How to Add Podcasts to iTunes in Mac OS X Lion

There are a number of ways to add media to iTunes in Mac OS X Lion, depending upon the type of media and where the files reside. For example, in OS X Lion you can add files you’ve downloaded from websites or received as enclosures in e-mail messages. You can subscribe to free podcasts at the iTunes Store.

The iTunes Store and Internet radio require that you be connected to the Internet before you can use them. And although both work over a dial-up Internet connection (more or less), both features work much better when used over a broadband connection.

Podcasts are like radio or television shows, except that when you subscribe to them, you can listen to or watch them (using iTunes or your iPod, iPad, or iPhone) at any time you like. Thousands of podcasts are available, and many (or most) are free. To find podcasts, follow these steps:

  1. Click the iTunes Store in the Source List on the left.

  2. Click the Podcasts link on the store’s home screen.

  3. Click a link on the Podcasts screen, or type a keyword or phrase in the Search field.

  4. When you find a podcast that appeals to you, double-click it to listen to a preview, click the Get Episode button to download the current episode of that podcast, or click the Subscribe button to receive all future episodes of that podcast automatically.

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For more information on most podcasts, just point at the little i button on the right side of the description field. You don’t even have to click (though you can if you want to).

Subscribing to a podcast is a cool deal. You can configure how often iTunes checks for new episodes — hourly, daily, weekly, or manually — and what to do when new episodes become available — download the most recent one, download all episodes, or do nothing — and how many episodes to keep in your iTunes Library — all, all unplayed, or a specific number between 2 and 10. To specify these settings, choose Podcasts in the Source List, click the name of the podcast you want to configure, and then click the Settings button near the bottom of the window.

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