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 Unix and Linux Podcasting Guide

The guide to podcasting for Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X users describes what podcasting is, what a podcasting client does, lists some available clients, and provides information on how to create a podcast under Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X. The guide also discusses what content is available as podcasts and gives some suggestions on finding feeds.
Last Updated: 14 Aug 2005

 (Submitted by Noel Mon Jul 25, 2005 )


Unix and Linux Podcasting Guide

By Noel Davis

Last Updated: 14 Aug 2005

What is podcasting?

Podcasting is a distribution method for multimedia files using RSS (Really Simple Syndication). A podcast client allows you to download audio or other media content in an automated and controllable way.

The user simply selects or specifies in the podcast client a URL that points to an RSS feed containing the media file and the client then checks the feed for new content and downloads it automatically.

Why listen to podcasts?

Podcasting allows the listener the ability to time shift the audio, to listen to archived shows, and to listen to this content in places that would have been difficult or impossible before. It could be considered on demand radio.

Podcasts also allow more people than ever before to produce and distribute radio content for very little cost. This will of course create a large amount of unprofessional and uninteresting content just like the mass media companies. But this process will also create great sources of information and entertainment.

I mainly listen to podcasts to fill up the otherwise mentally empty time during my daily commute. The time I used to mainly waste is now filled with interesting talks from conferences, interviews, and more.

Listening to podcasts on Unix and Linux

    List of podcasting clients for Mac OS X, Unix, and Linux:

    Utilities for listeners:

    • mp3splt Command line utility to split MP3 and Ogg files into multiple parts
    • GNUpod Collection of Perl scripts which allow you to use your iPod under Unix and Linux
    • gtkpod GTK2 GUI for iPods
    • SyncPOD Syncs a local directory with your iPod (Perl)

    What can you listen to?

    With thousands of available podcasts this guide could not begin to explore the range of feeds waiting to be downloaded and enjoyed. Instead below are listed the main podcast feeds that I personally listen to and some suggestions on how to locate other podcasts.

    What I listen to:

    • IT Conversations:
      This is by far the best Podcast that I listen to. They say "New Ideas Through Your Headphones" and they are not lying. They combine great interviews with talks from a wide range of conferences and events to produce a great resource. The audio is produced at a professional level.
    • The Chris Pirillo Show:
      While not Unix related more times than not I find this feed interesting.
    • TWiT aka this WEEK in TECH:
      These guys are not Unix Admins, but they do a good show. If I understand it correctly they are all former TechTV hosts. I listen to them when I am working on something so I can tune them out when they start talking about Windows or something else I have little interest in. Yet I still like them. Odd.
    • Science Friday:
      As heard on PBS. Random science related interviews.
    • I also listen to a few non-tech related podcasts.

    Resources to find podcasts:

    • If you use iTunes just click on the Podcasts icon on the left and then select the Podcast Directory link on the bottom of the page
    • iPodder.org has a nice directory
    • podcast.net lists thousands of podcasts
    • Try a search on Google

Creating podcasts under Unix and Linux:


Mac OS X:


Podcast Books

Please send suggestions or corrections to noeld@RootPrompt.org.

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Copyright 1999-2005 Noel Davis. Noel also runs web sites about sailing and kayaking.
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