Thing 17: Podcasts

The word podcast refers to a non-musical audio or video broadcast available over the Internet. Web sites may offer download or streaming of their content. A podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added, using feed formats such as RSS. Podcasts take many forms. They can be short 1-10 minutes commentaries to much longer in person interviews or panel group discussions--sort of "radio on demand." There is a podcast out there for just about every interest area.

Although a portable device is handy, you don’t have to have an iPod or a MP3 player to listen to podcasts. Since podcasts use the MP3 file format, a popular compressed format for audio files, you only need a PC with headphones or a speaker (and the ability/permission to download; check with your tech support).

There are many ways to find podcasts. This Thing introduces you to some popular podcast directory tools. Do some exploring on your own and locate a podcast that is of interest to you. Once found, you can easily pull the RSS feed into your blog reader (i.e., Bloglines or Google Reader) account, so that when new podcasts become available you’ll be automatically notified of their existence.

1. Watch “Podcasting in Plain English” from the Common Craft Show for an explanation.

2. Take a look at one or two of the podcast directories listed in the Resources section to find a podcast that interests you or listen to a local podcast in the list. Find some interesting library-related podcasts like book reviews or library news or a podcast on anything else that interests you.

3. Listen to one more of the podcasts. Link to it in your blog if you would recommend it to others.

4. Add the RSS feed for a podcast to your blog reader account.

5. Try Gcast, a simple, telephone-based tool that lets you "phone in" your podcast recording. Gcast says it's so easy your grandma could do it.

There are many, many podcast directories and finding tools out there. Here are just some of the more popular ones that don’t require a software download:

Yahoo Podcasts
Educational Podcast Directory
iTunes added iTunes U. Students can search, download and play course content that has been posted by faculty. Download iTunes (free) here for either Mac or Windows.

Blog Prompts
1. Which podcast(s) did you listen to?
2. Which of the directories did you find easiest to use?
3. Has this Thing inspired you to do any podcasting yourself or to subscribe to a podcast to listen to it regularly?

Challenge (optional)
Got something you want to share? Look at these sites for free software and hints on creating podcasts. As always, add any podcasts you create to your blog.

How to Podcast
Create Your Own Podcast
Audacity is free cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds--podcasting!

1. Create a podcast on a topic of interest to you. Post it on your blog.
2. Blog about your experience with the software and the podcasting experience.


Mary Mer said...

Hi Neflin 23 things. I have promoted the Neflin podcasts on my blog check it out here on my
Have a great day and thanks for your help with the 23 Things.
Mary Merenda

Jennifer O'Neill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer O'Neill said...

Cool! Thank you!