Safari your XML Podcast links!
Or something like that. So, loyal Mac users--we're all aware of the podcasting phenomenon by now; the proprietor of this very site has done a thorough article that can be mostly translated directly into the true computing world of the Mac system. But once you've found a great Podcast, say through the Widget Podcast Shuffle, the question becomes, now what does one do with the link? You have the option of downloading and installing and registering, a program, since we're all legit here, of which there are quite a few good ones such as iPodderX or Podder, both for OS X, but there is an easier way, albeit not as flashy an iterface, but not only free but already built into your Mac. With Steve Jobs' announcement of Podcast support built into a near-future version of iTunes, it is a great stopgap measure as well until the official iTunes release. It's the RSS feed reader built into the Safari browser.
For several revisions recently of its included browser, Apple has seen fit to include a full-featured RSS decoder into Safari (and if you have Tiger, which you really should by now, check out the RSS screensaver in the System Preferences/Desktop & Screensaver pane). What is even better is that you can listen to Podcasts through that RSS reader by the simple expedient of pasting the link into the address bar and clicking "Go." This will open a new window or tab, depending on how yours is configured, with the familliar Quicktime audio bar, allowing you to play, rewind, and fast forward a Podcast. This is a great way to check out Podcasts to separate the messy dross from the minty floss before committing to downloading and subscribing to each one, then having to go back and unsubscribe and erase all the old 'casts. Quick, painless and eminently Mac. Happy 'CastSurfing! [Britt Godwin]