Audio is the most intimate of all media. When the ears meet technology, it’s a marriage made in heaven.
When I talk to lawyers about content creation, their minds automatically go to either blogging or video creation. But for the beginner and expert alike, the ears are often the best target.
In fact, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has said that compared to TV, “radio is an intimate medium.” The sound of a familiar voice makes you feel at ease, and the theater of the mind takes over.
Luckily, we no longer need to spend big bucks on radio spots to achieve the same intimacy.
What Is A Podcast?
A podcast is an audio file that can be automatically downloaded to a computer or mobile device through a subscription mechanism.
I subscribe to a podcast, the audio is delivered to me automatically when it’s published, and I listen to it when and where I see fit. It’s the subscription model of content delivery, audio-style.
The name is an unfortunate mashup of the words “broadcast” and “iPod” – a term that has made the concept of audio-on-demand seem far more difficult than it is.
Most podcasts are nothing more than mp3 files, the de facto standard format for audio delivered online. Adam Curry (one of the original MTV veejays) worked with Dave Winer to figure out how to automate the delivery and syncing of textual content to portable audio players through an RSS feed.
In other words, when you subscribe to a podcast you’re really entering an RSS feed into your podcasting program. The program grabs the audio file and saves it for you when the RSS feed is updated.
Biggest Podcasting Programs
There are a number of desktop programs that allow you to subscribe to and download podcasts (sometimes called podcatchers). The biggest one is iTunes, but there are others such as:
- iPodder: Windows / Mac / Linux
- Juice: Windows / Mac / Linux
- Media Monkey: Windows
- Winamp: Windows / Mac
- gPodder: Windows
- HermesPod: Windows
When it comes to Android players, I’m partial to Doggcatcher. However, some of the other well-regarded podcasting programs are:
For iPhone, iPod and iPad, the choice is clear – Podcasts. That said, you do have options. Some of them are:
Some Podcasts By Lawyers
Not many lawyers are taking advantage of podcasting, so the field is pretty much wide open. Here are a few of the podcasts being done by lawyers (each link is to iTunes, so you can subscribe directly):
- The Digital Edge: Lawyers and Technology (Jim Calloway and Sharon Nelson)
- This Week In Law (Denise Howell)
- Money Go Roundtable (me and Gene Melchionne)
- The Criminal Docket
- Hull on Estates (Hull and Hull)
- JDBlogger and Consumer Warrior (John Skiba)
A Brave New World For Those With A Voice
If you’re not big on blogging and don’t want to deal with the technical aspects of video, consider podcasting. As you can see, there aren’t many lawyers out there who are producing quality audio content – so why not you?
Image courtesy of: themaccraic-david