Saturday, September 22, 2007

This American Life

I used to think that talk radio was sooooo boring. I guess it was a channel surfer and attention span thing. I hate commercials, so when one came up, I'd check the other radio stations. If I ever came across talk, I wouldn't bother to give it a chance, because it would take "so long" to get into what they were talking about. Plus, it was always some sort of advice show or political diatribe.

But then came podcasts. I knew of NPR, but really "found" NPR via iTunes, and while I enjoy many of their offerings, including Morning Stories, Story of the Day, and Driveway Moments, my current favorite is This American Life. The stories are so fascinating. You get to hear two, three, or four stories on a particular theme, such as Quiz Shows or Road Trips or Dream Jobs. I highly recommend it to anyone who has an iPod and a commute of more than 10 minutes. And if you don't have an iPod, you can still listen to it either straight from iTunes (go to the podcast section of the store and subscribe for free), or dig out the MP3 file from the iTunes folder in My Music and load it onto whatever MP3 player you have. You could also burn them to a CD, which in hindsight is how I heard my first ever This American Life show.

As a parting gift, my coworkers at my last job selected three episodes of This American Life and burned them to a CD so I could listen to them on my cross-country journey from CA to NC. They were carefully chosen based on the theme, to jokingly reflect the job I was leaving behind. "Fiascos" was one of the themes I remember. I took the CD in the car, but listened to music for days and days, until I finally got tired of that. Around Oklahoma I popped in the CD and it was a delightful change of pace. When it was over, that was that, until along came podcasts.

If you're like me and can't wait for the next episode to appear in a week, you can also listen straight from This American Life's website. The archive goes back TWELVE years! I can't say enough good things about this little gem. Just listen and you will see!

P.S. They also have a TV show on Showtime that goes by the same name; I've only seen it once because I don't get Showtime but it's probably worth watching too.

1 comment:

  1. I love This American Life too! One of the more memorable podcasts of late for me was the one about Summer Camp earlier this year. It brought back really interesting memories for me!