Polyamory & Podcasts 1
A lot of people who have computers are not getting as much from them as they could. A computer can fetch a lot of free stuff for you; and one of the main things that a computer can provide is an opportunity to enjoy some of that free stuff away from the computer, anytime you feel like it.
What kind of “free stuff”? A lot of us with computers have found that one of the keys to media freedom is AUDIO. The computer world is geared up so that you can download a lot of Internet talk shows onto your hard-drive.
The ABC was, and still is, a leading light when it comes to providing the radio listener with a way of accessing their favorite ABC shows; with ways of listening that can be downloaded onto a device other than a computer. Everyone calls a show like this a podcast; the thing that you play them with is called an MP3. Apple has confused the issue a little by calling their MP3 players iPods. I guess that sounds a bit better than iMP3.
If this is a new idea for you, maybe you should spare a few moments to consider the benefits.
Everyone with an iPhone (another Apple product) knows what we are talking about...in theory. Yet even the most devoted iPhone aficionados may not know about the large amount of free polyamory related content available to you on iTunes. For those folks, go to Polyweekly in iTunes, and take it from there.
For those of you who didn't quite understand that last sentence, let's back up. There's another world out there in the iTunes space. This is a proprietary behemoth owned by Apple Inc. and not by the ABC, so you have access to a bigger media world; one that's full of benefits for the kind of person that wants more free information, and has some time to listen to it online, or away from the computer. If you thought that our Aunty, the Australian Broadcasting Commission, is the only organization giving away a lot of free downloads, think again.
Anytime is a good time for you to listen to the things they call podcasts. The only thing that might be a hassle is another type of sound. As long as the background noise is not too bad, that's a good environment to listen to podcasts. So forget about listening while you're mowing the lawn.
Though you might even be able to listen on the job. If you want to find out about polyamory, or a whole lot of other things, you could do that while you are, say, driving a car, a truck, or a tractor.
People talk about Youtube “University”. No doubt about it, for straight out visual material, Youtube is the best. But when it comes to talking heads it's a distant second for a lot of us. Besides, watching a screen is out of the question when you're driving.
Personally, I find my audio world so absorbing that I find myself listening in all sorts of situations. I sometimes even turn off the sound on TV, switch to text, just so that I can understand what's going on in the TV show without turning off my iPod.
Polyamory & Podcasts 2
The Apple World
So, where to start? If you are older, and not up to speed with technology, you might have noticed young people walking around with earphones more-or-less permanently stuck in their ears (like me). There's a wire attached to a new looking phone with black glass instead of a keyboard, but they don't seem to be talking.
What are they doing? Listening to a monologue from their lover...their boss? Too lazy to take the ear buds from their ears? Maybe neither. They are probably listening to their own personal music library that they have purchased from their iTunes account.
Let's say that you have a computer, or a cell phone, the thing that we call a 'mobile' phone in Australia. Mobile phones with keys have been overtaken by Smart phones. This is a phone with a black screen and no keys. It has the capacity to store a huge amount of audio data on it; data that you can listen to at your leisure. A lot of people build up a collection of music that they have bought or pilfered online. With this library at their fingertips they can listen to whatever tunes they like, whenever they like.
The name iTunes is quite deceptive.iTunes gives you a lot more than music. There is a huge amount of information content that you can access for free without having an iPhone or an Apple computer.
The Apple Company makes iTunes available to anyone with an Apple or a Windows computer, free of charge. All you have to do is go to the Apple website and download iTunes for your particular machine and follow the instructions.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about iTunes:
- iTunes/?a?tju?nz/ is a media player, media library, online radio broadcaster, and mobile deviceMANAGEMENTapplication developed by Apple Inc. It is used to play, download, andorganize digital audioand video (as well as other types of media available on the iTunes Store) on personal computers running the OS Xand Microsoft Windowsoperating systems. The iTunes Storeis also available on the iPod Touch, iPhone, iPadand Apple Watch.”
It's a good idea to install Wikipedia onto your favorites if you haven't already done so. It's a handy reference for all sorts of things. It's free, too; but back to iTunes.
If you are not used to installing applications, it is a good idea to write down your passwords and user name in a place where you are going to be able to find this information years down the track.
It's especially confusing for owners of Apple computers because there are two different IDs: one for your computer, and another ID for iTunes. You're bound to get them confused, so make it clear which ID is which. These two IDs are very unlikely to be used on a regular basis if you are not going to buy music; so it's not like Email in that respect. There probably wont be daily repetition of a user name and password to jog your memory. As a matter of fact, it's probably a good idea to diarize all your user names and passwords just in case.
The file for the iTunes application is fairly large, so do the download at a time when your Internet connection is not busy, and you can leave your computer on for about an hour. It may not take anywhere near that amount of time to download; it just depends on the download speed that you have at home. If all this is sounding too hard, get a kid with a computer to do it for you.
Now comes the easy part: once you have the iTunes program installed, then you can start accessing things that you like. Polyweekly is a free Internet Radio show that has a stack of archived material on it that goes back ten years plus. There are quite a few other shows of a similar nature out there that you might like, too, so you have a choice. A few of these are listed on the bottom of the same page as Polyweekly. How's that for convenience?
Polyamory & Podcasts 3
Once you have downloaded the iTunes application and used the site for a while, you will see why Apple is one of the most profitable companies in the world. The site is really well organized and gives you heaps of things to choose from. Most of them are music and movies that you have to pay for. Kaching, kaching!
When you use the iTunes site, you can listen to a sample of the thing that you want to download without actually downloading it. If you want to, say, listen to a tune, that's not going to last very long. A tune only lasts a few minutes anyway, so the sample is very brief indeed. Just enough to whet your appetite. Kaching, kaching!
But, if you are just interested in the polyamory offering, lucky you! All of the Internet radio shows are free! You can play a sample on the iTunes site and see which ones that you are interested in listening to in full. Once you have chose something, you can play it all and switch to another program to do something else on another application; like checking out your emails, for example.
As we said before, polyamory and related shows last for about half an hour to an hour. Maybe that's as far as you want to take it? Playing the odd show here and there from iTunes only; nothing wrong with that. That, and only that, might be all that you need to find out what is going on in the world of polyamory on your computer.
As a matter of fact, if you want to go further, things get more complicated. If you want to play things away from the computer, then you'll have to download the podcasts you want from iTunes onto your own computer. Then you need to buy a device, or borrow one from a friend.
Polyamory & Podcasts 4
So what is the problem? It turns out that downloading podcasts onto your hard-drive can get complicated. The problem has to do with the sheer amount of podcasts that will be downloaded once you give the command. Some of these Internet polyamory radio programs have hundreds of shows in the archive. If you get all enthusiastic and tick half a dozen shows, the programs that download could take days to download. Don’t panic. Take it easy at first. Be selective. Take what you want and come back for more, later. It’s easiest if you tick, say, the first ten shows and come back for more when your computer can download things quickly.
Once you decide to download something, it will download into a folder located on the hard-drive of your computer. The files are not big…usually about 20MB (megabytes) to 50MB. That's around half an hour to an hour of playtime.
All this is organized and managed on your very own iTunes library entitled My Music, located on your hard-drive. It’s an application in its own right. All your music, podcasts music and audio books will be stored there ready for you play or download.
Polyamory away from the computer
Late model computers have a large amount of storage space available on your hard-drive, so you don't have to worry about using up too much space with podcasts on your computer. But why download things that you don’t want to save. You can always do other things and listen while you’re doing them.
There's a whole visual world out there that you might want to access at the same time that you are listening to, say, a polyamory show on iTunes. You're probably thinking 'porn', but, as we said before, there's Youtube, Email, and Wikipedia, too. But have you heard of Pinterest?
If you are a visual person you could find Pinterest extremely exciting. If you have an interest in architecture, motorcars--or any other subject that can be photographed--you will probably find a treasure trove of images that you can look at through Pinterest. As a matter of fact, you can collect these images on your own private account...a kind of collection of your own choosing with categories where you select the name.
Email, YouTube, Pinterest;all of it is happening in the cloud. It does not take up space on your computer. All of that lives in some huge storage warehouse (a server farm) away from your computer. It's a different story if you download something onto your hard-drive. If your Internet speed is slow, there is a lot to be said for downloading to your hard-drive, as there might be pauses if you decide to listen without downloading.
Most people with a decent Internet connection download polyamory podcasts for only two reasons. The reasons that you might want to download shows are: A. If you want to listen to them again; or B. if you want to listen to the shows away from the computer. If the answer is B. you will have to make a purchase. What are the options?
A portable device: iPod, iPhone, Android ...or...what?
If you are in the market for a smartphone you will have to make a choice. Usually that choice is a toss-up between an iPhone of a Samsung Galaxy. Yes, there are other phones out there, but the big players are these two companies.
So What? The big difference between the two is price: the Apple iPod is more expensive. No question. But there's another big difference for a podcast fan: Apple has made it very difficult to use all their goodies on a Samsung phone. It's not going to be an easy thing to download your favorite polyamory shows from iTunes onto your Samsung phone. What to do?
It just so happens that Apple has other devices out there that are going to do the job of storing your podcasts. The iPod shuffle is a primitive but sturdy little device that is about the size of a postage stamp. This gadget will keep you going for a couple of days before you run out. You will need to recharge it about the time that you need new podcasts. I like to have fresh material on hand all the time. So I had a little collection of iPods shuffles for a while. Then I started giving them away, and now I only have a couple. Two is enough if you're organized and passionate about new stuff.
This amazing little gadget used to set you back about $50. Now the price has gone up to $85. It does have its drawbacks, though. For instance, you can't see anything. You have to navigate by sound alone. If you are a fan of polyamory podcasts in general, this shouldn't be a problem. It's not as if you have the task of choosing music to suit your mood. The next model up has a screen but it's three times the price.
Bear in mind that what we have been talking about so far has been the world of Apple devices. Yes, Apple is Microsoft friendly in the sense that iTunes will play on late model Microsoft machines. Other than that, this writer would be guessing about any issues that might come up.
The other two big options in the computer world (of Microsoft Windows and LINUX) will be covered in a short step-by-step -- in next month's PolyFi Newsletter.