There is something fairly new available for genealogists who want to listen to a broadcast of information pertaining to genealogy. It's known as a podcast. These are audio recordings that you can download to a computer, laptop or portable audio/music player such as an iPod. Actually the word "podcast" is for iPod and broadcast.
Don't own an iPod? You don't need one to listen to podcasts on your computer. However, I must admit having them on my iPod allows me to listen in less restrictive places than the computer. Podcasts work on Windows or Macintosh computers, but the computer must have built-in or attached speakers. Most newer computers come with software that will play MP3s. For Macintosh computers this is iTunes and for Windows, it may be Windows Media Player.
One of the easiest ways of subscribing to podcasts is to use iTunes. This does not eliminate Window users. You can download this free software for Windows or Macintosh at http://www.itunes.com. More information on other software for subscribing to podcasts is located at http://www.podcastingnews.com/topics/Podcast_Software.html.
Assuming that you settle on iTunes, it is simple to subscribe to a podcast. In iTunes, click on "Advanced" and then "Subscribe To Podcast." You will then need to copy or paste the mRSS code for the podcast in the box. Click okay and the fun begins. A nice feature of iTunes is that it automatically searches for podcast directories. In their Music Store, type in genealogy and a listing will be provided of free genealogically related podcasts.
The following are four podcasts that I personally have on my computer and iPod. They are all four distinctly individual and interesting. If you are using iTunes, it will automatically show you all four and more. The URL shown with each will provide additional information.
Genealogy Guys Podcast http://www.genealogyguys.com
DearMyrlte's Family History Hour http://www.dearmyrtle.com/listenhow.htm
The Genealogy Tech Podcast http://genealogytechpodcast.com
Eastman Online Genealogy Newsletters (Dick Eastman) http://blog.eogn.com/
Using iTunes also insures that each time a new podcast comes out it will automatically be delivered to iTunes on your computer. If you have an iPod, connect it to your computer and it will be updated from iTunes. You won't miss a single podcast.
The topics on podcast vary. A recent podcast by Dick Eastman consisted of an interview with Christine Rose, noted genealogist and author. The Genealogy Guys Podcast is hosted by George Morgan and Drew Smith. Recently they chatted about new genealogy books, new web pages and conferences. The opinions were shared about original and derivative documents, primary and secondary information and direct and indirect evidence. Bill Puller hosts The Genealogy Tech Podcast which is devoted to the technical aspects of genealogical research. He recently chatted about backing up your data. DearMYRTLE hosts a variety of speakers who are knowledgeable of genealogical topics. Some podcasts change weekly and others less frequently. Be sure to check out GenealogyToday.com's listing at http://audio.genealogytoday.com/ for more podcasts.
By listening to the podcasts you will learn more about methodology and technology. You will also receive a heads up on new books. Listen to the comments, explanations and comparisons of books before you purchase them.
Podcasts are an entertaining and unique way of listening to people talk our talk ... genealogy. Now if I could just convince my husband that four podcasts are not taking up valuable space on his iPod!
Source Information: Tracing Lines, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2006.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.
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