What are podcasts?

Podcasts are attachments (enclosures) to RSS feeds (see below). These usually consist of audio format "programmes" which can be further saved to a media player (such as the Apple iPod - hence the name "podcasts") or of course listened to on any other capable device such as a PC with a media player application.

An RSS feed is usually an XML document served up by a webserver, most often downloaded by an RSS reader. There are many RSS readers available, and even some web browsers can understand RSS feeds natively. However not all RSS readers can act as podcast clients. Some don't understand the enclosures, some do but don't deal with them well. RSS readers have the ability to regularly check the feeds you are subscribed to, and to download updated content. When a content provider creates a new podcast they update their RSS feed, your reader (maybe an hour later) pulls down the update and subsequently the enclosure. You're then ready to play the podcast.

Many people schedule their clients to download the podcasts overnight, saving directly to the filesystem of their media player. That way they're ready to be listened to on the way to work in the morning.


Some software you might use to download podcasts.

Podcast Specific

; iPodder : An excellent podcast client which allows you to specify how many podcasts you want to grab in parallel (useful if you have a high bandwidth connection and want to max it out, or a low bandwidth one and you dont!), and has a scheduler function to download at predefined times of the day.

; Bashpodder : Bash script that downloads podcasts. Useful for running on a server and a number of patches are available that add different behavioural functionality.

General RSS Readers

; Liferea : Liferea is a very capable RSS reader, which can also deal with enclosures in the newer versions. However at the time of writing it saves all enclosures in the same place (directory) which can mean it's hard to manage the files you've downloaded. The podcasts are downloaded using wget, so it's possible to close Liferea and there still be a bunch of wgets running, downloading podcasts you're subscribed to,

= Feeds ==

Some feeds that you might want to take a look at.

Linux Technical


Homepage: http://lugradio.org

"LugRadio is a fortnightly British radio show that takes a relaxed, humorous look at Linux and open source. Note: language may offend some."

LugRadio has been going for a few seasons now and has quite a cult following. There is also an OGG feed.


[[http://www.linuxreality.com/|Linux Reality]]

Aimed at the novice Linux user. This podcast goes from what is linux to more detail about one specific distro and the apps you might run under it. Easy to follow, preety good for those with limited Linux knowledge.

[[http://twatech.org|Today With A Techie]]

Daily podcasts covering varied technical subjects. Not all Linux, but mostly. Also very varied in audio quality, due to each episode being presented and recorded by someone different.

[[http://www.novell.com/company/podcasts/openaudio.html|Novell [[OpenAudio]]]]

Weekly podcasts from Novell. Often Linux-related but sometimes blatent marketing for Novell's products. OGG and MP3 feeds are available.

American PodCast of varying quality. OGG and MP3 feeds available.

[[http://podcast.ubuntu-uk.org|Ubuntu UK Podcast]]

A podcast by the Ubuntu UK LoCo team, including some members of HantsLUG!

Non Tech

[[http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rmhttp/downloadtrial/radio4/inourtime/rss.xml|In Our Time]]

Homepage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/


Homepage: http://www.podictionary.com/

"podictionary is the audio word-a-day for a couple of minutes Charles Hodgson discusses the unexpected history of words you thought you already knew"

PodCasts (last edited 2008-06-12 18:28:20 by 86)