Introduction to Podcasting
At its simplest, a podcast is a list of MP3 audio files you can listen to from almost any computer with internet access. You can simply listen to them on the web page, you can download them manually, or you can easily automate regular downloads.
The reason it is called a 'cast' is that you can subscribe (for free) to a podcast channel (sometimes called a feed) so that your computer automatically downloads the latest episodes at they become available. You subscribe by installing some 'PodCatcher' software (which is easy to use) and by then telling it which channels you want to subscribe to.
The reason it is called a 'pod' is that you can use the same 'PodCatcher' software to automatically copy all of the episodes it has downloaded onto your iPod. But NOTE - it does NOT have to be an iPod - it can be anything that plays MP3s, so the term PodCasting is actually quite misleading.
In summary, you can subscribe to audio broadcasts that are automatically downloaded to your MP3 player so you can listen to exactly what you want, when and where you want. There are at least 4000 podcasts out there on almost any topic you could be interested in, and most post a new episode weekly. This is something that only started in about 2004, but looks like it could become really popular as it is to applicable to so many people.
Web Logs (commonly called “blogs”) also use the same subscription technology, so that people can subscribe to a blog and have their “BlogReader” software download all the blog posts they are interested in.
I am subscribed to some new tech reviews, indie music reviews, business advice and educational tech casts. Personally, I was surprised how often I have time to listen to a podcast - washing dishes, cooking, driving, walking, excercising... While I don't make much time to read, I can get through maybe 4-10 hours of podcasts per week.
And now, there is also video podcasting, which I cover here.
How to get listening to podcasts via a Windows PC for free
- Maybe read the overview here http://www.thevoicebooth.com/podcasting/howto.htm
- Download iPodder Lemon at http://ipodder.sourceforge.net/download/index.php
- Run iPodder and look in the "Podcast Directory" Tab - add any you like to your subscriptions. But iPodder doesn't have a complete directory list, so also...
- Look at other Podcast Directory websites like www.podcast.net or www.podcastalley.com or www.podcastpickle.com .
- The PodCast subscription is handled by either the RSS or Atom standards, and packages the channel listing data as XML so if you see something like this small XML logo on a website: or it is probably linking to an RSS subscription. So Find the little RSS or XML icon, copy the link in it, then go to iPodder, click on the “Add New Feed” button and paste the link you found above. PodCast subscriptions I have found are listed in the next section below.
- Click on the podcast you have added. You'll see a list of episodes which you can mark for download etc. Right-click on an episode - you can access show notes and links to anything mentioned in the episode.
- Hit the green, cycular looking download button. It will do its thing for awhile (broadband is reccomended). It cannot resume downloads, do if a download is interrupted, you will have to delete it and try again.
- Open Windows Media Player. Under the "Library" tab, are "My Playlists", which includes all podcasts downloaded. You can listen to them outright, or plug in a portable audio device and drag them across.
- You should decide upon a way of managing them too. You will need to delete them from both your computer and your portable player separeately (unless yours can do a fancy sync).
To delete from your computer, go to iPodder, then go to the "Cleanup" tab - do not delete from Windows Media Player or Windows Explorer. Or if you prefer, right-click on a podcast, see properties and tick the "Automatically delete episodes more than XX days old".
On your portable player, I personally reccommend you delete each episode straight after you've listened to it, otherwise you can loose track of what is old and what is new.
Podcasts I Listen to
(with links to the podcast feed, not the website)
Educational Technology Podcasts:
- EdTechTalk.com - regular, open panel discussions about educational technology, mostly focussed on Web 2.0 technologies. “EdTechTalk is a community of educators interested in discussing and learning about the uses of educational technology. We webcast several live shows each week. During shows, listeners can use any common media player (i.e. Windows Media Player, Real Player, or iTunes) to listen to the discussion and use the chat room to make comments and ask questions. It is also possible to join in the discussion using skype or (sometimes) a U.S. based teleconference. After each show, we post a recording of the discussion as an mp3 file, which can be downloaded directly from the site or subscribed to using our RSS feed. We usually post a chat room transcript and a comment forum where people can continue the discussion (in text) after the show.” http://edtechtalk.com/?q=feed
- EdTech Posse - Similar format and content to EdTeckTalk . “The EdTech Posse is a group of educational technologists, mostly affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, who get together to talk about education, teaching, learning and technology. We are on the lookout for other deputies out there to join us in on our conversations, and to help us gain better insight into this thing called educational technology.” http://feeds.feedburner.com/EdtechPosse
- Stephen Downes’ OLDaily Audio - “Podcast News and Updates in Educational Technology”. Also includes audio of many great presentations he has given around the world. “Stephen Downes, Researcher, National Research Council, Canada. Published in daily and weekly versions, OLDaily reaches readers as a web page, an email newsletter, and an RSS feed. Each issue consist of five to eight or so selected resources from the world of online learning, varying from blog posts to reports to academic papers, summarized and (sometimes) criticized in a bite-sized format. Not merely a content filter, OLDaily stresses a philosophy of open access and open learning, these views supplemented with links to the numerous articles written by the author along with slides and audio from his presentations.” http://www.downes.ca/news/audio.xml
- Connect Learning - “I have been a podcaster since January, 2005, but an educator since deep into the last century. Welcome to my microphone, and some outside the box ideas about classrooms, teaching, and learning in the 21st century.” http://feeds.feedburner.com/connectlearning
- Moving at the Speed of Creativity - The weblog and podcast of Wesley Fryer. Wesley talks about: 1:1; Blogs; Creativity; digitalstorytelling; disruptive-technology; Economics; EdTech; elearn2005; intellectualproperty; Leadership; Literacy; Macintosh; Open Source; Podcasting; Podcasts; Politics techforum; techforumtx; web 2.0; and Workshops. http://feeds.feedburner.com/speedofcreativity/podcasts
- Bit By Bit - “Reflecting on the changing classroom in the 21 Century.” http://feeds.feedburner.com/BitByBit
- Teach42 - “One man's journey through the educational technology landscape.” http://feeds.feedburner.com/Teachfourtwo
How to make your own podcast via a Windows PC for free
You can make your own podcast for free. See http://www.zefhemel.com/upload/CreatingAPodcastingShowOnWindows.pdf for a PDF walkthrough, http://revision3.com/systm/podcasting/ for a VODcast (video) of a walkthrough or http://www.podcasttools.com/ for more tools.