Tuesday, January 18, 2005


I've been podcatching for a while now. I still love it. I've pruned my list a bit, and have it to the point that I have a tiny bit more time to listen than I have stuff to listen to, just off my XML feeds.

I've pruned pretty much anything where somebody just sits and runs his mouth, and panel discussions as well, where a bunch of people sit and run their collective mouths. Just not my thing. An exception to this is the odd conference session that IT Conversations carries.

As you can see from my sidebar, I'm doing mostly geeky stuff, while avoiding "podcasts on podcasting". (That got old quick.) And I'm more interested in stuff that has a bit of a higher production quality. Tod Maffin, IT Conversations, Webtalk Radio, TWIAR, etc. I have stayed with Podcast From the Swamp, and just added Trucker Tom, which are more off-the-cuff, as it is nice to have a little of that sort of thing, and both guys have better quality cuffs (or at least more interesting), it seems.

I've also started playing around with Festival. Festival is a free (Open Source?) text-to-speech synthesizer. I'm using it to convert various articles to mp3 that I've found that I want to read but are longer than I want to read at the time. I've listened to 3 or 4 articles so far, and it's been interesting. Not great, but not so poor that I can't get used to it, and they're promising a new release real-soon-now. (Their website still says Oct 2004...) I'd like to play some more with different voices and options to see if I can make it better.

I've been downloading audio files from my church's website, LDS.org as well. They've done an audio version of most of the major lesson books, the past year of the Ensign (the official Church magazine), and select books as well. More than enough to keep me busy.

I keep toying with the idea of finding a way to record Real Audio streams to listen to offline. mplayer seems to be able to do that on Linux, and Replay Radio is a commercial program that does it for Windows. We'll see. Like I said, I'm getting almost enough stuff to listen to from podcasts, and can easily outstrip my listening time with Festival and LDS.org.

And I still love my Muvo as well. More on that shortly.

I can't see myself going back to radio at all. As radio shows come over to the podcast world, I might work them in. I can see myself getting tired of a few things on my list over time, and wanting to replace them, but figure out when shows are on that I want to listen to? Nah.

Podcasting is where it at!

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