Right now I'm listening to Adam Christianson's MacCast. He's sincere, has a pleasing voice, thinks well on his feet and does a high quality Mac-focused show.
As an information delivery vehicle, podcasting is hot. It's human-scale radio with all the advantages of portability, timeshifting and narrowcasting. Podcasting gives us flexibility, convenience and control. Now if only we could keep podcasting free of advertising, we'd be set.
And, if you are a heavy computer user, your eyes will thank you when you give them a break and listen to a podcast. Because you don't have to read, you are free to listen and learn while walking, running, driving or lying down in bed with your eyes shut.
The one big drawback to any kind of cast is that they are serial programs. Many of us hate voice mail, preferring to skim and skip through our email. The risk of listening to podcasts is that of being trapped in a sequential experience that you can't control. This risk can be easily enough mitigated by slicing up, indexing and documenting the content so that we can find, skim and skip between slices.
Since I'm a self-employed software developer, I don't have a commute which is one of the best places to listen to podcasts. But I do take walks daily and lately I've been loading up some podcasts with my music. There is some competition there between Podcast talk shows and music.
By the way, when I bought my 1 gig iPod shuffle, I thought I would use it as a USB drive on the side. Not. I don't want to give up any megabytes at all for potential data storage. I would rather carry my tiny 512 mb cruzer mini for data. Sure glad I got the 1 gig shuffle.
One more thing on the shuffle. It's great. But I still would like a little LCD on there. Sometimes I download a bunch of music that I think I might like and then put my shuffle on, well, shuffle. And then I hear one of these new songs and don't know who the artist is. I would like to just glance over and see that information. I'm hoping Apple will release a shuffle with a tiny screen before too long.