Public radio and podcasting

Mark Ramsey points us to an interesting piece by “The Long Tail’s” Chris Anderson on how his listening behavior to public radio has been transformed by podcasting.

“I realized that I don’t really support my local affiliate. I love some of the shows it broadcasts and hate others. My attachments are to individual shows, not to a broadcast station. My engagement with public radio is at a more granular level than the affiliate.

Now that I get my radio via podcast, I don’t have to take the bad shows with the good. I’ve got an a la carte menu, and I assemble my own schedule with what I want and when I want it.

But look at the arc of history here. The podcast model is getting cheaper and more ubiquitously available (who doesn’t have a cellphone?), and it serves individual needs and taste better. Meanwhile the broadcast model, which is all about one-size-fits-all taste, is based on human labor costs and costly transmission equipment and is only getting more expensive. You can see how this story ends.”

I’ve had the same guilty thoughts about my own listening habits. I like a lot of NPR programs but listen to them as podcasts. And I would be willing to pay for the best shows (This American Life, for example).

IpodspeakerAnd my morning listening routine has improved with the purchase of a small speaker/doc for my iPod nano. Each evening iTunes downloads any new podcasts to which I’m subscribed, and syncs to the nano. In the morning I pop the nano into the speaker dock and listen to a perfectly customized line-up of progams.

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