Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, August 07, 2005

New Uses for Podcasting: iGod

With the phenomenal success of iPod and other MP3 players, in conjunction with downloadable music, innovators are finding other uses for iPods, too. Podcasting, or posting actual programmes to the internet for people to download to their MP3 players has been around for a few years. The use of podcasting seems to be the digital equivalent to "time-shifting" which many of us did for awhile with our VCRs 20 years ago: download a programme and listen to it at your own convenience instead of when it is being broadcast.

One of the latest uses of podcasting in the blogosphere has been James Reese's Radio Economics, which I mentioned in several previous postings.

And now there is GodCasting [thanks to MA for the pointer]:

While most people use their fashionable portable music players to download their favourite pop tunes from the internet, many are adding a spiritual element to their playlists.

The Rev Leonard Payne, the vicar of a remote parish in Suffolk, has been overwhelmed by the response after he posted some of his homilies on the Apple iTunes store last month.

"We were stunned. Within a short period of time, over 2,400 people had downloaded one of the sermons," he said yesterday.

"The volume was so great we had to change servers and in the last five days of July, over 230 copies of our talks have been delivered, an incredible reaction to the work of a small rural congregation."
I am sure I will eventually give in to this new-wave medium. But not soon. My major objections to podcasting are three-fold:
  1. I don't own a personal MP3 player (other than my PC). That could easily be remedied, of course; I can buy one. I have a friend who says he'll never buy another CD because he likes his 60gig iPod so much. But that brings up the next problem.
  2. I like classical music, and the downloadable selections don't seem to be all that plentiful (not that I have searched very hard). And downloading all my CDs to an iPod just doesn't seem worth the time. Also, I usually don't like to mess around choosing specific music. I just like to listen to Otto's Baroque or Mostly Classical via WinAmp and be done with it. In the car, I just listen to the radio. It's all much easier than selecting an album. I guess with an iPod, at least, I could put it on "random" or "shuffle" and get the same effect.
  3. I would rather read interviews or speeches than listen to them. Reading is much quicker, and it is easier to quit mid-sentence and return when I'm ready. Jim Reese says he listens to podcasts while running or working out. I can see that might be a possibility.

As I said, I will likely get a personal MP3 player at some point, but probably not until my next long trip.

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