Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Help for podcast listeners on Anne is a Man!

The running assumption on this blog is that readers know how depart from a review and get the podcast to their players as they wish. Yet, this frequently is not the case. Many readers turn to me with questions on how to get to the podcasts they would like. Therefore, I have written a large variety of instructional posts giving pointers from the most basic to the more advanced podcast finding and listening. Here is a starting post from where you will be able to get the help you need.

First of all there is a set of posts that lay out the elementary steps of podcast listening:
1- listen on line
2- download audio files
3- get iTunes
4- put feeds in iTunes
With these posts you will have your basics covered. From here you can continue to read the reviews and you will be able to make it to any podcast described.

In addition there are are a couple of posts that explain some of the basic technologies involved. This is stuff you do not have to know, like you do not have to know how your car works in order to drive it. It helps though, to have some general understanding of what is going on. Especially if you find yourself in a conversation about podcasts.
What is podcasting in 3 minutes - An animated video from YouTube that gives you a description of podcasts in the most elementary terms. There are a couple of additional remarks to make, but for starters the video will do.
Video explaining RSS - From the same source an animation that explains about RSS. RSS is the pushing technology that allows your podcatcher to find and download new podcasts, but it also is used to push other web content to you; new posts on this blog for example.
What is RSS - Read Anne is a Man automatically - An explanation about RSS and how you can subscribe to the RSS of my blog (and others).

There are also advanced tips I have written. Pointers how to use iTunes optimally and how to use other tools to track podcasts.
Reader's Question - Remember playback position - Here is an issue you should not run into if you use iTunes the regular way. But since the question has come up from readers several times, it was addressed in length.
Preference settings per podcast - Once you subscribe to a large number of podcasts, you may want to deal with each one in a different fashion and here is how.
iTunes 9 - help for the podcast listener - Since iTunes upgraded from version 8 to 9, new functionality regarding podcasts have become available. I describe how you can benefit from some of the new features.
Suggestion for the advanced podcast listener - When you lose track of the multitude of podcasts in iTunes, you might use Google Reader in stead. I relate how I do this myself.
Devising your own podcast feed - Huffduffer - If you run into audio that is not syndicated (not offered as a podcast) you can put it in a feed by yourself at Huffduffer. You can even compose your own feed by collecting and recombining audio from various sources.
Using playlists for podcasts - Designate the order in which your player plays the podcasts and let it automatically start the next after finishing the previous.
Useful tools for podcast listeners - Three tools to help you increase volume, convert anything to mp3 format and edit out silence and noise.
Other podcatchers than iTunes (1) - The beginning of a search for an alternative to iTunes as read and download client.
Where are my files? - Help on finding podcast files on your computer. (soon)

Last but not least, you may want to have some guidance on how to search for podcasts on your own. You could read my posts about sources:
My podcast sources - A relatively old, but near complete overview of sources for finding podcasts.
Five free university lecture sites - University lectures that are podcasts are available in a multitude, but not especially easy to find and not always of sufficient quality. Here are five university sources that are worth to make a start at.

In case you have questions to which you did not find the answer, please leave a comment here and I'll be more than happy to address it. You can also mail to Anne is a Man at: Anne Frid de Vries (in one word) AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk
And you can connect with Anne is a Man on:
The Podcast Parlor on Ning.
The Podcast Parlor on Facebook.

A belated Hanukkah picture

Before we celebrated Jonathan's fifth birthday, we had a very festive Hanukkah (Chanuka). As you can see. Standing is my oldest son Itamar (8) and sitting my youngest Jonathan (5).