How To Listen To Podcasts

What is a Podcast?

San Francisco Opera is now reaching a worldwide audience thanks to podcasting.  You can access podcasts through a podcatcher such as iTunes or a lot of people find them through Google and click on them right from the web page.  Podcasts can be spoken word or music or both. You don't need an iPod to listen.

How do I listen to Podcasts?

Many users listen from their computer.  Let's say you see a podcast on a webpage and you want to listen.  If your speakers or headphones are hooked up and you have a media player installed, you should be able to click on the link and it will download then play.  Some people get confused when nothing happens, especially if they are on a slow connection.  This is because podcasts can be big files and it takes time to download them before they can play. 

I'm Having Trouble.  Should I Download the Podcast to my Hard Drive First?

If you are having trouble, then yes, the best way to get around difficulties is to download the file to your hard drive before trying to play the file. 

What are the Steps for Downloading a Podcast to my Hard Drive First?

1. Right click on the podcast link and select "Save Target As."  See graphic below:

2. Find a place for it on your hard drive.  Make sure it's in a place where you can find it.  See graphic below:

3. Find the saved file through Windows Explorer.  Once you find it, you can:

A. Click on it to listen to it at your computer.  Most PCs will have Windows Media Player installed, if not you should install Apple iTunes or Windows Media Player.

B. Burn it to a CD and listen to it in your car, home stereo, computer, or portable CD player.

C. Upload it to an iPod.  Apple iTunes makes this process easy and seamless.

D. Upload and listen to it to an mp3 player, PDA, Smartphone, Treo, Blackberry, or MP3 enabled cell phone.

What are these Buttons?

These buttons are a convenience for advanced users.  The instructions on this page are mostly for users that want to download podcasts directly from the web page, which can be cumbersome if you do it a lot.  If you have iTunes installed (no iPod required), you can "subscribe" to a podcast and new episodes are downloaded as soon as they are available.  Further, if you have an iPod and it is in its dock, the podcast will be uploaded your iPod automatically.

 The "Add to iTunes" button is for users who want to subscribe to the podcast using the iTunes one click button.  If you are on a Mac or PC and have iTunes installed, just click and you'll be subscribed.  The "RSS" button is for users who are using their own podcatcher.  To use it, click on the RSS button, which will open up a web page written in XML.  Ignore the page contents, but copy the URL and paste it into your podcatcher and you will be subscribed.

Take me back to the Podcast Page so I can try it!

San Francisco Opera Podcast is produced in association with MobileCast Media.  For more information, please visit