Some recent listener feedback

Shutters Inc

Firstly let me start with reference to something that Bruce had mentioned, I think in episode 137.
You were quite concerned with the audio quality that you were able to present to listeners from the portable recorder used at Echuca, the audio on that episode was fine.
I have recently dabbled with other podcasts, and have since canceled all of the downloads except Shutters Inc.
Bruce the quality of the audio delivered by you leaves all others far behind, keep up the good work.
Thanks for the great pod casts not only in the information passed on but also the technical quality.
Mark Chapman

Sine Language

Bruce, I can only say, in my opinion, that the services you are providing are greatly appreciated.
J. R.

Building the pod

I've only recently decided to get back into music production after a prolonged absence.
So, when it came to choosing a DAW, it came down to a choice between FL Studio and Audition.
Dollar wise, quite similar although FL Studio does offer more in the way of virtual instruments for this price range.
But I chose Audition for two clear reasons.
1. I really like the look and feel. The layout is just easy on the eye and made sense to me very quickly.
2. I knew I had a great teacher. I discovered Building the Pod through the Adobe web site and soon found Sine Language.
I have to thank you sincerely for your weekly tuition.
It has turned a somewhat severe learning curve into managable bite size pieces.
I simply can't overstate how thankful I am of your weekly podcasts.
Bye for now.
Ross Huntley

June 13, 2007

What is podcasting?

Filed under: — Bruce Williams @ 17:18

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 MP3 player.
They can also be transferred to and listened to on your cell phone or PDA.
You can download them to your pc or laptop, and listen straight from there.
You can even burn them to CD and play them wherever there’s a CD player.

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 epsiodes 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”.
There are plenty of free programs out there, and some of those are listed on the podcast software page!

Probably the most widely known and used of these is Apple’s iTunes.

Let’s say you’ve found a podcast you think you’d be interested in.
What now?
You need to set up what is known as a “subscription” to the podcast feed.
Don’t worry, no money is involved. 99.9% of all podcasts are free.
And the ones that aren’t will not allow you to download them until you’ve paid for them, so you’re not going to get any nasty surprises.

Now, sometimes you’ll see reference to “RSS” or “XML”.
This is simply the code that allows your aggregator to get the podcasts you want to subscribe to.
Don’t worry, unless you want to make your own podcast, the most you might need to know is the address for that RSS or XML file, which will be easy to find on the podcast website or directory page.
Depending on your aggregator, you might have to enter that address manually, in order for your software to know how to get your podcasts.
But more and more programs are allowing “one-click” subscription, so you might not need to worry about “RSS” or “XML” at all.
iTunes allows this “one-click” method.

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

Your aggregator 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 epsiode is released by the person creating the podcast, your podcast aggregator will automatically download that new epsiode for you!
And once downloaded, you can copy the MP3 file onto your MP3 player or cell phone, or you could listen to it directly from your PC.

Open your web browser and surf on over to and download the latest version of iTunes.
Within iTunes, you have the option of searching for podcasts. If you find something you like, it’s as simple as clicking the subscribe button.

OK, so you’ve got all that.
Where should you look to find some podcasts?

If you’re using iTunes, start with the iTunes Music Store. On the left hand side, you’ll see a button which says “podcasts”.
If you’re using another aggregator, there are lots of directories out there.

You could start with:

yahoo podcasts

You can even use Google to find podcasts. Simply type in the word “podcast” along with the topic you’re interested in, and you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find!
Once you’ve found a show you want to listen to, you can listen to it from the podcast website, manually download the file to listen to later, or you can subscribe to the podcast and have new episodes directly saved on your computer for your convenience.

There are thousands of podcasts on hundreds of different topics. Go out and look for something you’re intested in. If you don’t like what you hear, you can listen to something else! That’s the beauty of podcasting!

If you’ve found a podcast you like, and you’re still stuck with setting up a subscription, e-mail the podcaster whose show you want to listen to.
Trust me, they will go out of their way to make sure you get set up correctly.
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.

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2 responses to “What is podcasting?”

  1. maxiewawa says:

    Hey! I can’t find your xml/rss address anywhere! Help!

    On the right hand side of, scroll down to about the 4th or 5th heading which says “RSS Feeds”.

  2. Grant says:

    “now, it’s up to you to go find some content worth listening to”

    I already have, cheers, and keep going, you’re producing some awesome stuff here and you’re clearly a natural and completely built for this in both presenting style and grasp of new media technologies for want of a better term,

    Grant :)

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