Unless you’ve had your head under a rock for most of the last year, you’ve almost certainly heard of the latest craze to sweep the Internet: podcasting.
People all over the world are recording their own audio programs and distributing them to a mass audience.
What has turned this into such a phenomena is the ease with which a podcast can be created. All you need is a PC, some easily downloaded software, a microphone, and an Internet connection.
Oh yeah, you also need something to say. But that hasn’t turned out to be a problem. People have found a surprisingly large amount of things to talk about, on every subject under the sun.
There are several podcasts dedicated solely to handhelds, but there are also ones about gardening, space exploration, music, books, current events, and just about everything under the sun.
As their name suggests, podcasts were originally intended for Apple’s iPod. But if you are interested in listening to all the thousands of shows that are out there, don’t run down to the nearest Apple store. There’s no arcane technology involved here, podcasts are just MP3 files, so there’s no reason why they can’t be played on almost any handheld or smartphone.
I try to keep my handheld from being constantly shackled to a PC, so what I went looking for were applications that automatically download podcasts straight to a handheld.
Obviously, you can use your handheld’s web browser to manually download the files, but one of the best parts about podcasts on the iPod is that they can be automatically downloaded for you, and be waiting on the device whenever you want to listen to them.
I found an excellent Palm OS application for doing this, and a pretty good one for Pocket PC.