Podcasting is an internet-based method for broadcasting a series of audio or video content to a group of subscribers. One uses a software application, called a podcatcher, to subscribe. Once subscribed, the podcatcher periodically checks the subscription for new content, and automatically downloads any content it finds to the subscribers’ computer. Many podcatchers will also add the content directly to an MP3 player, such as an iPod.
The only things you need to get started listening to podcasts are a computer (the MP3 player is optional, and does not have to be an iPod), an internet connection, and a podcatcher.
Enhanced PodcastsEnhanced podcasts use Apple’s .mp4 audio file format and can include extra information in a podcast episode including chapters, images, and web links. Chapters allow users to move to different points in the episode. Please note: enhanced podcasts can only be played using iTunes or an iPod.
Video, as well as audio, can be delivered and subscribed to, as a podcast. Episodes are typically delivered in the MPEG-4 video format. Video podcasts can be viewed on a computer or media player capable of playing video files, like a video iPod, or Zune.
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- Apple iTunes is great for subscribing and listen to podcasts. It handles many different media types including audio, video and enhanced podcasts. iTunes also a built in directory of podcasts. iTunes is available for both Mac OSX and Windows operating systems.
- Juice is a free software available for Mac, Windows and Linux platforms. Juice includes a few tools to help you manage your podcasts, and it also has a built in directory making it very easy to find podcasts.