Friday, August 05, 2005

Podcasting and the down fall of amateur radio 

I know it aggravates some hams when you talk about computers and the Internet as they see it as the down fall of amateur radio. I knew lots of hams in the early 1970's who felt the same way about two meter FM operations. Repeaters were going to be the down fall of amateur radio I heard on a number of occasions.

Now there is a new threat on the horizon. Internet radio in the form of Echo Link and Pod Casting of commercial radio. The fact that I can sit in my office at work and talk with my UHF hand held through a repeater in Monroeville to a ham sitting in his garden just south of Tokyo with the repeaters linked via the Internet is not really a threat. Neither is the fact that either one of us could have talked to the other with only a radio on one end of the connection. I could have been sitting with a headset plugged into my laptop or desktop computer and communicating by way of Echo Link to the repeater on the far end of the conversation without a radio being present.

I'm getting away from my topic though. I was having an enjoyable QSO on one the local repeaters the other evening, radios on both ends thank you very much, with WC3O and WB3BUW when the subject of Linux came up and this in turn lead to talking about broadcast call in talk shows with a technical bent to them. I found that Bill, WB3BUW, and I are both fans of Kim Komando Show which is syndicated on a number of radio stations around the country. Bill said that he thought Kim was going to start “Pod Casting” her show which I thought would be great.

If you haven't heard of Pod Casting you are obviously not a true “geek” because they have been into it from the very beginning. The term was coined after Apple's fantastically successful iPod portable MP3 player. Which was originally designed to allow one to carry your entire CD collection in your pocket or clipped to your belt. It wasn't long though until someone discovered that music is not the only content available in MP3 format. While listening to the Jerry Bowyer show one afternoon his oldest son had either called or was visiting the station and they were having a conversation about the iPod when Chris said that in addition to music that he had several speeches by John Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. on his iPod. This was to the best of my knowledge when Jerry became “pod cast” aware.

Much like blogging Pod Casting has blossomed over the last few years and continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. There are now a number of popular radio shows that exist only in cyberspace. In addition there are more and more radio program that archive their broadcasts on the net which means you can download them and listen to them on your time schedule. Ham radio operators are already familiar with the Amateur Radio Newsline bulletin service which is played on many repeaters across the country. That show also is “podcast” in that you can download each weeks show from their web site in MP3 format. One of the sites that I was telling Bill about has a wealth of information on it if you are in the Information Technology field. Bill asked me to put something on the blog about it thus the reason for this posting.

Check out the ITConversations web site for some good listening. This site has shows that cover a number of topics on computers. In addition they cover events where industry leaders appear and record some of the key speeches. Let me know if you enjoy it as much as I do.

For additional information on Pod Casting check out these web sites. Podcast.net which is a directory of Podcasts that are available. And Podcast News with the latest happenings in the world of Podcasting.

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