I remember when this term first hit the world of iTunes and iPods, I was frustrated to have an option that I never use or even understand! But when the iPhones enlightened my world and I had to subscribe to an iTunes Store account, I finally got a chance to experience this exquisite world of Podcasts…
So, what are podcasts??
Podcasts are the same idea as newsletters… Ones that you subscribe to, and arrive on your doorstep everyday or with every new issue in general… However, the difference here is the media itself. Podcasts can be audio files (mp3s), or video files.
Consequently, we can say that the term Podcast refers to a certain series of something that we subscribe to, and it downloads itself whenever the new episode is out! This series could be news, information, movie trailers or news, TV shows, and more….
Briefly About RSS!
Also, if we talk about Podcasts, we might want to mention RSS feeds as well, which are exactly the same concept of newsletters, but online versions… You subscribe to any forum or website you like and receive an e-version of it’s latest headlines or comments of users… And receive that either in your bookmarks or on your mail, or on whichever technology you’re using…
Both, RSS and Podcasts, allow us to subscribe to our various interests so that we get the latest in them right away… The only difference is the technology used… For RSS it’s just html (or basic text) in most cases, and for Podcasts, its more into multimedia; audio and video.
Why are they so useful?
Well personally, they helped a lot with being updated on world news… That is, one day I woke up and decided I’m interested in politics, and that I should know what’s going on with the world…
By just subscribing to 3 news podcasts, I get the summaries from 3 different sources tackling US news from CNN, World News from BBC, and Middle East News from a variety of Arab sources mingled together in a Podcast called Mosaic… When there’s a hot issue you learn from those headlines you touch upon in those briefing podcasts, there’re always more detailed ones you can subscribe to, and from different sources so that you can get the perspectives of various countries and channels…
Of course you can go further and download music podcasts for jogging, or TV shows such as Larry King Live, How Stuff Works, etc….
Most of those are available for free, but there’s sooo much more!
Where to get them?
Well there are various ways.. Either from the website that offers them… Or from iTunes Store… Or from 3rd party applications on your iphones or computers that are dedicated to the purpose of downloading or even uploading your own Podcast feeds…
For example, here’s a list of the top podcasts on the US iTunes Store:
How can I watch them?
Emmm, by clicking on them? The podcasts are downloaded very neatly, and organized in categories on your itunes library… You can also choose to automatically download them or by scheduling, or whatever you wish by editing their settings…
Here’s a list of my own Podcasts:
I love this thing… You really should try it for yourselves!
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