This TechTip post discusses specifically how to download podcasts using podcatching software on an Apple Macintosh computer. You may wish to first read the more general post “How to Download Podcasts” for an overview of podcasts and podcasting.
If you own a Macintosh computer, you’ve got it easy. A podcatcher is already included, and is one of the most widely used podcatchers around. It’s called iTunes. You thought iTunes was only a music and video player? Well it also has built-in podcast management. If you see any buttons on a website similar to these:
clicking on one will automatically open iTunes to a view like that you see below:
The iTunes Store is also a great place to start looking for podcasts — many free podcasts use the iTunes Store as a distribution outlet. Then you can manage your podcasts just like any other media in your library.
You can get more detailed information about using iTunes, including some great how-to’s, here in the iTunes section on Apple.com. Detailed information specifically about using iTunes to handle podcasts can be found in “Tips for Podcast Fans”.
Consumer Tip: if you are going to use an MP3 player to listen to music and podcasts you download into iTunes, Apple would prefer you to use THEIRS — i.e. an iPod or iPhone. The list of non-Apple players you can use with iTunes is very limited. If you are planning to use iTunes with an MP3 player, be sure to check Apple’s official list of supported MP3 players before you buy one.
There are many other free podcatchers that can be used with Macs — iTunes is not your only option. I’ve focused on iTunes here because it’s easy and instantly available if you own a Mac. If you’re looking for an alternative podcatcher, you might try Juice (formerly called iPodder), which I describe in more detail in the post “How to Download Podcasts in Windows“.
You’ve now set up your system to retrieve podcasts. Of course if anything here is not clear, or you have further questions, leave me a comment. I’m always interested in improving explanations, or helping you further!
I hope you enjoy your podcasts!