Friday, April 11, 2008

Podcasts, audio dramas and fanfics...

...Where do you get your fix?
I've never really got the 'podcast' thing. For a long time I thought you needed an iPod to 'get' one (yes, I know that makes me sound just, well, stupid, but the truth will out and it was a while ago..). And how do you use them? And are they any good? I've seen links to them but....it just never seemed to be the right time and I had survived pretty well without them.

Podtastic
But I kept seeing the Podcast links. Obviously, Buffy: Between the Lines is covered with them - that is the reason for the site. Then there were links to 'Sending a Wave' (a Firefly/Serenity Podcast) on the Kids Need To Read website, 'Strangely Literal' (for all things Jossverse), 'The Signal' ( an award-winning Firefly/Serenity podcast) and many, many others. Eventually, you just have to give in a give it go.

So, how does one 'use' a Podcast?
It is ridiculously easy to listen to a Podcast. You just press the little 'play' button and off you go. As I'm blogging now I'm listening to Buffy: Between the Lines episode 1, Season 1. So if it doesn't all scan properly blame them. I've listened to it before, a while ago and it really is good. It takes a little while to adjust to the new voices but the story, characterisations and production is great. I wanted to start at the beginning again - ha! - I just got to the bit with the bunnies - I can so see that! Anyway, as I was saying, it's a new 'verse of entertainment and one that I'll be looking into a bit more. You know, with all that spare time I have...

Podcatcher pursuivant
Of course, the easiest thing would be to set iTunes to download and keep all the episodes from all the ones I'm interested in and I can listen to them as leisure. The only problem is, my iTunes has decided not to work/update/do anything at the moment so that's another job to do. Still, there are other 'Podcatchers' so I might investigate one of them.

To fanfic or not to fanfic?
I don't know where you stand on the issue of fanfics. To be honest, I'm not sure where I stand! I used to think they must be all a bit rubbish because how could they possibly compare with the 'real thing'? But I'm having to reconsider my stance. There are a lot of talented people out there producing some very high quality work, and I think the hour of the 'amateur' is at hand. Just as Internet broadcasting (with the likes of YouTube) started with people falling over a lot, bodily functions and swearing, there are now some incredible, original videos available ('The Guild' and the up-coming 'Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' for example). And the same is going with Podcasts and written fanfics.

New fantastic fanfic contest
And in a timely fashion, Buffy: Between the Lines has announced a new fanfic contest. Casting is mostly complete for Season 2 and in the gap between Season 1 and 2 they are running a competition that is open to anyone. There are some basic rules (see the BBTL website). The winner will have their work recorded and receive a signed copy of “Infected” by Scott Sigler, a limited edition SugarShock poster plus other goodies. I'm reading 'Infected' at the moment (the free download, remember, and now available in shops) and it is really, really good. Will I be entering the competition? Sadly, no. What with all those Podcasts to listen to, all the books to read, two blogs to write AND a day job, my time is pretty well booked up. Having said that, sleep is an over-rated pastime....