Saturday, January 4, 2014

Podcast Picks: Introduction to podcasts.

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Introduction to Podcasts

Podcasts have been around for several years but many people have never listened to them.  Podcasts are great because no matter what your interests are, it is very likely you will find a podcast on that subject.  Cooking?  Radio Controlled model aircraft?  Programing in Java?  Quilting?  I have found podcasts for all of those subjects.

What is a podcast?

Podcasts are audio and/or video shows you can download to your media player, smartphone, or tablet.  They cover just about any subject you can imagine and are usually free.

How do I get podcasts on my device?

Simple, you use an app called a podcatcher. I will start with the free apps first.
iOS: Podcasts from Apple.
Android: Stitcher Radio or if you want something simple OneCast.
WindowPhone: Podcasts!
The podcatcher I use is Pocket Casts from +Shifty Jelly. Pocket Casts works on both IOS and Android but it is not free. Pocket Casts is a really good app and I plan on doing a full review at some point in the future. If you are on Blackberry just search the apps store. You can of course listen to podcasts on your PC or download them to your PC and put them on a media player like an iPod Nano.

Where do I find podcasts?

Podcast apps will have a directory of popular podcasts and that will be the simplest way to get started.  If your favorite website happens to do a podcast, they will often have links for you to subscribe.  Some of your other options are a google search for example, Cooking Podcasts for example.  Another option is a directory like http://www.audio-podcast.fm/.

Video or Audio?

That is up to you.  I happen to like audio only podcasts because I listen to them while driving, riding my bike, mowing the lawn and so on.  They also take less space on my device and take less time to download. Some shows are really best when you watch the video.  The good news is that often you can watch those on YouTube in addition to downloading them to your device.

Where to start?

Look at your podcast apps list of podcasts. A good first podcast is NPR's 7am News Summary, it should be in the library of any good podcast app.

What is to come?

I am planing on spotlighting some of my favorite podcasts that cover a variety of subjects, so stay tuned. And if you find any really good podcasts leave me a comment.
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