Podcasts and more


Podcasts and more
Mac Tip #205/20-July-2005

In the last Tip I explained how to use iTunes 4.9 to locate and download Podcasts. You can also use other software, such as NetNewsWire from ranchero.com, or perhaps iPodderX from iPodderX.com to handle Podcasts for you.

While NetNewsWire will neatly download Podcasts (and other RSS feeds) and transfer them to iTunes on your behalf, it doesn’t necessarily help you find them.

iPodderX, on the other hand, has a directory built in. I looked under the topic Religion and found about 100 listings. I decided to try out the Top Pick: a chapter per day from the New Testament. By clicking the Preview button I was able to listen to the current podcast. If I decided I wanted this each week I could then easily click the Subscribe button.

If religion isn’t your thing then you can also find many Podcasts in other categories such as technology, science, sports, travel, poetry, animals, audio books, law and even wine.

You could also simply visit Google to find plenty of listings directories.

But for all I’ve written about what a Podcast is or where to find one I haven’t said why you might care.

I believe that Podcasts offer us a revolution of the sort the printing press brought. At the moment we are all accustomed to mass media. Large (or small) companies choose our news, our current affairs, our programming. Some programme director decides we’ll hear a cooking programme on Fridays at 10, sports every day at 5, a drama on Sundays at 3, a science show at 9 pm on Wednesdays and news, news, news, provided it’s of the right kind.

Well, I’m sick of others making all the decisions for me. I want more science and technology and less cooking and gardening. I want to hear the thoughts and opinions of people in other parts of the world. I want to listen to what interests me when it interests me, and that’s the power of Podcasts.

This is a revolution in the making: the transformation from mass media laying out a bland set menu with a smidgeon of everything to a tasty smorgasbord where each individual can choose what suits them best, and those who enjoy creating can add their contribution.

Try a Podcast now; you just may find something to grab your attention.

Some of my favourites:

Future Tense
www.publicradio.org/columns/futuretense
BBC Go Digital
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/1478157.stm
Quirks and Quarks
www.cbc.ca/quirks
Science @ NASA
science.nasa.gov
The World: Technology
www.theworld.org
Universe Today
universetoday.com

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