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Podcasting, a Tutorial

by Hans Dekker

Podcasting -- Radio on your MP3 player

Podcasting is the latest buzzword in the computer world. It refers to radio style MP3 recordings that are available for download from web sites. It seems like almost everybody is involved in podcasting. Radio wannabes have at last found their niche -- there are podcasts on every subject under the sun.

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Podcasts can be listened to using any kind of audio software that is installed on your computer, or they can be transferred to an MP3 player. There's no need to use the Apple iPod MP3 player -- the "pod" in podcasting refers to iPod but has no connection to that particular player.

The Apple iTunes software, though, can be used to synchronize your podcasts automatically. Simply plug your iPod into the USB port of the computer and any new podcasts will be transferred to the player.

But how do you find podcasts? How are they downloaded?

There are many websites that have directories of podcasts. You can search for podcasts by subject or region. After finding a few that look appealing you can subscribe to them using an RSS feed. RSS is a syndication format which allows you to automatically receive content that you have subscribed to. RSS is used on many types of web sites -- you can subscribe to everything from the latest news and weather to shopping information.

Once you have subscribed to an RSS feed the content is downloaded automatically so that you can view it any time. The same thing with podcasting -- new podcasts are downloaded to your computer so that you can listen to them at your convenience.

People have an Apple iPod MP3 player are not the only ones who can synchronize their podcasts. Software is available which allows you to synchronize content with any type of MP3 player. It works the same as Apple's iTunes -- just plug the MP3 player into the USB port and new content is automatically downloaded.

Want to get into podcasting yourself? All you need is a web site and a microphone. Simply record your radio shows and upload them to your web site in MP3 format. Add an RSS feed and you too can participate in the exciting world of podcasting!

Hans is a home entertainment enthusiast and author of the Selected Audio Review Guide and theAudio How To Section
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