Podcast Portals

Podcast Alley

My Favorites (use the xml button to get the podcast)

Catholic Insider
Daily Source Code
Slashdot Review


Download iPodder, the cross-platform podcast receiver


So, you want to listen to a podcast?


I'm writing this guide to make it as easy and painless as possible for you to get hooked into the wonderful world of podcasts.  I hope you enjoy!

What is a podcast?

Podcasts (see: wikipedia or ipodder.org) are audio shows that are broadcast on the web in a format that you can download onto an MP3 player (or just listen to on your computer).  There are all sorts of shows you can choose from for example: news, talk, music, comedy, drama....and the list keeps getting better.  There's something out there for everyone!

Ok, lets get a podcast.

  1. Get a podcast client (like Download iPodder, the cross-platform podcast receiver ) (once you've downloaded it, INSTALL IT!)
  2. Now you need to find a podcast that you like, for example: The Catholic Insider (will open in a new window for you)
  3. Now you need to find the XML (also known as RSS or Atom) feed for the podcast (what's an XML/RSS/Atom feed?).  Often times it has a red box specifying it:
  4. Once you've found the XML/RSS/Atom feed, you need to get the address it points to.  Try right clicking on it, and select "Copy Shortcut" (in internet explorer) or "Copy Link Location" (in firefox). 
  5. Now, open iPodder and go to the "Subscriptions" tab.
  6. Click on the green circle with a "+" in it.
  7. Right click on the "URL" box and click paste, then hit "Save".

There you go!  You're all setup to get the latest podcasts as they come down.

You also might want to pick where these downloads are going to go...to do this:

  1.  click File -> Preferences... 
  2. Change the path in "Download Podcasts into this folder" to whatever you like.

Now you're all set.  Just click the "X" in the upper right corner to close the iPodder interface (it's still running to download your shows as they come out, and you can see a lemon in the system tray (bottom right corner of the screen)).  Whenever you want, go to the folder you specified and click on the podcast files to listen to them, or copy them up to your MP3 player.

What's an XML/RSS/Atom feed?

XML (the acronym for eXtensible Markup Language) is a format for sharing information.  This format was specifically designed so that any computer would be able to easily read or write it.  At the same time, its also human-readable.  The gist of it is that when something is published in this format, ANY program (that is designed for that type of XML format) will be able to read it.  This is the reason there are so many podcast receivers, because any programmer could write one.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and Atom are special case of XML.  First, they are almost exactly the same, so don't worry about which one you use.   These are made for data that are published periodically, and the idea is that you get a client which go and read these files and automatically download the latest information.  These are often used in blogs and news feed, but can be found in all sorts of settings such as Podcasts!

Don't take my word for it...check it out: