iTunes Podcast Mechanics

First order of business: if you’re not using iTunes, you need to be. Many things in the tech business are viewpoint-sensitive, but iTunes is concrete: it is THE source for music, both your own and for discovering others’. In that vein of discovery, for those of you running Tiger v.10.4 (found under the Apple Menu in the upper left-hand corner, in the menu item called “About this Mac;” also a great place to find out nearly anything about your machine hardware you need to know [go to More Info].), Podcasting in iTunes is an amazing resource full of information and opinion on nearly any topic you can think of. iTunes Music Store even does their own podcast every Tuesday, highlighting the new music available on the iTunes Music Store. It’s called, appropriately enough, “iTunes New Music Tuesday,” and can be searched for and downloaded right through the iTunes Music Store and listened to just like any other music file. In Tiger, iTunes makes it really easy, as the menu item called “Podcasts” in iTunes’ sidebar not only keeps these organized, but allows you to automatically update your Podcasts whenever they are updated from the source. All you have to do is click and listen to the new one like you would Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits. (Or am I the only one…?)
Oh, and one more thing… Did I mention that all the thousands of podcasts, from such luminaries as Nova Science, CNN, Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, CBS, NPR, and way too many others to even start to list here, are all FREE? Yes, I said it. FREE. Not “free” after purchase of program or gadget, but FREE as in, “all you need is iTunes.”
For those of you not using Tiger yet, you can listen to podcasts as well, just not quite as easily. You’re going to have to find them on your own, or find them at the iTunes Music Store, then go download the files from the respective websites. They will come out as a URL with a funny ending like http://www.podgeek.xml or something like that. iTunes will play those, too. It’ll just go into your library as an .mp3 file and you can listen to it from there. I’m listening to Ockham’s Razor. Check it out…