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Ruminations: A Podcast Primer for Mouse Fans

Ruminations: A Podcast Primer for Mouse Fans

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Podcasting has been one of those things that started off slowly.Call it the CB (that’s Citizens Band) radio of the Internet if you will. Where once producing an audio interview required all the talents and equipment of a major production studio, now all it takes is a good digital audio recorder and the right software package. Given the right learning curve, it is not too much to say that even a four-year-old can have a podcast up and running in short order.

Thanks to Apple with the podcasting updates to the Garageband application (part of the recent changes to the iLife suite) and the free downloads of podcasts from the iTunes Music Store, you can be a participant from either end in this interesting new pastime. And, you don’t have to have an iPod, either! Just enjoy this all from your very own computer, desktop or laptop.

So, as a fan of all things Disney, you want to listen in to these little nuggets of information. You could look all over the Internet searching for content and subscribe to each one as you went. Or you could simply use Apple’s iTunes Music Store to sample a few and then subscribe to those you find truly appealing.

Let us follow along as a typical user takes the plunge from the Internet Superhighway:

Firing up the computer of choice (Windows PC or Macintosh), we launch the iTunes application. (What??? You still have not downloaded it yet? Come on! It is FREE. What are you waiting for?) Clicking on the link, we launch the iTunes Music Store.

On the top left side of the screen, you will see a frame headed by “Inside The Music Store”, with Podcasts fourth from the top of the frame. Clicking on the link takes you to the iTunes Podcast page. Go on, don’t be afraid, you can do it… Now that didn’t hurt, did it? You’re now ready to check out all of the free Podcast content Apple has for you.

Back to the left side of the screen, in the third frame from the top, you spot a search box. How do you know that is what this is? Easy! Catch the magnifying glass next to the empty text box. So let us enter the word “Disney” into that text box end press the “return” key on your keyboard.

This brings up three lists of Podcasts with Disney content of some kind. On the right hand side of the screen are icons with Titles. By clicking on “See All” you are taken to the full list of what Disney Podcasts are waiting for you. Why not explore a bit? Clicking on any of the icons will take you to a list of podcasts available for download. Did I mention again, these are free? All it takes is the time for the download. And by clicking on one of the episodes in any list, you get a 30-second preview of the podcast, just as you do with any song or video from the iTunes Music Store.

So as your waiter, er, guide to this world of information, let me suggest a few choices for your listening pleasure. First, if you haven’t already done so, check out this one from O-Meon.Com. In this episode of the “Grown-Up Geek’s Guide”, you will hear moderator Chuck Oberlietner (formerly a JHM contributor) interview Mark Goldhaber (of Mouseplanet.Com) and our own, Jim Hill on their thoughts following the 2006 Disney Stockholder’s Meeting in Anaheim. Some good insights into the event and discussions on topics of interest all over the Disney map…

Can’t do a story on Disney podcasts without going for the official Disneyland (Official Disneyland Resort Podcast: 50th Anniversary Celebration) and Disneyworld (Walt Disney World Resort: Plugged In) podcasts. And don’t forget a few other official Disney podcasts, such as Everest In The City, The Gear Behind The Ears, The Movie Surfers, Radio Disney Now! and Disney’s DVD News. There are even official podcasts for upcoming Disney film releases such as The Wild and Cars. (Right now, these only feature the trailers for these films, but I suspect there will be more content as the release dates for these get closer.) And if

Looking for something a bit retro? Check out this link for “A Window To The Magic” by Paul Barrie, Jr. You’ll enjoy a series of vignettes that let the listener take in a bit of theme park magic while getting a healthy dose of history and information. Checking through the list of podcasts and you will find more of this type of content.

The rest of the list has a good variety of topics to choose from. Everything from trip reports to commentary on current events with a Disney flair waits for your exploration.

So now you’ve seen some of the choices, why not subscribe to a few? By clicking on the icon for any of those links mentioned above, you are taken to a detailed frame showing all of the episodes available for this particular podcast. Clicking on the Subscribe button automatically downloads new episodes to your iTunes library based on your preferences. (I like to have iTunes check for new episodes every time I open the store as there is nothing quite like fresh content for me.) You can also download previous episodes by clicking on the Get Episode button for a particular episode.

So there you have it… Time to head off on your own and see, or hear what awaits. Some great entertainment, information and history, and best of all, it is Free!

On a personal note, Roger heads off to the East this week on a private railroad car excursion that brings a friend’s new car home to California. Along the way, he hopes to check out the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. for a preview of the location of the upcoming Cars premiere, visit the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. to check out the Disneyland 50th display, visit Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, enjoy a margarita or three somewhere along Los Angeles Olivera Street and finally end up in California’s capital sometime in mid April. So Internet connections willing, there is a preview of what he will have to share along the way in coming weeks…

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