14 June 2005

What is podcasting?

"Podcasting" is a way to get Ratbag Radio audio automatically downloaded to your computer. This is handy if you have a portable MP3 player or if you have a slow web connection. Once you have things set up, you will always have access to the most recent audio , as MP3 files on your computer or portable device, ready for listening!

You don't need to own an iPod to do this. The basic requirement is a computer with a sound card and an internet connection. That's all. Podcasts are Mp3 audio files which can be automatically or selectively downloaded at your customized preference and convenience.

Why Podcast?

If you want to listen to Ratbag Radio, but you don't have time to wait for each file to download, then this solution is for you. It grabs each broadcast for you, automatically. And, if you have a portable MP3-playing device and you're about to walk out the door, it's ready to go!
For more detailed history and discussion of pocasting, check out the following resources:

Podcasting Page at Wikipedia
Engadget.com (How to get Podcasts and also make your own)

What's a Podcast?

You may have heard of the term "RSS" -- it stands for "Really Simple Syndication", and many recent web browsers like Mozilla FireFox have built-in support for RSS "Feeds". An RSS feed makes it easy for programs to check a web site and easily find out when new stories or articles were published on a web site. A podcast is really an RSS feed that also contains information about an MP3 file that can be downloaded.

You need to install a podcast program on your computer, tell it about a podcast feed you want to subscribe to, and it will check to see when new information is available. When a new show is uploaded to the web site, the podcasting software will start downloading the MP3 file in the background to a directory.

Step 1: Get A Podcasting Program

To get started, you will need to install a podcasting program, a number of which are freely available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

  • Juice (Free Software: Windows, Mac and Linux). At the moment, this is one of the most popular solutions for receiving Podcast feeds.
  • iTunes (Freeware: Windows, Mac). This is Apple's flagship music-playing program, which, starting with version 4.9, has support for receiving podcasts.
  • Podcatcher on a stick:has all the basic functions to receive podcasts like the other podcatcher-software. But instead of installing the software to a personal computer, 'podcatcher on a stick' is installed directly on your audio-device (e.g. a MP3-USB-stick -- portable Mp3 player).
  • FireAnt: FireAnt delivers a rich media experience through a simple to use, unified viewer that lets you watch all types of content without having to worry about which format it is (Quicktime, Windows Media, Real, Flash, MP3, and more). But despite its orientation primarily to video FireAnt is a poweful podcatcher which is more user friendly and less invasive that iTunes

Step 2: Subscribe to the Ratbag Radio Podcast Feed

Once you have downloaded and installed a podcast program, you will need to add the Ratbag Radio podcast feed. The address for the RR podcast feeds is:


Notes: You can right-click any of the links above and select "copy link location" or "copy shortcut". These links go directly to the XML file. If you click on them directly in your web browser, you may see the raw XML code. Please follow the instructions on this page to "subscribe" to the feed in your software of choice.

Step 3: Start downloading

Once you have subscribed to the Ratbag RADIO podcast feed, you just need to tell the podcast software to start downloading. From then on, the program will occasionally check for new audio, and when available, it will download it.

If you have a portable MP3 player, you may need to tell your podcast program which one you use, or configure it to save the files in the correct directory.

Check the documentation or web site for your podcast software for details.

If you need help, plase email Ratbag Radio at ratbagradio@yahoo.com.au

Individual podcasts are listed on the page. You can click on these to listen at any time.

Listen: Mp3Download

Further notes:

Ratbag Radio podcasts and other audio are also archived or listed at various podcast directories you can visit on the web. There you can review , listen to past podcasts and subscribe, using the directory's feed if you wish.

Our favorite feeds are listed under the Ratbag Radio Podcast Directory. This is a list we frequently update.

RR Podcasts are a mix of interviews, and free form social,satirical and political commentary in the blather.

To subscribe to the RR podcast go to the Ratbag Radio and copy the feed or follow the XML links. You can also listen to the Mp3 files on the website too. Or if you prefer, you can copy the Ratbag Radio podcast feed into your podcatcher. It is:


If you use iTunes as your podcatcher program you can also subscribe to RR by clicking the iTunes logo in the right hand column and the iTunes page for RR will automatically open up. You then click the 'subscribe' button. However, since iTunes are notoriously impatient with many feeds if you cannot subscribe by using the logo click method --you can still subscribe to RR by cutting and pasting the feed url into the iTunes Subscribe to Podcast option. [iTunes: Advanced/Subscribe to podcast]

Audio Streaming

Because you may want to
only sample a program or you don't want to wait for the Mp3 file to completely download or you have a slow web connection you can also listen to Ratbag Radio as an audio stream.

Streaming is a process that allows you to start listening to the file before all of it is downloaded. So you can listen and download at the same time.

To do this click on the streaming option

Listen: Mp3 streaming

and when you go to the new page, click on the the file you want to listen to.