekly, "The Loh Life". And before that I spent about an hour listening to last week's episode of NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me". And somewhere in between those I listened to an "episode" of an educational podcast brought to me by The Princeton Review called "LSAT Logic in Everyday Life".

I'm very excited about some of the other podcast subscriptions I have on deck: Cal courses including Physics 10: Physics for Future Presidents, Psych 119: Drugs and Behavior, and Psych 156: Human Emotion -- as well as another Sandra Tsing Loh NPR offering, supported by CalTech, "The Loh Down on Science", and NPR's ever-popular "All Songs Considered".

I'm so glad I got that free 60GB iPod Photo (though I'd be remiss to not confess a desire for one of them new 80GB iPods with video), because my commutes to and from work are certainly going to be more interesting... for at least a few weeks before I get bored with podcasts again. :P

...Oh, and just because I'm feeling all happy and excited and stuff - here's a little token pic, taken by the always-wonderful Erik (btw - thanks for letting me post this without your advance approval, sweetie!), on our recent Grand Canyon road trip...


Me and My Donkey Friends



posted by julie at September 22, 2006 09:23 PM


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