The joy of podcasts … you can listen to the blurb below simply by playing this podcast.

It’s ridiculous really, why would I want to talk about other radio, music and podcasts when I should be letting you know that Australia On Track Podcasts (SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/australiaontrack and on iTunes) are available to download for free.

You can also jump onto our website http://australiaontrack.com.au/podcasts and listen while sitting around the campfire. Did I mention FREE, awesome presenters and guests, all about caravanning, camping and 4WDing … FREE!

But yes, as hard as it is to say … it’s not all about me or my good mate Chris Blakemore, we need to share the love, there is so much out there and available on various media, programmes and apps. My background is in TV production and I still love watching good movies and programmes, but it does make it hard to view and drive safely at the same time when on the road.

My wife and I love sport and we like listening to a footy game or cricket match when available.

On the wireless (as a mate calls it), our love for the ABC has grown, we get the latest news or good interviews and discussions, and we even listen to Macca when we can. But as technology and our expectations grow, we want more (sorry Macca)!

I also can’t stand it when we’re listening intently and the fade and crackle starts, eventually losing the station and hoping to pick it up on another frequency … doesn’t always happen.

Modern vehicles often have Bluetooth connection with all the bells and whistles, inputs galore, so you can listen to on-line radio shows and music. But these need a signal if you are driving, and this isn’t always available. Our caravan even has a Bluetooth speaker outside, so we can jump onto TuneIn Radio, Pandora, Spotify, iTunes or SoundCloud and of-course Australia On Track.

 

So this is where downloading comes in, naturally you need a device with enough storage, but once again there is such a variety available, and maybe when you upgrade your mobile next time, you’ll think about getting the one with the biggest memory. Our 2001 Lexcruiser (Lexus LX470 based on 100 Series Land Cruiser) is a bit old hat, so we use a combination, we have an old iPod that I’ve loaded with music converted from all of our CD’s to MP3, this is powered by lighter plugin and cradled in an FM transmitter (pic attached), the signal is sent to the ‘wireless’ and away we go. We also have a similar setup for my iPhone, transmitting whatever we have on the phone to a radio frequency, This little plug in device cuts the radio when a call comes in. it does however require charging … yet another thing to worry about I guess, but I don’t mind.

So … shop around, do your homework and pick the best that suits your setup.

 

 

Naturally you need a good data plan to listen online or download, maybe try to find a free Wi-Fi spot on your travels, or do as I do and download at home where I have a much larger plan.

It’s just quicker to get it downloaded and available all the time.

Some streaming apps have different rates of playing content (quality), Pandora says that streaming at 64kbps (that’s kilobits per second) will consume about 28MB (megabytes) or 0.03GB (gigabytes) of data, which means you can expect to hit a gigabyte in just over 36 hours. At 128kbps, hourly data use literally doubles to 56MB or 0.05GB, and that means your listening time will effectively halve to a little over 18 hours. So, if you can decrease the quality on the App you’ll save on data.

Storage is also available in the form of USB flash drives for your phone or tablet. These are very handy when you are running out of space on the phone and getting cheaper by the day.

Let’s get back to content … what can you listen too?

Well, apart from Australia On Track (can’t blame me, can you), I’ve just downloaded heaps of the ABC’s Conversations with Richard Fiddler … love them and all available on Soundcloud.

Audio books are fantastic, some you can download for free, some you can purchase from companies online or from iTunes. An example is Roald Dahl – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for about $11. Running time of 3 hours and 17 minutes, read by professional actors or narrators, good value I reckon and great entertainment for the kids (and adults) on a long journey.

Music of-course is available and if you can’t convert your own CD’s, then there is heaps available to purchase online. Plus of-course the variety of streaming stations that you can listen to when in camp and have a good signal (I like Koffee http://www.koffee.com.au/koffee-player), iTunes also has some great internet radio stations, covering all genres.

So … if the magnificent views of OZ need some company, you have no excuse when you run out of things to talk about, or are sick of ‘are we there yet’, or can’t stand that buzz of AM/FM reception, it’s time to get up beat and download.

Did I mention Australia On Track downloads? … Enjoy!

Cheers, Andrew Kennedy