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Podcast About The Podcast #2: (Note to regular listeners – this was not sent via podcast because it deals with issues for listeners new to podcasting.) I had such great feedback after doing my first Podcast About The Podcast that I have decided to keep doing them. Over the last few weeks, I have been involved in consulting and production of new podcasts. These podcasts are aimed primarily at listeners who are not already familiar with podcast technology. In doing this, we found many people enjoyed the new shows but struggled with figuring out all the new terms and most importantly, what subscribing meant and how to go about doing it. Today we take a step back and cover – what is a podcast and how to get your computer set up to automatically receive new editions of your favorite shows.
Direct download: Podcast About The Podcast 2 (10:54min 7.5MB)
The following pictures and information are meant to supplement the information in the podcast. I am working with the assumption you have listened to it. If not – listen here.
What is podcasting?
Podcasting is a new technology allowing a listener to subscribe to Internet style radio shows. The shows are received free of charge. Using podcasting client software users automatically receive new shows as they are published. The listener controls the means of subscription and can turn subscriptions on and off at any time. The shows are podcast in traditional mp3 format and are not platform or device dependant. If you can play mp3s you’re ready to get started with podcasts.
Let’s get started.
As mentioned in the podcast, the magic of podcasting is the ability to “tune” into your favorite shows via subscription so that you automatically receive new shows as they are produced. Don’t let the word “subscription” scare you, there is no cost involved, it merely means you are subscribed to the “feed” so that new shows are automatically delivered to your computer. Many podcast clients make it really easy allowing you to subscribe to shows via a directory. However, with so many new shows popping up, sometimes the directories are a bit behind. We’ll cover how to subscribe with and without the use of a directory.
We’ll follow along with a simple 5-step outline I worked up a few months ago. This will work for any podcast. For sake of example we’ll use Reel Reviews.
As simple as that sounds, it still assumes you know a little about podcasting. Let’s break it down further.
Download a podcast receiving client. This is the software that runs on your computer to automatically retrieve the podcasts you have subscribed to. There are many choices and more appear all the time. The two that have been around since the very beginning are also the two I happen to recommend most.
Step #2. Install on your system.
Self explanatory, just follow installation instructions.
Step #3. Add our podcast feed.
Find podcasts you enjoy and would like to subscribe to. Let’s assume you have found my podcast, Reel Reviews, and would like to subscribe to the show.
Each podcaster will have a “feed” associated with their podcast. The feed is actually a rss 2.0 file. Don’t know what that is? Don’t worry – you don’t need to. The software that retrieves podcasts for you knows what to do with it.
Usually somewhere on the homepage there will be a place listing the feeds. Sometimes it will be a little white on orange button that says “XML” or in the case of my page two little buttons. Here one says “podcast” the other “RSS 2.0” – either will work. These buttons, when clicked, take you to the page with the “feed” needed for your software.
If you click on one of those feed buttons it will open a new browser window. At first you may think your computer has exploded as the browser window will be filled with all kinds of technical looking text. That is just the raw RSS 2.0 file. Ignore it. What we do care about is the web address (URL) in the browser address bar. This is the URL of the feed that we need to subscribe to the podcast. In this case it is “http://reelreviewsradio.com/wp-rss2.php”. Another common format ends in “rss.xml”
Now that we have the feed URL, let’s load it into the podcast client. First we’ll look at how to do it in iPodderX.
Click the Add button.
Copy and paste in the URL of the feed and click the “Add Feed” button. Done! It is that simple.
You can also add shows via the directory. Use the directory controls to find the show you want to subscribe to and click on the little green “+” button.
Either way you add the subscription, next just click on the “Check Now” button to load the most recent podcast from that feed. In iPodderX you can even play the podcast from within the app by clicking on the “Drawer” which will slide out the player controls.
Now lets see how to do the same thing using iPodder.
Just as before, copy and paste in the URL of the feed and click the “Add” button. Done! It is that simple.
iPodder also has a directory system. It is modeled after a standard Windows folder system where you can click on the folder to display the contents. Click on the “Select feeds from the podcast directory” button, find the feed you want and click “Add selected feed”.
Once you are subscribed to the feeds you want, click the “Check for new podcasts” button. Just as with iPodderX, you can set numerous custom preferences.
Step #4. Automatically receive new Reel Reviews.
Now that you are subscribed, all the podcast clients allow you to set, via preferences, how often to check the feed, where the file is stored when downloaded and whether or not to sync it with your mp3 playing software. Your computer will now automatically check for and retrieve new podcast shows in the background. When you want to listen to podcasts, just check to see which new shows you have received.
Step #5. Enjoy Reel Reviews.
This is the best part. Unlike the radio model, which is essentially appointment listening, where you can only listen to the show if your schedule matches that of the broadcaster. Podcasting puts you in total control. After receiving the new shows via podcast, you can burn them to CD or play them directly on your computer, phone or mobile device. Whether sitting at you computer, out for a walk, at the gym or on you daily commute, you never have to miss a podcast. You now decide when, where and how you are going to listen to the show. Welcome to the world of podcasting!
Part of the excitement surrounding podcasting is that there is virturally no barrier to entry. With a mic and a computer you can start podcasting. As a result, there are thousands of “independent voices” creating now shows available to listen to via podcast technology. Want to start your own? It is fun and easy – check out this first Podcast About The Podcast.
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