Thursday, September 15, 2005

Podcasting Education 2nd Edition

Podcasting Education 2nd Edition – Here is an update to my original post Podcasting Education. The original was written after I found out some of my friends had iPods but hadn’t discovered podcasting yet. I’m posting this second edition as an update to the original. I found out more of my friends are either getting iPods (Danny), other mp3 players such as an iRiver, or are just tired of me talking about podcasting and want to check out some podcasts using their existing media players such as Windows Media Player. Finally, I have also added instructions for those of you who want to use iTunes to pick, subscribe, and listen to podcasts.

  1. - this gives a great definition of what podcasting is.

  2. - click on the download ipodder link to download the ipodder program. You can set this program up to automatically download new podcasts and send them to iTunes or Windows Media Player. There are many other aggregators out there, but this one is free and very easy to use and understand.

  3. - Podcast Alley is probably the best place to do some research into different podcasts. It is also the place where everyone goes to vote for their favorite podcast(s), and where the podcasters go to see who is rated the best. When you start listening to podcasts you will hear most of them ask you to go to Podcast Alley to vote for them.

I highly recommend getting your podcasts using an aggregator other than iTunes. From my experience iTunes doesn’t update the shows fast enough and has a lot of problems. I prefer to get the shows as soon as they are available. Also I’m just not a big fan of the amount of commercialized podcasts that iTunes has on the main page, or the way they have categorized the podcasts within their music store. That’s just my opinion. If you prefer to use iTunes I have included directions at the bottom of this post.

Here is a list of some of my favorite Podcasts
  1. The Dawn and Drew Show

  2. 5 Minutes with Wichita

  3. Geek News Central

  4. Podcast 411

  5. Earthcore

  6. The Typical PC user

  7. The Skinny on Sports

  8. Daily Source Code

  9. Living on Earth

  10. Science Fridays

Just click on the links above and you will be magically whisked away to each of these podcast’s websites. Look for a little orange button with the letters XML on it. There may also be a button that says Subscribe or Podcast. When you click on one of these buttons a new page will appear. This page is full of strange looking code…this is an RSS feed. The only thing that is important to you here is the URL (web address) at the top. Copy the address and paste it into your new aggregator (usually titled Add Feed).

Using iTunes:
  1. Open iTunes like you normally would

  2. Click on Music Store

  3. Click on the Podcasts link in the Inside the Music Store section on the left.

  4. Choose a podcast.

  5. Click on the Subscribe button.

  6. Check the Podcasts playlist on the left side of your iTunes to make sure that you are subscribed.

I am hopeful that these instructions will help you finally hear your first podcast. Enjoy your journey into the podosphere!!! If you need any help just let me know.

If you are reading this and are not someone that I know, please let me know if this information was helpful, and thanks for taking a look!!

See ya.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

More iPod troubles & My Lack of Faith in HP Support

I just got off the phone with HP support and now I am pissed off!!! As all of you will recall (again, with the cynicism) I have been having troubles with my iPod. You may be asking why I called HP if I own an iPod. Well, that’s because I made the dumb decision of choosing to purchase the “Apple iPod + HP.” You may also be asking why I made that decision. The answer is that at the time I became interested in purchasing an iPod I was worried that the Apple version would not be as compatible with my Dell PC as the HP version would be. All of my research told me that the HP version of the iPod would be much more user friendly to a PC user. Now I want to set the record straight here and say that I love my iPod like I gave birth to it myself. My iPod used to be my source of sanity in an insane world that is my job. My iPod was my treasure chest of beautiful music that fit all kinds of moods and could magically whisk me away to a different world where anger, stress, and frustration ceased to exist. My iPod was the holder for all of my favorite podcasts and the cause of much laughter. It has been broken now for about two weeks. I am the kind of person who likes to fix things on my own, and that’s what I attempted to do…unfortunately I failed and had to call HP for help, again.

Here’s what’s happening:
  • iPod, although loaded with 2500 songs/podcasts will only play some of the songs/podcasts some of the time.

  • When it does play a song/podcast it frequently only plays ¼ to ½ of the song or podcast.

  • When I plug the iPod into the USB 2.0 port the computer will recognize that I have plugged something into it, but not that it is an iPod. This causes all the iPod software to fail to recognize the iPod. That means that the iPod updater is unable to assist me in reformatting the iPod and then updating the software

  • When the iPod is plugged into the USB 2.0 port and the computer fails to recognize it, the internal mechanism of the iPod makes a clicking noise, then I get pissed that it’s not working and leave the room in hopes that something will happen and when I return it will have fixed itself. When I do actually return however, the iPod is warm, even hot to the touch which tells me that something is definitely wrong!!

I contacted HP Support on August 30th and thought that, with their help, we had solved the problem for good. I was able to reformat the iPod and update all of the software, and it worked great for about 4 days. Then it started freezing up and skipping thru songs. I have had to restart the iPod more times than I care to remember.
I finally found time to call HP today. I spoke to a very nice woman named Karen. She guided me through all of the normal trouble-shooting steps, mainly those that I had already done, and then she proceeded to tell me that she would just arrange to have a “new” iPod sent to me…she just needed my credit card number. I understood why but I asked anyway. She told me that it was their (HP’s) insurance that they would get the defective iPod back after I received my “new” one. I asked her if HP would be putting a hold on my credit card for a certain amount and she told me “no, it just incase”. I proceeded to inform her that I just paid for a semester of college on my card and that if they were going to place a hold on my card that it would get denied. She again told me that HP would not be placing a hold on my card. I gave he my card number, and guess what…it was denied just like I told her it would be. Can you feel me getting more pissed off? The only alternative is to send it in myself and eat the shipping charge. Karen gave me all the instructions on sending it in to HP and I just let the issue go.
My next question was concerning the term “new”. I paid approximately $300 for my brand new iPod. I wanted to make sure that they weren’t going to send me a refurbished one, due to the fact that my money was spent with the intent of getting a brand new iPod that performed perfectly out of the box. Her response to my question was that they may send me a brand new iPod, or they might send me a refurbished one; she would not guarantee a brand new one though. She did her best to assure me that the refurbished models are just as good as a brand new one. I proceeded to apologize for my frustration and again informed her that I was pissed off because of the principle of the matter. Again, my money was spent in good faith that I was purchasing an iPod that nobody else had used before me, not a used one that has been erased. I told her that I would send in my iPod but I was very disappointed that I had made the bad decision to choose to purchase an iPod from HP. I also told her that I wished I would have bought the iPod from Apple so I could have just taken it to the Apple store and have them resolve the matter right away. She apologized again, and I understood that she really didn’t give a shit; she was just doing her job! Anyway, it looks like I won’t have a functional iPod for another 2 weeks. Fortunately for me I have my trusty iRiver IFP-899 as a backup.

Hopefully someone out there has had an experience like this one and can offer me some guidance. I have very little faith in HP. If you are reading this and can offer me a word of hope, please send me an email to

Stay tuned.

See ya.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


If you did not watch the MTV, VH1, and CMT Katrina releif fundraiser go here and watch it now. I am sure that you will be as moved as I was while watching it. Check it out now! More to come tomorrow. Time for bed.

See ya.

P.S. I have never been so impressed with TV in my life. Great job Viacom! You will probably never hear me say that again...