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The Princeton Macintosh Users' Group
About PMUG Meetings Member Resources
Podcasts

PMUG is making available audio recordings of its general monthly meetings and other special events through a Podcast. The DIALOG monthly newsletter is also available through a Filecast called the DIALOGcast. Both are for members only and are password protected.

Have you forgotten your password? Visit the Verification e-Mail page to have it sent to you.


What is a Podcast?

Some describe it as "TiVo for audio." A Podcast automatically downloads audio files whenever they are released, then can be played at your leisure on a computer or portable media player (such as the iPod.) The term Podcast comes from combining the words iPod (the most popular portable media player) and broadcast (sent from one source to many people.)

There are alternate types of Podcasts, such as enhanced Podcasts which show a slideshow along with the audio. There are also Podcasts which show video (called Videocasts) and those which distribute files like PDFs (called Filecasts.)

PMUG offers the Monthly Meetings Podcast and the DIALOGcast filecast (which sends PDF files of the newsletter.)


How do I get PMUG's Podcast / DIALOGcast?

You need two things to get PMUG's Podcasts:

  1. Much like you need a Web address to call up a Web page, you need an address to bring up a Podcast. The address is called a Podcast feed file, but this file is not directly readable by people. Instead you need...
  2. A program to read in the feed file, which is known as a Podcast reader. iTunes (version 4.9 and newer for Mac and Windows) has a popular and easy to use Podcast reader built-in.

Once you have a Podcast feed file, you may add it to the Podcast reader — this is known as "subscribing" to a Podcast. Podcasts are free despite having the term subscribe.

Here is how to subscribe to PMUG's Podcast using iTunes:

There are several methods to choose from, but you only need to do one (and it only needs to be done one time):

Click a button method

  • Make sure iTunes is installed (version 4.9 or newer)
  • At the top of this page click the iTunes 1-Click button.
  • Note: Because no standard yet exists for passing Web feeds to other programs, this may or may not work depending on the operating system version and Web browser version being used.

For the final step in subscribing to a PMIUG Podcast in iTunes, a window will appear and ask for your username and password (PMUG's Podcasts are for members only and are password protected.) Be sure to click the "Remember password" checkbox so you won't have to type this each time the feed is accessed. If you have forgotten your password, visit the Verification e-Mail page to have it sent to you.

The Podcast feed will now load and automatically download its first entry (called an episode.) By default, iTunes will check the Web feed each day to see if the feed is updated and download any new episodes. Note that your computer must be on and iTunes open in order for it to check.


How do I use the Podcast?

graphic showing the Podcasting playlist in iTunes

This shows the Podcast library (1) in iTunes 7.0, although previous versions look slightly different. The contents of a Podcast, called an episode, can be viewed by clicking on its left side triangle (2). Episodes which have not been downloaded are grayed out (3) and have a "GET" button (4) — click the button to download that episode. If a blue dot appears in the left coulmn (2) this notes a new episode which has not been played yet.

With a Podcast on your computer, you can play and move around in the episode (5). To see episode information, click the right-side "i" button (6) to view its information window (7). Additional information may also be seen in the episode's audio file tags by choosing "Get Info" from the File menu, then in the next window clicking the Info or Lyrics tabs. Episode pictures can be seen in a preview window (8) which are shown by clicking the preview button (9). View the image full-size by clicking on the preview window.

By default, iTunes will check for new Podcast episodes every day. Clicking the refresh button (10) will make iTunes to check right now. Default settings for Podcast checking frequency, as well as how many new episodes to download can be changed by clicking on the settings button (12). If you no longer wish to receive a Podcast you may click on the unsubscribe button (11).

These are the basics of using Podcasts in iTunes. Additional things which can be done include automatically syncing Podcasts to your iPod, browsing additional Podcasts in Apple's iTunes store and subscribing to them, and using additional Podcast formats such as Enhanced Podcasts, Videocasts, and .pdf Filecasts.

PMUG Monthly Meetings Podcast

Listen to PMUG's general meetings and other special events.

feed icon

iTunes 1-Click

(iTunes must be installed
before clicking the above link)

PMUG DIALOGcast

Have the DIALOG newsletter automatically downloaded to your computer whenever it comes out!

feed icon

iTunes 1-Click

(iTunes must be installed
before clicking the above link)

Sample Episode from
the PMUG Monthly Meetings Podcast

Enjoy the episode below as a demonstration of our Monthly Meetings Podcast. Members may "subscribe" to the Podcast, which contains the audio (and some are enhanced with slideshows) for over 25 meetings.


photo of Doug Dixon at the February 2009 PMUG meeting

2009 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Apple Expo 2008 Highlights

The February 2009 meeting featured the newest gadgets and technologies announced at the Consumer Electronics Show. It was presented by Doug Dixon. But before that, PMUG's Ewa Zak talked about her attendance at the September 2008 Apple Expo in Paris.

Podcast Episode:

Episode length: 1 hour, 8 minutes

Download the file (23.4MB, mp3 audio, 1h 8m)

Enhanced Podcast Episode:
(with images and Website links)
Download
the Enhanced Podcast
To watch: right-click on the download link and select Download the File, open the file inside iTunes, and play it inside the MiniPlayer (from the Window > MiniPlayer menu.) As an alternative, you may also play it inside the free VLC program.
(42.8MB, m4a audio + images, 1h 9m)

PMUG brochure
Take a look at our many benefits in this handy brochure (416K Acrobat .pdf file).

Join PMUG with our online membership form.

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