How an iPod Nano changed my life
I'm terrible at giving good gifts, I must admit. My wife surprised me with a slick new "fatty" iPod Nano 8GB for Christmas 2007. The obvious first step for me was to load up iTunes and import my MP3 library and have something great to jam to while mowing the lawn. It turns out this little device opened up a whole new world for me.
When I'm in front of my computer I typically have some work to do and not necessarily the attention to give to a web-based audio or video show. However, the iPod is ideal for listening to stuff while walking, driving, or doing some mindless activity. I didn't anticipate discovering the multitude of free audio and video podcasts that I had never before bothered to check out!
Now, to feed my addiction, I've had to remove all my music tracks from the iPod to make room for all the podcasts I hope to absorb. This stuff turned out to be so much more engaging, and in some ways interactive, than unidirectional music. I could find my niche subject matter, listen to what they have to say, then go to their blog or forums and get involved.
What could be so amazing to blog about a device that's been out for years? No, it's not the device. It's the increasingly expanding "new media" platform that I think is already competing with traditional "old media" TV and radio.
There's a bunch of shows I've been watching regularly that I'd like to share. Let's take a look at my podcast selections by category:
- Deep Fried Bytes - Audio talk show on .NET development by Keith Elder and Chris Woodruff.
- Hanselminutes - Scott Hanselman's audio podcast on .NET development.
- Herding Code - Audio talk show on .NET development by K Scott Allen, Kevin Dente, Scott Koon, Jon Galloway.
- Polymorphic Podcast - Audio talk show on .NET development by Craig Shoemaker.
- Software Engineering Radio - Audio talk show on professional software development technology and techniques. Many eclectic subjects are discussed, so you're sure to learn something new.
- Stack Overflow Podcast - Weekly audio podcast covering developer topics arising from building and maintaining the stackoverflow.com developer Q&A site.
- commandN - Weekly video podcast on technology/web news, reviews, and how-to's.
- Cranky Geeks - Weekly video talk show hosted by PC Magazine's John C. Dvorak.
- Hak5 - Weekly video show covering security, forensics, hacking, modding, and gaming.
- Linux Action Show! - An exuberant pro-Linux show featuring segments covering latest developments, technology, and usefulness of Linux.
- net@night - A weekly TWiT audio show covering internet culture, web-based technologies, and other interesting developments impacting the net, hosted by Leo LaPorte and Amber MacArthur.
- Security Now! - My other favorite TWiT audio show discussing security in today's technology, hosted by Leo and Steve Gibson. Steve goes in-depth of the important topics to give the best understanding of the complicated security issues that come up time after time and what you can do about them.
- Systm - If you're into building, fabricating, and modding computers, devices, or other technology, this is your show. This is a weekly Revision3 video show hosted by Patrick Norton and David Calkins
- Tekzilla - Another great Revision3 video show reviewing all kinds of end-user technology and gadgets, hosted by Veronica Belmont and Patrick Norton
- Surprise! Podcast |
Hardread Podcast |
BitJam Podcast - I have a soft spot for electronica, particularly from the demoscene. These groups, while not all active, have released some great muxes of new and well known tunes. Check out Surprise! 17, 7, and 5.
- Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders - Stanford University's weekly lectures on entrepreneurship
- Beer Is Tasty - Beer. The Jupiter Broadcasting guys talk about what matters to all guys. Beer.
- DiggNation - Come on... You read tech blogs and you don't already watch this?
- The Digg Reel - Weekly video show featuring the latest funny and amazing videos dugg up on Digg.com.
- Autoblog - Writers for Autoblog rant and rave about car reviews, automotive industry news, and latest car show releases. If you like flipping through Motor Trend, Car and Driver, and Automobile then this is for you.
- Car Talk - Learn about troubleshooting car problems, human error, and have a few laughs.
- SPEED Engine Block - A periodic dose of SPEED TV's programming.
There's more than enough here for me to keep occupied and educated on the bus to work, long drives to see the relatives, or just mowing the lawn.
A note about iPod use in the car
In many states, it's illegal (and ridiculous) to use ear buds while driving. So, if I don't have an iPod jack, I get by with the Griffin iTrip FM transmitter. It works, but it's signal to too weak to broadcast cleanly unless you're holding it in your hand. Also, there's not enough open radio stations in Philadelphia and South Jersey to use it; but Wilmington, DE and South down to my house works ok on 105.5 FM. My Galant has an Alpine head unit and so I was able to get a cheap Ai-Net iPod adapter that feeds into the auxilliary input and it sounds great. Don't use an adapter that feeds from the iPod headphone jack, it'll sound terrible.
About Shawn Poulson / Exploding Coder
Software developer and designer
I'm a software developer in the Philadelphia/Baltimore metro area that loves web technology and creating compelling and useful applications. This blog was created to showcase some of my ideas and share my passion and experiences with others in the same field. Read more...