Thursday, July 20, 2006

Podcasts and travelling fun...

I'm in Cowra this week visiting my grandfather and hoping to get a few quilt tops quilted. It's an eight hour drive from Tuncurry to Cowra, and I used to hate driving that far, constantly fiddling with the radio to find another station or changing CD's. But... enter the fantastic iPod, my birthday present in April of the year. Not only have I become a true music lover (as this is a quilting blog I'll largely ignore that side of the iPod here) but listening to podcasts makes the trip go by in a flash.

The Alex Anderson podcasts are up to about episode twenty-something, and they are rightly popular. Different in style to Simply Quilts, the podcasts are more 'behind the scenes with Alex'. At first you think - how could a quilting podcast, a subject that is such a visual craft medium work? And in some ways that is true. Most of the podcasts presume that you are familiar with the artists being interviewed or profiled. If you're not, there are usually weblinks on the podcast host's site to look at first. Once you've got that mental picture - go listen!

If you're not familiar with podcasting - the easiest way to imagine it is as a radio program that is taped and available for you to listen to at any time. There are no ads, usually no music in quilting and crafting podcasts, so it's like a radio interview show. With me so far?

Despite the name, you do not have to own an iPod to listen to podcasts. Any computer or mp3 player will do it. If listening through your computer make sure that the speakers are up to the job. You download individual podcasts from websites, just like you would download a pdf file or a picture, or you can subscribe through iTunes so you don't have to always remember to go to individual websites.

Depending on how much time you have, and what you are interested in, different podcasts will work for you. My current favourites are (of course) Alex Anderson, Craft Sanity and Crafty Pod. Craft Sanity is great for long car trips because her podcasts/programs are over an hour long and that hour flies. The other two are approx. 20-30mins each. I usually save several episodes so that I have a lot to listen to on long trips. My favourites from yesterday's trip? The Craft Sanity interview with Heidi from My Paper Crane and Alex's podcast with thread maestro's from Superior Threads.

I'll write a separate post on how to subscribe to these through iTunes, plus any other podcast bits and pieces that occur to me, but in the meantime why not load some podcasts onto your computer or mp3 player to listen to while you're quilting? You'll be hooked in no time.

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