Apple had released iTunes 4.9 which included built-in support Podcasting. Previously, it was necessary to use a third-party software program to automatically download programs from the Internet, at regular intervals, and add them to the iTunes library. What is Podcasting? Podcasting is making audio files (most commonly in MP3 format) available online in a way that allows software to automatically download the files for listening at the user's convenience.

The new version of iTunes and a firmware update to the iPod make this possible. Once you've installed the software, launch the iTunes Music Store from within iTunes and click on the "Podcasting" option. You'll be able to select from dozens of Podcasts to subscribe to - many of which are free. The programs will be transferred to the iPod like any other audio file and are nicely added to a "Podcast" category under the "Music" menu. In short, it was very easy to setup and use.

I'm a big fan of the iPod and it gets the most use when I mow my lawn. I've got a rather large lawn to mow and a loud garden tractor. Rather than use ear protection, I got myself a pair of noise canceling headphones and connect them to the iPod (I have a 40GB iPod Photo). For the next hour and a half, I listen to music. Now with Podcasting, I can listen to all sorts of programs including news, entertainment, etc.