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Sources of Intelligent Audio for Commute?

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the car-talk-via-radio-shark dept.

Media 550

confusus writes "Trapped in the daily routine of commuting for 1-2 hours every day, I started to ponder different ways of recycling commute-time waste. I tried listening to the radio, but 9.9/10, it ends up being just 'duh-whatever.' Then, I tried listening to audio books: it is really hard to find audio books that are tailored toward nerds. Thus I decided to find audio of interesting/geeky/nerdy/sciency interviews, talks, lectures. What would be the websites which provide such content?" I'd really like to find more informative downloadable audio content, too. Perhaps informed commentary and self-guided tours of historical and other sites, like national parks and significant buildings in the U.S. and elsewhere, basically self-guided audio walking (or driving) tours. Can anyone recommend a source?

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What? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992959)


(FP, shitbones)

podcasts (5, Informative)

fishdan (569872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992963)

Here's everything you need to know about podcasting []

Here's a good source of podcasts []

If you look around [] , you'll find plenty of what interests you available as a podcast. Should you not find what you're looking for, with any luck we'll see YOUR podcast up there soon too.

Re:podcasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992990)

He said intelligent. Podcasting is no better than talk radio. Actually, it's worse since there is no quality control.

Re:podcasts (2, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993082)

There is some good talk radio, but just like everything else, 90% of it is crap.

The Inside Mac show podcast is pretty good. I like the Leo Laporte podcast. The NASA Scitech podcast is interesting, but new issues come out rarely. Sexgeeks is pretty interesting.

If anyone was considering getting into making podcasts, for the love of $DEITY, get more than one person and have civil discussions. The podcasts where only one person talks are lamer than the ones with discussions. Get a good sound capture device, decent mics and such.

Also, avoid the politics and religion if you are too easily riled up, even more so if you like to label people that disagree with you. I turn off the stuff where they say "oh those $PERJORATIVE, they are trying to do $BAD_THING".

recomendations (1)

vp_development (789333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993009)

Even if you're not from NYC, you'll probably enjoy PodcasterNYC's Popular Culture Rant [] .

I'm sure other slashdotters can recommend a few good casts

Re:podcasts (2, Interesting)

alatesystems (51331) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993023)

Read the article [] I wrote for my LUG on podcasting. I also gave a presentation at our last meeting.

I link several podcasts that I like.

Re:podcasts (1, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993071)

the whole question was posed so as people could advertise some podcasts as the answer.

the total lack of mentioning podcasts in the Q just confirms it... he says that he's a nerd, but haven't heard of podcasts yet? not likely.

Re:podcasts (1)

vp_development (789333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993116)

the defintion of being a nerd [] is that you don't know much outside of your area of exertise. For most nerds, that means missing out on updates to popular culture -- which is what podcasting is. Unless you were intersted in podcasting from a technical standpoint, why would you know about it before it had any good content?

Re:podcasts (1)

Sefert (723060) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993078)

What exactly is a podcast? Is it only good on an IPod, or can I burn it to CD to listen to it in the car?

Re:podcasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993100)

I know this may sound dumb, but why not move closer to work, or work closer to home?

against podcasts (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993134)

I really do have to object to this "blogosphere" coined name for mp3/ogg downloads, people have been downloading sound files for a *very* *very* long time. Just because the blog kids found it and christened it with a corporate derived name doesn't mean it's new or depends on ipods to operate, let alone depends on any portable music player (I can listen on my desktop can't I?). It's like calling cassettes back in the say "walkgrams" because you could be all trendy and play it on a sony walkman....

While I appreciate the parent has to give the questioner the right keyword to suceed in his search (this is not an attack on the parent). I would implore other slashdot users not to use the term "podcasts" because it's just buzzword corporate hype for downloading sound files.

Queue the "oh so you mean we should say GNU/podcast?" jokes that attempt to normalise and supress the idea that politics exists in everything, even the words we use.

RAWR (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992964)


Record your next D&D game (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992965)

Then relive the glory on your way to work

Whiner! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992972)

What is this, question time? *Whine whine whine* "I don't have anything to read, I'm bored, boohoo!!"

How about demanding a decent public transporst system so you can ride the train like normal people?

That way you can read a book on the way to work.

So, basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992973)

You're picky and you want us to tell you what you'll like to listen to without knowing anything about you?

WebTalk Radio? (2, Informative)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992974)

Perhaps Web Talk Radio [] might be a good answer? I'm biased 'cause I did a segment with them, tho.

NPR / BBC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992975)

Only good radio options left. I enjoy stuff like "Science Friday" and of course just intelligent news that even has a bit of an international angle - not like 99% of the rest of US media.

Wall Street Journal (4, Insightful)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992978)

I found that getting the audio files of the Wall Street Journal and listening to them on the way to work was a very good way to keep abreast of the latest developments in the world. Sure it is dry and not nerdy, but if you work in corporate America it pays to be informed.

Re:Wall Street Journal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993017)

Corporate America is well informed? Then how the fuck did that moron GW Bush get reelected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992980)

I often capture the audio from and record it on CDs for this purpose.

This way I can hear about how to make a cyclops mutant by changing a gene called "Sonic hedgehog" whenever I please.

Public Radio International's lineup of shows (5, Informative)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992981)

Check out the offerings distributed by Public Radio International [] . The archives of many of their shows are available to listen to for free. Specifically, check out This American Life [] , To the Best of Our Knowledge [] , and Sound & Spirit [] . If you're able to record these shows from the archives (using some sort of scheduled stream-ripper like iRecordMusic or WireTap Pro), or purchase them (through Audible or ITMS), they can make an hour-long commute feel like mere minutes.

And for your Monday morning commute, make sure you've got the latest installment of Wait Wait -- Don't Tell Me! [] , the NPR news quiz.

IT Conversations (2, Informative)

daviddisco (302106) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992982) []

Re:IT Conversations (1)

Craig Maloney (1104) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993121)

Seconded. You'll be enjoying some of the best the industry has to offer by subscribing to this podcast, and you'll be deluged with so much interesting content. You'll probably feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume.

LUG Radio (2, Informative)

elleomea (749084) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992989)

LUG Radio []

Re:LUG Radio (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993072)

A quote from their website:

"LugRadio contains language and topics that some may find offensive."

I guess they are talking about Perl?

Big finish. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992991)

Check out the big finish dr. who audio books.
The stories are complex and involving, and very well produced.
It's not schlocky sci fi either.
Also, their 2000ad stuff is good.

I was ready to say "Read a book". (-1, Flamebait)

Kickasso (210195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992996)

But then I realised the author is an American, and as such, drives to work.

Try recycling this waste first.

Read a book! (0, Redundant)

mystran (545374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993059)

Recycle car, then use a bus, and suddenly you can read newspapers, books, even program with a laptop while on the road. Most importantly, you don't need to care about all the idiots on the road. :)

I'd imagine it be cheaper too.

Re:Read a book! (1)

maotx (765127) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993164)

Living in the DC area I decided to try the metro way [] . Three weeks later I figured that the $20/week for a hour commute on bus and train versus $10/week for a 20 minute straight drive just wasn't worth it.

I'm about to move from the 20 minute drive to a hour drive. Perhaps then the train will be a decent alternative.

Re:I was ready to say "Read a book". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993061)

I'm an American that doesn't drive to work, and no, I'm not some leftist hippy.

NPR and other radio (1)

jayrtfm (148260) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992999)

Here [] are links to streaming radio shows, many of which you can download

A Short History of Nearly Everything (3, Informative)

almeida (98786) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993000)

A couple Christmases ago, I gave my brother the audio version of A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I think it's around six hours long. At the time, he had a four hour daily commute, so he breezed through it pretty quickly, but he seemed to enjoy it. Amazon has it for under twenty bucks. Might be worth a shot.

How about just paying attention to the traffic? (4, Insightful)

TigerNut (718742) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993004)

Seriously... I see way too many people that are doing who-knows-what behind the wheel, with visible evidence of the impact it has on the amount of attention they're paying to traffic. Weaving all over a lane, tailgating, running traffic lights, etcetera.
I want my in-car entertainment to be duh-whatever. If it's something that makes you think, then it's reducing the bandwidth you have to be putting towards the road.

Re:How about just paying attention to the traffic? (5, Funny)

Delta2.0 (846278) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993063)

If it's something that makes you think, then it's reducing the bandwidth you have to be putting towards the road.

Only on slashdot will you see your level of concentration refered to as "bandwidth."

Re:How about just paying attention to the traffic? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993087)

How about using the train, metro, bus or bicycle?

Oh I forgot, commuting alone in a SUV increases the size of your small american penis.

Here's the usual traffic report. (2, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993102)

Car 2 meters ahead of me, stalled
Car 2 meters ahead of me, stalled
Car 2 meters ahead of me, stalled
Car 2 meters ahead of me, stalled
Moved 5 meters
Car 2 meters ahead of me, stalled
Car 2 meters ahead of me, stalled
Car 2 meters ahead of me, stalled
Car 2 meters ahead of me, stalled
Moved 5 meters
Car 2 meters ahead of me, stalled
Car 2 meters ahead of me, stalled
Car 2 meters ahead of me, stalled
Car 2 meters ahead of me, stalled

You just got to have some priorities, know when it is time to stop paying attention and concentrate on the road ahead. There's usually plenty of dead time in the typical commute. (Unless you work odd hours).


Re:How about just paying attention to the traffic? (3, Insightful)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993145)

He doesn't say that he's driving, just commuting. Lots of people spend hours on the train commuting between Connecticut and NYC, for instance.

Re:How about just paying attention to the traffic? (4, Insightful)

rpdillon (715137) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993157)

I am a "when you drive, just drive!" kind of guy.

That said, I find the real "bandwidth" eater while driving is anything that requires any sort of response (besides the driving, obviously). That includes talking on the phone, holding anything (requires attention and response to handling the physical object - cup of coffee, magazine/book, radio, whatever), using navigation systems or even talking to the passengers.

If something is simply streaming information to you without interaction (leaving the radio on one station, sticking in a CD and not messing with it, listening to a talk show you downloaded), I do not find it interferes at all. I simply tune it out when I need to think about the traffic, and tune it back in when the situation is resolved. This doesn't work when you're doing something that takes your eyes off the road for any reason, but for audio based entertainment, I really don't see it as a problem.

Well, in the UK... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993005)

BBC Radio 4 [] is pretty much my staple diet of commute audio. Most days it's the Today Programme [] , intelligent, topical, and responsible for breaking a lot of big stories, such as the David Kelly Iraq WMD story.

The last edition is always posted online at the above address as a 'Listen Again' stream - worth checking out.

CBC "Ideas" (2, Informative)

gvc (167165) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993006)

CBC has a number of interesting shows. I particularly like "Ideas", which you can get on cassette or just record live from the internet.

CBC also has "Quirks and Quarks" which covers interesting topics and has interesting guests, but the commentary is a bit juvenile.

I really like "As it happens" but I'm not sure how good that would be recorded - they phone people who are in the day's news.

If commuting means "driving car" (1, Troll)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993008)

Please stay away from audiobooks and other similar distractive stuff. All those people not killed in traffic accidents will be thankful.

Re:If commuting means "driving car" (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993060)

Audiobooks are no more distracting than the radio. Far less than a phone conversation. I wouldn't want to try to concentrate on a lecture, though.

IT Conversations and Podcasts (5, Informative)

billnapier (33763) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993010)

Check out the content available from IT Conversations [] . Lots of geeky stuff from lots of geeky people (People like Cory Doctorow, Steve Wozniak, Bruce Schneier, etc.).

You may also want to try listening to podcasts. Check out [] to see a directory of them. There is more than enough content there to keep you occupied on a daily basis. Oh, I guess I'm also assuming you can listen to MP3 in your car...

NPR. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993011)


The Mark Steel Lectures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993013)

Beg, borrow or (most likely) steal The Mark Steele Lectures. He's an excellent British comedian who's done a series of lectures on famous scientists and artists. They're all funny and informative, too. You can probably get hold of them from a few torrent sites.

my commute is a 15-minute train ride!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993014)

hjajahahahahahahah!!!!! sucker!!!!!

eat shit in your fat CAR

Do the math (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993015)

If you commute 2 hours per day, 5 days
a week, 50 weeks a year (for a total of
two weeks "time off" for good behavior
each year), you pull in 500 hours/year
in a metal cage. If you do a decade of
work like this, that's about 208 days
in a car. Or, about the length of time
for a first-time non-violent felony
prison sentence, like robbery without a
real gun, grand theft auto (the real
thing, not the game), embezzlement,
and similar crimes. The difference
is that if you committed a real crime,
you'd at least have a chance of getting
away with it. But since you took this
crappy job, you're being sentenced to
a metal cage, without the benefit of
having potentially profitted from a crime.

Pray tell, what crime did you commit to
be sentenced to this metal cage that you
call "your commute"? Or do you not value
your freedom enough to demand or expect
something better out of life? (Don't be
ashamed if this is what you want for
yourself; the world does need cogs after all.)

Some sources (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993020)

Can anyone recommend a source?

What's in your local library?

As far as nerdish fare, 'Hell's Faire' [] works. Audiobooksforfree [] is a good source. Old time radio shows [] can be pretty good listening as well.

An elegant solution... (4, Funny)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993021)

Put a laptop with wireless Internet access in your car, hook it to your stereo, and install some software that speaks the text of websites. Then point your browser to Slashdot commentary.

You'll be laughing so hard that you'll drive into a telephone pole, and you won't have to worry about commuting for a while.

The essentials (1)

thundercatslair (809424) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993025)

I would try getting a mp3 player and listening to your own music. There is also podcasting (terrible word but the only one I can use now) where you can get great interviews with people and such. But seriously a mp3 player is essential for commuting.

IT Conversations (1)

miller60 (554835) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993028)

IT Conversations [] , produced by Doug Kaye, has tons of worthwhile interviews on IT, blogging and geek-centric issues. Lots of the audio is from industry conferences.

SICP Lectures (3, Informative)

bwalling (195998) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993030)

I downloaded MIT's Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (SICP) lectures from here [] , and converted the audio portion to MP3 so I could play it on my iPod. Outside of that suggestion, I have the same question as you. I recently cancelled an Audible subscription because I had run out of books I was interested in hearing. The local library seems to have mostly fiction in audiobook.

CCC congress (1)

Okneff (522357) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993032)

The german Chaos Computer Club has an archive [] of lectures/talks/workshops from their anually congress .

Radio for nerds (1)

LinuxRulz (678500) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993034)

So, you want more nerds oriented radio, hmmm...
have you tried free radio linux []
you get bored after a while but you sure look geek by listening to the linux kernel source!

Re:Radio for nerds (1)

merreborn (853723) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993154)

For those of you without audio capability, you can see the current file [] being read.

unsigned char MajorVersion;
unsigned char MinorVersion;
unsigned short BuildNumber;


#if !defined(IMAGE_ARRAY_NAME)
#define IMAGE_ARRAY_NAME FirmwareImage
#define IMAGE_VERSION_NAME FirmwareImageVersion
Engaging stuff.

ITConversations ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993035)

Try , they often have some very interesting, and long, interviews.

Quirks and Quarks (5, Interesting)

yo303 (558777) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993036)

Quirks and Quarks is a Canadian science radio show from CBC. Endless hours of content can be downloaded from the past shows archive here [] .

As a bonus, you can even get it in Ogg.


Re:Quirks and Quarks (2, Insightful)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993162)

Quirks and Quarks is now also available via the CBC in a Podcasting [] form, along with a program called "/Nerd".

The CBC has been doing an excellent job of exploiting the types of technologies /.ers love recently. First providing radio stream in Ogg Vorbis format, and now Podcasting. Cool :).


CBC's Quirks & Quarks archives (1)

stu72 (96650) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993040)

CBC does a science show called Quirks & Quarks and they have excellent archives:

College/University Websites (1)

npdoty (662178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993042)

A number of College and University websites have audio of lectures that take place on their campus.

For example, I run the Amherst Recording Council, which provides online audio of lectures and events from the Amherst College campus. We've recently had talks on biology, slavery, politics, economics, architecture, intellectual property, and history. []

Art Bell? (1)

Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993049)

Have you tried listening to older Art Bell shows? Even some of the newer ones are pretty interesting (nerd wise, or other)..

Their streamlink plan lets you download shows from past 90 days, they just started an awesome "classic show" category that has some real gems... Look out for shows from Dr. Michio Kaku (Awesome guy, genius, check out his book Hyperspace) as I find those really entertaining to the geek part of me.

The website for the show can be found Here [] and the streamlink info Here []

Oh, and lots of stuff about UFOs, ghosts.. just time killing stuff to listen to

I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993097)

Even if you're not the type to believe some of the wilder topics, they can be amazingly entertaining.

Stop commuting (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993051)

People like you are ruining America. Move closer to where you work, pig.

Internet Radio Shows (1)

Dial-Up (842218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993055)

RantRadio [] , has many interesting "radio" shows on their talk stream, the majority of them being intelligent. Also, most of the shows keep archives of their previous shows, so you can download them and listen to them whenever.

My favourite show is Nuts and Bolts [] , a show dedicated to computers and technology.

Also, there is Tales from the Afternow [] , a cyberpunkesque audio narrative.

NPR! (1)

bhorling (42813) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993058)

NPR has lots of great shows online. You can grab them with a stream ripper or similar (if you use a Mac, Audio Hijack works). In particular, I'd recommend Talk of the Nation: Science Friday [] and This American Life [] .

NPR / PBS / Audible (1, Informative)

UnderAttack (311872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993070)

Back when I had a long commute (1hr +), I listened to NPR/PBS. Great program. I did use quite a bit back then as well. Too bad they don't support Linux :-/. Had to drop them as I got rid of Windows.

Quirks and Quarks rocks. (3, Informative)

Stoutlimb (143245) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993073) []

This Canadian radio show has been running weekly since at least 1988, and covers a broad range of science news. I find they rarely dumb down their news, and often they will cover obscure and very interesting areas of research that you just won't hear about anywhere else in the news.

The website supports podcasting, realaudio, and you can download every weekly episode since 1988 right from their website. Pretty cool when you think about it.

This is definately superior news for the science nerd.

Take Courses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993077)

Check out the teaching company. []

They have full blown courses from some of the best professors in the country. Not much IT stuff, but lots of other cool lectures.

X-1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993080)

Look up Old Time Radio, many different genres to choose from. If you like science fiction x minus one is great, there are many others as well.

Gas prices just hit an all-time high (0, Offtopic)

geekee (591277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993089)

Maybe you should consider:
1) Using mass transit, if available.
2) Moving closer to work
3) Buying an electric car and driving in the carpool lane, if that's an option

take public transport and read! (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993092)

how about a lateral approach: is it possible for you to take public transport and read a book / work on your laptop instead? or car share and then some of the time you could read/use your laptop and some of it knock interesting ideas around with your companions?

The wonders of the BBC (4, Informative)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993093)

As probably the largest producer of English language spoken word material in the world, you could try looking at the BBC material.

On a factual note there is "This Sceptred Isle" series, a 2000 year history of the British Isles that is about 44 hours to start off with. They have plenty of other stuff as well.

On a SciFi note they have HitchHickers Guide to the Galaxy, Doctor Who, Earth Search and a whole pile more as radio plays. As Fantasy they have the excellant Lord of the Rings dramatization, and a complete canon of Sherlock Holmes among others.
They also do a good range of comedy, though much of this does have a U.K. slant.

Outside the BBC there is a whole series of lectures by Feynman if that takes your fancy, try Amazon. If you are into Terry Pratchett, then try ISIS audio books for unabridged audio books of his Discworld novels.

Fortunately for me I live in the U.K. and I get much of this stuff piped directly into my house via digital radio straight onto my hard disk in MP2 format via the wonders of BBC7 :-) (2, Informative)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993096)

Democracy Now! [] makes its entire shows available in MP3 and OGG. It's about the most informative show out there. It's liberal-libertarian and is regrettably pro-choice, but mostly deals with issues about oppressed people from around the world. Domestic issues are generally limited to libertarian issues such as privacy, analysis of the mainstream media, etc., and to liberal issues such as race relations.

Search (1)

Punboy (737239) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993099),, etc. They have lots of "intelligent" stuff on audio CD that you could listen to. Also check around local community college book stores for stuff like that. Often college courses will have things like that as part of the course material . Good luck.

Books off net then text-to-speech (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993104)

I usually walk home, about 40 minutes. I started off using techno but it got boring after a while. There are many books out there on the net. Download them, convert them to mp3s using one of the text-to-speech engines, and listen away using whatever geek device is suitable. Presently listening to Hemingway's "for whom the bells toll".

Online philosophy lectures (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993108) res.html

Can't do much better than philosophy for something to engage your mind.

You're kidding, right? (2, Informative)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993109)

Then, I tried listening to audio books: it is really hard to find audio books that are tailored toward nerds

How hard did you look?

All of Tom Clancy, Tolkien, Douglas Adams are available on tape and CD, as well as more Star Trek and Star Wars shite that you'd ever want to know about in your life.

Maybe start with Spock vs. Q

mass transit? (1)

omicronish (750174) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993115)

Have you considered mass transit? You don't have to worry about driving anymore, and can read a good book, stare at the scenery, or have fun by creeping out the person sitting next to you. The ride might be longer than if you drove yourself, but I feel it's a lot better than stressing yourself out with 1-2 hours of traffic battles.

IT Conversations (1)

Masa (74401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993119) []

Tons of public speeches from variety of interesting tech/sci related topics.

Simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993122)

This is Slashdot, so the answer is simple:
William Shatner [] ! ... ok, just kidding.
(although I have to say this particular Shatner experience wasn't half as bad as I expected it to be)

quasi-legal audio (1)

Saeger (456549) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993123)

What would be the websites which provide such content?

Well, since you didn't mention any constraints, give BitTorrent + [] a go. The site's a little bogged down, but the torrents aren't.

I've found more lecture, speeches, and misc audio there than I can listen to in a lifetime (even at my usual "mplayer -speed 1.5" chipmunk speed).

My 2 cents (2, Informative)

Bootard (820506) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993129)

I say check out the Feynman Lectures on cd. I only listened to the first couple, but they seemed to be worthwhile. Maybe someone who has a little better experience with them can give some more information. Defenitly high on the nerd factor though. The other thing I would recommend is language tapes. Pimsleur are the ones I have experience with and they are really good. Kind of expensive, but it's defenitly some good stuff to fill up the noodle with on your way to work.

Lord of the Rings (1)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993136)

I personally consider Lord of the Rings to be plenty nerdish. I bought these audio CDs [] a while back and am very happy with them. Rob Inglis, whose British accent fits perfectly with them, does an amazing job of narrating the trilogy.

It's unabridged, and contains every single word from the books (with the exception of the appendices). Consists of 46 CDs and 52 hours of audio. Combine it with The Hobbit [] and you've got about 64 hours of Tolkien's genius.

No, I don't work for Amazon :)

Ira Glass (1)

Illserve (56215) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993139)

This American Life

Hundreds of episodes available for free on real-audio.

But you'll want a way to stream them to a file that you can listen to later, the shows are $13 apiece, which is a bit steep if you're just looking to buy them blindly.

Rush hour traffic and Scientific Talk Radio? (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993141)

Are you trying to slow traffic down more than it already has to go? While you're off pondering the deep ramifications of how the latest research on String Theory is moving forward you're gonna slow down and bug the crap out of everyone around you--bring on road rage.

Meanwhile, you could be getting a good belly laugh by listening to Tom Leykus about topics that really matter--the voodoo we call dating. Or as Tom would say, ``How to teach men to get more ass for less cash.''

nerdy audiobooks (1)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993146)

Someone else mentioned a Bill Bryson audiobook - I'd also recommend "In a sunburned country" about his travels in Australia. It's over 10 hours on CD, and is very worthwhile. It's not *funny*, but his writing has a dry wit to it. Additionally, it's read by the author, so he knows best how to present the material.

Also, I've recently gone through "When Genius Fails" - again, a long one at 9.5 hours. Purchased from for $9.95 (first purchase discount). Great look at the fall of a big hedge fund in the '90s. (Financial nerds would like this one!)

As others have pointed out, podcasting is probably going to be a good source of large amounts of content - for long commutes that's what you'll need. However, I'm not sure there's always enough compelling content out there yet. I take that back - there's probably enough compelling content out there for your commute, but finding it and having it be relatively consistent will be difficult.

BBC and CBC might be worth checking out to see what programs they have you can grab and burn (maybe none, but I seem to remember some BBC radio shows being available some time ago).

Good luck! If you find some good stuff, post it back here!

What about actually reading? (0)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993150)

I mean, come on, searching for audio books etc... why not just read? What's wrong with the ol' low tech response here?

It's what I do, and I have been able to read so many 'important' books that I would never have had the time to otherwise. (You know, all those books that you say "I should really read that one day").

Read man... REEEEEAAAAD!

NPR (1, Redundant)

Asprin (545477) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993152)

National Public Radio is awesome: Smart, diverse, interesting. They could use your financial help, too.

Fifth HOPE (3, Informative)

darkfnord23 (696608) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993153)

The Fifth HOPE conference had some great lectures. Here's a link [] .

you're trying to solve the wrong problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993155)

the real problem is that you commute 1-2 hrs a day! move closer to your job or move your job closer to you.

record fm radio shows (1)

sucati (611768) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993163)

If there are radio shows you like but the time slot is not convenient, record it to mp3 and listen whenever.

This is what I did and I describe how to do it here []

Amateur Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11993165)

Get a radio that can pick up the Amateur Radio 2m band. If your in a heavily populated area, the repeaters will be a lot like slashdot. Some great and very insightful geeky conversations, some trolls, some really boring conversations, everything except for anonymous cowards (hard to be anonymous when you have to have license to talk). Better yet, study a little bit and get a license and join in. If you are already a geek you can probably get 40-60% of the answers right on the entry level technician class test.

Two Bits (4, Informative)

BrynM (217883) | more than 9 years ago | (#11993167)

IT Conversations []
Talking History []
These two have kept my train ride going for a while ;)
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