Monday, January 5, 2009

Podcasts - The Basics Part 1

I really like podcasts. Some people listen to music, others talk radio, or public radio. I listen to podcasts. They are kind of like "internet radio shows" you download to your computer and mp3 player. There are "video shows" available too - I just don't have a portable video player.

First of all they are free! (O.K. some aren't, but the vast majority are free.) If you have internet access (preferably high speed) and a computer, you can easily have access to any of thousands of these " shows". A portable MP3/media player is a good idea, with the Apple iPods being the most popular. The free program iTunes - you know the one you probably use to buy music (and maybe videos) - can be very easily used to subscribe to podcasts.

Subscribe? You know when you subscribe to a magazine, when a new issue is available it is mailed to you. When you subscribe to a podcast, iTunes (or some similar program) automatically downloads new episodes when they become available. Then it automatically syncs them with your iPod when you connect it to your computer. Pretty cool!

Oh and how do you subscribe to podcasts? You can search for them in iTunes. Also if you find a website for a podcast you are interested in, there almost always is a handy "subscribe in iTunes" button prominently displayed on the site.

I'm sure there are also really easy and cool ways to get podcasts on your iPhone, but I don't have one so ...

I actually use a slightly more involved process, since I am cheap and I can handle a few more steps - especially since it gives me a bit more control (a degree of control most people wouldn't care about - I'm a computer geek, it goes with the territory). I won't bore you with what I actually do, it would probably bore me to write it.

End of Part 1 ... Coming soon, Part 2 - What are these shows he's listening to?

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