Friday, August 31, 2007

#19 Podcasts

The word podcast is used to refer to a non-musical audio or video broadcast that is distributed over the Internet. What differentiates a podcast from regular streaming audio or video is that the delivery method for podcasts is often done automatically through RSS (which you know all about already, right?).

In 2005, "podcast" was named the "word of the year" by New Oxford American Dictionary and with the growth of podcasting over the last 24 months, it's easy to see why.

Podcasts take many forms, from short 1-10 minutes commentaries (like the ones that have been used in this Learning 2.0 program) to much longer in-person interviews or panel group discussions. There’s a podcast out there for just about every interest area and the best part about this technology is that you don’t have to have an iPod or an MP3 player to listen to them. Since podcasts use the MP3 file format, a popular compressed format for audio files, you really just need a PC (or portal device) with headphones or a speaker.

iTunes, the free downloadable application created by Apple, is the directory finding service most associated with podcasts, but if you don’t have iTunes installed there are still plenty of options, including Windows Media Player. Besides, iTunes a just a dandy music player anyway (psst, and you can download just about any song you like from the iTunes shop for only 99 cents each).

For this discovery exercise, participants are asked to take a look at some popular podcast directory tools. Do some exploring on your own and locate a podcast that is of interest to you. Once found, you can easily pull the RSS feed into your Bloglines or Google Reader account as well, so that when new casts become available, you’ll be automatically notified.

Discovery Resources:

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Take a look at one or two of the podcast directories listed above and see if you can find a podcast that interests you. See if you can find some interesting library-related podcasts here like book review podcasts or library news.
  2. Add the RSS feed for a podcast to your Bloglines or Google Reader account
  3. Create a blog post about your discovery process. Did you find anything useful here?

1 comment:

Noel said...

Thanks a lot for sharing such a great resource. Well yahoo podcast is not working. Other sites you have listed are great. Well I would like to introduce another great podcast directory.