Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Podcasts and More, via Treo

Today's post is about how useful my Treo smartphone is for enjoying free internet content without having to involve iTunes or even a personal computer.

In his AdventureBlog, Michael May recently offered up some quotes from NPR, National Public Radio. I've become an NPR junkie, so I couldn't resist checking some of them out.

Also being a tech junkie and a cycling enthusiast, I became very fond of listening to podcasts of NPR shows while peddling around the city. Although they're called "podcasts," I don't listen to them via any of Apple's devices. I use my smartphone, a Palm device called "Treo." (Mine is the 755p.)

Back in the day, I used to download podcasts and play them on my iPod (yes, I do own an old one) but eventually I got tired of walking around like Roger McNamee with the geek version of a "utility belt." I had too many devices on my hips so I went back to basics. I got a Treo because it's something of an all-in-one device. Why not use it as such and put my podcasts on my micro-SD card and play them on the Treo?

That's just what I did... until I found out about a software application for my phone called "Kinoma 4 EX."

You've probably noticed that the internet offers a lot of free audio content like radio stations' (public and private) streaming certain shows or a full day's content. Well, Kinoma not only allows us to access that content through our phones' internet connections, but we also gain access to Kinoma's media guide which organizes and arranges this content by category. So, I can listen to NPR every day without having to open iTunes once.

If I decide, while on the go, that I feel like listening to NPR's Fresh Air's latest podcast, I open Kinoma, click on my Fresh Air bookmark, and then choose from the podcasts from the past week. At the touch of a button, I can either choose to play a given podcast or just find out what it's about to decide if I'd rather skip it.

So I now have access to an entire library of free online content that ranges from music, public radio podcasts, media reviews, public zoo live-cams, free public-domain audiobooks... you get the idea.

And I don't have to prepare at all before leaving the house. I don't have to open iTunes or transfer files or choose what to store and what to delete.

I simply pull up what I want, when I want. And if I need to be offline for a while, I can have Kinoma save the song (or whatever other audio content) on my phone/sd card and play it when no internet connection is available.

Most of the time, I just listen to NPR podcasts or stream their live radio content for the day, but sometimes I pull up the link to a Jacksonville radio station I really dig... and just listen while I'm shaving, washing dishes, bike riding, or waiting on my lady to pick out a pair of shoes.

Did I mention that i can also search for and play YouTube videos? Yeah.


b. good said...

So I'm extra late on this NPR thing. I know, I know...you've been blogging about it since forever, and I have yet to give it a listen.

But I thought it was just you, lol.

Well now my BFF is hooked, so...I guess there's more to it.

But go Treo! (I guess). I'm currently enjoying my G1 :)

Remnants of U said...

Hey West! I didn't realize that you were still blogging glad to see you!

Oh boy...I am going to have to check out Kinoma 4x...I have a Treo 650...I hope it works with such old equipment. As usual I learn some necessary technical info from you!