Podcasting is revolutionizing the way we consume media. It is all so new to many of us, however, that there are many questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions with some answers:

Listening to and Finding Podcasts

What is Blind Cool Tech?

Blind Cool Tech is a podcast that brings some fun, education, and variety into your mp3 player. The show provides interviews, brings you along on sound seeing tours, and discusses life and cool technology, especially technology that blind people can use.

How do I listen to a podcast?

There are a couple of ways to listen. If you just want to check out one or two episodes, just go to the podcasts' web page and click on the episode name you want to hear. This should open Media Player and begin playing the file.

If you want each new episode delivered to your machine, you must first download and install "podcatching" software. Then, once you run the podcatcher, add the address of the rss feed to the software.

You may download podcatcher software like Juice (formally iPodder) or one of many others from a place like www.podcastalley.com.

What is an RSS Feed

RSS is an acronym for one of many terms. Many say it stands for Really Simple Syndication, but whatever it stands for, what it does is provide a structured file that software can use to extract information about various topics, podcasts in this case. A podcasts' web page usually contains a subscription link that opens the RSS page. If you click on the link, Internet Explorer opens the page which probably looks like pure rubbish to most of us. What you really want, however, from this page is its address. In Internet Explorer, you may display and copy the address by going to the address bar (press Alt+D). Once your cursor is in the address bar, press Ctrl+A to select the address then press Ctrl+C to copy it to your clipboard. Next, switch to your podcatcher and in the case of Juice, press Ctrl+N to open the dialog for a new podcast feed. Just press Ctrl+V to paste the address from the clipboard and press Enter. That's all there is to it; you are now subscribed, and new shows from that podcast will get automatically delivered to your computer whenever they become available.

To subscribe to Blind Cool Tech, use the address: http://www.blindcooltech.com/bct.xml

Where can I find other podcasts?

If you are using Juice, select Directory from the View menu and browse the choices there.

To get some other good podcasts, download BestofTheBest.zip. Unzip the file, then open Juice and use the File menu's Import OPML option to import the file BestOfTheBest.opml. This imports several podcasts into Juice. Next, simply delete the shows you do not want.

Why Does my Iriver IFP899 Not Show up as a Drive?

When you first get your Iriver, it does not show up as a drive on your PC. You must upgrade the firmware to get this functionality,

Here is the link to the Firmware update to let the device show up as a drive.

What are those binaural microphones you use?

The microphones that we have been using in recent episodes on the street are the SP-TFB-2 Sound Professionals In-Ear Binaural microphones. There are two models, and we are using the less sensative one. Our current favorite set of mics are the Church-Audio larger mics. The heads are detachable from the cable, and they sound great and are well built.

What kind of microphone do I need to record with the Archos Jukebox

See answer to next question.

Can I use a stereo microphone with the PlexTalk PTR1?

Sometimes, it is necessary to use your recorder's line-in jack to record. This is the case if you wish to use an external microphone with the Archos Jukebox, because this recorder has no microphone jack. Along the same lines, the Plextalk PTR1's microphone jack is mono, so if you wish to use a stereo microphone, you must plug it into the PTR1's line-in jack. The problem is that the expected levels for microphones are much lower than the levels for line-in. There are, however, microphones with amplification to bring them up to the same level as what the line-in jack expects.

Here are some microphones that will work:

Creating Podcasts

How Do I Start My Own Podcast?

There are numerous sources of great material on creating your own podcast. One of the best is a series of podcasts called the Digital Media Cast Experiment at www.dmcex.com.

bookshare.org has at least one well done book on many aspects of podcasting. Just use the search box and use the word "podcast".

You will need a place to host your files. We recommend www.libsyn.com. For a small monthly fee, they permit unlimited traffic and have a pretty simple interface for getting your casts up to the world.

Where can I find out more about RSS?

RSS Resources