Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Keeping Up and Podcasts

   Recently I was talking with a colleague about keeping up with information. We actually were comparing smartphones. During the conversation we talked about podcasts and podcatching software. I'll talk about what I use below.
   We are talking about what podcasts we listen to.  One thing that was surprised me was that he mentioned that many technical people he interacts with don't listen to podcasts! I found that surprising. I figured most technical and security people know all about podcasts. Podcasts are hardly new.
   There are podcasts for all kinds of subjects. I listen to podcasts about security, technology, sports, news, science, leadership, getting things done/productivity and other subjects.
   I think that listening to podcasts is one of the best ways to both learn and keep up.

   My favorite podcatcher is DoggCatcher. Is is a pay app, but it really handles everything I need to find feeds, organize feeds and listen to podcasts. But there's one key feature why I use DoggCatcher. I used to use Google Listen (which is no longer available but was free) and that lacked this key feature... the ability to speed up the audio! There is a plug-in tool called the Presto Sound Library. You can speed up the audio, but what makes this work is that it doesn't change the pitch of the voices.  You can choose what speed multiplier you want to use. I find that 1.5x is fine for just about any podcast. Sometimes I listen at 1.7x. Now I can compress even more learning into my day!
   Here's a good article listing and comparing some good podcatching apps. All of these are fori android. I don't use iPod/iPhone so don't know what the good choices are for that platform.

   Here are some of my favorite podcasts: (note: I do have a bunch of choices from the TWiT network. They have a great selection and do a great job)

Scientific American 60-second (there's a bunch of these like science, health, etc.)


Quick-and-Dirty tips (there are a bunch of these)

Football Weekly (soccer)


   This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but just a list of some of my favorites.

   Do you listen to podcasts?  If so, what are some of your favorites? Do you have some listening suggestions for me?

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