Podcasting: Different strokes...

I don't currently listen to "podcasts" (and am still not sure how they differ from previous web audio streams, except for the In name)--much as I don't listen to audiobooks.

And that's me.

I also would be unlikely to start doing podcasts, because speaking isn't normally a way I organize what I want to say (when I do a speech, there's almost always a full-text written version, even if I vary from it a lot).

And that's also me.

One early library-related podcaster has/had a blog that lapsed into inactivity. He's now doing a stream of podcasts. Apparently, talking through what he has to say is more natural for him than putting together blog entries or written journals.

And that's him.

Some librarians are excited about podcasts, both because they find audio speech a good way to take in information and because they believe it might be another way for libraries to spread the word.

And that's them.

If you're looking for an attack on podcasts, you've come to the wrong journal. Different people have different preferred learning styles or, for that matter, taking-in-entertainment styles. Different people have different preferred creation/organization styles. This is a case where "YMMV" becomes the heading I've used once or twice in C&I: "The way we're wired."

I've wanted to try speech-recognition software--but realized that I'm more likely to sit down and write through something than I am to sit down and talk through it (when it's something that belongs in print, that is). That's my style.

Of course, if we had highly accurate multivoice speech recognition software and, conversely, human-sounding text-to-speech software (which we may have, for all I know), people could mix-and-match to suit their own preferences: I could read these podcasts as text, and people could listen to Cites & Insights (which I believe they can anyway: I certainly don't disable TTS in the PDF files, although as a dumb XP user I also don't get how to start TTS).

Anyway, I think this falls into "to each their own"--and, to be sure, accessibility. My preference for text over speech as a source method is just that: Mine. I do not claim universality.
If podcasts work for you and yours, great.

Comments

The difference between podcast and audio stream

The difference is that a podcast is a file that I can download and listen to at my leisure, as opposed to a live audio stream that tethers me to my computer, usually at a very inconvenient time. I do listen to audio streams at work, but they're internet music radio, which is fine background while I do something else (which I know that you don't do). I'm not going to listen to professional development on my computer in the middle of the day, because professional development requires concentration, and in the middle of the day I'm using my limited quantity of concentrating on work.

I do have time to listen to a podcast in the car while I'm driving to work. If I wasn't the driver, then printing out an essay would probably beat podcasting for me, because I'd rather read than listen. But propping reading material on the steering wheel is generally frowned upon.

Re:The difference between podcast and audio stream

OK, so a podcast is like an MP3 file with speech content. (Or like the files that Audible sells/rents?) Makes perfectly good sense to me--as does your potential use. Thanks for the clarification.

I was once like you...

Until I had a listen. Karen has great voice and delivery and Greg is chocked full of neat stuff. I'd recommend a listen if you're bored or qurious. I was suprised how much I liked them both.

Re:I was once like you...

Blake,

It's both time and preference. My commute--which is only 10-12 minutes each way--is about the only time I listen to music anymore (from mix CD-Rs, from my CD collection, and if it's after 4 p.m. I'm likely to listen to Marketplace instead), and I don't have an MP3 player in the car (or, for the moment, anywhere else except my PC). I don't listen to stuff while I'm writing.

So, in addition to my preference for reading, there's just no time. I have no doubt that Karen and Greg are both doing great work here. I trust that my post wasn't putting down podcasting. It's just not my thing, not today at least. (Always that qualifier: Times change, things change.)

By analogy: There are people who might find portions of C&I useful but who don't read it because PDF isn't their thing or because they prefer weblogs--or maybe even because they find listening to commentary suits their needs, tastes, and schedule better than reading it does. I respect that. There's always too much available stuff out there; we use various ways to cut the firehose down to a reasonable stream.

Re: Your commute

If I hear you braggin about your damn commute one more time I'm gonna... well, I dunno what I'll do, but it's going to involve you driving in all that California traffic I keep hearing about. Those of that spend over an hour a day commuting each day are resentful, bitter and angry.Just you wait till LISNews gets bought out by Microsoft and I can work from home, then I'll have my sweet revenge.As for the broadcasts, have a listen if time allows some day, I was really suprised how much I liked them. Karen's is only like a minute and half.I have no MP3 player in the car so I've got Howard in the morning, Don & Mike in the afternoon, and NPR both ways every day. I don't own an Ipod or use an RSS reader, I am leading such a 1990's life!

Re: My commute

Chill out, dude! (Probably the only time I'll use that phrase this year--maybe this decade.)

Think $650-$700 per square foot. That's what a short commute costs in Silicon Valley, in our little city, right now. (Don't think about the weather here: You'll just get more resentful, bitter and angry. But we pay a price for that weather: $650-$700 per square foot. Average. For old houses on small lots. OK, we didn't pay that much 6 years ago. We only paid about $450 a square foot)

When we moved to Mountain View--because my wife started working where I do and really hated the commute through that California traffic--the increment we paid, to move from a little old house to an even smaller older house nine miles away, was more than the total that a colleague in Rochester paid for a house about twice the size of ours.

Truthtelling: Once you own a house, Silicon Valley ain't all that pricey. But the house price is a killer. If we didn't already live here (and have, in the general area, for 26 years), we probably couldn't afford to move here--and we'd have hour-long commutes or worse.

Re: $650-$700 per square foot

dear lord! (Probably the only time I'll use that phrase this year--maybe this decade.)We paid well under $100. $100 here in Buffalo is high average, over that is rather pricey, I doubt you could pay $650-$700 or even $450 if you WANTED to here.

Re: $650-$700 per square foot

oh, and yes, now I'm bragging! So there.

Re: $650-$700 per square foot

Yep. Life is usually tradeoffs; location is almost always tradeoffs. We live simply, in a "starter house," with no room for new possessions--but we have short commutes and actually know most of our neighbors: it's an honest-to-gosh neighborhood. In which both parents or adults almost always work, almost always at tech-related professional-level jobs.

Re: $650-$700 per square foot

In case you get those email notification thingies, I couldn't pass this one up, just so you know I'm not fabricating these prices (you know what a rep I have for making things up, right?):

$650-$700 is the AVERAGE for last month, for the entire zip code. Not for my neighborhood...

We looked at a house up for sale just a block from us, two weekends ago. Even smaller than our tiny house--1100 sq. ft. to our 1170 sq. ft. They'd done a nice job with that small amount of space, and had a great yard and patio. Still, a 60-year-old house on a busier street than ours... and they were asking a price that was basically $800 a square foot. We guessed that was about what they'd get, staggering though it was.

We got the neighborhood mailing from the agents today: It sold, with multiple offers...for $900 a square foot, $990,000. With a final sale less than two weeks after the single open house.

And the economists all say that the worst we're likely to encounter around here is a slowdown of price increases to single-digit annual percentage increases.

In most of the U.S, "asking price" is the owner's ideal. Here, it's the base price from which bidding starts...

And you probably already know that in these parts, with single-story ranchers, the sq. ft. is just what it says. No basement. No usable attic space.

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