Genealogy podcasts can be useful and educational. I listen to several, some current, some no longer active, while walking. I always learn something, even from those that don’t sound all that interesting.
You can listen on your computer or any music player that plays MP3 format. It’s very convenient. The problem is if you listen on your MP3 player or in your car or any other place away from your computer or desk, you can’t make notes on what is said and you can’t possibly recall all the things you wanted to remember later.
Some podcasts have “show notes” online. However, if you are listening to an older podcast [older may mean a year] the show notes are gone or outdated. This is understandable but a problem.
Podcasts come and go. It’s a lot of work to come up with something fresh every week. There is no good current list. Not even Cyndi has them all. There is a personality factor. Some of these podcasters may just not appeal to you. Others are fine but after awhile you might get tired of their idea of humor.
You can google “genealogy podcasts” as a starting place for locating podcasts. One that is less obvious but I have found interesting is the Online Programming for All Libraries [OPAL]. It is not strictly genealogy but there may be something for you at their website http://www.opal-online.org/archivegenealogy.htm. You can also view the presentations online with slides.
For years I depended on my Palm personal digital assistant [PDA] to keep me organized and keep all my information at my fingertips. My Palm contained my entire database from The Master Genealogist, every single fact.
Software changed. Palm changed. I was left without a PDA and was unsuccessful in my search for an appropriate replacement. I thought my Blackberry Smartphone would do it but it doesn’t.
Recently I bought an iPod Touch. Basically it’s an iPhone without the phone or camera. It has my calendar, my contacts, applications, music and pictures. Podcasts like Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems and genealogy lectures from iTunes U are “other” under music. You could add tv shows and movies although I can’t imagine watching any on the 2 x 3.5″ screen.
One of the first apps I downloaded was Evernote. I don’t know how people live without it. I keep all my genealogy notes in it. On the iPod Touch you can make notes but you need the internet to see your stored notes and to sync. This is also true of Dropbox, another application. If you put a file in your Dropbox you can see it on you iPod Touch when you have wi-fi. The iPod Touch has wi-fi but you need a wi-fi source to use the internet. When you have that the internet is your oyster. More and more places have wi-fi internet these days.
I downloaded several pdf reader apps, found one that works for me called pdf Reader, and uploaded Michael John Neill’s Casefile Clues collection to the iPod Touch. I wouldn’t want to read a book [you can though – in fact there is a Kindle app] but blogs and such work quite well. The pdf files are stored on the iPod Touch – no wi-fi required.
I’m not impressed with the genealogy apps at the moment. Although GEDViewer looks promising it cannot handle more than 2-3,000 names. I’m sure it is just a matter of time until one I like comes along.
You can record voice memos too.
The virtual keyboard takes a bit of getting used to but I have become an accomplished one finger typist. Think of the hours I wasted learning to type correctly!
If it had a camera and continuous internet connection it would be about perfect. Oh wait, that’s an iPhone. I suspect there’s one in my future.