Sunday, November 4, 2007

#21 Podcasts, Smodcasts!

Placing audio files on the Internet for users to download is another useful way for sharing information and resources. Thanks to the popularity of ipods (and other portable devices for playing audio files) podcasts and podcasting have become the terms for describing this process.

Podcasting directories are useful aids for locating the ever expanding number of podcasts on the web. For this exercise I used - The Podcast Directory and searched the Category - Society and Culture - History where I found a series of a series of audio files relating to Australia and its social history - Open your eyes to Australia by Jim Low

I also clicked the RSS button to add the feed for this site to Bloglines in the History folder.

I first tried placing audio files on a website a couple of years ago when it was suggested that as the RHSV was involved with the Victorian Folklife Fund it would be a good idea to include a link to song from one of the winning entries. Technically this is not difficult to do however not all browsers recognise the code used for placing the audio file online. What works in Windows Explorer does not necessarily work in Mozilla Firefox.

This year the RHSV received a grant to include podcasts of lectures on the web. Currently I am using Audacity to edit the audio file prepared by a RHSV member of a heritage walk in West Melbourne - this will be our first podcast and hopefully will be online in the next week or two along with a map showing the route of the walk prepared using Google Maps.

To experiment with placing audio files online to be accessed by Mozilla as well as Windows Explorer and also to experiment with RSS feeds I prepared a test podcast - Dunk Island - where I included code which should work in both these browsers (and hopefully others).

Libraries can use podcasts to provide information / lectures for people unable to attend. The State Library did this for the family history seminar held in August - A Family History Feast

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