As residents in an ever-shrinking world economy, we are spending more and more time traveling. I don't travel nearly as much as my buddy Cliff who writes for a major auto-dealer publication; however, I do spend around 8 hours a week in my car for my business. Mondays alone I am usually on the road for about 5 hours delivering Coffee News. Since I live in Brownstown and my business is based in Dearborn. I spend at least an hour in the car round trip on days that I go to my area. That's a lot of time that until recently would be considered dead time.
A few years ago I got my first iPod. I say "got" rather than bought. I actually did get it for free from freeipods.com. All I had to do was convince 5 friends that I was worth applying for a Visa card or signing up for a free month of Blockbuster.com. Two months after signing up and sending out my petitions to my friends, I received a free 20 gig iPod in the mail. Nice.
That acquisition opened up a whole new world of possibilities to this commuter. I purchased several audiobooks right away. I really began to enjoy being the master of my own drive-time destiny. I could listen to that book that I had been wanting to read but never seemed to find the time. Even if I just wanted music, I could finally choose the music that I listened to (my little escort only has a cassette player).
As if that all was not enough to make you sign up to nag your friends and get a free iPod, then I discovered the world of podcasting. Podcasts are like pre-recorded radio shows. In the iTunes Store online, you can find podcasts on pretty much anything. They range in length from about five minutes to over an hour.
I really enjoy some of the technology podcasts as well as Doug Field's Simply Youth Ministry podcast. I even get all of my pastor's Sunday School lessons as podcasts since I miss them while I'm teaching the teens class.
The best part about podcasts is that when you find a show you enjoy, you can "subscribe" to it. That means every time you plug your iPod into your computer, your iPod will check for new shows and download them as well as delete those you've listened to. Talk about great service! I just "sync" my iPod once a week and I have a treasure trove of knowledge and entertainment to go.
It doesn't matter what hobby or trade you would find interesting, there is a podcast for you. And with iPods as cheap as $79 these days, I'd say that's a steal to buy back those wasted hours we all loose on our daily commute to the rat-race.