A calculation of some podcasts
One of the things I like to do (when my ears are free) is listen to podcasts. I don’t think I’m unusual in that, with few exceptions, I use podcasts for time shifting conventional radio shows. That is to say, iTunes, and likewise my iPod, is more like a TiVo for radio at this point. Sure I listen to music, but I like to stay informed. It also allows me to listen to shows I otherwise would not have, due to them not playing on a local radio station. In particular, I’m really glad that NPR has jumped on the podcasting bandwagon, because now I get to listen to them a lot more.
For the last year I have been behind. Really behind. As in, a backlog of over 24 hours. Just a week ago I had roughly 30 hours of podcasts (In a concerted effort, this is now down to 16 hours, thank God.) This wouldn’t be too bad, but of course shows update all the time, adding to this. Plus, I like to listen to my podcasts in the order they were downloaded, so just last week I was listening to podcasts a month and a half old.1 2 3 Clearly, just to keep up with them I need to average a certain amount daily. So what is that amount?
First off, here are the more regular podcasts I listen to, along with an estimation of their average weekly “output”, as measured by seeing what the iTunes Store tells me4, and some random number generator.
- APM: A Prairie Home Companion’s News from Lake Wobegon - 15 minutes
- Ask A Ninja - Actually, the iTunes Store doesn’t say, but it tends to be weekly and about five minutes.
- CBC Radio: Quirks and Quarks - 54 minutes (or so)
- From Our Own Correspondent - 28 minutes
- iTunes New Music Tuesday - 10 minutes
- Macworld Podcasts - 20 minutes
- Mr. Deity - 2 minutes, say
- The Newshour with Jim Lehrer - 30 minutes
- NPR: Car Talk - 55 minutes
- NPR: Environment - 30 minutes
- NPR: Movies - 30 minutes
- NPR: Science Friday - 120 minutes
- NPR: Story of the Day - 10 minutes
- NPR: Sunday Puzzle - 7 minutes
- NPR: Technology - 20 minutes
- NPR: Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me - 48 minutes
- The Onion Radio News - 11 minutes
- The President’s Weekly Radio Address - 2 minutes
- This American Life - 59 minutes
- WGBH Morning Stories - 20 minutes
- WOSU 820 AM News - 30 minutes
So in total, I am downloading roughly 690 (well, 691) minutes every week, or 11½ hours. That translates to about 100 minutes a day, or 1 hour and 40 minutes.
I think it’s safe to say this is a bit, but I do prune a little based on what is interesting. But is this more than other people? I really don’t know.
There was a bit of deleting of some of the podcasts on the way, and I did make sure to listen to some of the more time-limited podcasts. ↩
Incidentally, I have found the following technique helpful to listen to my podcasts in downloaded order:
- Create a smart playlist called “Podcasts, All” (or whatever you would like.
- In the new playlist to have the following criteria: “Podcast” “is true”, and “Genre” “is” “podcast”. Make sure it does live updating, and set it to match any. This solves some problems I was having in getting our real playlist of concern to see all the podcasts (some do not have the genre set, others are for whatever reason not listed as podcasts.
- Create another smart playlist. I call mine “Fresh Radio”.
- Set this playlist to have the criteria: (Playlist) (is) (Podcasts, All) and (Play Count) (is) (0). Set it to match all the criteria, and have live updating.
- While looking at the results of this playlist, go to View→View Options…, and make sure “Date Added” is checked.
- You finish by clicking on the “Date Added” column header, making sure the triangle points up.
Unfortunately, neither iTunes nor any other similar interface from Apple (that I know of) allows for a mixing and matching of “any” and “all” criteria, which would make this be a little smoother. ↩
There are a few podcasts I am not listing, because they have not updated in a long time and I am not sure they ever will; “Strongbad Emails” and “Ebert & Roper” come to mind. ↩