Wednesday August 16th 2006, 10:43 am

size of a Bic lighter, plays all day on a chargeMP3 players are much more useful than just for playing musc. Tiny players should be on all news junkies’ kit list. American National Public Radio and Australian ABC are podcasting powerhouses, making quite a lot of their on-air content available as podcasts.

I have a couple of players; a big 20Gb hard drive type with a large screen for video and a little 512Mb Samsung YP-U2, about the size of a Bic lighter, for ultraportable audio playing- and recording, for up to 10 hours continuously with its built-in mic. The bigger player can also do audio, but its hard drive system is very power hungry. The small player is based on solid-state Flash memory and can play all 512Mb (about 12 hours) on a single charge from my computer’s USB port.

I use Doppler as a podcast aggregator. Doppler automatically retrieves my favourite podcasts in the early hours of the morning, during my ISP’s off-peak data traffic hours, and puts them in a directory for later transfer to a player. They can also be played on my desktop machine with Winamp.

If you’d like to hear some of the news and current affairs programs I download regularly, you can download my current OPML file, which may be compatible with other podcasting aggregator applications.

One podcast no one should miss is the weekly Media Matters with Dr. Robert McChesney, a media studies professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Bob also operates, a media reform think tank. Bob gets right on the issues of malfeasance, intended or otherwise, in mainstream mass media. Much of what happens in US media is directly applicable in Australia, to boot.

You can turn that long commute into a fascinating, twice daily lecture session with an FM radio adaptor, which allows you to listen to your MP3 player on your car radio speakers- but be warned about the cheaper FM adaptors. Because the FM adaptors rely on vacant space on your local FM band, they are subject to noise and distortion from broadcasts on a nearby frequency. Better quality FM adaptors can cover the entire FM band instead of a little bit around 87-88MHz. FM adaptors which can cover the entire band give you more opportunities to find empty space for interference-free podcast listening. The better option for in-car podcast listening is to connect the player’s headphone output directly to the car radio, provided you have a good quality radio with a ‘line level’ input.

Happy podding. 🙂


6 Comments so far
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It is an amazing technology Weez. I never miss LNL or the Philosopher’s Zone. Hindsight, Rear Vision, Ockham’s Razor and The Science Show are also some of my favs.

Comment by Dave 08.17.06 @ 6:15 pm

Dave, I especially like my little flash memory player. Impervious to vibration or shock, almost exactly the same size and weight as a Bic lighter.

If it were any smaller, the practicality would be lost. The buttons on the sides of the player are impractically small, requiring hamfisted me to use a fingernail to operate them.

512Mb was the lower practical limit for memory in my case as I often listen to the player 8-10 hours per day. When multi-Gb level flash mem players become more financially practical, I may upgrade.

Comment by weez 08.17.06 @ 8:44 pm

Hi check out this It was set up by Al Gore


Comment by Geoff 08.18.06 @ 9:50 pm

Thanks for that, Geoff. I had a friend mention that one to me just the other day. Haven’t been there yet, but I surely will have a look in.

Comment by weez 08.18.06 @ 9:54 pm

It is going to be an interesting site to watch. The media paradymn is starting to change which has been expected for the past 14 years by people I know at least. I know the blogs etc have been around but this is more of a redefinition of the mass media than what has been happening of the fringes. By the way love your blog, and read it when ever I can. If you ever get any hard core coding problems let me know and I will help you out. I like seeing a wide range on opinions on offer.


Comment by Geoff 08.19.06 @ 3:14 am

Thanks for sharing your OPML file. My iriver overfloweth.

Comment by suki 08.19.06 @ 10:11 am

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