How Do You Listen To Yours? Podcast, That Is.

What is the best device to listen to podcasts on? A simple question you might think, but is the answer obvious? Well, as with most things, there is no one correct answer that will fit everyone, but I do listen to a fair few podcasts (can’t think why…) and I have found the perfect podcast device for me. It’s the Sony Playstation Portable.

Now hear me out – I know the statistics are that 60% of people listen to podcasts on their PC (one reason that a lot of podcasters have a ‘play’ flash applet on their websites), but I’m talking about what I use here, and at the moment the PSP is one of the best standalone podcast devices out there.

Crow and the PSP

First of all, subscribing is a matter of popping the RSS URL into the web browser, where you’re asked if you want to subscribe (and this is for video or audio casts). And that’s it. You’re subscribed, and the feed will show up in the RSS application list. All you do now is head over there, select the show, and either save the shows to a memory stick, or (and this is the kicker) stream the show live without saving it.

And for a while, that was all the catcher did, but the advantage of the Sony PSP is that the firmware has been updated over time, and one of the changes lifted the podcast application in my estimation. The timer. This allows me to set a time for the PSP to switch itself on, checking the list of podcasts for new content (or just a subset that I have specified), downloading the latest content, deleting the oldest feed item if required, and then switching itself off again.

So I can be pretty confident that when I pick up my PC, I’m going to have new content to watch and listen to, from the daily trivia of Today in Music History, to the latest episode of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Cameron’s G’Day World, and the news from Lake Wobegone to name just a few.

I wonder if PSP stands for Portable Sony Podcasting? I also wonder what you all think about how I physically listen to most of these… I strap an FM Transmitter on the base of the PSP (the Griffin iTripPSP). For all the technology, the bells and whistles, the final step is to put the brave new world of content through a good old fashioned radio.

Strange new worlds indeed.