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One of the great things about having a smart phone is that you can listen to your favourite audio (music, podcasts, audio books) wherever you are.  I find that listening to podcasts and audio books in the car helps to shorten a long road trip.  Since I have Windows computers and Android devices, this article will be focused on these systems.

Every computer from Windows 98 up had a music folder ("My Music" and later "Music") for audio files.  Before Vista, the music folder was contained within the "My Documents" folder. Podcasts are obtained from online sources and you generally have control over how these files are organized in your computer's music folder.

Music Library


A popular way of obtaining audio files is through Apple iTunes.  Besides accessing the iTunes store, iTunes is also a music manager for your music library. You can use it to rip CDs, edit song information, play music, and synchronize (sync) it with your Apple mobile device (iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc).  By default, iTunes rips music into Apple's AAC audio format but MP3 format may be selected as well.  However, podcasts are provided in MP3 format and often with a bit-rate of 128 kbit/s.  See Audio File Format and Bit Rate.

Although iTunes is not useful to me because of its inability to sync my PC music library with my Android phone, many podcasts (including CBC podcasts) are only available through iTunes so I have an iTunes account for this one reason.