Podcasts and iTunes 4.9

Podcasts and iTunes 4.9
Mac Tip #204/13-July-2005

Our dog is elderly and arthritic and a walk these days is short in distance but long in time. One of the things I enjoy while we walk is to listen to my iPod.

I used to listen to music, and occasionally still do, but these days I’m switched on to Podcasts. And while Podcasts have been around for a short while, Apple’s new version of iTunes (4.9) makes it easy for people like you and me to tune in. And you don’t need an iPod to listen to them, just your computer, but an iPod is more fun.

So, if you’re still reading, you either know what a Podcast is or you’re hoping I’ll tell you. Last week I mentioned RSS Feeds and how they can deliver the text of a web page in an automated fashion. A Podcast takes that a few steps further and brings sound, maybe also pictures or movies to your computer without your having to lift a finger.

The following instructions sound long, but the process takes only a moment or two and is very easy. First make sure you have version 4.9 of iTunes. See About this [Application], Mac Tip #39/23-Jan-2002, for help with this. If you need to, visit www.apple.com/itunes to download it.

Next open iTunes 4.9, connect to the Internet and click on Music Store near top left of the iTunes window. Choose a store. If you’re in New Zealand, where we don’t have a store then just choose USA.

Once the store is on screen click on Podcasts in the list on the left. A Podcast I recommend is Podictionary. The items in this Podcast are very brief — one or two minutes at most — interesting, and quick to download.

Enter the word Podictionary in the search area and click on the magnifying glass icon. Once it shows up in the Search results click on the Subscribe button and then agree to the alert.

One or more items will download into iTunes and it will switch to the Podcasts playlist. Click once on the disclosure triangle to the left of the word Podictionary. Now just double click any item to play it or click the Get button to download it.

From now on the individual Podcasts will just show up automatically.

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