What is a Podcast, and how can I subscribe FOR FREE?

New to Podcasting? Read on!

Topics Below:

  • No iPod Required
  • You say I can subscribe for free?
  • I have my PodCatcher, how do I subscribe?
  • How do I find other PodCasts?
  • Cool. I want to know more about PodCasting.

No iPod Required

So, our show is a podcast. What does that mean? What is a podcast? Well, a podcast is a show! A podcast can be audio only, like radio, or it can be video, like television. A podcast, however, is not broadcast on its own schedule, forcing your to adjust your schedule in order to enjoy it. Instead, its posted to the internet so that you can download and enjoy it on YOUR SCHEDULE! Pretty considerate of us, huh?

Our show is of the audio only variety. You can listen to it on your computer, take it with you on your smart phone or MP3 player, the most popular of which is Apple’s iPod (thus, ‘PODcast’ – clever, eh?) or even burn it to CD and listen to it on any CD player. Yeah, that used to happen a lot more than it does today.

Also podcasts are special when compared to other audio and video files on the internet. They include an XML document (called a feed) that allows the podcaster to syndicate their show by allowing you to subscribe to the show, and receive regular updates. This means that once you’ve found a podcast, you can just subscribe (kind of like bookmarking it) and not worry about tracking it down again every month, week, or day. The two most popular syndication methods are RSS and ATOM.

You say I can Subscribe for Free?

You betcha! So, you’ve found our podcast, now how do you subscribe?

While any sort of RSS reader will generally work, there are these great little applications call ‘podcatchers’ that you can use to track your favorite podcasts. Every time you start your podcatcher, it will dutifully check to see if any new episodes of your favorite podcasts have been released, and if so, it will download them to your computer for you. You don’t need to do a thing. And even better, if your podcatcher is installed on your computer rather than your device, most of them will automatically sync with your phone or mp3 player when its connected to your computer.

We used to keep a list of podcatchers on this site, but these days there are so many of them, and they change so often, that its easier to send you to a list on Wikipedia that stays fairly up-to-date.

I have my Podcatcher, how do I subscribe to Answers for Freelancers?

iTunes – For those using iTunes, just click here. This will open you copy of iTunes and take you to our page on the iTunes store where you can subscribe directly.

Other podcatchers – If you are using a podcatcher other than iTunes, you’ll have to look at its documentation for details, but generally, the process is the same. First, you tell the ‘catcher that you want to subscribe to a new feed, then you either type or paste the feed address into the appropriate box, and that’s it. Oddly enough, some of these PodCatchers don’t actually play the shows, they just download them for you, so you’ll have to open them using another player, such as quicktime or windows media player, or by playing them on your phone or mobile MP3 player. Choose the appropriate link below for your catcher.



How do I find other Podcasts?

Well, you’ve already found this podcast, and then of course, you can always check out our current podcast, Creative Independence!, so the most important part of your job is already done. 🙂

However, there are literally thousands of podcasts on almost as many topics, which means that if you have interests other than being an artist or designer, you are sure to find podcasts for those as well. There are a number of podcast directories on the internet, and chances are, your podcatcher has links to directories already built into it. A comprehensive listing of directories can be found on Rob Walch’s site, Podcast 411.

Cool. I want to know more about Podcasting.

Check out these links for more information on podcasting:

Podcast 411 -:- Wikipedia -:- Podcast Alley

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