Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time

My posting can be as frequent or infrequent as my spinning, so be as patient as that fiber, sitting in my stash.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Podcasting 101

Read me first, if you are totally clueless on what I mean by podcasts. If you are already totally into the IPods and know they can bring you things beyond music, then all you really need to know is that Yarnspinnerstales.com is now the official site for my podcasting. Two podcasts have been posted and more will be on the way, because I have found I love the whole process of bringing them to you. Go to Itunes now, and in the advanced area, under subscribe to a podcast, type in yarnspinnerstales.libsyn.com/rss

OK now that the geeks have gone, lets talk simple basic podcast stuff so you can get into the fun also.

First, what is a podcast? Think computerize radio show, only on a topic you totally love. Like knitting: Cast-On or Science: TWIS (This Week in Science) or how about someone reading a story to you: EscapePod or now spinning: yarnspinnerstales. If this sounds fun, then read on.

Next, how do you listen to these podcasts? First you find them (more on that in a minute) and then you use your computer's media player, to play them. This is one of two ways to listen to them. Doing it this way means you will sit at your computer and listen to it as it plays. That can be just fine, if you have a reason to be at your computer anywhere from 15-45 minutes. Laptops are good for this scenario, play the podcast with the laptop nearby and knit while you listen. But most people find they prefer to listen to podcasts away from the computer and that does involve a portable MP3 player such as an IPod, or Sansa player. It means that instead of just clicking on the little podcast icon, you will right click on it instead, opening the box of choices and choosing either Send to...(and sending it to your portable device attached and ready at your computer) or Save Target as... and put it on your computers hard drive in a place you can find it again, such as your documents. Once it is on your computer, again you can open your media player and listen to it as you want, or right click on the MP3 icon for the show and send it to your portable player.

One little hint, podcasts range any where from 5 minutes to an hour. It takes a very long time to download a podcast generally on dialup. If you can at all get access to DSL be sure to use that for podcast downloads.

How do you find podcasts? Well, start with Google with a specific type of search, say for example, gardening podcasts. What you will often find in the first page of the search are web sites that are pod catchers. Podcast Alley is a big podcatcher and yahoo and ITunes have podcast listings. Check them all out because not every podcast will show on every catcher. Once you find ones you like ITunes (free download) is a great way to automatically 'catch' any new ones that come out for those. You subscribe to the podcast generally by going to the website, and clicking on subscribe to the podcast. However, before you start doing that, you have to have something in place for the podcast to go to, and that is why people use ITunes, or set up Yahoo to send those subscriptions.

And basically that's it! OK there will be a number of details that may stump you as you start out, but you will learn. Listen first on your computer, learn how to save it on your hard drive, learn how to set up a podcatcher for your subscriptions, and you will soon have so much to listen to, you'll think that it be worth your while to knit for three days straight. Oh well, a girl can dream can't she?


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