If you haven’t gotten into the podcast thing, it’s about time you did. You don’t really need an iPod or MP3 player to get into the podcast thing, just a computer. If it sounds like I’m a bit biased towards iTunes, that’s because I am. You can find podcasts, I believe, via other outlets; I am sure Apple doesn’t corner the market on these things. It’s just that I find the iTunes collection the best available on the web.
The first thing you do is download iTunes from Apple.com’s site. Once you have the program, you simply go to the store and click on “podcasts.” There, you can search around the different categories, news, politics, cooking, exercise – for the most part, you can find what you’re looking for, especially if you aren’t that picky.
The choices range from professional podcasts, like those from NPR or ABC or HBO. But you can also find independent podcasts done by random people who happen to have something to say. If you happen upon someone you like, you can subscribe to their podcast and it will download into your iTunes whenever you open the application.
Some of my favorite podcasts are from NPR, I must admit. I like Science Friday, Most Emailed Stories, This I Believe, Fresh Air, NPR Books, It’s All Politics, and Movies. I also couldn’t live without my Splendid Table podcast; I look forward to this one most of all.
But if you’re looking for something more motivating, you can find free yoga class podcasts, inspiration podcasts, or even self-improvement ones, like Grammar Girl. Another thing it’s good for is finding compilations. One of my favorite of those is called Bands Under the Radar and it links up to a website of the same name, but if you’re subscribed to it, you can hear an array of music for free every time the program downloads. You don’t really have to be attached to a radio anymore to catch your favorite hosts and shows as they are now widely available on the net, but especially on iTunes.
KCRW has many of their best programs available for free download, including Harry Shearer’s Le Show, Left, Right and Center, Morning Becomes Eclectic, and To the Point.
I do have one confession to make, though, and that is that I don’t really use the video podcast feature much. I am not exactly an early adopter, as it takes me a while to get started with anything new. For now, I’m just using the podcasts for education and entertainment.
As for the “Top Audio Podcasts,” the number one podcast is porn++. It’s actually quite a funny podcast where the two hosts, Rich and Chris, talk about things happening in the porn world. It is surprisingly interesting and funny. Beyond that, though, many of the podcasts are directly connected to TV shows. ABC’s Lost comes in second, with PBS’ The American Experience at number 3. Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy and The Family Guy are all in the top 20.
The best things in life are free, iTunes proves it.