In this section, we'll review the two major players in the podcasting business; iTunes, and Odeo. Learn how your customers will find your podcast, listen to it, and subscribe using these services. These entities are also known as aggregators.
Common Features of Aggregators
Something to remember about aggregators is that they all perform the same rudimentary function. An aggregator is responsible for locating a podcast RSS feed, updating podcasts when new feeds become available, and delivering the new feeds to you, the subscriber.
An aggregator is like a news wire that is always on, and gathers new content as it becomes obtainable. A podcast becomes obtainable after the author has published their new podcast with an RSS feed. An aggregator, being 'pinged' by the source of the RSS feed, will receive the information and translate that RSS feed through their software, updating any new podcast episodes that the listener subscribes to.
This is highly advantageous for subscribers hooked on podcasting. Similar to a news ticker on television, feeds are sent on demand and are accessible at the listeners' convenience. Not only are podcasts available on your personal computer, you can also receive them on your iPod or media player.
In order to use Apple iTunes to subscribe and listen to podcasts , you will need to acquire the software by downloading a free version of iTunes at the Apple website.
Once you have downloaded the software, open the application and click on the link to visit the "Music Store ". You will find this in the menu on the left hand side of your iTunes window. Once you have clicked through to the Music Store, select "Podcasts" from the menu and begin to search for a podcast that interests you.
Search by podcast name, author name (usually the host of the podcast), and by keyword. You can also search by content type, i.e. entertainment, religion, politics, etc.
Once you have found a podcast that you would like to subscribe to, click the option to subscribe to the podcast. You will start receiving updates from that show as they become available and even have the opportunity to receive older shows prior to the date of your subscription. Should you at any time decide that you would like to stop receiving a particular podcast, you can unsubscribe, or re-subscribe to the podcast in question at your convenience.
When Apple added a podcast-subscription feature to its June 28, 2005, release of iTunes 4.9, Apple also launched a directory of podcasts at the iTunes Music Store, starting with 3,000 entries. Two days after release of the program, Apple reported one million podcast subscriptions.Wikipedia.org
This software is friendly to all ages and users. Website Link: http://www.apple.com
The Odeo Syncr, the device that acquires new podcasts, will download anything and everything in the Odeo podcast catalog, and additionally, transfer preferred files to your MP3 player. You will need to download the Odeo Syncr software program in order to subscribe to their podcasts.
Odeo allows you to search through a catalog of audio content that is updated as new podcasts are published, roughly every three hours. Users can also check for immediate updates in between system updates. Searching by keyword is also available.
At Odeo, podcasts are called channels, and they are organized by subject or tag, for example, food, media, and movies. Listeners can also find the top ten most popular and recent additions at Odeo on their "Listen" page.
Each channel that you subscribe to will be hosted in your "Queue". The Odeo Syncr updates the programming as new episodes become available. You will need to login to listen to channels that reside in the Queue.
Odeo Inc. was founded in December 2004 by Noah Glass and Evan Williams. Noah had been helping individuals publish audio on the web for over two years with his company, ListenLab, which provided a service called AudBlog (now part of Odeo). Evan was most recently with Google, where he ran their personal publishing service, Blogger, which he co-founded in 1999 and sold to Google in early 2003. This software is most suited to teenagers and university students. http://www.odeo.com
In this chapter, we reviewed the three major players in the podcast business. You have just learned how customers listen to, download, and subscribe to podcasts, and are now familiar with how to easily make use of these channels. In the next chapter, we'll be looking at how to plan your podcast, including writing your podcast script, viewing a sample podcast recipe, and outlining recording styles.
Written by David Ciccarelli