Monday, January 01, 2007

TechnologyIQ: Podcasts offer host of radio and television-style shows on thousands of different topics

by Douglas E. Welch, techiq@welchwrite.com

206-338-5832 Reader/Listener Line


If you have met with me recently, or even read this newsletter, you know that I am an avid fan of podcasting. One of the greatest aspects of podcasting, though, is that the shows available aren't limited to technology topics. In fact, there are shows on movies, knitting, finances, sports, comedy, public affairs, NPR, news, and almost any other topic you can imagine.

These shows are created by the big content providers, like NPR, CNN, PBS and others, but there are also shows created by people just like you. People who are passionate about their interests and hobbies who want to share that passion with others. Regardless of your interests, I am almost positive that you can find a show on whatever topic interests you most.

NO IPOD REQUIRED

First and foremost, listening or watching podcasts does NOT REQUIRE an iPod. You can listen or watch podcasts directly on your computer. If you really like a particular show, you can even burn episodes to CD or DVD for easy watching on your television or listening in your car. That said, an iPod of other MP3 music player allows to get the most from your podcasts, delivering "what you want, where you want, when you want it."

GET APPLE ITUNES

So, How do you start to mine this wealth of Internet riches? One of the easiest methods is to use Apple's FREE iTunes software, available for both Windows and Macintosh computers. If you don't already have this software installed on your computer, you can download it directly from Apple at: http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/ .

ITUNES STORE and PODCAST DIRECTORY

Once you have downloaded and installed iTunes (contact me for assistance if you have any issues or questions), run the program and click on the iTunes Store listed on the left-hand side of the main window. This opens up the iTunes store, where you can purchase music, television shows and movies. We are interested in the free podcasts, though, so next, click on the "podcasts" link in the upper-left-hand corner of the iTunes Store page.

You will now see a page very similar to the iTunes store, but all the listings here are individual podcasts. The center section of this page includes a changing selection of Featured audio and video podcasts in a variety of Genres. Along the left, you will find a list of Genres and also a list of big name content providers whose names you probably already recognize. If you are looking for one of your favorite radio shows, like All Things Considered, you might find it here. Finally, along the right, are a list of the most popular podcasts listed in the iTunes podcast directory.

SUBSCRIBING (FREE)

Clicking on any of the shows listed here will give you more information on the show and links to their latest episodes. You can double-click any episode to sample that show or click on the Subscribe button to automatically receive the latest episode of the show and any subsequent episodes. Again, there are NO FEES involved with subscribing to podcasts.


If you subscribe to a show, it will then appear in the Podcasts list in iTunes, where you can see which shows are available for listening/watching, and easily unsubscribe if you don't wish to receive any more episodes. Some people liken this to the "Now Playing" list seen on the TiVO. Double-clicking any entry will start playing the show. You can pause, fast-forward and rewind, just as you can with any CD or tape player.

I hope you will take a moment to check out the iTunes podcast directory and experience the wealth of riches it has to offer. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at douglas@welchwrite.com or call 818-601-0051 for assistance.

* Once you have iTunes installed, you can click on any of the links below to take you directly to the information/subscription page for these shows:

My Word with Douglas E. Welch

A Gardener's Notebook

Career Opportunities

The Radio Adventures of Doctor Floyd

Botar's Old time Radio

AnimalBytes with Keri Dearborn

Typical Mac User

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