by Sarah Painter
Much as I love the act of reading, I also adore listening, and find the burgeoning world of podcasting very exciting indeed.
For starters, audio is so convenient. There are lots of times during my week when reading a blog would be frowned upon (driving springs to mind), but if I have my iPod, lovingly loaded with podcast episodes, then I can still have wordy entertainment.
If you're not familiar with the term, podcasts are basically on-demand internet radio. They are often amateur-made (which is not to say the quality is 'amateur' but just that they are made by independent companies and individuals) and span a wide range of interests.
Some are simple one-person shows on a particular topic or talk shows with guest interviews, and some, like the acclaimed Welcome To Nightvale, are complex fiction serials with talented voice actors.
You can browse for podcasts in iTunes (or one of the many podcast apps such as Stitcher or Podbay) and subscribe so that you automatically get episodes when they are released. I have always enjoyed listening to the radio (I grew up to the sounds of the News Quiz and I'm Sorry I Haven’t A Clue on Radio Four), but the ability to choose exactly what I want, when I want is brilliant.