Common Podcast Questions

Check out the topics below

What is a Podcast?

Think of a podcast as an online radio show. Each show consists of individual episodes that you can listen to in several ways - on your PC, using your MP3 player, or with a web browser.

You can listen to episodes one at a time (with your favorite MP3 software) or you can "subscribe" to the entire series using software on your computer. When you subscribe to a podcast, new shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer as they are published. If you have an MP3 player, the next time you sync your device, your podcasts will be downloaded for listening on the go.

BWD's podcast is free and anyone can subscribe to it using software applications like Apple's iTunes.

What's the difference between mp3 and m4a?

We offer two formats for our podcast: one in mp3 format, which is audio only, and one in m4a format, which includes audio plus images.

You may play the m4a files on your web browser (running them in an application such as QuickTime). If you own an iPod, you can download the m4a files through iTunes and play them on your iPod.

Do I need an iPod to listen to This Birding Life?

Not at all. Our podcasts are produced as mp3 files, the most universal format for listening on various devices. You can download individual podcasts and listen to them using almost any application: iTunes, Windows Media Player, RealAudio Player, WinAmp, and many others. If you prefer, you can burn it to a CD, so you can listen to episodes in your car or at home on your stereo.

Of course, portability is the name of the game, so the podcast works wonderfully on portable media devices like the iPod or other mp3 players - and now even on mobile phones!

How do I get the MP3 episodes, and what do I need to play them?

There are a number of ways to access MP3 episodes of This Birding Life:

    » Visit Podcast Central on Bird Watcher's Digest.com on a regular basis. We always post the most recent episode on this page, along with links where you can download the MP3 file onto your computer. You may play the mp3 file with your favorite audio application, on your iPod, or MP3 player.
    » You may also subcribe to This Birding Life. Once you have subscribed, you will be automatically notified when a new episode is released. There are several ways in which you can subscribe to our podcast, though one of the most common ways is to subscribe with iTunes. Check out iTunes tutorials on Apple's website.

How do I get the M4A episodes, and what do I need to play them?

There are a number of ways to access M4A episodes of This Birding Life:

    Visit Podcast Central on Bird Watcher's Digest.com on a regular basis. We always post the most recent episode on this page, along with links where you can download the M4A file onto your computer. You may play the M4A file in your web browser. You will need to have software installed, such as Windows Media Player or Apple QuickTime.
    You may also subcribe to This Birding Life. Once you have subscribed, you will be automatically notified when a new episode is released. There are several ways in which you can subscribe to our podcast, though one of the most common ways is to subscribe with iTunes. Check out iTunes tutorials on Apple's website.

I am currently subscribed to the MP3 version of This Birding Life and I want the M4A version instead. What do I do?

First, subscribe to the M4A version of This Birding Life. Once you are subscribed to both versions, you may keep both subscriptions, or you may drop your subscription to the MP3 version.

What is a Podcast?

Think of a podcast as an online radio show. Each show consists of individual episodes that you can listen to in several ways - on your PC, using your MP3 player, or with a web browser. Learn more »

What's the difference between mp3 and m4a?

We offer two formats for our podcast: one in mp3 format, which is audio only, and one in m4a format, which includes audio plus images. Learn more »

Do I need an iPod to listen to the episodes served on Podcast Central?

Not at all. Our podcasts are produced as mp3 files, the most universal format for listening on various devices. You can download individual podcasts and listen to them using almost any application. Learn more »

Check out these books by our podcast contributors!

The New Birder's Guide

The New Birder's Guide

by Bill Thompson, III

This new book for beginners portrays 300 of the most common birds in the U.S. and Canada. It includes easy-to-understand drawings and maps, great ID basics, and much more! Learn more »

A Life Gone to the Birds

A Life Gone to the Birds

by Al Batt

Audiences around the globe have fallen in love with Al's nature stories through his newspaper columns, radio shows, and magazine articles. A Life Gone to the Birds brings together the best of those stories in a delightful collection. Learn more »

Bird Homes & Habitats

Bird Homes & Habitats

by Bill Thompson, III

Learn how to create yards and gardens where birds will make their homes and raise their young. Learn more »

Hummingbirds and Butterflies

Hummingbirds and Butterflies

by Bill Thompson, III and Connie Toops

Get expert tips on how to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your backyard—and how to identify them once they've arrived. Learn more »

Identifying and Feeding Birds

Identifying and Feeding Birds

by Bill Thompson, III

This readable, friendly guide is intended for bird watchers and non-bird watchers alike—for anyone who wants to enjoy nature right in his or her own backyard. Learn more »

The Young Birder's Guide

The Young Birder's Guide

by Bill Thompson, III

This lively guide is an invitation to kids to get outside and look at birds. Unlike field guides for adults, which can be overwhelming, this one provides just the right amount of information to be useful and fun! Learn more »

Letters From Eden

Letters From Eden

by Julie Zickefoose

Writer and nature artist Julie Zickefoose finds herself most at home at home. Delve into these often-poignant, beautifully illustrated essays. Learn more »

Letters From Eden

The Bluebird Effect

by Julie Zickefoose

Writer and nature artist Julie Zickefoose writes about the change that's set in motion by one single act, such as saving an injured bluebird—or a hummingbird, swift, or phoebe. Learn more »

Backyard Birding

Backyard Birding

by Julie Zickefoose

Whether you’re looking to create a hummingbird garden, install a water feature, or simply let a corner of your property run wild, you'll find all of the inspiration and information you need here! Learn more »