Introduction To Podcasting

Introduction To Podcasting

What is Podcasting?
Click here for an audio recording of Wikipedia's Podcasting entry.

According to Wikipedia, podcasting is a "method of publishing audio broadcasts via the Internet." In layman's terms, it's a way for individuals and companies to create audio programs and allow people to download, listen, and subscribe to them very easily. If you're familiar with blogging you can think of podcasting as "audio blogging." The ability to subscribe to podcasts via a technology called RSS (Really Simple Syndication) allows you to have fresh content downloaded to your computer or portable audio player (e.g., an iPod).

How Do I Listen to a Podcast?

There are a number of ways to listen to podcasts. The easiest way is probably through Apple iTunes so we'll cover that first. To listen to a podcast through iTunes, first you must have iTunes 4.9 or higher installed on your computer. To go to Apple's site to download the latest version of iTunes, click here. Once you have iTunes installed, you will see on the right side of most of our individual podcast pages "Subscribe to this: Podcast (iTunes Podcast)". Click that link and the podcast will show up in your iTunes browser where you can listen to the podcast episodes streaming, download individual podcasts, or subscribe to the podcast which will allows iTunes to download new episodes of that podast automatically (they'll show up in the "Podcasts" section of iTunes).

A couple of quick notes about iTunes. First, when you sign up for an account you'll be required to enter a credit card number. This is done so that you can easily purchase music and audio books in the future. However, virtually all podcasts are free so your card will not be charged. Second, subscribing to a podcast means that you will automatically get future episodes of that podcast. And unsubscribing and deleting old episodes is also very easy. For additional information about iTunes and podcasting, click here.

There are some other ways to listen to podcasts as well. There are a number of other "podcatcher" applications out there that allow you different options for subscribing and listening. Here's a list of some of the most popular:

Juice (Free)
Doppler (Free, Good for non-iPod portable players)

To subscribe to a podcast using one of these programs, look for the "Podcast Feed URL:" link with the XML icon above it on our site. Simply copy that link and paste it into the appropriate place in your podcast program.

Another possibility for listening to podcasting is through a service called Odeo. Odeo makes it pretty easy to listen and subscribe to podcasts on our site. In the future we'll have links that will allow to link directly to a particular podcast on Odeo's site. Yahoo also features its own Yahoo Podcast Directory.

One final note is that if you're interested in listening to an episode of a podcast without using a podcast program, look for links to download the mp3 files directly off our product pages (Note: These links only exist for podcast producers that provide them in their podcast feeds.) When you click on Download File you can choose to open the podcast with your computer's mp3 player or you can save the podcast to a certain place on your hard drive.

Does LearnOutLoud.com Have a Podcast?

Of course we do! LearnOutLoud.com offers a number of its own educational podcasts including: the Free Audiobook of the Month Podcast, the Audio Learning Revolution Podcast, and many more. To browse and listen to our podcasts click here.

What's Different About the LearnOutLoud.com Podcast Directory?

We're not the only podcast directory out there but we do feel that we're the best if you're looking for high-quality educational and self-development podcasts. Here's what we feel sets us apart:

1. LearnOutLoud.com is the only podcast directory (that we're aware of) the focuses solely on podcasts you can learn from. We feel that your experience listening to podcasts can not only be fun and entertaining but also educational and inspirational. If you're looking for more substance in your podcasts you've come to right place.

2. Every podcast in the LearnOutLoud.com has been hand-picked. Most podcast directories have several thousand podcasts. We have several hundred. And we're proud of that. Because we've listened to thousands of podcasts and narrowed it down to the ones that we feel are the very best. We think that you'll appreciate the legwork we've done for you benefit. (And if you ever find a podcast that you feel should be included, just send us an e-mail and let us know.)

3. Our directory is designed to make it easy for you to find and listen to podcasts. We offer one-click subscriptions through iTunes, easy browsing, and hundreds of quality reviews. We feel that these features (along with the many features we're planning for the future) will help to make the experience of locating podcasts very enjoyable. As always, if there's anything that we can do to make your experience better, please let us know.

Where Can I Find Out More Information About Podcasting?

There is a lot of other information out there and if you're looking to learn more about podcasting, please feel free to check out the following resources:

Wikipedia's Entry on "Podcasting"
The Apple Podcasting FAQ
Tutorials on Creating Podcasts

Got a podcasting question? Ask it in our forums!

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