What is Podcasting?
Click here for an audio recording of Wikipedia's Podcasting entry.
According to Wikipedia, podcasting is a "method of publishing audio broadcasts via the Internet." In layman's terms, it's a way for individuals and companies to create audio programs and allow people to download, listen, and subscribe to them very easily. If you're familiar with blogging you can think of podcasting as "audio blogging." The ability to subscribe to podcasts via a technology called RSS (Really Simple Syndication) allows you to have fresh content downloaded to your computer or portable audio player (e.g., an iPod).
How Do I Listen to a Podcast?
There are a number of ways to listen to podcasts. The easiest way is probably through Apple iTunes so we'll cover that first. To listen to a podcast through iTunes, first you must have iTunes 4.9 or higher installed on your computer. To go to Apple's site to download the latest version of iTunes, click here. Once you have iTunes installed, you will see on the right side of most of our individual podcast pages "Subscribe to this: Podcast (iTunes Podcast)". Click that link and the podcast will show up in your iTunes browser where you can listen to the podcast episodes streaming, download individual podcasts, or subscribe to the podcast which will allows iTunes to download new episodes of that podast automatically (they'll show up in the "Podcasts" section of iTunes).
A couple of quick notes about iTunes. First, when you sign up for an account you'll be required to enter a credit card number. This is done so that you can easily purchase music and audio books in the future. However, virtually all podcasts are free so your card will not be charged. Second, subscribing to a podcast means that you will automatically get a listing of future episodes of that podcast. And unsubscribing and deleting old episodes is also very easy. For additional information about iTunes and podcasting, click here.
There are some other ways to listen to podcasts as well. There are a number of other "podcatcher" applications out there that allow you different options for subscribing and listening. Here's a list of some of the most popular:
To subscribe to a podcast using one of these programs, look for the "Podcast Feed URL:" link with the XML icon above it on our site. Simply copy that link and paste it into the appropriate place in your podcast program.
Another possibility for listening to podcasting is through a service called Odeo. Odeo makes it pretty easy to listen and subscribe to podcasts on our site. In the future we'll have links that will allow to link directly to a particular podcast on Odeo's site. Yahoo also features its own Yahoo Podcast Directory.
One final note is that if you're interested in listening to an episode of a podcast without using a podcast program, look for links to download the mp3 files directly off our product pages (Note: These links only exist for podcast producers that provide them in their podcast feeds.) When you click on Download File you can choose to open the podcast with your computer's mp3 player or you can save the podcast to a certain place on your hard drive.
Does the Meditation Society of Australia Have a Podcast?
Yes we do! You can click here now to go to our podcast directory, where we also have links to a bunch of our favourite podcasts which we think you will enjoy. To browse and listen to our podcasts click here.
Where Can I Find Out More Information About Podcasting?
There is a lot of other information out there and if you're looking to learn more about podcasting, please feel free to check out the following resources:
Got a podcasting question? Ask it in our forums!