If you’ve read my blog for a while, you will know I’m a fan of podcasts. They are an opportunity to learn with what Tony Robbins refers to as NET time (No Extra Time). I listen while driving, shopping, cutting the grass, or doing other activities that don’t otherwise involve heavy use of my ears.
One of the complaints I often hear though, when I recommend podcasts as an educational opportunity is “I can’t afford an iPod”. Well, iPod’s are nice, but I don’t have one either. There are other brands, but they can be a bit overpriced from some stores.
So, you want something to play MP3s, but don’t want to shell out big bucks. E-bay is a bit scary, because you don’t know if that seller is really being upfront about that item. As an alternative then, may I suggest keeping an eye on Woot?
What’s Woot you ask? Well Woot ( http://www.woot.com ) has “one deal a day” (although often times they have more deals, if they sell out early). Of late, they have had a huge flood of MP3 players.
Last week on “2fer Tuesday” my wife bought TWO 512 meg MP3 players for 15 bucks. Of course, they were bright pink, but since they were for my daughters that was perfect. Just today they were selling a SanDisk player, 1 gig ram, for 25 dollars. It’s probably a refurb, but since it comes with a new warrenty and Woot has good customer service, you’re not risking anything.
My point is, even if you are a poor, struggling type, you can afford one of these cheap players (even if some of them *are* pink, ugh). Skip that movie rental, pack a lunch a few days, whatever. Getting one of these along with a set of rechargeable batteries will allow you to take advantage all these great educational opportunities, which will pay you back in spades.
Now, I’m sure some will point out that 512 meg or 1 gig is not a lot of ram. You’re right it’s not. But even a small 256 meg player will get you by. Remember, you’re not trying to store your music library on these, you want to load a few podcasts to listen to on the way to and from work, or while exercising.
In looking over my latest MP3 downloads, it looks like 40 meg is about the average size of an hour long podcast at decent quality. That’s 12 shows for a 512 meg player, or 12 hours which should be more than enough even if you listen all day long. Even the 256 meg unit would give 6 hours, plenty even for a long commute plus an hour work out. Then just reload each evening. Most units simply look to the PC like a USB drive, so they should work with any type of OS, such as XP, Vista, Ubuntu, or OS-X (Apple).
A word of safety, most places outlaw driving with headphones on. If you want to use yours on the road stop and pick up a cable to plug it into your car stereos AUX port, or if it has a cassette player you can also use a cassette adapter.
Keep an eye out, and one day you’ll be able to snag your own Woot deal, and be able to take advantage of your NET time to get an education.
If you are looking for a list of podcasts, be sure to check out my Arcane Links page (https://arcanecode.wordpress.com/arcane-links/ ) in the Netcasts area, or my post from August 23rd of last year (https://arcanecode.wordpress.com/2006/08/23/ ).
Standard Disclaimer: I have no financial affiliation with Woot, other than having spent a bunch of my hard earned cash there.