Friday, June 8, 2007

Master of My Drive-Time Universe

I spend about one-and-a-half hours in my car each day commuting to and from work. And while for the most part I like the local Catholic radio station, the afternoon show topics don't always grab me, and the host tends to grind on my nerves.

A week or two ago, a friend of mine won an iPod in a raffle where he works. Being that he already had an iPod, he found it in the kindness of his heart to give the new iPod to me! A very generous, and appreciated act without a doubt! Yee-haw!

I have grown to love my iPod. I now can download podcasts and other audio files from the Internet onto this little modern marvel and listen to them during my commute. I am amazed at the amount to great Catholic material out there to be had for free.

Now you don’t need an iPod to do this, any capable mp3 device works just fine (they're just not as cool as an iPod). Below is a short list of podcasts I have found that others may be interested in.

EWTN Podcasts
Catholic Answers Live!
USCCB Daily Readings
One True Faith
A list of others

Recently, I’ve run across another great resource. There are a few sites that offer free audio books for download. Currently I am listening to G.K. Chesterton’s Everlasting Man (highly recommended by the way!). There are two types of audio books. The first is a synthesized voice recording (sounds a little robotic and a little like Stephen Hawking). These are OK, but the quality of the voice can get distracting. The second type is human read books. As a rule, this second type is better but does depend, for obvious reasons, on the human reading it. Below are a couple links to sites with a lot of great books:

Catholic Audio Book Classics
Maria Lactrix

I began reading Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical letter, “Deus Caritas Est” again last night. I thought it would be interesting to read it aloud and record myself, allowing me to listen to it in the future. Aside from my horrible sounding voice and occasional "creative pronunciation", it turned out listenable. I finished the introduction and Part 1, and am considering posting the mp3 file(s) when complete.

But, if you have time during your commute and are not thrilled with your current listening options, give the links above a shot.


Maureen said...

First, thanks for the link to my Maria Lectrix podcast! I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Second, while it is a perfectly good plan to study encyclicals by reading and listening to them, I'm afraid the USCCB has the US audiobook rights to them. And they like to send emails to your ISP or podcast server and tell them that. (I found this out the hard way, and that's not the best way to learn.) :)

There is, of course, nothing stopping you from distributing personal copies of your personal recordings to all 500 of your close personal friends, under the fair use doctrine. But it's best to do this in a way which doesn't put your ISP in an uncomfortable position, or upset the bishops and their staff.

Public domain is your friend. There are tons of things in the public domain which nobody has even touched. I recommend this course to you.

Serviam! said...

Thank you very much for the heads-up on the US audiobook rights! Very good thing to know. And thanks again for the work you're doing.

Jeffrey Robert Adams said...

Thanks for the link and mention; I stumbled across your link quite by accident via the review on the Maria Lectrix blog - which was also a surprise to be sure.

I encountered the public domain issue of recording audiobooks in having heard the story of someone who received a "cease & desist" order from the USCCB for reading excerpts from the NAB. Be forewarned: they take their copyrights very seriously!

Peace be to you.
Deo omnis gloria -