I'm a podcast addict. Have been for years, when the podcasters I listened to became daily companions, and my Radio 4 habit moved from the radio itself to the downloadable/portable version. The situation is even worse now, since I've upgraded my phone and now have the magic to ensure all my favourites are downloaded automatically as they are released. I regularly end up with a dozen hours or so of podcast material sitting waiting patiently for me to go for a long walk, or be stuck on a train.
And that's fine... I walk to and from the station every day, to exercise classes a few times a week, and I listen all the time. Often it is as an accompaniment to knitting – the 10 minute train journey to work is less irritating and more productive if I'm knitting and listening to a podcast than if I'm just waiting for us to get somewhere.*
Why listen to podcasts? I work in an office without radio, so can't listen to most things live. Even Saturday Live, that bastion of British slow weekend listening, is on at a time when I might need to be running errands / prefer to be in the great outdoors. Being freed from the radio schedules enables me to catch up with Start the Week, In Our Time, or Ramblings at a quiet moment in the week.
I'm also freed from radio reception – so I can listen to podcasts from France or further afield that I would not be able to pick up on my radio, and which mean I can practice what my teachers always preached – listening to actual French on a regular basis.
It also means I can pick up on the plethora of podcasts which are not tied to the radio, and feed my knitting habit! In my actual daily life there are sadly few knitterly encounters, but with the Knitmore Girls, Shiny Bees, APlayful Day, Caithness Craft Collective, Knit British, Down CellarStudio, 2 Knit-Lit Chicks, Commuter Knitter, Prairie Girls Knit andSpin and Yarns from the Plain, I have a wide range of knitting 'friends' with their fingers on the pulse of current knit-culture, and I can keep up with them all (almost!)
A final benefit to this podcast habit? A saving in eye-strain. I work with a screen all day, and as the years creep on, I find that by the end of the day I'm sometimes too tired to watch another screen. So I switch on my podcast, and am entertained and informed.
Are you a fellow listener? If you're laughing to yourself on the train, is it because of something they said? Who are your favourites? Do you have a preferred listening station?
*This is why I don't succeed in staying up to date with videocasts – the times I listen are not times when I can be looking at a screen, though I do sometimes prise myself up early enough in a morning to catch 20 minutes with the Knitgirllls before I have to leave!