by Chris Guld, www.GeeksOnTour.com
Think of podcasts like Blogs that you can listen to, rather than read. I listen to three personally, and you may know of many more. The term ‘Podcast’ originated with the popular iPod device from Apple. The iPod is a dedicated device for playing audio files. However, you do not need an iPod to play podcasts. Any computer will do, and most smart phones, as well as dozens of makes and models of ‘.mp3’ players.
A podcast is a computer file, usually in the .mp3 format. What I’m talking about in this article is audio only, although podcasts can also include video. Audio podcasts are great to listen to as you’re driving down the road. You can listen to it from your computer, or you can download it to an MP3 player, or even to your smart phone. We use our smartphones and plug the audio into our radio (or use bluetooth) so we hear the sound from the radio speakers.
Roadtreking is a weekly show by Mike Wendland who travels in a Roadtrek class B. With over one million downloads, this is a very popular podcast. Mike’s background is in journalism and it shows, he has been a correspondent for NBC News since the 90s, producing a weekly “PC Mike” segment about technology. You can listen to his podcast by visiting the Roadtreking podcast page, find an episode you want to hear and click the Play button. Mike, and his wife Jennifer, cover technology and RV tips, destinations, people and lots more topics of interest to RVers.
Mike interviewed us (Jim and Chris of Geeks on Tour) in episode 9 of Roadtreking RV Podcast. His most recent podcast interviews Bobbi and Carl Braun. You’ll hear how they have a home in Hawaii, but prefer to spend much of their time RVing the USA!
Living the RV Dream
Living the RV Dream is a show by John and Kathy Huggins. They have been fulltime RVers since 2005. Their goal is to visit all the US National Parks. They also do a lot of volunteer work since hitting the road including working at the Escapees CARE center in Livingston, Texas. Living the RV Dream podcasts are produced weekly. They have written books about the FullTime RVing lifestyle, a very popular Facebook group, and they’re hosting their first Rally this October in Florida where Geeks on Tour will be presenting seminars. Their most recent podcast will give you lots of good information about Workamping.
RV Navigator is a show by Ken and Martha Wiseman. As far as I know, this was the very first podcast about the RVing lifestyle and they’re still going strong with their latest podcast from September, 2015 about taking a Caravan trip thru the Maritimes. They have been extended RV travelers since 2005 and have podcast archives back to 2006. Their home is in Chicago. They also travel by cruise ship. Ken is a gadget king and you will hear a lot about Macintosh computers, iPhones, iPads and all things Apple from Ken in addition to RV and Travel topics. RV Navigator podcasts are produced once each month when they are traveling. Each podcast is about an hour long.
How do you Play the Podcast?
Every system will be a bit different. It has gotten easier over the years. Each of the 3 podcasts discussed above have simple Play Now, or Listen Now links right on their website under the episode description. If you click the ‘Play’ button, the audio will start streaming thru your computer and you can listen as it goes. You must be connected to the Internet for this to work. If you click ‘Download’, it will download the complete file to your computer – or whatever device you’re using to access this screen. After the file is completely downloaded, you can run it and play the complete file without an Internet connection. This is very handy for listening to podcasts while you’re driving.
Ken of RVNavigator adds, “Podcasts are free although some may have advertising. Podcasts can be accessed on almost any internet enabled device from computers to phones. As a caveat, downloading and/or steaming does require a fair amount of bandwidth, so frequent downloading of a large number of podcasts (our situation) means extra data charges. I try to keep our podcast download to 25mb (about an hour at the bit rate we use) but many whose episodes are much larger.”
Finding Favorite Podcasts
Using an app like iTunes Podcast or Stitcher, you can search thru hundreds of Podcasts and mark those that are your favorites. In the screenshot below, I searched for RV in the iTunes Podcast App and came up with the 3 I’ve mentioned, plus many more. Once you find them, you can ‘subscribe.’ That means, the app will keep track of when a new episode comes out. It will download that and delete ones you’ve listened to. If you want it to automatically download the episode to your device you can turn on the Available Offline feature so you can listen to it offline whenever you want.
How about you? Have you found any good RV related podcasts? And, what is your favorite method for listening?