Saturday, May 10, 2008
Ancient Faith Radio
To no great surprise on my part, many of you who read my last post had already figured out the solution to the problem that I described in my last post. The problem was, “How can I use my time in the car and my time at my job (when I am often doing relatively mindless computer work) wisely by listening to quality Orthodox teaching, but without spending hundreds of dollars buying tapes or CD’s and going through the hassle of sending off for them?
The answer, which I discovered to my great joy in February of this year, is podcasts, particularly the podcasts produced by Ancient Faith Radio. Now some of you may be wondering, “Exactly what IS a podcast?” A podcast is a brief (usually 5-30 minutes, but sometimes longer) program that is recorded by a particular author or speaker and then put on the internet, from which anyone can download and listen to it. They are intended primarily to be listened to on an Ipod (hence the name; the word “podcast” derives from “Ipod” and “broadcast”) or another MP3 player.
Contrary to popular belief, however, you do not have to have an Ipod to listen to a podcast. All you need to do is to download Apple’s iTunes software, which is totally free. Then, you can “subscribe” to one or more podcasts, which means that when a particular podcast has a new episode posted to the internet, your computer will automatically download it as soon as you are logged onto the internet and run iTunes. It’s really a great system. And best of all, they are totally free! (Note: It is also possible to listen to podcasts on other applications besides iTunes, but I recommend iTunes, mainly for its simplicity).
You can listen to podcasts on your computer while you are doing something else, you can transfer them to your Ipod and listen to them there, or you can burn one or more of them to a CD and listen to them on a regular CD player. So you can see that they are very versatile.
Now, I will quit pretending to be a tech expert, and I will put in a plug for Ancient Faith Radio (AFR for short). AFR is a ministry that has two separate internet radio stations: Ancient Faith Talk, on which are played many of the podcasts and occasional special programs, and Ancient Faith Music, which features Orthodox liturgical and extra-liturgical music. I seldom listen to these stations, for the simple reason that any internet site with streaming audio is blocked where I work. So, my AFR listening is limited almost exclusively to the podcasts.
AFR features a great variety of podcasts, some theological and/or biblical, some humorous, some with interviews, and so on. You won’t go wrong by listening to any of them. I have listened to almost every one they have ever produced. There are so many, that picking onne to listen to can be overwhelming at first. But to help you get started, I am going to list my ten favorite ones. Tomorrow (or the next day), I will post that list.