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Podcast Quick Tip

Taking the show on the road By Stephen Schleicher

If you have a favorite podcast, chances are you want to take the show with you where ever you go.  But if you are one of the small 15% of the MP3 player crowd that doesnt own an iPod, taking some of the fancier (i.e. enhanced) podcasts with you may seem like an impossibility.  In this Quick Tip, Stephen Schleicher shows you how to convert a M4B file into something you can burn to CD or put on one of those other music players.

I received an email from a listener complaining that he wants to burn an episode of The Coolness Roundup onto CD to listen on the road.  The only problem is our enhanced podcast is encoded in a M4B format making it rather difficult for this fan of the show to listen where he pleases.  If you happen to be in a similar situation, instead of turning your back on your favorite show, convert to a recordable format yourself.  It is simple and easy.

Step 1:  If you subscribe to a show via the Podcast Directory in iTunes, wait for the most recent show to download automatically.

Step 2:  In the podcast list, select the episode you want to convert to a MP3.  Then from the Advanced menu, select Convert Selection to MP3. 

Whats that?  You dont have an option for MP3, but only AAC?  That is an easy fix.  Go to iTunes>Preferences, then under the Advanced tab, select Importing.

From the Import Using drop down menu, select MP3 Encoder, and then select your quality setting.  Hint:  If the show is already encoded high quality, and you want to enjoy the crisp clean sound of internet audio, select either High or Good Quality.

Step 3:  Once you have converted the podcast into a MP3, it should be visible in your Library folder.

At this point, if you have a MP3 player not created by Apple, you can move the file to that player and you are good to go.  If you want to burn the show to CD read on.

Step 4:  Create a New Playlist (File>New Playlist) and give it a name you will recognize as podcasts to burn to CD.

Step 5:  Move your podcast (or podcasts) to this directory.

Step 6:  Insert a blank CD into your Macs CD drive, then click on the Burn Disc icon.

And there you go.  A quick and easy way to burn your favorite podcast onto CD to share with friends, pop in the CD player of your car, or do whatever else you can think of.

It should be noted, that many podcasters are creating enhanced podcasts for your listening pleasure.  These M4A or M4B files contain chapter markers for quick and easy access to the favorite part of your show.  These markers can also contain links to websites, as well as images to go along with the current shows topic.  By burning a MP3 file you are tossing away all of this extra content and in the end are missing out on some really fantastic work created by podcasters around the world.

If you would like more information on creating your own podcast, be sure to check out the podcast creation series at my website www.stephenschleicher.com.

If you want to check out a podcast that explains the complicated world of consumer technology in clear and simple terms, check out The Coolness Roundup via iTunes or Podcast Alley (www.podcastalley.com).  Each week Charlie White and I provide valuable information to consumers and give away free prizes.

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Stephen Schleicher is a well known writer, visual effects artist and media guru! You can see more of Stephen at
www.majorspoilers.com and www.stephenschleicher.com
Related Keywords:ipod, podcast, itunes, apple, podcast alley, coolness roundup, schleicher, white, burn, CD, mp3, convert

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