My Favorite Thing To Listen To

February 11, 2011

‘What music do you listen to?’

I get asked this question all the time.

And it stumps me every time.

Because the truth is, outside of deejaying or producing, I don’t really listen to music as much as you might expect. Unless it’s a newly released album that I’m playing into the ground non-stop, the rest of my listening time is usually dedicated to everything but music.

So what do I listen to?

1) Audiobooks

I love learning, but what I hate about sitting down, holding a book in my hands and reading it is its inherent inefficiency. It must be the Gen-Y in me that can’t handle its ‘single-task’ nature. So within the past few years I’ve started listening to audiobooks; while I’m driving, while I’m walking, while I’m standing in front of you pretending to be part of a conversation. Audiobooks are a great way to be learning ‘on-the-go’ and needless to say, much more efficient.

A popular source for audiobooks is Audible.com or you can even find them right on the iTunes Music Store

Some of my favorites include Malcolm Gladwell’s best-sellers ‘Blink‘ and ‘Outliers‘, anything by Seth Godin, and of course the classic ‘7 Habits Of Highly Effective People

There are plenty of fiction titles available too, but I stick to the non-fiction.
If I want a story, I’ll go watch a movie.

2) TWIT

You can find many music podcasts online (especially this great one), but due to the still-grey-area online music licensing conditions, the majority of podcasts produced are ‘talk-based.’

Being the geek that I am, I am a devoted follower of the TWIT Network — yes I even drove an hour by myself to visit their studio while I was in San Francisco.

Founded by and primarily hosted by tech veteran Leo Laporte, TWIT produces a variety of weekly and daily podcasts aimed at different areas of the tech community.

If you’re so inclined you can even watch them live, or download the TWIT iPhone app.

My weekly listening programming (dependent on time) often includes:
- Tech News Today
- Macbreak Weekly
- This Week In Tech
- This Week In Google
- net@night

See?… I don’t call myself a geek for nothing.

3) Radiolab

Unquestionably, aside from a really good album, my most favorite thing to listen to is a show called Radiolab

Radiolab is broadcasted on 300 radio stations across the world but also available as a podcast from their website. I’m not even sure exactly how to describe it so I’ll go ahead and steal a quote from their site:

Radiolab believes your ears are a portal to another world. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow. Bring your curiosity, and we’ll feed it with possibility.

Besides being extremely fascinating and informative, each episode is incredibly well-produced. As someone who has a lot experience editing and manipulating audio, I am consistently impressed with the amount of detail and creativity that is applied to the production of every show.

You can learn a ton from any given show, but a few episodes that stick out to me are:

- ‘Words
- ‘Time
- ‘Stochasticity
- ‘Animal Minds
- ‘Musical Language

Today’s Lesson

It’s true that music is pretty much my life. But outside of music, my life seems to be about learning.

And learning about life is a beat that never ends…

(see what I did there?.. me neither.)

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