This is a little tough for me. On one hand I have lots to write about, on the other hand I don't have enough time. I don't even know what language to write in - English, Portuguese, both? Do I want to talk about just anything that comes to mind? Do I want to structure it at all? Will anyone read this, ever?
Oh well... We'll just see how it goes.
Just got an email from a good friend of mine, Marcelo Batalha -- a wonderful singer, poet, blogger and all-around great guy. See his blog "Cinzas de Batalha" here (in Portuguese). He said he doesn't know a thing about podcasts, which in my mind are very close to blogs. So why don't we talk a little about that?
I've gotten into podcasts fairly recently. Apple made it easier by adding it directly to iTunes. Basically a podcast is nothing but an mp3 file with an RSS or Atom feed associated to it. People "subscribe" to a podcast channel and their "podcatcher" software automatically downloads new mp3s when available. The podcasts are then either transferred to an mp3 player like the iPod (thus the name podcast) or can be just played locally with an mp3 player software.
You can go to one of my favorite sites, Wikipedia, for more details on podcasts. We should definitely talk about Wikipedia sometime.
Some people think podcasts are the new "radio". Currently there's that feeling of a newly formed, excited community, as in the early days of the Internet or Blogging. There is podsafe music, licensed under a Creative Commons license so it can be used free of charge. There are plenty of amateur and commercial podcasts now, pretty much about anything. Just as the Web allows anyone to publish a web page, podcasts allow anyone to broadcast radio - all one needs is time, a computer and a microphone. VOIP software like Skype also allows for easy collaboration, even if people are in different locations. So there's plenty of crap, and plenty of good stuff.
The single biggest difference from radio, in my opinion, apart from the possibility of anyone broadcasting is that since a podcast file is downloaded locally, you can "time-shift", or in other words, you can listen to it at any time, fast forward, rewind, replay, etc.
Here's a list of podcasts I like:
TWIT with Leo Laporte - tech news
Engadget - gadgets
Cinecast - movies
Inside the Magic - Disney World
The Secrets - for writers
I'm still trying to find good podcasts in Portuguese. I mean not boring, fairly informative, fairly good sound quality and no breathing on the mike or silly laughing with non-funny jokes all the time. Suggestions are welcome.
So grab the new iTunes, click on podcasts and browse or search. You may find gems, you may find turds, but it should be interesting.
Till next time,