Its easy to find and download a free podcast. The best

way to find free podcasts is probably to check a podcast

directory. A podcast directory is a listing of many,

sometimes thousands of different podcasts. The podcast

directory will usually organize the podcasts by topic and

genre, making it easy to find the type of podcast that is

sought. In addition, podcast directories often allow the

visitors to comment on the podcasts listed, and provide

a list of the favorite podcasts on the site, making it easy

for users to find the best podcasts available. These

podcast directories can be used to browse through,

introducing users to many different podcasts they

otherwise would not have found.

Once a podcast has been found that interests the user, it

is necessary to download the free podcast. The vast

majority of podcasts will be free, but there will be a few

that may cost a small amount of money. The process to

subscribe to and download the podcasts is the same in

either case. First, a podcast client needs to be found and

installed. There are many free podast clients available,

all providing a slightly different user interface and range

of options. They come with many different names, such

as Podscape, or Nimiq, and searching for ‘free podcast

client’ or something like it will turn up many

possibilities. When the podcast client has been

installed, inputting the feed address will allow the

podcast to be downloaded. The podcast client will

check the address given for a small, machine readable

file called an RSS file. This file will contain

information about the podcasts, perhaps some text

about the individual episodes, as well as the location of

the episode file. Once the podcast client has been

located the file referred to in the RSS feed, it will be

downloaded and stored on the users computer until the

want to view it.

Sometimes, of course, access to a personal computer is

not available, but it is still necessary to check a certain

podcast. Fortunately, many podcast directories offer

built in podcast readers in the site. Not only do they

often show each recent episode that is available, they

may also offer a way to view or listen to those podcast

episodes from within the site. By using the viewer

contained within the site, it is no longer necessary to

even download the podcast episodes. However, the

ability to move and share the episodes after

downloading is one of the wonderful things about

podcasting. The files can be placed on almost and

media player, ranging from iPods to the new Play

Station Portable. This flexibility is one of the reasons

podcasts have succeeded, despite other technologies

like streaming music and video. The desire of

consumers to have control over technology cannot be

over estimated.

Joshua Shoemaker

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