Tuesday, May 17, 2005

podcast post number one

I woke up this morning to the sound of a clearly embarrased Today presenter trying to explain to the Radio 4 audience what a podcast was, seeing as they are now offering the 8.10am Today Interview as a daily podcast. One sensed brows furrowing across the home counties.

Nonetheless, the BBC are slowly, though enthusiastically, extending their online service into the world of podcasting, although they seem to be a bit confused about whether the service just consists of making mp3s available to download or not. For those who aren't yet up to speed, it's more complicated than that. If you want to get the best of podcasting you'll need to download a piece of software which will seek out (via RSS feeds) and download programmes for you. I use iPodder, although there's an exhaustive list of alternatives here. Then you subscribe to the programmes which interest you by loading in the relavent URL. For the Today interview, the address is:


There are plenty of other shows worth a try, obviously not just restricted to the BBC, but for more by the beeb there's a list of programmes currently available here - not all have full RSS access so aren't strictly podcasts, but those that are offer a really valuable service; content when and where you want it. And iPodder interacts directly with iTunes and my iPod, so the next time I plug it in to my computer the new programmes will be transferred over automatically.

If you've not tried podcasting yet, I recommend you give it a go - and I also recommend you consider producing your own shows. It's incredibly easy, and very exciting. Peter Day, the BBC presenter, writes that "anyone can internet-cast, anyone can distribute their words or their movies". He goes on to say that "all the assumptions I have made in 30 years of being a radio practitioner are suddenly up for grabs."

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