Dept. of Decisions

We here at Heathen Central are getting married; this is not news. Also not news, if you’ve seen us lately, is the fact that we need to lose a bit of weight before we take wedding pix. To that end, we’re getting back on the old exercise train.

Great. There is almost nothing as boring as exercise. Well, exercise qua exercise is boring; exercise that happens when you’re doing something fun is different — but also takes longer, making it less practical for very busy people during the week. Enter the iPod!

You can gets lots to listen to on an iPod, but what I really want is NPR. Of course, NPR is radio, not MP3, and the shows we like come on at times inconvenient to working out, so we have a bit of an issue.

Fortunately, the invisible hand of the market has produced TWO solutions to this quandry. If we want to listen to NPR on our own terms and not be bound by the tyranny of broadcast schedules, we can:

  1. Buy a Griffin RadioShark, which is sort of like a Tivo for radio.
    • One-time cost ($69);
    • Can record anything on the radio (ATC, ME, TAL, WWDTM, etc.).
    • Must remember to set and use;
    • Will still have to listen to the gawdawful local inserts during the morning and evening news shows. NPR’s programming we like; however, we invariably change channels when the local idiots start jabbering.
  2. Get subscriptions to the desired programs over at Audible so that we can download what we want when we want it.
    • Pick and choose, with no need to set a device or futz with reception issues;
    • Presumably better audio quality;
    • NO LOCAL INTERRUPTIONS — just a pure network feed, which is frankly all we want from any network. Local == crap.
    • Ongoing fees to the tune of $12-20 a month;
    • Potential DRM issues with the files;
    • Limited to programs that deal with Audible.

Looking at it this way, it sorta appears that spare computer + Radioshark + cron job to push ’em to the server (for consistent access from wherever we want) is probably the answer.

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