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What is podcasting?

A podcast is like a radio show that you download from the internet.
And before we go any further, no, you don’t HAVE to have an iPod to listen to a podcast.
Podcasts can be listened to on any brand of cell phone, tablet, laptop, desktop… even on your TV!
You can even burn them to CD and play them wherever there’s a CD player (Wow… does anyone still do that?).

Unlike commercial radio, a podcast can be listened to when you want, where you want.
You don’t need to be tuned into a specific station and forced to listen to what is playing, or try to remember to tune in when you favorite show is being broadcast.
Instead, you can subscribe to a podcast, and listen to the show at your convenience.

But the real beauty of a podcast is not just that you can listen to it anywhere anytime…. as good as that is.
No, the best part is the amazing spectrum of content that is available out there waiting for you to discover it.

Like knitting?
There’s a podcast out there for you.
Like horror stories?
There’s hundreds of those out there.
Like horse racing, china painting, or origami?
They’re out there too.
If you can imagine it, there’s a pretty good chance that someone out there is already producing a podcast about it.

And another great aspect of podcasts is that you don’t have to keep checking for new episodes.
Because the new episodes will download themselves automatically to your computer.

Sound too good to be true?
Let’s look at how it works.

First up, you’re going to need a piece of software that will handle your podcast downloads for you.
This software is sometimes referred to as a “podcatcher”, or as a “podcast aggregator”.
The 600lb gorilla here is Apple’s iTunes but there are plenty of other apps available.
Check your respective app store (iTunes app store|Google Play) for “podcast” and you’ll be inundated with options!

Your software will most likely have a search box where you can enter the topic you’re interested in. Many will also have ‘category’ selections, so you can browse all podcasts about news, or sport, or whatever it is you’re interested in. Once you’ve found the podcast you like the sound of, simply click the ‘subscribe’ button which SHOULD be prominently displayed beside the podcast title.

So, you’ve set up your subscription. What now?

Your software should start downloading the most recent episode of the podcast for you.
It will also show you any previous episodes that you might like to download.
And when a new episode is released by the person creating the podcast, your podcast software will automatically download that new episode for you!

Well, hopefully that’s given you a better understanding of how podcasting works.

Now, it’s up to you to go and find some content you’d like to listen to.
Enjoy.

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