Slate's Podcasting Guide
Load Slate onto your phone or MP3 player.
We'll start with a complete list of Slate's regular podcasts, and the links you'll need to download, play, or subscribe to them. If you'd like a more comprehensive podcasting tutorial, scroll down.
Slate's Culture Gabfest: A weekly debate over culture both high and low with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner (posts on Wednesdays).
Subscribe in iTunes ∙ RSS Feed ∙ Culturefest Show Page ∙ Play Now
Slate's Spoiler Specials: Dana Stevens and her guests discuss plot twists, surprise endings, and everything else you can't reveal in a movie review (several times a month).
Subscribe in iTunes ∙ RSS Feed ∙ Play Now
Slate Presents Lexicon Valley: A podcast about language, from pet peeves, syntax, and etymology to neurolinguistics and the death of languages. Hosted by Bob Garfield and producer Mike Vuolo.
Subscribe in iTunes ∙ RSS Feed ∙ Play Now
Slate's Negotiation Academy: A series of short podcasts that reveal the secrets of everyday haggling, whether you’re negotiating in the board room or your child’s bedroom.
Subscribe in iTunes ∙ RSS Feed ∙ Negotiation Academy home page ∙ Play Now
Manners for the Digital Age: Farhad Manjoo and Emily Yoffe navigate the intersection of etiquette and technology (posts on Mondays).
Subscribe in iTunes ∙ RSS Feed ∙ Digital Manners Show Page ∙ Play Now
Simply put, podcasting allows you to receive prerecorded audio programs on your mobile device, computer, or MP3 player automatically. You decide which programs you'd like to get—they range from amateur audioblogs to professional radio programs—and then "subscribe" (for free) to those feeds. Your podcasting software will check periodically for any new audio files that become available and download those files to your device. You can then carry hours of your favorite audio programming in your pocket to help you through your commute, your work-out, your errands, or your downtime.
(NOTE: Podcasting is designed for use with broadband Internet connections. Dial-up connections are too slow to download the large audio files.)
Here's a step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Choose Your Podcasting Software
If you already use Apple's free iTunes software (for Windows or Mac, Version 4.9 or later), just look for the podcasts section of the iTunes Music Store. The software now supports one-click subscriptions to a growing number of free podcasts (here are the iTunes links for Slate's podcast home page, and our Daily Podcast).
You can also download and/or stream podcasts directly to your mobile device without having to sync it with a computer. These apps generally allow you to choose shows from a directory or import your own shows using RSS feeds. For starters, Slate podcasts are available in our iPhone and iPad apps. Other iPhone podcasting apps include Downcast, Podcaster, AudioPress, and Stitcher (which also makes Android and BlackBerry versions and allows you to stream audio files over a standard cellphone connection).
You can also use the RSS feeds for any of the podcasts listed above to have the latest episodes sent directly to your favorite RSS reader or other RSS-compatible software.
Step 2: Choose Your Feeds
The apps and programs mentioned above include directories of podcasts, and the lists get longer by the day. One helpful list for discovering new podcasts is the iTunes Top 200 Podcasts. Here are some podcasters you might like: American Public Media, the BBC, Grammar Girl, the Guardian, KCRW, Maximum Fun, The Moth, the New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, On Point, On the Media, PRI, TEDTalks, WBEZ, WNYC.
Step 3: Subscribe
Again, if you're using iTunes, you can find all of Slate's podcasts here (or search for "Slate" within the iTunes Music Store), and then simply click "Subscribe." You can also manually paste a podcast feed's URL—also called the RSS or XML feed—into most programs (in iTunes, just open the "Subscribe to Podcast" section of the "Advanced" menu). For example, here's Slate's Daily Podcast: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SlateMagazineDailyPodcast.
And after you've given podcasting a try, send your thoughts or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Email you send may be quoted unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)
Illustration by Robert Neubecker.