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Podcasting 101

What is a podcast?
Podcasts are audio or video shows that you can listen to on a computer or a portable media player. Unlike radio shows, however, podcasts can be listened to anywhere, anytime. Podcasts can be downloaded to your computer or portable media player, listened to and saved, or a series can be subscribed to and new episodes will automatically be downloaded, as they are published, to a "podcatcher" on your computer.
Yahoo: What is a podcast? | iTunes Explains Podcasts

What can I do with a podcast?
Frequently new audio and video content will be added to each podcast feed. If you're subscribed, you automatically get this new content sent to you. You can listen and watch the content at any time. For example, you could download the content to your iPod and listen to the latest interview while you go for a jog.

What is a podcatcher?
Podcatcher is a term commonly given to software that lets you automatically get the latest versions of a show. You tell the software what shows you want to get, by adding the rss feed url of the show into a form the software provides.

The software then periodically checks to see if the url has any new episodes; if so, it downloads them to your computer while you sleep. If you dock your iPod at night, when you get it in the morning, it will be loaded with the new episodes.

There are many free options. About.com maintains a page that suggests its choices for the best Windows and Mac podcatchers. We've also provided links to free programs here:
Juice | Omea | Awasu | Google Reader

How do I listen to podcasts on iTunes?
Apple maintains iTunes which is one of the larger portals that provide podcasts. The following are step-by-step instructions:

1. Download the latest iTunes program if you don't have it installed.
2. Click “iTunes One-Click” from the podcast page which will open up the feed in iTunes

For more information, please visit the podcasts FAQ page from Apple.

Do I need an iPod to receive podcasts?
No. Podcasts are merely RSS feeds that include audio and video files in the enclosure field. Many of the newer RSS feed readers allow users to listen to podcasts.

I don't want to use iTunes. What else can I use?
All you need is a free podcatcher program. There are many free options. About.com maintains a page that suggests its choices for the best Windows and Mac podcatchers. We've also provided links to free programs here:
Juice | Omea | Awasu | Google Reader

I've downloaded a podcatcher. Now what?
Subscribe to our podcasting feed. Each program will be a little different but you simply need to find the area in the program where you can add a podcasting stream. Paste the URL from the “Get XML” in the box and you are subscribed.

Why is it called Podcasting?
The name comes from iPod and broadcasting, which has managed to cause confusion because an iPod is not needed to listen to podcasts. Regardless, the name has stuck.

Who do I contact for help with podcasts?
Please fill out and submit a customer service ticket online for assistance.


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