Let's Talk About Podcasts

Podcasts are similar to radio programs. Their formats can be talk shows, call-in sports shows, Podcast Subscribeaudiobooks, poetry, music DJs, news, sightseeing tours, and much more. Of course, in our case, our podcasts are mainly our Sunday sermons and the occasional special event. Podcasts are different from radio in that a podcast is a series of audio files you get on the Internet and you don’t have to be tuned in at a specific time.

Most websites provide on-screen controls for you to listen to our podcasts. But, the best thing about podcasts is that they can be downloaded to your own computer or audio player device. This lets you listen to them anytime – such as in the car or while on a walk or maybe doing those household chores.

You can subscribe to podcasts, just like a magazine. In the same way a magazine arrives in your mailbox when a new edition comes out, a podcast uses software on your computer called a podcatcher to automatically download new shows whenever they become available. To subscribe and download podcasts requires that bit of podcatcher software and perhaps your audio player device. Below are some instructions to help you with that.

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Find that pesky song

You know that song that keeps going through your mind? No you don’t do you? That is the problem, the tune or words keep going through your mind, but you just don’t know the name of the song. In my case it is a song that I keep hearing on the radio but the annoying DJs never tell me who performed the music or what the title of the track is. Now there is a solution.

midomi music finding serviceI just stumbled across a Midomi. It is so simple that it is amazing that it works. You simply go to the site, click on the button and then sing some of the song that you know or hum the tune. Midomi will then search its database and tell you what the song is. Of course, so that they can provide this service and earn some money, they will then off your the opportunity to buy the song, videos, and such by linking directly to the iTunes music store.

Now honestly I had mixed results with the service. Obviously it works better the clearer your singing or humming and the longer you can do it for. At least 10 seconds is required for any kind of read at all. I also found that the more popular the tune you are searching for the more likely the service is to find it. Whether this is a factor of the accuracy of their database or due to the linking to iTunes, I have no idea.

The coolest thing though, at least in my mind, is that the service can be used from the new iPhone – if, unlike me, you are lucky enough to have gotten one. That being the case, you can just pull Midomi up on your iPhone, hold it up to the radio for a short while, and then have it tell you what the song is that is playing. Now that is cool.

So, if you want to get that song out of your head and on to your iPod or MP3 player, give Midomi a shot. Then please come back here and let us know how it worked for you. Tell me, did it find your music?

Why Am I The Last To Know?

How come I didn’t know about this extremely cool website before? I am talking about Last.fm. Last.fm is an social music platform. Using a music recommendation system known as “Audioscrobbler“, Last.fm builds a detailed profile of each user’s musical taste by recording details of all the songs the user listens to, either on the streamed radio stations or on the user’s computer or portable music device. Last.fmThis information is transferred to Last.fm’s database (“scrobbled”) via a plugin installed into the user’s music player. The profile data is displayed on a personal web page. The site offers numerous social networking features and can recommend and play artists similar to the user’s favorites.

This thing is seriously cool. Not only do I get to stream music that I really like but have never heard of, but I also get to find out about new music by finding out about the preferences of friends or people I admire. For instance, you can list to author Neil Gaiman’s station here. Or mine, that I am still building, here.

Very cool stuff especially since it can look at the history of what you played in iTunes or on your iPod. Also, I have been running it and monitoring the behavior. It really doesn’t seem to take a huge amount of bandwidth in streaming mode, so it really doesn’t slow everything else down when it runs. Give it a try and let me know what you think. I have no vested interest, and no affiliate link, I would just like to know your opinion!