Sunday, March 2, 2008

Vodcasts 4 Life

Yes, I'm in Italy. Yes, I am going to museums, and studying the language, and learning about the life of 20-something Italian students.

However, sometimes I just want information in English about America. Specifically, about the election and technology. I'm tired of all of my music, of paying for cds, and needing to be on the internet to get information.

That's the other thing. I only get about maybe, 20 minutes a day to connect my computer to an ethernet. Otherwise, I have to use a computer in a lab or computer cafe. I realized that I didn't have a lot of things I could do on my computer without an internet connection.

That's when it dawned on me-- VODCASTS!

I began to go through the iTunes store finding free podcasts and vodcasts. For the past three days all I've been doing is getting up at ridiculously early times so I can download things such as: Diggnation, Car Talk (yes, car talk! It made me laugh until I fell asleep last night!), The Wired Science Podcast, Jim Lehrer, The Best of Youtube, Make Magazine, The Discovery Channel, Ask a Ninja, The Pennsylvania Report (gossip about the political world of PA- Onorato for governor-what?!), The Onion News Network, NPR Technology, and Bill Moyers Journal.

Judy Woodruff is a great interviewer. If my ears could do a double-take, they would do them during her interviews. I was walking back from the gym while listening to her interview with Hillary and I kept thinking to myself, "Wow, did she really just ask that?!?! That's awesome!!!".

It's TV (or just audio, depending) that I can (generally) watch on my iPod. I take it to the gym with me and giggle while watching the Ask a Ninja episodes (and try to ignore the fact that I am on a bike and it's getting rather painful), I take it to the grocery store and listen to NPR tell me about the video game industry's recent business mergers (while trying to pick a type of pasta), and I avoid thinking about the guy who keeps winking at me while I eat my panino while hearing about the most popular stories on I've decided that when I've been winked at 40 times, then I should be able to turn those awkward moments in and redeem them for something-- a free panino, a free metro pass, hell, a small beanie baby, if it comes to that.

The point is that I highly suggest giving podcasts and vodcasts a try. I can't get enough. Plus, there are no commercials.

I read something recently, where a guy said he had started listening to the NPR podcasts. He had always found the fundraising drives to be really annoying. However, when he heard that the cost of bandwidth for podcasting was very high, he willingly donated money for the podcasts, because he liked them so much more.

I'm starting to feel the same, actually. I get to choose which episodes I listen to and when and the only advertisements I hear are the ones on Diggnation and Ask a Ninja. But those are always at the end and I can always stop that episode and move on to something else.

Okay, I just finished downloading a couple more. I should go study again.


Agent Ska

P.S. I really want to bring the Diggnation vodcast guys to Pittsburgh for an episode. I ran this by a couple of other friends who watch the show, and they said that that would be awesome.

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