Behind the Buzz
THIS MONTH: Podcasts
By Sam Grobart

(MONEY Magazine) – • WHAT THEY ARE Free sound files you download to your computer or MP3 player and listen to when you like. Could be ESPN clips, new songs, Meet the Press--almost anything.

• THE BUZZ Apple added podcasts to its iTunes Music Store in June, and Yahoo began in October. Fans say podcasts will diversify the media landscape--all it takes is a mike, a modem and a dream.

• THE TRUTH The great thing about podcasts is, anyone can make one. The lousy thing about podcasts is, anyone can make one. (We found one called "Lee and Trent Drink Beer," wherein Lee and Trent, um, drink beer.) Sifting through the thousands out there is only for the technologically intrepid or the terminally bored. If you have iTunes, which categorizes by topic so you can find what interests you, great. If not, forget it (unless you've got time to kill). You need a program called an "aggregator," plus knowledge of RSS feeds, sample rates--you get the idea.

• BUZZWORTHY? [  ] Absolutely [  ] Almost [X] Not quite [  ] Nope