I'm one of those lucky folks who was able to get a free iPod by purchasing an Apple laptop. I already had a wonderful old Archos Jukebox, so I didn't expect an iPod to be a big deal in my life.
I was wrong.
It isn't difficult to drag MP3 files onto and off of the Jukebox, but that process is much more cumbersome than just plugging in my iPod and letting iTunes sync up all the new podcasts and remove all the ones I've heard. My morning jog is now a delight as I decide if I'll listen to the latest Open Source show with Christopher Lydon, or maybe there is a new Educational Technologists Coast to Coast podcast waiting to challenge me, or maybe Bud Hunt has recorded another gem that will help me move closer to the constructivist curriculum that I long to have in my classroom.
The list of podcasts that I'm exploring goes on and on, and I'm loving every minute of it. Even cleaning the kitchen is less of a chore when I can pull the shows I want to listen to rather than being at the mercy of what the radio stations decide to broadcast at that time. This is especially true now that my local public radio station seems to play the same shows over and over throughout the day.
Listening while I jog and while working around the house would have been enough of an addiction, but then at Target I discovered that Timex produces a $20 radio that comes with an auxiliary cable that plugs into an mp3 player's headphone jack, allowing the MP3 files to be played through the radio's speakers. I realize that iPod accessories abound in stores, but many of the accessories cost more than the iPod. In contrast, this radio is so reasonably priced that I bought one for work. Now I can listen to my iPod there even though the district's web filters prevent me from downloading any podcasts onto my computer. The radio doesn't have the sound quality of the more expensive systems, but it's working just fine for listening to podcasts.
The only real problem with all of this comes from listening to Radio Willow Web. Hearing the high quality podcasts those elementary children put out makes me itch to be podcasting with my students. However, I should probably get them blogging first. And I should get my Moodle up and running, and...