I’ve been listening to podcasts for about 18 months now. It started with just the one. Then, before I knew it, there was another, and another. Currently there are 6 I listen to on a regular basis, with a few more that I dip into. However, these are all entertainment ones – given that it’s me that we’re talking about, the usual content is robots/spaceships/wizards/zombies/mysterious tropical islands with polar bears on; they’re generally not concerned with libraries. So I was interested to see what this week’s activities would be about. I’ve had a listen to the library podcast that we offer, and the new one that’s in progress, and they’re pretty good. I think that they’re a useful thing for us to be providing; when you think that most students will probably have an mp3 player, offering them content in this way has to be a good thing.

I’ve got a bloglines account, so I’ve been using that to keep track of podcasts. It’s getting to be a bit of a pain downloading them though, so I thought trying a podcatcher might be a good thing to do. I downloaded iTunes, and more or less disliked it on sight. I mean, it’s pretty and everything, but I don’t really listen to music much, so I don’t really need links to the the iTunes store. I don’t have an iPod, so I can’t sync my mp3 player with iTunes. There’s nowhere to import feeds to. And when it finally does subscribe you to the feeds that you want, it puts them in a set of folders which are fine if you’re using the whole thing and want to keep tv shows, movies, podcasts and music separate, but are less than helpful if you want to just do podcasts. So I gave up and looked for something else! I ended up with Juice, which is a lot simpler and lets me specify the folder I want to use. My mp3 player is essentially a flash drive, so I can set it up to download to there and I’m sorted. Much better. (Note: I don’t think Juice is being updated any more, but for the moment it does what I want how I want, so I’m happy. Feel free to suggest something else for me to use!)

To try and avoid making this the longest blog post in history, I’ve added a video to a separate post, which is really easy! I can see how youtube, and videos in general, could be a really useful resource for us. We could, for example, make a video tour of the library. Not only would this be useful for new students who can’t make it to a library induction, it would also help us show off the new ground floor to returning students and staff.

The session yesterday with John Conway was very informative. I hadn’t realised that so much could be done with such ease. There are definite applications here for us. We could put little bits into Olivia about searching the catalogue, or databases – it’s much easier to get an understanding of what’s going on when you actually see it happening. We could maybe put some of the training sessions that we do up online somewhere too, and that might reach students who don’t want to come to library sessions, but still might need a bit of help.

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