Podcasts in a nutshell

If you've read Jola's last post (or participated in our Skypecast last Saturday) you surely have a fair understanding about what a podcast is. If not, you can read about what podcasts are in English or in your own language! Look:

Bân-lâm-gú Беларуская Català Česky Dansk Deutsch Ελληνικά Español Esperanto فارسی Français Gaeilge Galego 한국어 (Korean) Bahasa Indonesia Íslenska Italiano עברית Lëtzebuergesch Lietuvių Magyar Nederlands 日本語 (Japanese) Norsk (bokmål) Norsk (nynorsk) Plattdüütsch Polski Português Română Русский Slovenčina Slovenščina Suomi Svenska ไทย Türkçe 中文 (Chinese)

Of course, we encourage you to read the English article — and, why not? Expand the article in your own language too :-)

Podcasts, in short

Like you can think of weblogs (or simply blogs) as newspaper's next generation, podcasts are radio program's next generation. Listen to topics of your interest when you have time and not when the radio broadcasts.

Myths about podcasts

Some people think that you need a digital audio player (such as an iPod) in order to listen to podcasts. This is not true! You can listen to podcasts on your computer — and in some cases you don't even need to download the file.

It has also been said that you need to pay money to be able to listen to podcasts. Another myth. Most podcasts are available for free and may be freely distributed. That means that you can share podcasts with your friends (but you might not be able to sell them, for example).

How do I look for a specific podcast?

In your radio receiver you just have to roll the tuner from left to right until you find something that you like. For podcasts, there are several podcast directories, that is, websites where podcasts can be registered under categories. This makes it easy to look for podcasts. You can always use your favorite search engine too.

Some podcast directories are:
There are far too many podcasts! Which one is right for me?

Hard to tell. I'd suggest that you try one of the podcasts that Jola mentioned.

What's RSS and Atom?

Once you've chosen a podcast that you like you can, for example, check their website often to see if there's a new file to listen to. This soon turns cumbersome. You want to automate this process. And you do this with a feed reader (also called aggregator), that is, a software (very much like an email client) that checks if there's anything new that you like.

Simply put, RSS and Atom are files that feed readers understand, and that indicate them where to look for new stuff.

I use the multi-platform Juice aggregator, which is free software, but there are many others too.

Well, that's it for my Podcast primer. Hats off to those who reached this far! :-D
If you've got questions, please don't hesitate to ask :-)

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