In my last Blue 2.0 post, located here, I blogged about photo sites and video sites. I skipped talking about podcasting at that time. So, that's what I'm doing now.
I have never made a podcast and have no plans on ever doing one. I don't like my recorded voice, plus I don't know that I have much I would want to say that I couldn't just write about. I have heard of podcasting for a long time, but my experience is actually kind of limited.
For those who don't know what podcasting is it is very much like radio. However, instead of being on the radio you are broadcasting over the Internet. You can listen to podcasts over the Internet, or download them to an iPod so you can listen to them whenever you want.
The first time I heard the word "podcast" it was from some of my blog reading and it was from the Catholic blogs that I first heard the term. I saw mention of a podcast from Cardinal Arinze. I'm not sure who Cardinal Arinze is exactly but several people were talking about how wonderful his podcasts were. So for this assignment I decided to try and go find them. Unfortunately I couldn't get them to play. I don't have an iPod or an iTunes subscription, so I have to listen to them through the Internet. However, I wasn't able to get the files to work. But I saw the list of recent podcasts (and video-casts) that he's done. He's spoken about JPII's Theology of the Body, Pope Benedict's encyclical Deus Caritas est (which I'm currently reading), and many other topics, from Catholic apologetics to faith questions and answers. I wish I could listen to them! I've heard that they are wonderful!
It's not exactly a podcast, but I listen to the radio itself frequently through the Internet. I especially enjoy Relevant Radio. I listen to it locally in my car on AM1380 or online when I'm at work. Up until now, this is probably the closest I have come to listening to a podcast. And actually, the local station has to power down some between sunset and sunrise, so the station is difficult to hear at night. Thus, if I want to hear something and the station has powered down, I can still pull it up online and listen to it clearly there. That's definitely a nice benefit of the Internet and radio, especially when you want to listen to a station that has FCC limitations put on it.
Today, once my searching for the Cardinal Arinze podcasts failed, I decided to just do a search for Catholic Podcasts. I ran into one called CatholicInsider.com. I found the archive of podcasts here. It didn't look like I could listen to many of the older broadcasts, but the 3-4 more recent ones were available. I'm listening to one now in which the priest doing the podcast is in Winnipeg and he's taking a tour of an old cathedral in that area. He's obviously used to doing podcasts, because he's being careful to describe what he sees and where they are and everything. So it's easy to listen and not be able to see where he is and see what he sees. I don't really care for the website itself. It isn't very intuitive (at least not for me) and I don't like that I can't listen to previous podcasts without subscribing through iTunes, which I don't plan on doing. Actually, many of the sites I visited were confusing. I either couldn't listen to the downloads because I didn't have iTunes or the file was not recognized on my machine or the links just weren't there. I found this exercise a little frustrating.
Podcasts are interesting, but I'm not sure I could get into listening to them on a regular basis. I'm also not sure what the benefits would be to libraries. I still think video tutorials would be much better for students. Personally, I don't think I'll become I regular user of podcasts. At least not while I'm in the dark ages of preferring live radio.
But before I write it off entirely, I will say one positive thing I discovered recently about podcasts. My husband and I support an organization called the Couple to Couple League. This organization teaches and promotes Natural Family Planning. Recently they have gone through a major overhaul of all their teaching materials, methods, charting materials, and website. Everything was in dire need of updating and the new stuff looks great (we especially love the new charts they made, much easier to use!!). They are also moving to more online stuff than they have had in the past. And one of their online things to be coming soon (according to the recent magazine we got) is podcasts about NFP. I don't think anything is up yet, but I do think this is a good idea. It's a great way for NFP to be promoted and to provide discussions on different aspects of this method. Now that I've experimented some with using podcasts, I am curious to see how easy or difficult CCLI's podcasts will be once they put them online.