Now that we have gone into the basics of what a podcast is and what some of the terminology means in my first article. We can now look at how you can find a podcast and then listen to it.
In preparing this article I looked at what is out there for podcatching software and there is quite a lot, let me tell you. I have used one or two in the past but when Apple released a version of iTunes that already had a very large directory of podcasts that played right there in the media player you already had open, I just had to switch. Anyone who makes a podcast can submit their feed and have the podcast available to all of us. I was easily able to find all of the current podcasts I wanted to listen to and some new ones as well.
The main reason I chose iTunes for myself and to share with all the readers of Families.com is its simplicity. Apple has always been very good with making a very usable interface for everyone. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist with a desk top, laptop, hiptop and palmtop computer to use it.
Let’s start off simply. If you have iTunes you can skip the first part (although you may need to upgrade if you have an old version).
1. Download from here and install iTunes.
First make sure that your computer meets the minimum requirements posted on the Apple site.
2. Once iTunes is installed you can just drag and drop all of your MP3 files if you have any into it and it will play them for you if you wish. If you have a large collection it makes searching and playing through them much much easier. There will be more MP3 articles coming soon!
3. Click the “Music Store” button on the left. Don’t worry, the podcasts don’t cost anything.
4. Under the “Inside the Music Store” menu on the left you can click “Podcasts”
5. Drop down a little lower and you can type into the search box whatever you think you’d like to hear. Cooking, fitness, technology, children, music lovers, sports, its all out there!
6. Once you hit enter or the little magnifying glass next to the search box you will see a list of authors, titles and a text listing of the podcasts. I usually click the “See All” button on the titles. You will see a little icon next to each of the podcasts and if you click them can see more information about that particular one. There is usually a description about the podcast in general, contact info, as well as a website for the podcast. Many podcasts are done in part with a more extensive website on the subject. A technology podcast may be from a tech news site that does reviews and articles.
7. Once you find a podcast you think you might like to try, you can double click the episode you want to try and listen to the first 90 seconds of it. You can also click the “Get Episode” button to the right of it. If you find yourself really liking a particular podcast, hit the “Subscribe” button and when a new one is made available, iTunes will download it for you the next time it’s run.
8. To listen click “Podcasts” under your source menu on the far left of your iTunes window. It’s the purple button right under your “Library”. Here you will see the podcasts you have downloaded. Just double click them to play or select it and hit the play button.
If you try out a ton of podcasts, iTunes will sort them for you by the source/podcaster. You can use the little triangle button next to them to expand and contract them. If your husband downloaded 187 sports episodes from 4 different podcasters, just minimize them with that button and get them out of your way. If you have podcasts you’ve listened to but haven’t subscribed to, there will be a button here as well for you to do that.
After that it’s just a matter of sitting down with some tea or coffee or beverage of your choice, sitting back and exploring radio shows made for you on every subject that’s important to you. Anything from politics, comics, sports, and more! If you ever get lost while searching through the Music Store, just hit the little “Home” button right under the volume slider. There’s also back and forward buttons that work just like the ones on your web browser.
So, did you find anything fun to listen to today? What was it? Do you use a different Podcatcher? Which one?