Podcasts (You don’t need an iPod!)

by tosca on Thursday, July 31, 2008

Podcasts! A non-musical audio or video broadcast that is distributed over the internet. That's taken directly from the intro to the discovery exercise for this piece. If anything, these put me in mind of the Sunday Stories that used to play on the radio during my childhood. I know, am showing my age! And you think that's bad, but Sunday Stories puts me in mind of 'Radio With Pictures' which was the music show that used to screen back in the 80s with Dick Driver & Karen Hay. What a show! I was barely in school and I used to enjoy it so much.

Anyway back to podcasts. I tried to access the podcast directories listed in our discovery exercises, in particular: Podcast.net, Podcastalley.com and Yahoo Podcasts. Podcast.net didn't like me and flashed the network access message 'website cannot be found.' What're the odds more than one link wouldn't work for me, right? So, tried Podcastalley.com and it pulled up normally, only when I tried to click on anything it brought up a blank page. If I could raise a quizzical eyebrow I would! What're the odds more than two links wouldn't work for me, right? So, tried Yahoo Podcasts and got nada, zip, zilch and stuff all. Yahoo Podcasts earnestly tells me 'Sorry, the page you requested cannot be found.' Is it me? Probably. Do I care? Err only partially. My solution? TO GO ROGUE!

Kidding. Slightly. I'm only going slightly rogue - have decided to choose my own podcasts to subscribe to/blog about. Decided to go for broke and performed a general Google search for 'podcasts'. Got lazy as soon as I pushed 'Enter' and went for the first thing of interest I saw, which oddly enough was Radio NZ's podcast directory. Put me in mind of that lyric, 'Look at all those real proud kiwis buying kiwi made. . .' It's fate I tell you, fate. Headed off to view their directory. There sure is a lot of choice. If I'm gonna subscribe to it it has to be something I'll like so went with 'At the movies'. Listeners can choose to subscribe to their podcasts or listen to the episodes - tested it here at work and it pulled up on Windows Media Player. Ugly player. Bleah. They have instructions for how to subscribe to their podcasts. You can either drag the link to your podcast software, drag the url into your podcast software or copy and paste the url to your podcast software. Hoha! Sheesh, wouldn't it be slightly easier if they added the option where you could simply right click to subscribe and then have a variety of options to add to bloglines or whatever else people tend to use? Would be somewhat faster, surely. Had to pull up a separate window and log into my bloglines account and then add the URL, which you can view here. It'll be the only one on its own not inside a folder. Left it like that so you could see it.

Just a note - went home and tried the same sites I tried above and had no luck with Podcast.net or Yahoo Podcasts. I got lucky with Podcastalley.com, though. Was browsing through their stuff and came across a podcast for a show called 'Port City P.D.' Clicked on the picture and ended up at Mevio where, once I joined up and created a profile, was able to watch/listen to my heart's content. Bit of background, Mevio is an online video network and was formerly known as PodShow. The episode I watched was the pilot for the first season, it's now up to the second season and I can watch all of the first here. It's a cop drama and follows the lives of three detectives and is umm quite intense. Oh, contains explicit language, too, I think. I didn't hear any in this episode, but I live in hope. It's great in that it doesn't need iTunes - you can either watch online or save to your profile collection. If you're even slightly curious you can view my profile here. Am at home using Firefox browser so if I click on their 'Put it' link (you can view that on this page under 'catatonichataholic's Channel') it offers me the choice of subscribing to updated episodes via iPod, Zune, Feed Reader, Raw XML. I chose Feed Reader which then offered me the choice of subscribing via my Live Bookmarks or 'other application.' I chose 'Live Bookmarks' so this now sits just underneath the navigation toolbar on my browser.

Decided to try something a bit different and went back to Google (I know, I know - they can't be used for everything) and typed 'podcasts zydeco' because I'm a fan of zydeco music. Yeah, I know, how come. Who knows?! First result listed an episode with Buckwheat Zydeco - and I looooove his music. More out of curiosity than anything else I guess, I ended up at PodcastDirectory.com, in particular at their Buckwheat Zydeco Episode page. At work I tried to play the episode and it took forever to buffer and gave up hope. In the end, tried it now at home and almost came a cropper. Had to install Quick Time first and NOW it lets me play. Clicked the 'Play now' button and VOILA! One most awesome live performance a la Buckwheat Zydeco. The man can play! Just under the Quick Time player is a 'Link to the Show/Show notes' hyperlink. Clicking on that takes me to the Up The Downstair site. I had no clue what this site was about but I tell ya, I soon found out in a hurry. It's spectacular! Subtitle is 'Being a weekly podcaste from Madison, Wisconsin featuring several remarkable curiosities therein occurring being a compendium of live music from diverse artistes.' And the blog lives up to it! The line up of music listed in the archive is just - it's an aural feast. I can't describe it any other way, really. There's stuff there by Buckwheat Zydeco, Muddy Waters, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Miles Davis - hell, you name it and he's got it. I was absolutely stoked to find this page. There're artists here I haven't thought about in years *sigh* As I type I'm listening to Muddy Waters here. The files are hella big but it's not like you download it to your computer. If you've got the time to listen I highly recommend it, and if you've got Quick Time it'll play in your browser - heck, it's playing in the background on one tab as I float around the ether on another.

Must admit though, I was starting to get a tad bit confused about the difference between RSS Feeds and Podcasts. Mostly 'cause wherever I was ending up would call itself a podcast and then show me an RSS Feed icon. In desperation, I googled (I know, it can't be the answer to everything) 'rss feed podcast difference' and ended up here being told that a podcast is an RSS File with an audio enclosure. That makes sense to me!

As an aside, check out the audio clip in my profile - it's the Buckwheat Zydeco episode from Up The Downstair. Also, have removed my Manukau Libraries new books web feeds from this blog because it doesn't show properly anymore. No idea why not, but there ya go.

I can't say that I want to learn to podcast, at least not at this stage, but might take a squiz at the instructions anyway. So me, and Muddy Waters, are going to take ourselves off and continue to play around elsewhere for now. Over and out!

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One comment

kuzy how do you put all that stuff on your blog page?? hika im koretake azzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

by taniwha on August 1, 2008 at 4:18 PM. #

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