Podcasting 101

Note: This is years out of date at this point. History!

I was asked what podcasting is, so I wrote up this short explanation.

Note: The following assumes you know what RSS is. If you don't, read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS_file_format).

  1. Get an RSS feedreader that supports enclosures (the mp3 files that are the basis for the podcasts). One that runs on your client machine will hopefully download enclosures; one that is web-based, like Bloglines, will provide a link to the enclosure that you can download. or, you can get a specific podcast client tool that only works with RSS feeds that contain enclosures. You can find a list of podcast clients at http://www.ipodder.org/directory/4/ipodderSoftware, but I recommend these fine open source tools:
  2. Subscribe to RSS feeds that contain podcasts/enclosures.
  3. Once every 24 hrs, your feedreader connects to the RSS feed and downloads the enclosure, which is, in effect, the podcast. 99.9% of the time, this is an mp3 file.
  4. Ideally, your podcast software automatically transfers the enclosure—the mp3 file—to your iPod/iRiver/digital music device. Then when you get up in the morning, you take your device with you to listen to on your commute or throughout the day. Otherwise, you copy the files manually to your music device on your schedule.
  5. Don't forget to delete the enclosures/mp3s off your computer if they're left behind!

And that, my friends, is podcasting.

For more, read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting, or http://www.ipodder.org/whatIsPodcasting

My favorite podcasts

Here's my list of the podcasts to which I listen. The links are to the direct podcast feed that you want to subscribe to, if you want to check 'em out yourself. And by the way—I use a modified bashpodder on my Linux box to grab these puppies. It's great software! And so simple!

What's not on this list that I wish was? Fresh Air. Terry Gross, get your act together & get that show out as a podcast! And This American Life. Ira Glass, you too! Real Media files suck! Give us mp3s!

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