www.learnoutloud.com introduced me to the concept of podcasts and now I have got almost addicted to this new form of knowlege aquisition. Podcast seem to be more like radio programs or TV shows, but I find the former more flaxible and you have more choice in there as against the later. What you need to do is just subscribe to a podcast URL just like any RSS URL using any of the RSS readers like www.google.com/reader.
These podcasts could sometimes just be a text, but most of the cases they have audio or even video and one can just download these mp3 or m4vs to your mp3 player and there you go !!! You can listen to the podcats of your interest literally, at any time of the day, no matter what yuo are doing, whether you are travelling or walking or just sitting idle,waiting for a train. You definitely got to be real choosy about these podcast though, as there are ample number of podcasts available on internet. So do a little research, spend little time in browsing, till you get the content and quality of your desire.
The categories of podcasts that I would recommend are music,travel, language and self development. But there are many more and you can tune into to the ones of your liking.Currently I am getting addicted to these travel podcasts and can’t miss any of those episodes and they are really wonderful. The two most desirable are mytravelreviews by Gary Bembridge and radio shows by Rick Steves. Gary has a very typical lucid style of his own to give a brief introduction to the place of visit and then few tips for travellers. The radio shows by Rick Steves are more of a thorough and rich cultural experience. Generally a local tour guide from the city or country, in subject, takes you through the local historical, cultural and culinary experiences. The show is quite interactive and gives you a flair of the culture, the language and the local food.
Rick seems to have made his childhood hobby into a enjoyable profession and he has ample to offer for tourists. Personally he seems to have travelled all across Europe and the way of travel seem to be more of back packing and travelling light. He likes to get onto the streets and villages and talk with the locals to get a pure cultural experience. His website offers guidebooks , language phrasebooks, free spirited or organised tours, radio podcasts and DVDs of his TV shows.
Celtic music seemed to me to be the most interesting in the music category and the self development podcast by Bill Harris and Robin Sharma are quite inspiring. Many of these things that these inspiration gurus talk about seem to be impractical at times, but if you could sitback and think a little, you will realize that, you keep running arround, doing so many things, for your organization or for the client you serve, or the daily duties eveyday. At the end of the day you immerse yourself into watching TV or do the weekly shopping and so many mundane things on weekends. But do you actaully spend some time out of it for yourself, planning, organizing, relaxing, reading, educating or working on a new hobby. The answer would mostly be negative. And that is where, these insprational podasts come into picture. You can actually learn how to live life apart from doing everyday duties.
Brian Jhonson publishes his daily wisdom on zaadz.com, while you can subcribe to some of the great advises by Robin Sharma on his website. Most of these mp3s are purely inspirational, with a mix of ample practical advises. Listenening to them regularly sharpens your abilities to manage, organise, take on new ventures and your ourlook towards life. What matters is how consistantly you do it and how much faith you have in your own abilities to take them to greater heights. These guyz do not talk anything different, but basically the same knowledge that has been pondered over by many great philosophers and thinkers for centuries. What matters is how you filter it out and adapt it to suit your needs.
Language skill is one more area which is very interesting as well as fruitful. Language can help you connect with people easily and win their hearts. So if you like travelling, learning new languages, to the extent of saying Hello and Good Morning, it is a nice mental exercise. You can get closer to the people, get little intricate with their culture and show some respect to their traditions.
There are ample podcasts on improving your communication and vocabulary in English. For kids, you can find ample podcasts with nice enlightening stories such as bedtime stories ,weekly story for kids etc. In fact there is no end to it and the list is vast, just google and explore what you like. Take a little taste of it, to begin with and then you can have your own subscriptions.
I am compiling a list of podcasts that I have added into my google reader. I would publish them in my next blog.