Podcasts – What are they, and why you should listen to them

I’m sure that many people have heard the term Podcasts, or Netcasts being bandied around by friends, colleagues or family, but what exactly is a Podcast, and where can you get or listen to them?

What is a Podcast?

A podcast, or Netcast as it is also known, is essentially a radio show, that is broadcast over the internet rather than the radio, and they are one of the best forms of entertainment and educational mediums going.

The term Podcast is actually a combination of the words iPod and Broadcast, as they were available for syncing with your iPod via iTunes, which is what  arguably bought Podcasts to the main stream for the first time.

What Can I listen To?

Everything. There are literally hundreds and thousands of Podcasts out there, from home decoration, to comedy sketches, to technology, to home baking. Literally, name a topic and I can almost guarantee that there will be a Podcast about it.

I’m Convinced, Now How Do I Get Them?

Most places that do Podcasts generally make them available for listening in the website, or via an App on your mobile platform of choice. If you’re an Apple user just search for the Podcast in the iTunes store and you can either download it directly to your device, or stream it on the go if you have a good data plan.

If you’re not an Apple user, don’t worry that’s no problem. iTunes really does have an enormous library of Podcasts, and if the particular Podcast you want to listen to doesn’t have their own download link from their site, then iTunes is the way to go, and here is how.

NB: You do not have to have an Apple account or ID in order to use this workaround. It’s completely legal, and is simply a workaround. I am not an Apple user, but a Windows Phone user and there is no Podcast app by Microsoft, so this is what I use.

  • Download iTunes and install as prompted.
  • Go to the iTunes Store and enter the Podcast you want to listen to in the search field
  • Click subscribe when you find the Podcast – you will now be presented with all the episodes for download.
  • By default iTunes will have set up a Podcasts folder in its own directory, which you have access to.
  • Enter into the Windows search field ‘iTunes’ and it will present you with the iTunes folder where it will store all its data.
  • Double click to open the folder, and you will see a Podcasts folder. This is where all your iTunes Podcast subscriptions will be downloaded too.
  • Now you have the file location, you can create a shortcut to it, or direct one of your libraries to that file, you can use Windows Media Player or Zune, or what ever media program you of your choice to sync Podcasts to your mobile/media device.

Podcast Recommendations

If you’re reading my blog, its likely that you have some interest in technology to some degree, so I have listed the Podcasts that I listen to. If you enjoy technology, then you’ll enjoy these too.

Twit Network – Owned by Leo Laporte the ‘Grandaddy’ of Netcast’s. The Twit Network does everything in Tech and you can find them on Twit.tvSome of my favourite Podcasts on the network are Windows Weekly, MacBreak Weekly, Tech News Today, and This Week In Tech. The Twit network also has live streams of their show’s if you would rather watch.

GFQ Network – Some excellent Podcasts and run by a nice chap called Andrew Zarian, my favourite of the network is What The Tech. The GFQ network also has live streams of their show’s if you would rather watch.

Windows Developer Show – Hosted by two brothers that work for Microsoft as developers, the Podcast is humourous as it is informative, if you have a Windows Phone or Windows Device, this is a must to listen too. Windows Developer Show – Their site is currently down as they have issues with their server hosting, but do click on it, as they may have fixed it by the time you watch this.

FilmSack – Not actually technology based, by 4 guys get together having watched a film and then chat about it, to often hilarious sidetracks. Even if you’re not a movie buff, its hilarious, well worth a listen! FilmSack

 

Big thanks to JDPassion.nl for the kind use of their Podcasts image.

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