Just as Web logs, or blogs, let everybody publish their priceless musings on the Web (with help from a computer, an Internet connection, and the right software), Podcasting now adds the ability to speak those thoughts out loud, for others to download and listen to on their computers or portable devices. (The culturally savvy neologist who coined the term podcast was clearly a brand loyalist, but podcasts work on many a digital music player.)
Everyone from media pros like former MTV VJ Adam Curry to bloggers who find speaking more fun than typing serve up these recorded programs—usually in MP3 format—free on their Web sites. You can enjoy podcasts on a ridiculous variety of topics from agriculture to politics to daily life in Hawaii. What’s more, most podcasts get frequent updates—sort of like new episodes of your favorite sitcom. By using software designed to snag and download podcasts (including iTunes), you can make sure you always have the most recent edition of your favorite podcast.
The Podcasts list in iTunes’s Source list (Figure 6-16) shows all the podcasts you subscribe to. In the iTunes window, you can see podcast titles, along with current and past episodes that were released before you signed up. (Just click the Get button next to a grayed-out past episode to fetch a copy.)
Shows with new episodes that you haven’t listened to yet have a blue dot next to them. If you decide you don’t like a podcast all, you can stop future downloads by selecting it in the iTunes ...