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Getting started with podcasts in iTunes

CNET's Donald Bell walks you through the basics of subscribing to podcasts using Apple's iTunes software and syncing them to your iPod.

I love podcasts. Not a day goes by that you won't catch me listening to episodes of Buzz Out Loud on the way in to work or getting lost in a podcast version of This American Life on the commute back home. Podcasts keep me informed, they make me laugh, and some podcasts have even made me cry. And the most shocking thing about podcasts? They're free! Some of the best entertainment and journalism in the world is free for the taking, instantly available, and ready to take on the go.

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Why is it, then, that so many people are still in the dark when it comes to podcasts? What kind of world are we living in where our current Twitter hysteria has reached the likes of Regis Philbin and Oprah, but a technology like podcasting that can deliver university lectures to anyone with an Internet connection still can't break through to the mainstream? It's madness, I tell you.

To be fair, part of the problem is that podcast nerds like myself don't do enough evangelism around podcasts. So, to get the ball rolling and help demystify things, I've created a video and slideshow tutorial on the basics of subscribing to podcasts in iTunes. Just like last week's how-to on iTunes playlists, the material here may be second-nature to many of you, but I'll wager that there's someone in your life who could use a little Podcast 101.

With thousands of podcasts available on the Internet, there really is something out there for everyone. Maybe all that's needed is a little push.