Daily independent weather forecasts for the Kansas City area

Monday, July 11, 2005

Podcasting explained

It's been over 5 months now and nearly 140 episodes of the Kansas City Weather Podcast. It's hard to believe. But how do you receive the Kansas City Weather Podcast?

First of all ... let's explain the term "Podcasting" if you are not familiar. Podcasting is the new wave of delivering audio or video content on the internet. It differs from traditional downloading of audio and video and from "streaming" internet audio content because the audio (or video) file is delivered directly to your computer or MP3 player so you can listen at another time. Streaming content requires you to be online while the show is being run. Traditional click-and-save on the internet requires you to visit a website to manually download and save your media to your computer or MP3 player (often a multi-step process). It is also up to you to manually check for new content.

Podcasting does all of this for you. The only thing you need is one of several free software programs that automatically checks a website, downloads the audio (or video) file, imports it into your media player playlist and, if you have one, save it to your MP3 player. Plus, outside of a couple of shows, subscribing free and anonymous (like the Kansas City Weather Podcast). All you need to do is to enter this address into your Podcast client (I prefer Doppler Radio, but iTunes does a nice job as well) :

Of course, you can still visit my blog and manually click on the link at the top of each post to download the audio file. If you use a traditional RSS reader, consider finding out if your reader supports downloading enclosures. I currently use a seperate RSS reader, but will likely switch to only Doppler Radio in the next week when the beta of version 3.0 is released that has an integrated RSS reader.

Since it's start, Podcasting continues to grow rapidly with approximately 5000 podcasts and over 60,000 episodes. It's primarily a form of grass-roots radio, but many of the traditional media outlets are jumping on the podcasting wagon. It's on-demand content with thousands of topics, ranging from items like the Kansas City Weather Podcast, to inspirational programs, to more racey say-anything talk shows. Some, like this podcast, are updated daily. Others are weekly, bi-weekly, or are even seasonal. If you haven't a clue where to start looking for podcasts to listen to, check out Podcast Alley. They maintain one of the best directories of podcasts on the internet, and hosts the VERY active podcast forum.
If you have any questions about listening to or even starting your own podcast, feel free to shoot me an email (to fend off the SPAMalopes, listen to my podcast for my email address). I'd be more than willing to help you out.


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