Audio/Video Feeds

What is a podcast?

Most podcasts are simply radio shows that you can download onto your computer and listen to whenever you want.

You can download specific episodes that interest you, one at a time. Or you can subscribe to a program's podcast so that it automatically downloads onto your computer whenever a new podcast is available.

Once the podcast is on your computer, you can listen to it there using your favorite media player, or transfer it onto your MP3 player to listen to it on the move.

Okay, how do I do it?

All you need is a computer with an Internet connection and some way to listen.

If you are reading this, chances are you probably have everything you need to listen to a podcast while sitting at your computer:

  • a sound card (most newer computers come with one — if you've ever played any music or heard any sound come out of your computer, you have one)
  • media playing software (like Windows Media Player, or iTunes or RealPlayer)
  • and speakers.

If you want to take the podcasts with you, you'll need a portable media player like an iPod, an iRiver, or another MP3 player. What you'll do is download the podcasts onto your computer and transfer them onto your MP3 player.

I'm ready to go, now what?

Subscribing to a series of audio recordings: If you want to subscribe to a podcast and automatically receive new episodes whenever they become available (it's free!), the main way to do it is using iTunes software.

If you have iTunes installed, go to the show you want to subscribe to and click the iTunes icon there. The iTunes program will load and from then on, every new episode will be downloaded into iTunes and, optionally, into your portable media player. If you don't already have iTunes software, go to http://www.apple.com/itunes/ to download it free.

Listening to individual recordings: If you want to browse a list of individual podcasts and maybe listen to one or two, go to the program's web page (for example, the Canada Watch page). Each recorded episode is listed with two options:

  1. The first option allows you to start listening immediately at your computer, but does not save a copy of the show onto your computer. This option uses the Adobe Flash software plug-in which most people have installed as part of their web browsing software (e.g. with Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.). Once you start listening, you can stop or switch shows easily. To start, click the small triangle labelled "play." If you are sure you don't have a Flash plug-in installed yet, click the hyperlink on the word "Flash" on that page first. Or go now to http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/ to download it free.
  2. To download an episode and save it onto your computer, click the word "download" under the episode that interests you. This will create a new file on your computer. When it is finished downloading, you can usually listen by double-clicking the name of the new file. Or you can transfer the file to your MP3 player and listen to it later, on the go.

   
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