It’s Hip to be a Podcaster

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In the 80’s it was all about how video killed the radio star. Now it’s about how iPod’s gonna kill the radio, period. Andrew Robulack takes a look at the seminal online art of podcasting.

[Clip: 01-worst.aif]

That was the intro to a radio show called The Worst Music You’ve Ever Heard.

But you won’t get it on your AM dial. It’s part of the hottest new thing on the Internet called podcasting.

Podcasting is true grassroots radio. It’s a huge universe of audio programming that’s available online for free.

Podcast content downloads to your MP3 player automatically. And it’s
prerecorded, so shows happen on your schedule, not some corporation’s.

But, Podcast content doesn’t come from where you might expect. It’s not
Fox News or CNBC or even CBC putting this stuff together.

Nope, this stuff comes from the kitchens of the world. And the living rooms. Oh, and probably some basements too.

Podcasting is a cheap outlet for the nascent talents of the wanna-be shock jocks and closet CBC Radio hosts of the world.

Pretty much all podcasted content is produced by regular people with a
little bit of extra time on their hands and a lot on their minds.

[Clip: 02-knitting.aif]

Yep, that is a radio show about knitting. And it’s like, an hour long.
And she has a new one every week. Who knew there was that much to say
about knitting?

That’s one of the best things about Podcasting, though. The content
matter is across the board, from sports to science to shopping and
everything in between. So there’s something for everyone.

[Clip: 03-dad.aif]

Hey, that one’s up my alley. It’s always nice to hear from other
stay-at-home dad’s, or “trans-parents”, as we like to be called.

Of course, with this wide assortment of content the quality varies. A
lot of podcasting is really just ranting. Like this guy who records
himself on his morning commute every day.

[Clip: 04-commute.aif]

Whoa, dude, time to get a life.

Podcasting is easy to get into and pretty much free.

If you want to join the community and listen to some podcast shows just
visit one of the directory sites, like ipodder.org or podcast.net.

There’s free software you can download. And once you’ve got that,
subscribing to a podcast show is easier than programming your VCR to
record Desperate Housewives every week.

Once you’re set up, it all happens automatically. Every time a new
episode of a podcast you’re subscribed to goes online, it’ll be
downloaded to your MP3 player, ready for you to listen to.

Podcasting won’t kill radio, that’s for sure. But it’s a wonderful new
way to step outside the rigid boundaries of commercial media and hear
some voices that would normally be silent.

I’m Andrew Robulack.

Originally broadcast on CBC Radio North on March 15, 2005.

Copyright Andrew Robulack 2005

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