When do you listen to podcasts?

    by Mark Glaser
    June 16, 2006

    The idea behind podcasts is that you can set up your portable MP3 player to automatically get new podcasts so you can listen to them on the go. But not everyone listens to podcasts the same way. One podcast service provider, Podtrac, found that 56% of podcast listeners (and viewers of video podcasts) actually enjoy their podcasts on their computers and not on portable devices. (You can read more about Podtrac’s survey here.) One problem with the nascent podcasting business is that there’s no uniform way to track the popularity of podcasts or find out who is listening to podcasts rather than simply downloading them. So tell us how you listen or view podcasts — on your computer, your iPod, your laptop, your smart phone? I’ll share the best answers in next week’s Your Take Roundup.

    • I subscribe to about a dozen podcasts using itunes. I load them into my portable mp3 player and listen to them during my daily walk. One nice feature of itunes is that I set it up to only save the last five of each subscription. This reduces the clutter on my computer hard drive.
      My three favorite electronic gadgets are my computer, my mp3 player and my digital camera.

    • Mostly on my desktop, in iTunes– I have a car adapter for my iPod, but my commute is so short that firing up a podcast is kind of pointless– by the time I get to work, Steve Gilmor would still be in commercials ;)

    • Work-related podcasts are picked up by my news aggregator (FeedDemon) and played back on computer at work.
      Personal interest podcasts all go through itunes on the home computer and straight to the ipod which I listen to while commuting or doing yardwork or pacing the floor with a cranky baby.
      Since there are so many personal interest podcasts, I buffer last 10 podcasts and cherry-pick from those based on subjects. Probably only listen to 40% of all podcasts that cycle through the iPod, though rates vary widely by podcast.
      This gives a distinct advantage to the podcasts that include good descriptions of episodes(C-SPAN, Ad Age) versus thost that only bother to list dates (ABC ThisWeek)

    • On my walk to/from work (about 35 minutes each way), and at the gym. Rarely at my computer (it would annoy my co-workers!).

    • Malcolm Thomson

      I am not a friend of the term “podcast”, since personal media devices such as the iPod are only one of the several available platforms giving access to ‘webcasts’, both ‘audiocasts’ and ‘videocasts’.

      My own platform of choice is my office computer. The ‘audiocasts’ simply run in the background while I work, just like old-fashioned steam radio.

      My choice of ‘videocasts’ takes up about a quarter hour of my midday break.

      I reckon I’ll remain computer-centric. A video iPod is not the gadget of choice for a grandfather who uses reading glasses!

    • Craig Ettinger

      I listen to podcasts during my commute to and from work. I also listen to them at 2am when I’m lying in my 3 year old son’s room trying to get him back to sleep – helps keep me sane at that hour.

    • I listen to podcasts in exactly the same place as I used to listen to webcasts and web conference calls: usually whilst working on something else. I like to keep my iPod free of research and business related content so that its music selection better screens me from the countless other people squeezed into the London Underground.

      Podcasts are largely work listening, the iPod is me time.

    • I almost always listen to podcasts in my car. As I am primarily using my car in the summertime (for sports), I am – what you could call – a seasonal podcast-listener. I almost never listen to podcasts during wintertime, where I primarily use my cars for shorter trips.

    • I usually listen (Mom don’t read this) while on my bike. if I still took the subway to work I would listen then, but the bike has now filled that role in my life. I also listen to them on my computer if I’m working from home once NPR & C-SPAN switch from the morning shows to their daytime programming which usually doesn’t hold my interest as much.

    • I subscribe to podcasts on iTunes from my work PC and synch it every monday, and usually listen to the episodes on my way from/to work, during flights and some times over the weekend. I avoid listening to podcasts while working because it distracts me. In this case, I rather listen to music.

    • Chris Knight

      I download my podcasts on Monday morning and listen to them during my 30 minute commutes to and from work througth my car stereo (which I purchased specifically due to it’s AUX input right on the front). I listen to them in place of the talk radio that filled my drive time previously. I choose mostly tech podcasts (Twit, the Digital story, Diggnation along with a couple new music shows).

    • Nathaniel Ziering

      Ironically I only listen to my podcasts on my home computer and never on my Ipod. I listen to short NPR pieces that I miss during the day and listen while “trolling the net” in the evening.

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