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Cool things you can do with your iPod

In my mind, the iPod is definitely one of the coolest gadgets to hit the marketplace in a long time. At first glance, one may think, “what is the big deal?”. So it is a little handheld device that plays music? Why spend money for one when I have my CD’s?

As the iPod evolved, an entire industry of iPod accessories and products evolved with it. The iPod went from the classic, to the Shuffle, Nano, Touch, and yes, a part of the iPhone.

I bought my iPod classic about 3 1/2 years ago, and cannot imagine what my life would be like without it. Does that seem a bit shallow to you? Or maybe I am labeled as a bit too hi tech? Well, the iPod does so much more for you than just playing music through earbuds into your brain. No, I have not gone deaf by listening to the iPod, nor have I lost brain cells because I listen to too much music.

One of the most interesting byproducts of the iPod is the Podcast. “Podcasting” is the act of creating an online, prerecorded radio program, distributed free over the Internet. The best place to find Podcasts are through iTunes. If you have an iPod, iTunes is the software you use to gather, sort, and categorize you iPod content.

iTunes has a category just for Podcasts, and there are literally thousands to choose from. You can stick with the mainstream and subscribe to Podcasts from the major news media outlets, or you can choose from Podcasts created by individuals who feel they have something important to say to the world. Anyone can create a Podcast and upload it to iTunes for distribution to the world.

Here is one of my favorite examples: Grammar Girl. Grammar Girl started out as one individual, Mignon Fogarty, who was editing a document one day and realized that she edits the same mistakes over and over and over. She decided to create a quick little Podcast of short, friendly tips to improve your writing. Grammar Girl caught on, and she is now one of the most popular Podcasts out there. She has even released a book titled “Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing”. Grammar Girl had absolutely no inkling when she first started Podcasting, that it would turn into a great career.

Not to worry, I listen to Grammar Girl, and have a lot to learn. Yes, hopefully my blog postings will improve the more I listen to Grammar Girl. You can get her Podcasts on iTunes. You can also read more about Grammar Girl on her website, at

Podcasts are becoming very popular in the educational world. Podcasts enable students and teachers to share information. If you miss a lecture, download the Podcast. Some universities have given iPods to all new incoming students, and class lectures, materials, etc are made available for download to listen to on your iPod

Five of the top ten audio Podcasts on iTunes are published by NPR-National Public Radio. All of the major news organizations produce daily Podcasts of the daily news headlines. Oprah has a daily Podcast, as does Martha Stewart, Dave Ramsey, Bill Maher, Harry Potter, and the list goes on an on. You can also learn just about any language from subscribing to a Podcast. Need to learn French but dont want to take a class? Subscribe to a Podcast.

iPod’s are here to stay, and they are transforming our culture in interesting ways. If you don’t have one, you might want to check them out.

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