Podcast Junkie

by Radio Somewhere

I’m a big podcast junkie. But perhaps I should back up and mention that I was once a TV addict, and when I had DirectTV satellite service, I hardly ever turned the TV off! I wasn’t always watching it. I often just left it on the Weather Channel or MSNBC – for company. But then I moved to Seattle and decided to do without cable or satellite TV to save money. In my first apartment, I could pick up around ten channels over the air, including two PBS, so I found enough to watch. But then I moved to a neighborhood with lousy reception – and was narrowed down to just three channels, including one PBS. I still found enough to watch most of the time, especially as I had a retail job and worked a lot of evenings anyway. What helped, though, was that I bought a new laptop with a DVD drive (I was replacing a 1995 model) and was able to play DVDs.

By 2009, I had quite a collection of DVDs, including M*A*S*H, which I went to bed with every night. I hardly watched TV anymore. My TV was an old analog model and so needed a converter box once the analog transmissions ended. But I did not bother to get one and retired the TV to my storage locker.

In early 2010, I bought an iPod Touch, as a belated Christmas present to myself. It was my first ever iPod, and my first experience with the iTunes infrastructure. It was a few weeks before I discovered the realm of the podcast. My first big find was A History Of The World In A Hundred Objects. I began stopping at a WiFi hotspot on the way home from work each night to download the latest episode; and I bought a speaker dock for the iPod Touch. I found other podcasts I enjoyed (such as PRI’s Selected Shorts) and often downloaded more than I had time to listen to – especially if I was going to squeeze in a nightly M*A*S*H, session.

The problem was soon solved for me. The DVD drive in my laptop finally quit. So the iPod Touch in its speaker dock became my main entertainment device – and podcasts have ruled ever since.

On my new iPhone, I have the podcasts I like to listen to on the bus. They need to be loud and opinionated to stand up to the noise around me. Comedians such as Greg Proops are good for the bus.

On my old iPhone, which now lives in the speaker dock I bought for the iPod Touch, I have my at-home and bedtime podcasts, the vast majority of which are from BBC Radio 4!

On my MacBookAir, I have the Welcome To Nightvalearchive which I let run in an endless loop sometimes while I write. It sets a nice mood!

I still have the iPod Touch. The home button no longer works and the WiFi receiver seems to be dead. But it is full of podcasts of many kinds that I have collected over the past four years. I keep it at work with an old set of earbuds for those days when I need to lose myself in something esoteric, like a series of BBC Radio 3 Essays about the Anglo-Saxons.

But there is perhaps no better confirmation of my podcast habit than a screenshot of my iPhone. Note that I have the booted Music from the bottom row to make room for the Podcast app.

And there is no music at all on my iPhone!