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Getting Started with Podcasts

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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Podcasts are the big thing right now. Podcast this. Podcast that. Simply because I’m the geekiest person some people know, they automatically assume that I know all about it, that I don’t have a life, that I just sit at home and listen to podcasts all day long as if I had nothing better to do with my time.

Sigh…

So here’s a short guide to podcasting.

Step 1: Download iTunes (Yes, I realize there are other programs and if you’re an alpha geek with your own weird l33t haxor podcast reader, I congratulate you on your differentness. If you’re a normal person, download iTunes. It just makes life easier.)

Step 2: Install said iTunes

Step 3: Open iTunes and select Podcasts from the Source Menu (see left). There probably isn’t anything there yet but this is where all the new audio and video files for your podcasts are going to be showing up, so you might as well know where it is. You can also drag and drop new podcast feeds into the podcast content screen when you want to add them.

Step 4: Find some podcast feeds! There are two ways to find podcast feeds.

(1) Apple has a great directory of podcasts organized by category. To browse feeds, navigate to the iTunes music store (just 4 items below podcasts in step 3) and look for the “Choose Genre” dropdown. Select “Podcasts”. You will see a selection of individual podcasts and podcast categories. You can also search the music store by keyword which is helpful if you’re looking for something specific. When you find a podcast you want to subscribe to, click the subscribe button. You can always unsubscribe later so don’t obsess over your choice. Just click one. The podcast you selected will now be added to your list of subscribed podcasts in the podcast folder. Every so often it will check the server to see if there’s any new content for that podcast and if there is it will automatically download it for you.

(2) Not all podcasts are listed in the Apple directory, so browsing the web is another good place to find podcasts. If there’s a popular speaker or radio personality you like there’s a pretty good chance that they’ve jumped on the bandwagon and are starting to podcast. For instance, David Dye hosts one of my favorite music shows, World Cafe on WXPN in Philadelphia. KPFT stopped syndicating it a few years ago because they’re dumb. Podcasts to the rescue! I googled “david dye podcast” and turned up a bunch of results including the World Cafe page on the XPN.org website. When I went to the page I noticed this little guy


as well as this link. Clicking that icon should load up iTunes and find the feed. If it doesn’t, they’ve also provided a link (http://feeds.feedburner.com/worldcafenext) that you can simply drag and drop to the iTunes Podcasts page.

Step 5: Enjoy! That’s pretty much it. E-mail me or leave a comment if you have any questions or if there’s anything that I can add that would make this guide better.

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Category: music i like, technology

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