4 reasons I love podcasts #FreeStyleFriday

I have been infatuated with podcasts and podcasting since I first discovered the medium in late 2006.

A podcast is a downloadable, subscribable digital audio file, that is updated automatically.  Although Apple’s iTunes is most popular podcast repository, the term “podcast” is not limited to Apple.  People listen to podcasts on non-Apple devices, including Zunes, other portable media players, computers and smartphones.  I have been infatuated with podcasts and podcasting since I first discovered the medium in late 2006.  In thinking it through a bit, there are at least 4 primary reasons I love podcasts:

  1. I get to pick the playlist.  I grew up in era when radio was the in-car entertainment, not sattelite radion, but good old-fashioned top-40 radio.  We determined what we listend by changing radio statitions and even frequent changing did not guarantee songs we loved.  With podcasts, I pick the shows I am interested in and subscribe to only those shows.  If for instance, news about smartphones is primary interest, I would subscribe to 7-8 podcasts about smartphones.  I would not, however, subscribe to a podcast on the history of broadcasting, a topic I much less interest in.
  2. It’s all on demand.  Although some podcasts are recorved in front of live Internent audience, almost all podcasts are made available to download and listen to at a time that is convenient for me.  If a favorite podcast is released on Tuesday and I know I am going to be driving for two hours on Friday, I might wait until Friday so I can listen while I am in the car.  I do not need to set a DVR or purchase a device that allows recording of live radio.
  3. I can participate without going all in. Many podcasts encourage listeners to email or call in with comments and questions.  Often, the comments and questions are read and discussed during the podcast.  I still clearly recall my first phone call to the Cell Phone Junkie podcast and then hearing myself on the podcast – I was amazed that someone like “me” could be part of the show.  On the other hand, participation doesn’t usually require a membership and or any consistent level of commitment.  I might call in a question one week and then not call in again or email for months.
  4. I can learn like never before. Learning is something most of us did in school.  However, frequently throughout our lives we need to learn to able to accomplish a new task or participate in a new activity.  Podcasts are ideally suited to provide information at a high level of detail on many different topics.  For instance, when I want to learn about the techniques of podcasting.  For this, among other things, I listent to podcasts specifically focused on the tools and tricks of podcasting like: The Podcast Answerman (@gspn on Twitter) and The Podcaster’s Studio (@podcasthelper on Twitter).

Do you like podcasts?  If so, what do you like about them?

Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Shawn J. Roberts, P.C. in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with my wife Amy and my two children, Sam (19) and David (11). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."

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