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Finding and subscribing to podcasts

From: iTunes 10 Essential Training

Video: Finding and subscribing to podcasts

All right, it's time to talk about podcasts. You have probably heard the term before and it has definitely come up a few times in these movies already, but so far we haven't really discussed what a podcast is. The most basic and easily understood explanation of a podcast is that it's a file, commonly an audio file, but it can also be a video that you can download from the Internet and play on your computer or portable media device like an iPod. The word itself is a combination of the words broadcast and iPod, but both of those words are a bit misleading, because you don't need an iPod or any portable music player to listen to a podcast.

Finding and subscribing to podcasts

All right, it's time to talk about podcasts. You have probably heard the term before and it has definitely come up a few times in these movies already, but so far we haven't really discussed what a podcast is. The most basic and easily understood explanation of a podcast is that it's a file, commonly an audio file, but it can also be a video that you can download from the Internet and play on your computer or portable media device like an iPod. The word itself is a combination of the words broadcast and iPod, but both of those words are a bit misleading, because you don't need an iPod or any portable music player to listen to a podcast.

And the podcast itself is not broadcasted in any way. In order to listen to a podcast you have to download the file to your computer, but in its strict definition, a podcast is not just an audio file that can be downloaded, even though it's becoming more common to find web sites where producers simply throw a downloadable audio clip on their site and call it a podcast. A true podcast allows users to subscribe to a feed of the program, so that anytime a new episode of the program is made available, it gets automatically downloaded to each subscriber's computer, and that's really the advantage of subscribing to a podcast.

You, the listener, don't have to worry about remembering to check a web site to find out when the latest episode of a program you like has been released. All you need is some podcasting software like iTunes that you can use to subscribe to a podcast feed, and each time a new episode of a show is released it will automatically be downloaded to your computer and it doesn't cost you a cent. Now iTunes really only acts as the gateway for podcasters to help their audience find them. The podcasts are not produced or hosted by Apple. Apple just lists the podcasts that have been submitted for listing. And iTunes is not the only way to find podcast to listen to, but it is most likely one of the most popular ways.

You can find podcast to listen to and watch from other web sites. For example, podcastAlley.com and techpodcasts.com just to name two. But you really just can't beat iTunes for its huge directory of podcasts and for the ease-of-use of finding podcasts to listen to. So while iTunes is not the only piece of software or method out there for finding and subscribing to podcasts, in my opinion it's the easiest to use, rather than going to a website, searching for a podcast, copying its Feed address and pasting it into a pod casting program, you can instead do everything from right inside iTunes.

You can even sample a minute or so of a particular show or even listen to an entire episode to see if you want to bother downloading or subscribing to that podcast, which is something you can't do on most podcast directory web sites. So to check out podcasts with iTunes, First head over to the iTunes Store, then click the Podcast link at the top of the page, and that takes you to the main Podcast page, and even all the various audio and video podcasts you see here are just a small selection of all the podcasts that are available on iTunes. So these sections work just like the sections you find on the other music store pages.

You can browse through the items and click on anything that interests you. And here you can get a description of the podcast, and then double-click any episodes to listen to a sample. If I decide I like what I'm hearing, I can either click Free, next to any episode to download a single episode, or click Subscribe, to subscribe to the entire podcast. Remember, subscribing to a podcast is the key to having new episodes automatically download to your computer when they become available, so you don't have to remember to visit the store to download them yourself. Now, while a great majority of podcasts are free, some of them aren't, but you will be able to tell right away if a podcast you are looking at costs money, because you will see prices listed next to the buttons to download individual episodes or to subscribe.

This button says subscribe free, so I'll just click that. I will say yes, I do want to subscribe. Now I am downloading the most recent episode of the NPR Fresh Air broadcast. Now I'll go over into the podcast section of my library and notice it does say I have one episode here that I haven't listened to yet. So it's in the Podcast area where we will find all the podcasts you have subscribed to. ITunes downloads the most current episode of whatever podcast you have just subscribed to, and if I toggle this triangle open, you can see I have one episode here, and I can click Get if I want to download any of these previous episodes, and I can base my decision on the brief description I see to the right.

But from this point on, all new episodes of this podcast will download automatically to my copy of iTunes, and a number will appear next to Podcasts indicating how many new episodes I have waiting for me. Every podcast I haven't yet listened to will have this blue dot next to it, making it easier for me to see which episodes to listen to. You can also adjust your podcast settings by clicking the Settings button. We can choose the check for new episodes everyday, if you subscribe to daily podcast, you might want to choose that, or you choose Every hour. Some podcasts actually come out a couple times a day, or every week, or manually, meaning iTunes will not check for new podcasts and you'll have to click the Refresh button yourself to make a check.

You can also set specific settings for all podcast, which is Podcast Defaults, or you can choose any of the individual podcasts, or you can choose any of the podcast you subscribed to, and choose customize settings for each one. And then we can determine when new episodes are available, we can download the most recent one, download all or do nothing. And then for Episodes to keep, you can choose to keep all episodes, all unplayed episodes, most recent episodes, last 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10 episodes. I must going to leave everything at its defaults for now and click OK. If anytime I decide I'm no longer interested in this podcast, I can select it and click Unsubscribe.

Also to make sure your hard drive isn't filling up with podcasts you haven't watched or listened to, iTunes will stop downloading episodes if you haven't watched or listened to any recent downloads after a few weeks. You can always select the podcast and then click Subscribe again to resubscribe to it. It's just that easy. So that's how you can find and subscribe to podcasts from iTunes and the iTunes Store. Now that said, you can also subscribe the podcast that might not be listed in the iTunes Store. As an example, I am going to go to lynda.com, and we have a weekly video podcast, which is listed on iTunes. I am going to rollover News and go to {odcast.

So this podcast is available on iTunes, but for this example, let's say it's not, and we do also provide the RSS feed for our podcast, if you prefer to use other podcast playing software. So I am going to click RSS, just so I can show you how to go about subscribing to a podcast without using the iTunes Store. So this is the actual web address of our podcast feed, feeds.feedburner.com/ldcvideotraining. The feed is a document that contains all the necessary information to locate and download podcast episodes. So if you're on a website that has a podcast and they offer you a feed address or a URL for their podcast, you would select it, copy it, and then go into to your podcasting software.

I just use iTunes again, for this example,. Go to the Advanced menu, and choose Subscribe to Podcast, and here I would just Paste in the address I just copied, and click OK. And now I am subscribed to the lynda.com Video Training Podcast. And as before, iTunes is downloading the most recent episode, and if I wanted to get any of the previous episodes, I would just click the GET button. So that's how you can subscribe to a podcast that might not be listed on the iTunes Store. All you need is its feed address to paste into iTunes.

So those are the ways to subscribe to podcasts through iTunes.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for iTunes 10 Essential Training
iTunes 10 Essential Training

60 video lessons · 19358 viewers

Garrick Chow
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 31m 45s
    1. Opening iTunes for the first time
      3m 20s
    2. Exploring the Source pane
      4m 49s
    3. Using the playback controls
      6m 33s
    4. Setting general preferences
      3m 21s
    5. Exploring the interface differences in the Mac and Windows versions
      7m 14s
    6. Setting parental controls
      4m 39s
    7. Using keyboard shortcuts
      1m 49s
  3. 57m 19s
    1. Understanding file formats
      8m 58s
    2. Importing from a CD
      5m 41s
    3. Entering song info manually
      8m 40s
    4. Finding and adding album artwork
      6m 41s
    5. Adding lyrics to songs
      4m 2s
    6. Dragging in song files
      6m 32s
    7. Converting single files
      2m 24s
    8. Using the Automatically Add to iTunes folder
      5m 0s
    9. Joining tracks
      4m 46s
    10. Importing videos
      4m 35s
  4. 25m 44s
    1. Consolidating your library
      4m 8s
    2. Upgrading to iTunes Media organization
      2m 29s
    3. Extending your library
      4m 47s
    4. Working with multiple libraries
      2m 38s
    5. Finding duplicate songs
      3m 56s
    6. Moving a library
      7m 46s
  5. 1h 2m
    1. Browsing
      6m 34s
    2. Searching
      1m 52s
    3. The Snapback button
      1m 18s
    4. Rating songs
      2m 7s
    5. Exploring playback options
      9m 35s
    6. Creating playlists
      5m 53s
    7. Creating Smart Playlists
      7m 13s
    8. Creating playlist folders
      2m 55s
    9. Shuffling and repeating
      3m 4s
    10. Using iTunes DJ for party playlists
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Equalizer
      7m 1s
    12. Using the Visualizer
      4m 20s
    13. Using internet radio
      3m 27s
  6. 20m 6s
    1. Sharing over a network
      5m 6s
    2. Turning on home sharing
      4m 2s
    3. Burning discs
      6m 54s
    4. Using AirPlay to stream content from iTunes to an AppleTV or Airport Express
      4m 4s
  7. 38m 46s
    1. Store overview
      3m 29s
    2. Creating an account
      3m 28s
    3. Browsing for content
      4m 2s
    4. Searching for content
      3m 29s
    5. Purchasing content
      7m 32s
    6. Purchasing gifts for others
      3m 44s
    7. Redeeming iTunes gift certificates
      1m 15s
    8. Using the Genius sidebar and creating Genius playlists
      5m 50s
    9. Using the Ping social network
      5m 57s
  8. 9m 2s
    1. Finding and subscribing to podcasts
      6m 50s
    2. Listening to and interacting with enhanced podcasts
      2m 12s
  9. 27m 38s
    1. Managing your iPod
      7m 21s
    2. Syncing music and movies
      7m 16s
    3. Syncing photos from a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Syncing photos from a Windows computer
      3m 2s
    5. Syncing contacts and calendars from a Mac
      3m 5s
    6. Syncing contacts and calendars from a Windows computer
      3m 3s
  10. 14s
    1. Goodbye
      14s

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