I think I’ll jump right in with something that I’ve really gotten into in the past year. I finally bit the bullet and bought an Apple iPod last year. I’ll have to wait to tell you about it for another day, but let me just tell you that it’s totally revolutionized my music and news consumption.
I first bought the iPod for listening to my music. However, when iTunes version 6 came out, I found out about something called Podcasts. Actually, I was downloading podcasts via iPodder before iTunes, but it wasn’t until Apple got on board that the floodgates of available podcasts were opened to me.
What is a podcast? I’m sure you’re hearing the term more and more these days. A good general definition would be any audio file that’s placed on a web server and is distributed via an RSS feed (XML – don’t worry if you don’t know what that is!). Don’t worry about the lingo, just know that you can find podcasts in places like iTunes and subscribe to them. In most cases, they’re free and, in most cases, they are audio only. However, video podcasts are quickly on the rise.
You can find podcasts on just about any topic you can think of. At this point, many are news related (technical news abounds), but there are many video shows coming through all the time.
If you have an iPod, getting podcasts is insanely easy. You just subscribe via iTunes, then downoad, then sync up your iPod. I just take my iPod on the road each weekend and listen to programming from the week. I don’t have to do anything but plug in my iPod and the new stuff is added – very convenient.
How can I try it? That was a super quick review of Podcasts. If you are at all interested in checking out podcasts, I would recommend downloading iTunes from www.apple.com (it’s free). Once you’ve installed, just go to the podcast directory and snoop around. You can listen to the programs through iTunes (or your iPod). If you have a different MP3 player, don’t worry, you can just move the files from your music folder on your hard drive to your player to take the podcasts with you.
I hope you enjoyed my first post. Podcasting is a brilliant new media outlet and I believe it will only get stronger with time. Happy hunting!