Tag Archives: itunes

Podcasts – iPad App of the Week

Podcasts – iPad App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive.

This week’s App is Podcasts.

Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to, and play your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts from the Podcasts Catalog, and play the most popular podcasts, organized for you by topic, with the all-new Top Stations feature.

Free

One of the issues I have had with the iPad and more so with the iPhone is how awful they were when it came to managing podcasts. The only real way to make it work was to sync with iTunes and be done with it.

If I didn’t sync with iTunes and then tried to download an episode of a podcast that I was subscribed to in iTunes, but wasn’t “transferred” to the iPhone, then when I next synchronised with iTunes, I would have two “copies” of the same podcast. What made it worse was that then this would be synchonised and transferred to the iPod classic I normally use for podcasts resulting in a duplicate of the podcast feed and duplicates of the podcast episodes. That caused me problems as these duplicates would then take up disk space.

There have been separate podcast apps in the iTunes App Store, but despite my problems I have never actually downloaded them and tried them… came close, but never quite got there. This was partly as I heard about them on a podcast, like MacBreak Weekly, but couldn’t remember the name when I actually came round to downloading the app.

Apple has finally decided that the iPad and the iPhone needed a decent podcast app and have released their own. This takes podcasts out of the Music app and puts then in their own Podcasts app, as they did with movies and putting them in the Movie app.

It’s a really nice app and works really smoothly. There are also some really nice design features, which is something you kind of expect from Apple now. Like some of their apps there is also a retro design that I think works well, and appeals to people like me!

If you already subscribe to podcasts on iTunes that you transfer to the iPad or iPhone then these will be transferred automatically. Unlike the Music app, the Podcasts app will download new episodes in the background, so you can be sure that the next time you pick up your device it should have the latest episode on it. This is part of Apple’s wider strategy in doing more updates wirelessly in the background rather than through iTunes. In the future you can expect to see Apps updating in the background, as well as podcasts.

If you haven’t been using your iPad for podcasts then you will get this screen.

Continue reading Podcasts – iPad App of the Week

Podcast Workflow

I have been asked about my podcasting workflow. This article outlines how and what equipment I use to record the e-Learning Stuff Podcast. This is only one way in which to record a remote panel based podcast, and I am sure there are numerous other ways in which to do this. I have also changed how I have recorded over the two years I have been publishing the podcast due to changes in equipment and software.

Key lesson is that there is more to podcasting than just the technical stuff…

Continue reading Podcast Workflow

But I have to read everything…

Using tools like Google Reader or Twitter it can become pretty compulsive to read everything. If you use iTunes and subscribe to lots of podcasts you can feel you need to listen to them all.

The more RSS feeds you subscribe to, or the more people you follow on Twitter, the larger the number of those unread messages becomes… Likewise with a lot of podcast subscriptions you can find the number of podcasts you have not listened to growing…

Then after a while you feel you are not coping or those unread feeds and Tweets are always there…

Waiting…

The number also gets larger… and larger…

You start to set yourself targets, you will read all your feeds by Sunday night! You will catch up with Twitter over dinner!

You go away to a conference or on holiday and when you get back the list is even bigger!

Eventually it will reach the point that you have to give up. Then you mark all as read and start again down this downward spiral.

Is this a wise course of action?

Of course no it isn’t.

The key in my opinion dealing with tools like Twitter and Google Reader is to rethink them as streams of information rather than as an email inbox.

In the same way that you don’t watch every TV channel or even watch ALL of your favourite TV channel.

Or reading the weekend paper, you don’t attempt to read every article in every section. Likewise if you didn’t read the paper yesterday, do you read it before you read today’s paper?

Or continually listening to Radio 4 all day long… well I know some people who do that, but you know what I mean!

It doesn’t matter that you don’t read every Tweet posted. It won’t be the end of the world if you don’t manage to catch every article in your newsfeed. So what if you miss a podcast?

What is the worse that could happen?

Well yes something bad could happen, but not very likely! But every day because you didn’t read all the Tweets in your Twitter stream, something bad would happen, no I don’t think so.

To be honest nothing bad is going to happen.

So what if you miss an exciting blog post on a subject you care about?

Does it really matter that you missed out on an interesting conversation on Twitter about PLEs?

The thing is you miss stuff all the time outside RSS and Twitter. More often than not, the good stuff resurfaces again and again (well it certainly does on services like Digg).

You need to treat Google Reader, Twitter and iTunes all in the same way. When you have time dip into the Twitter stream. Allocate time during the day To peruse your aggregated feeds in your newsreader. Listen to the most recent podcast, not the one from three weeks ago.

This is a much easier way to manage the huge amount of information that comes into our lives. Yes you will miss stuff, but the stuff you don’t will not be rushed, it will be perused with care and attention not just glanced over because you need to ensure that all your articles in the RSS feed are read.

It’s never about all the stuff it’s about the right stuff.

Now should we talk about e-mail?

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #046: We’re talking podcasts

Enhanced podcasts, subscribing to podcasts, iPhones and other stuff with James Clay and Lilian Soon.

This is the forty-sixth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, We’re talking podcasts

Audio MP3

Download the podcast in mp3 format: We’re talking podcasts

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

In at number one!

Those of you who read the blog of a regular basis will know that as well as the blog I also (with a group of e-learning friends) record a podcast.

You can listen to the podcast on the blog, there is a simple Flash based player, so you don’t need to download it to listen to it.

You can download the mp3 file from the blog which then allows you to transfer it to a mp3 player, an iPod, burn it to CD, listen to it on your computer, or on your phone.

You can also subscribe to the podcast, either through the blog RSS feed (which incorporates all the blog postings and media files uploaded) or through the podcast RSS feed. You can subscribe via applications such as iTunes, Juice or your browser.

Finally you can subscribe to the podcast through the Apple iTunes Store. I submitted the podcast to the iTunes Store in October 2008 to the Educational Technology Podcasts section of the store.

It is proving reasonably popular and the podcast is generally always in the top twenty, quite pleased though today to see it is in at number one!

Now if you go and look I suspect we may have dropped a fair few places, the top podcasts list does change on a daily basis dependent on how many subscribers you have and how many new people subscribe.

I am working on a workflow document which describes the process I use for recording the podcast, it is currently a work in progress but you can view it here.

Since Christmas I have been putting an episode out every week, which is a lot more challenging than you would think

Always interested to hear about topics people would like us to talk about or even those who would be interested in taking part.