It started with my friend [Phil’s](http://www.momathome.com/viewfromhome/2005/06/macphilly_podca.php) [podcast](http://www.momathome.com/viewfromhome/2005/06/macphilly_podca.php) and now I’m finding this whole podcast-listening craze kinda fun. It got me through the packing and cleaning of the house, that’s for sure. I’d load up a few hours of shows of my iPod Shuffle and get to work. When the battery ran down or I got to the end (whichever came first) I’d take a break and reload.

I reformat my Shuffle to work on the PC, since my G5 will be out of commission for another week or so. Didn’t work at first. Had to use [Apple’s new live support chat](http://www.apple.com/support/chat) to figure out what was wrong. I could have Googled the answer, but I was curious about how Apple’s chat support would be. Result: Nathan, the nice Apple guy got to the problem eventually…the side USB ports on the Inspiron are not “powered” like the back ones are (after trying a few different suggestions that didn’t work). However, imagine having a conversation with someone on the phone where there is dead silence for up to a minute after every sentence. At least when you are on the phone you can hear the other guy breathing. Maybe even get some music. My guess is that Nathan wasn’t sitting there hanging on every word. He was probably handling multiple chat windows at the same time so I had to wait my turn in his “sweep.” It worked for what I needed it for, but next time I need Apple support I will probably pick up the phone.

I’m not serious enough about podcasts to buy dedicated software, I’ll probably use the next version of iTunes to maintain my subscriptions. In the meantime, I’m trying [iPodder](http://ipodder.sourceforge.net/index.php). Not bad. Downloads are fast. Only quibble is that it’s not reliably transferring the casts to iTunes. Often I have to manually import the downloaded file or select “listen in player” to get the file over. Oh well.

Once the file is in iTunes, I drag & drop it in to my iPod. I like iPodder’s “clean up” tab which deletes unchecked files in iTunes. Once a feed has been played, I uncheck it and it’s bye-bye.

For some reason, I can read a personal blog that talks about nothing all that important (like mine) but listening to one? Ick. Wayne’s World is fun only to a point. The podcasts I’ve been listening to have been techy or are interview/fan based. Like I’m enjoying [This Week in Tech](http://www.thisweekintech.com) which is by all the guys that used to work for TechTV before it became a gaming channel. And there’s [this one](http://www.gigadial.net/public/station/12263) that’s New Jersey related. Eric and I finally saw Star Wars III on Friday night, so listening to the podcast from [TheForce.net](http://theforce.net/) was fun.

Even just a handful of podcasts can be 6+ hour of listening. I have 8 hours on it right now, 12 files from the last few days. I can skim through blogs at breakneck speed but with listening (on a shuffle, at least), you either get the whole thing or you skip to the next one. No scanning your eyes over all the content to decide if the whole thing is worth your time or not. Have to be pickier with the “subscribe” button.

I really have to get new headphones already. Ears. Hurt.