Here I want to tell everyone a new way to improve your listening skills: Podcast. For those of you who are not yet in the know of Podcast or iPod, I can simply give you a rough idea about them.
Podcast originates from Apple, the company who makes iPod which is one of the popular electric gadgets in the market for playing mp3 tunes. People having an iPod upload their favorite CD music to it. Basically, iPod plays no difference than any other mp3 players except for the price.
Before uploading your CD music to iPod, you will have to install iTune to your computer and this program transforms any CD music into some digital format (mp3) and keeps them saved in iTune. When an iPod links to your computer, iTune will transfer these digital music files to your iPod. That is how you can listen to the mp3 music in an iPod. In sum, iTune helps you organize music for you and collaborate with iPod.
As for Podcast which is short for Pod Broadcasting, hundreds of thousands of people who are interested in producing their own broadcasting programs, have published them on any Podcast Websites including the iTune Music Store. Podcast plays a similar way to iPod music because both are all mp3 files. To get music into iPod, you can either convert your CD music by iTune or make a purchase of music at Music Store integrated within iTune. It is almost free of charge, however, for people who would like to get Podcast files on Internet because no one dares charge their listeners since it is still at the early stage.
So, folks. Go Podcasting now and search for the Podcast content providers which are associated with any English learning programs. So far I have found several useful ones on iTune Music Store. Remember it! They are all free to use. If don't have an iPod, you can still use iTune and listen to the programs via your desktop or laptop. Or you may download the files and save them to your mp3 player. I deem this to be an economical way for English learning.
Yahoo Podcast: http://podcasts.yahoo.com/
Podcast Alley: http://www.podcastalley.com
Recommended Podcast Content Providers:
ESL Pod: http://www.eslpod.com/index.html
Learning English with the linguist: http://blogs.thelinguist.com/
ICRT EZ News: http://www.icrt.com.tw/
My Taiwanese Podcast: http://jasonmcdowell.libsyn.com/
Very Vocabulary: http://veryvocabulary.blogspot.com/