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What is Podcasting?

Posted by ron on August 20th, 2006

Some of you may be new to the idea of podcasting and probably have some basic questions:

  • What is podcasting?
  • Do I need an Ipod to make this work?
  • What are feeds and RSS?
  • How do I subscribe to your podcast?
  • What sort of information is in your podcast?

Podcasting is a way to publish audio or vidoe files on the internet. A podcast file is put on a server on the internet and then advertised as being available for download. An individual can then choose to play the file on their computer or download it to a portable MP3 player, like an Ipod. The beauty of the podcast system is that you can subscribe to a podcast and receive new or updated files automatically, without having to manually go through the download process every time.

You do not need an Ipod to listen to a podcast. Ipods are very slick portable music players. One of the really cool features of an Ipod is Itunes, which is the software Apple provides to manage the music or audio files you have on your Ipod. You use the software to select songs that you want to copy to your Ipod and listen to. You can create playlists and move music around all you want. You can also use Itunes to subscribe to podcasts. In Lisa’s case, she has made her podcasts available through Itunes, so you can subscribe to her podcast in Itunes. If you subscribe to her podcast, each time she makes a new audio file available Itunes will automatically download it and make it avaiable on your Ipod, which is very cool. Other MP3 type players also have features like this where you can subscribe to the XML feed from Lisa’s website. You can also click on the MP3 button in the audio post and the file will be downloaded to your PC where you can play it.

This brings us to feeds. A feed is a file published by this webpage as an XML document known as an RSS (Really Simple Syndication). That’s a whole lot of technical terms that mean if you are subscribed, whatever software you use to subscribe will check our feed and let you know if we have published something new. You have a subscription and when we have something new for you to listen to or read you will be notified automatically. This can be through Itunes or some news reading software. Some popular news readers are NewsGator and Google News Reader.

The easiest way to subscribe to Lisa’s Podcasts is through Itunes if you use it. You can click on the Itunes logo in the sidebar of this website and it should automatically start Itunes and take you to the page to subscribe to Lisa’s Podcasts. If not, you can open Itunes yourself, go to the Music Store and type in a search for “Lisa Allison”. As of this writing Lisa’s Podcasts are the only ones that come up in the search.

So what can you expect to hear in this podcast? Well, the first installment is Lisa’s post Seminar CD from 2006. Each year Lisa creates a CD for her Area to listen to on their way home from Seminar. It talks about the excitement and goals you set at Seminar and how to act on them to advance your career. This is the sort of information you should expect to hear in future podcasts as well. Some will be training based podcasts, so will be more motivational. You should be able to figure out what is in each podcast by the descriptions on this site.

Best of all these podcasts are free, so enjoy. If you have comments, please click the “Email Us” link in the sidebar and send us an email.