Podcast Directory Help: How to subscribe and listen to podcasts on your iPod

Got an iPod? Congratulations. Not only do you have access to more songs that you can listen to in one lifetime, but you can also listen to reviews, interviews, audio books, and all the information contained in the hundreds and thousands of podcasts now available for your downloading pleasure. It seems that there's no topic that hasn’t been covered by a podcast, from a step-by-step on applying for immigration to how to make the perfect soufflé.

So how do you get hour hands (or ears) on that motherlode of information? It’s simple, even for technophobes who have barely figured out the buttons of the DVD player.

Step One: Find the Program

Okay, don't panic yet. While the idea of scouring through the web for a software may seem overwhelming, you can find a lot of reviews to help you make the right choice. The best source are discussion boards of podcasting fanatics, who are more likely to give a neutral and objective opinion rather than the press releases of the companies who made the software. Plus, the interactive nature of discussion boards lets you post whatever questions you have in case you have trouble installing the software. Many of the members are eager to help.

The most basic thing you need to understand about the program is that it automatically downloads any podcasts that you have subscribed to. Think of it as the virtual newspaper boy that makes sure you have the morning news delivered to your doorstep. In this case, the program hunts down all the updates or new episodes of a given podcast. That could be one—or 100—depending on the frequency of the updates and how many subscriptions you have.

The most important thing to remember about choosing a program is that it should have a good organization system and user friendly interface. Those podcasts can pile up, and you want to be able to archive your material and then retrieve it without any hassle.

Step Two: Install the System

Just follow the instructions of the particular program you got.

Step Three: Choose a podcast

Sigh. So many podcasts, so little memory… But if you have found a podcast you just absolutely have to have, then sign up for what is called a 'feed'. This actually refers to an RSS 2.0 file, which notifies your program if there is any new update. On most websites you’ll find a list of the available feeds, followed by a button (typically labeled 'XML' or 'podcast' or 'download this' or something self-explanatory like that). In our own podcast directory you will see after the title of each podcast. This symbol represents the link to the podcast's feed. Click on that, and you'll be led to a browser window filled with what looks like gibberish. Never mind what that weird text means, it's just the code. What matters most if the web address found on the URL bar.

Step Four: Signing Up

This is where your podcast program comes in. Open the program, then click 'add' (or the corresponding button). You’ll be presented with a field. Copy and paste the feed’s URL, and then click the “submit” or “add feed” button. Congratulations, you’ve subscribed!

Step Five: Check your podcasts

Let’s say you’re in the mood to listen to your podcasts. Just check your program to load the new episodes. You’ll then have them in your computer, ready for listening. See, that wasn’t hard was it?

You can instruct your software to automatically check for updates (you determine how frequently you want it to check), and (depending on your settings and the scope of your software) save them into pre-set