Are Podcasts an Efficient Use of Time?

I admit to being a podcast addict, but many people are still trying to figure out when or if they should even be listening to podcasts. Peter Davis is questioning whether or not listening to podcasts is an efficient use of his time when he can get information more quickly by reading it. I tend to agree with Scoble; you can get the information more quickly by reading it, but podcasts are great for when reading is impractical.

I have managed to incorporate podcasting into a variety of strange places in my daily routine. I start the day by downloading podcasts from my computer while I make my morning pot of green tea. I listen to the morning news podcasts while I get ready for work (usually the NPR 7am News Summary, the NYT Front Page, and the WSJ AM Tech News Update). On my 10 minute drive to work and while getting my computer booted, I can usually listen to at least part of another podcast (this morning I caught a few minutes of the latest TWIT). Before I leave work in the evening, I download another batch for the evening.

I listen to podcasts while I cook dinner, wash dishes, empty the dishwasher, fold laundry, do yard work (way too rarely), grocery shop, work out, and anything else that involves more than a few minutes of time away from the computer.

Unlike the radio or TV, I have more control over what I download and when I listed to it. Podcasts have not replaced my reading of blogs, but they have replaced quite a bit of the time that I used to spend reading the news. Podcasts have made me significantly more productive because I can now get my news at times that would have otherwise been wasted time.

A few of my other podcast favorites: