We are in a time when, thanks to technology, choice and convenience are limited only by our imaginations — and Wi-Fi access. This is especially true when it comes to entertainment.
Thanks to wireless internet connections, a world of entertainment possibilities is within reach. Also, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets provide on-the-go access to social media sites, online shopping, music and more.
One category of devices, e-readers, shows how technology is changing. And digital media platforms, such as podcasts, continue to grow in popularity.
Many readers love to have a great collection. Once, it was common to have books in the car and magazines piled up on the coffee table. There were dog-eared novels on the nightstand and even in the bathroom. When a reader traveled, reading materials competed for luggage room with clothes and toiletries.
With an e-reader, however, clutter is not necessarily a fact of life, because some devices can store hundreds of books or magazines.
The most popular e-readers are the Amazon Kindle and the Nook from Barnes & Noble. These devices offer numerous options depending on your reading needs, ranging in price from $50 to $250. In addition to the Kindle and Nook, tablets, such as the Apple iPad can serve as e-readers.
Digital books are roughly half the price of hardback versions and can be downloaded to your device using a Wi-Fi connection. In addition, most public libraries have lending sites for digital books, which can be downloaded for free and are automatically “returned” on the due date.
Podcasts are audio programs that are accessed over the internet. They are talk shows for the digital age and can be organized according to personal tastes and interests.
Podcasts are available on most modern devices, including computers, tablets and smartphones. Dedicated software can organize podcasts, including keeping you up-to-date with the latest episodes and helping you organize past episodes for later listening. Whenever a new podcast episode is released — and some, like the highly popular “S-Town” series, are released all at once — it is automatically downloaded to your device.
For mobile devices, iTunes, Apple’s music management software, is the most visible podcast manager. Other options include Overcast for iOS users and Pocket Casts for Android users.
Helpful software matters when choosing a podcast, a process that can be a matter of trial and error. Podcasts cover topics from true crime to self-help, from cooking to pop culture. They range in quality from well-produced shows created in professional studios to a couple of guys with cheap microphones sitting in their garage talking about horror movies and everything in between.
According to Buzzfeed.com, these are some of the podcasts you should be listening to in 2017: “Making Oprah,” “Crimetown,” “Spirits: A Drunken Dive into Myths and Legends” and “Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People.”