How do I subscribe for free – what’s a podcast?
What is a podcast
A podcast is simply an audio file that you can play on your computer right now or on an MP3 player such as an Ipod. You can think of a podcast as a recorded radio program that you download and then play whenever you want. Podcasts from Pets.ca will of course feature pet tips and other useful pet information. They will be approximately 5-20 minutes in length. We have added a media player directly into this blog so you can listen to the podcasts easily and quickly. The player looks something like this.
If your browser does not support the player, you won’t see it. In this case just click the link in the post to downloaded the podcast in its entirety (it takes a couple of minutes) onto your computer or MP3 player before it can be listened to.
One of the most beautiful things about blogs and podcasts is that you can subscribe to them and they are almost always free (ours most certainly is). What that means is that you can use an application to listen to, view, or read specific podcasts, videocasts and blogs of your choosing. Using that 1 application, you can listen to all your favorite podcasts and/or blogs. There are many such applications out there but 2 of the most popular ones that I recommend are Itunes and Google Reader. Itunes is great because they also have a huge directory of free podcasts and videocasts to subscribe to on almost every topic. You can use Itunes to listen to podcasts directly on your computer, or transfer the shows that you’re subscribed to your Ipod or other MP3 player. You can subscribe to all your favorites and listen to them from Itunes. Google Reader is great because you can subscribe to blogs from there AND you can also subscribe to podcasts from the same place.
Once you subscribe to a particular blog or podcast, then the next time you open the application it automatically searches your subscriptions and updates them automatically. It is truly cool.
So what the heck are those orange icons anyhow? The orange icons that you see in different sizes and colours just inform you that here is a feed that you can subscribe to. Sometimes when you click on the feed icon it will open up a page where you can see the content and figure out what’s going on. Other times you will click on it and see gobbly gook. That gook is really just the feed itself in XML language. The important part of the gook is the feed address. Often when you hover your mouse over the icon, the feed address is revealed. You just need to copy that address into your application to subscribe. Truth be told, it’s confusing for a lot of people and that’s why it’s just easier to download itunes and click on an icon that says subscribe in Itunes. For Google reader the feed address to subscribe is http://www.pets.ca/blog/?feed=rss2
It will get easier in the future.