Podcasting: A step beyond iPods
December 13, 2005
All right now, let’s take a poll. How many of you out there either own an iPod or know what an iPod is? Raise your hands. Mmm. Okay.I saw a few embarrassed people out there twiddling their thumbs and looking around innocently, as if they hadn’t heard the question. Not to worry, I’ll quickly explain iPods for you so that we can all move on together and talk about Podcasting. Podcasting is a rather important topic, considering that the New Oxford Dictionary just announced “podcast” its 2005 Word of the Year.
An iPod is just a modern, fancier and cooler version of a Walkman or Discman. The best part about iPods is that you don’t have to keep your tapes or CDs around whenever you want to use your iPod, since all of your songs are on your iPod at all times. This is why they’re ultimately so popular. Unbelievable convenience. Plus, it’s easy (and some might say a little too easy) to put new songs onto your iPod. Connect to the iTunes store and with one click of your mouse, practically any song you want will be on its way to your computer, then your iPod. So go get one already; they’re fantastic and they do so much more than what I noted in this summary.For the rest of you, stop yawning. I know you already knew all of that, but it didn’t take long and now we can all learn about today’s topic – Podcasting.If someone is Podcasting, they’re simply distributing audio (or video) to other people through the Web. The neat part is that people can subscribe to these Podcasts, and then listen (or view) the material whenever they like. If my mom read my articles, I’m sure she would stop here and think, “Well, now isn’t that convenient. Just like my TiVo.”
You can listen to World News, your favorite NPR show, Jim Lehrer, Technology Updates, Discover Channel Programs, Spanish lessons, or Sports updates. Even the little guys have their own Podcasts: You can subscribe to Wild Animal Park iZoofari from the San Diego Zoo, or perhaps you’d prefer to subscribe to Oz’s Oz Wine Show, or Theo MacKinnon’s daily Blues Tunes, or Dr. George Lundberg’s Weekly Medicine Podcast.Be careful when you first enter Apple’s directory of Podcasts, since you’ll feel like a kid in the world’s biggest candy store. So much to listen to, so much to learn, so much to try … so little time.Of course, if you’d like, you can create your own Podcasts and submit them to Apple’s master Podcast directory.Have I mentioned yet that pretty much all Podcasts are free? I’m not sure if all will remain free in the future, so best to get started now, eh?
If you’d like to learn more, http://www.apple.com/itunes/Podcasts is a great place to start.eRin pheiL is the owner of timeforcake, based in Frisco. She can be reached at (970) 668-0709 or firstname.lastname@example.org.