In case you had not heard, we have begun a couple podcasts. If you don’t know what ‘podcasting‘ is, you really need to get with the program. In a nutshell, it’s a way to create or download & listen to audio (or video) programs on your computer or portable digital media player. Unlike broadcast radio and TV or even streaming audio and video over the Internet, podcasting lets you listen to or view content on your own schedule so you don’t have to be there live during the broadcast. Plus, you can rewind, fast-forward, or enjoy a program multiple times (think TiVo).
To automatically receive podcast programs (i.e., subscriptions), you will need to install ‘podcatcher’ software on your computer. This software lets you subscribe to any podcast ‘channels’ that interest you (there are literally thousands) and receive the files on your computer on a schedule that you specify. (Warning: if you still use dial-up internet service instead of cable modem, DSL or other broadband services, you probably don’t want to download podcasts as they can be 20-50 MB for 30-60 minute audio programs.) Here are some recommended podcatcher software applications. I currently use all of these except iPodderX (which seems to have web proxy issues and is also not free).
Anyway, we have an audio blog that accompanies this blog and I’ve set it up to be also available as a podcast so you can receive any new posts automatically without having to go to the blog site and check (which I know you all do faithfully almost every day…). We have not posted as often as we’d like, but I hope to pick up the pace a little. Each post is typically related to some adventure we are having - such as a trip or whatever. Currently, the posts are limited to about several minutes each (limit imposed by Audioblogger software).
I also started a music podcast called ‘Tim’s Picks’. I’ll occasionally compile music programs 30-60 minutes in length, sometimes with a theme and other times just with cool music. All of the songs are from independent artists and are available for use in podcasts free of charge. However, if you like the songs, feel free to purchase CDs to support the artists. So far, all music is from GarageBand.com, but I plan to also add music from the Podsafe Music Network.
I’d really love to create another full-blown podcast, but it’s a lot of work to plan and produce a high-quality program on a regular basis and then market it to gain a decent following. Plus, I’m not sure exactly what the subject would be (some ideas: fun stuff to do/adventures in the North East - particularly Connecticut, spousal relationships, raising children - when we have some to raise, short fiction, etc.). I’d also want to spend several hundred dollars on some audio equipment so the audio quality is halfway decent: a couple good microphones and headphones, an audio mixing board, a higher-quality sound card for my PC, a portable digital media player that can record high-quality audio (like a newer-generation iPod or iRiver) while we’re on the go, audio editing software, and some podcasting software like CastBlaster or MixCast Live for producing the programs. I’d probably also want at least one partner to join me - probably Sharon if I could convince her - to be a co-host as well as help write the shows and work the production. Anyway, we shall see.