You can listen to them on the go via applications like Stitcher or download them for when you don’t have Internet access.
A podcast is a digital audio or video clip in a radio-style talk. The subject can be about almost anything. They are often referred to as a “series” as they are normally based on a single subject. A podcast might be one person talking, a group of people talking, interviews, etc. So, it’s free (usually), original and interesting content that you can listen to on any device that plays the files. Do you have something that can play a podcast? It might be your phone, an MP3 player or your computer with audio capabilities.
2. Who creates podcasts?
Anyone can create a podcast. Most are people who are interested in a subject and are willing to share their ideas and content. Unlike radio and broadcasting, there are no regulations. So, you have normal people creating shows they want to hear. As you explore podcasts, pay attention to the people who are creating them.
3. Plan before you look.
Make a list of your interests. Why? There are so many podcasts out there that you can spend a lot of time just looking through them. For your first few times out, try to limit your searches. You’re sure to find plenty for your listening pleasure.
Some podcasts can be extremely large. This is especially true of video podcasts. Make sure you have enough space to hold the podcasts you are downloading. Check out the sizes on some podcasts and see if you have room for them. If you don’t, what can you do to store them, even if only temporarily.
Most people probably do not do this, but I track my podcasts. With writing badge programs, I often want to refer to material I’ve read or listened to — including podcasts. By keeping a list and a brief explanation, it allows me to go back and listen again for clarification. Would tracking your listening help you? If so, plan to do it before you start listening.
Start the search
6. iPods, iPhones and iPads.
Apple makes it easy for listeners to access podcasts through iTunes. If you have one of these devices, go to the “App Store” and start looking through the podcasts. Notice that they are divided into categories to help you identify your interests. You will need to “subscribe” to a podcast for iTunes to check for new episodes.
7. No iTunes.
Don’t use iTunes? Don’t worry. There are many places you can go to access podcasts. Some sites, like TED, allow you to view the podcasts directly on their site.
There are a few directories listed below in the “Sites to Explore.” Check out one or more to explore podcasts.
8. Add podcast to iTunes.
If you want to subscribe to a podcast that lives outside of iTunes, you can check out the link to eHow on how to do it. Though iTunes offerings are vast, you may find podcasts out there that do not do iTunes.
Once you’ve downloaded a podcast, it’s just like any other file. You can upload it to your player, burn a CD or listen to it on your original device. Look at the ways you have available to you to take podcasts with you and / or archive them for later review.
10. Latest release.
Podcasts can be released daily, weekly, monthly or even randomly. iTunes will automatically download the new content for you. Alternatively, you may need to subscribe to a podcast’s RSS or email service to be notified of new content.
Stitcher allows you to listen to over 20,000 radio shows and podcasts on demand. It is available for multiple devices. There are other applications that do the job well. The last link in the list below will help you identify a few to try out.
Sites to Explore