How to Play Podcasts in Media Player

by Jane Gateway

Podcasting is the process of distributing digital audio and video files through Web syndication. Windows Media Player does not offer a podcast feature, but fortunately there are free downloadable cross-platform podcast receiver programs that work well with Windows Media Player. When properly configured, podcast receiver programs work with Windows Media Player to allow the downloading of new podcasts automatically

Download iPodder and then install it. Being a cross-platform podcast receiver, iPodder can be configured to receive podcasts and play to them on your computer or audio-video player. The key is proper configuration of iPodder to work seamlessly with Windows Media Player.

Start iPodder, click on the "Subscriptions" tab, hit F6 on your keyboard to activate the "Catch-up" option and click on the "OK" button. It is important that you know where downloaded files will be sent. If the iPodder's settings are not changed, downloaded podcasts will be stored in "My Documents\My Received Podcasts." At this point, iPodder is now configured to check podcast subscriptions and download them automatically.

Start Windows Media Player. Click on "File," go to "Add to Library" and then select "By Monitoring Folders." Select the "Add" button and navigate to the folder where iPodder stored the downloaded media files. Click on "OK" a couple of times.

Look for Windows Media Player's Library button and then right-click on the Auto Playlists at the bottom left of the window. Click on the "New" button. This will open a dialog box for creating new playlists. Go to the field that is marked "Playlist name" and then enter the word "podcasts" in the box provided.

Click on the link that allows the user to create criteria. This action will enable the user to generate a playlist automatically. Choose "More," "File Name" and then click on "OK." Reopen the dialog box for creating auto playlists and the button for adding file names.

Open Windows Explorer. Go to the folder that contains the downloaded files. Go to the Address Bar and copy the folder's full pathname. Enter this pathname into the field asking for folder name.

Click "Start Synch" to connect Media Player and move all podcasts automatically to the device. Now that your device is in synch, you can now play all podcasts on Media Player.

Tips

  • When setting up iPodder to download podcasts automatically, click on the option "Skip this time only" if you want include older episodes in your download.
  • If you want to exclude some episodes from the podcasts, select the "Downloads" button, click on the podcasts you want removed and choose the "Cancel selected download" tab.

Warning

  • Make sure you entered the correct pathname of the podcast folder during configuration, otherwise Media Player won't be able to locate the files.

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About the Author

Based in Michigan, Jane Gateway has been writing about gender, poverty and politics since 1977. She served as a communications director and writer for the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Information and Culture. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications sciences and a Master of Arts in educational administration from Michigan State University, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in media and information studies.

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