iPods are great music systems and that will always be their main purpose. But for any commuter, their ability to play podcasts has to be appreciated as well. Especially when there are so many fantastic free podcasts available.
Before looking at some of the great podcasts that are available (some on iTunes, but mostly elsewhere), its worth taking a look at some alternative ways to get the podcasts onto our iPod. By “alternative” we mean “alternative to iTunes”. Because although iTunes is widely used, we like to promote “non shop” alternatives. We reckon that competition will help to keep Apple honest and at the forefront of design - the way we like it!
One highly regarded podcast receiver program is Juice (previously known as ipodder) which has been downloaded 2.5 million times! Thats the software we will be using to show you how easy it is to get great podcasts to listen to on your iPod (without using the iTunes shop).
First up, download the Juice software (takes mere seconds). Then open and click on “files”and choose “preferences”.
Now just select Windows Media Player. [BTW, while we are in “preferences” just click “general” and you will see that the podcast files get put into C:..\documents\My Received Podcasts. You need to know this to access the files directly (we changed the location to desktop for convenience).
OK, now you are ready to download some cool podcasts. Now Juice allows us to:
select podcasts to subscribe to in two different ways: Either clicking the
selection button to see a directory of available podcasts or enter a URL for a podcast you’ve found on your own.
We will be using the second method and have chosen a great podcast site to use as an example. Because lets face it, learning a language while we are commuting just makes sense - we are going to subscribe to and download “one minute” language courses that are available from radiolingua for FREE!
To do this, we go to their podcast page and select one of the “coffee break” language podcasts or one of the 12 “one minute” language courses they offer - in French, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, etc. For this demo we chose Spanish Coffee Break. To get the RSS feed for this course its just a few simple clicks.
1)Click the “coffee break Spanish” image, then
2)click “Get the Coffee Break Spanish RSS feed” (remember we are
deliberately avoiding iTunes here), located in the right hand sidebar
3) Copy the URL for the page and then open JUICE
3)click the “add new feed” button, and paste the URL for the feed and click save!
Now you have a bunch of Spanish lessons that you have subscribed to. To download them to Windows Media, just click the “subscriptions” button and you will see:
the lessons listed. Check the lesson you want to hear (or all of them, for that matter) and click the download button
Its now downloaded and can be played on Windows Media or loaded to your iPod! (The files can be found in “My Received Podcasts” located in Document and will be named “Learn Spanish With Coffee Break Spanish”)
If this seems slow - believe me it’s but the work of seconds once you have done it once!
Now - and get this - its all FREE - you can use your commute time to learn that language you always wanted to learn! Radiolingua have over a dozen different language lesson programs that they offer for free by podcast!
We will preview some of the other great free podcasts that are around in future posts. So keep watching! And do share this post with anyone YOU know has been wanting to learn a language!