Ok, so you’ve heard about a great podcast you just absolutely MUST listen to and all your friends and family have been bugging you to get with it and up your game with technology, iPods and the like, but every time you start trying to work it all out your eyes glaze over and you give up in despair.
For this reason, as well as the fact that I want people to listen to my own awesome podcast PRIMORDIAL SOUP, I’m going to help you get yourself sorted on ITunes, podcasts and your portable MP3 player.
Let’s start with the big picture, and then I’ll take you through the details.
- You need to know where to find the web site of the podcast you want to listen to, OR, simply know what the RSS feed address of the podcast is (Don’t panic yet, we’ll get to that).
- You need a computer (duh).
- You need to install ITunes on your computer.
- You need to tell ITunes how to find the podcast you want to listen to.
- You need to download the podcast using ITunes (ITunes does this for you every time it sees a new episode of the podcast is available)
- You need to have an MP3 player. This could simply be your computer, but if you intend to listen to your podcast in the car, or gym, or while visiting your mother in law, then I suggest an IPod or cheaper equivalent with earphones.
- You need to sync your ITunes on your computer with your portable MP3 player.
- Now you’re ready to enjoy your podcasts!
Now the details…
You need to know where to find the web site of the podcast you want to listen to, OR, simply know what the RSS feed address of the podcast is.
- Most podcasts have a web site. You can Google the name of the podcast to find their site.
Go to the site and look for an RSS feed button. Here are examples of what it might look like… you get the picture.
- Right click on the button and select Copy Link Location. Your feed address is now ready to be pasted into Itunes.
Here are some feed addresses for some of my favourite podcasts. You can simply copy them from here if you like:
- Primordial Soup: http://primordialsoop.wordpress.com/feed/
- Consilience: http://feeds.feedburner.com/ConsilienceAnAfricanSciencePodcast
- Skeptics Guide to the Universe: http://www.theskepticsguide.org/feed/rss.aspx?feed=SGU
- The Good Atheist: http://www.thegoodatheist.net/feed/
You need to install Itunes on your computer.
- To install Itunes on your computer go to http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/ and click
- It’s quite big so go get a cup of coffee.
- Once downloaded, double click the file, answer all the questions and install ITunes on your machine.
You need to tell ITunes how to find the podcast you want to listen to.
- In ITunes click advanced (at the top), then click Subscribe to Podcast…
- Paste the podcast feed URL that you copied earlier into the URL box. Then click OK.
- Your podcast will appear in the podcast list in ITunes.
- ITunes will automatically look for all backdated issues of the podcast which you can see by clicking the small arrow symbol next to the podcast name
- ITunes is defaulted to download the latest version of each podcast. So if you want the earlier versions you just need to click on the GET button next to that podcast episode.
- Podcasts can be quite large so if you’re setting up several podcasts for the first time you may need to leave your computer downloading overnight.
You need to sync your ITunes on your computer with your portable MP3 player
- Cool, now you have some podcasts. You can listen to them on your computer by selecting them in Itunes and pushing play – or you can sync them with your portable device.
- To sync an IPod to ITunes, connect your IPod to your computer with the white Apple cable you got with the device.
- A new menu item will appear on the left called DEVICES. Click on your device name in that menu.
- At the top, click Podcasts.
- Click the check box next to Sync Podcasts.
- On the bottom right of the screen click the Sync button
- All the podcasts you have downloaded and not yet played will be synced to your IPod.