Someone once asked me, âWhat is podcasting? Does that have something to do with whales?â? Um no, but itâs definitely something thatâs had my attention since its recent boost. Other than the whale question, many people have been asking me about podcasting, and you also might be wondering what it is. I recently had the pleasure of spending some time with a group of Hawaiiâs pioneer podcasters, the Hawaii Association of Podcasters.
In a nutshell, a podcast is a downloadable âradio show,â? typically in an mp3 digital audio file that can be created and listened to by anyone with a home computer. Its name was derived from two words: iPod and broadcast. You donât need an actual iPod to listen to or broadcast a podcast. Any digital audio player or computer with the right software will do the job.
To receive podcasts, you need a âpodcatcherâ? application that allows you to subscribe to your favorite podcast feeds. You can do that with a variety of different programs, such as iPodder for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux (free – http://ipodder.sourceforge.net), iPodderX for Mac OSX (free 30-day trial, thereafter, $24.95 â http://ipodderx.com) or NewsGator (web-based and free â www.newsgator.com).
For you iTunes users, Appleâs next major release of iTunes (out soon) will make getting podcasts easier. With one click youâll be able to subscribe to different podcast feeds and have them automatically delivered to your iPod. You can use the current version of iTunes to listen to podcasts, but you canât use it yet to subscribe to the feeds.