PBS is doing something which I hope will catch on. They are piloting three science shows on their TV stations (of course) and also making them available as free video Podcasts. You can visit the PBS website to watch the shows or subscribe to the podcast feed using iTunes or any other rss aggregator/podcatcher. They’re looking for feedback about the shows to help determine which one to keep.
I like the concept of making the shows available for free and hope to see more of it. PBS also has several other podcasts available through iTunes and their website which are worth checking out. Several of these are audio versions of their broadcast shows while others are short video or audio supplements which are more like trailers or ads.
I’ve been a fan of The Newhour with Jim Lehrer (and the previous McNeil/Lehrer Report) for years and now listen through the podcast. It’s a hour news show built around longer news segments, usually three a show. The podcast drops the “new summary” and occasional lifestyle or commentary segments and publishes the in-depth news segments as separate recordings (at least that’s the way it’s available through iTunes). This makes it easy to pick the segments that interest me if I’m pressed for time, no need to fast forward. It’s TV that’s audio only but usually that’s not a problem since the content usually isn’t very visual.
The Nightly Business Report is also an audio podcast of the entire show although it’s not one that I listen to. NOW and Washington Week also appear to be full length podcasts of their show based on the length, but I haven’t listened to them.
There’s numerous other podcasts available although most are supplements to their shows. I’ve downloaded some of them tagged with their Nova brand to give a try. If your into any PBS shows you should check out their website or your favorite podcast directory to see what’s available. iTunes already has a section for PBS podcasts so they’re easy to find.