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New perspectives here at LeftClick

by Dave Riley

What with one thing and another LeftClick changes tact. This blogging project began with one plan and has moved through a succession of different approaches. We're now veering toward a different mode (while still marching to the same drum).

LeftClick will be aggregating and showcasing more multimedia -- video, image, slideshow and audio items -- that seem to suit our charter. There'll be the occasional point of view , 'op ed' piece -- but some of our subject preferences won't figure so much as we are keen to defer to the excellent work being done at Links and ASAP.

So make sure that in your web surf you check out ASAP and Links as a matter of routine. You can do that through the frequently updated menus for both sites that are featured in the middle column here at LeftClick.

LeftClick will continue as an aggregator of audio generated under the Ratbag Radio umbrella and after a bit of a hiatus on some channels, we'll be back at the microphone and editing desk with more stories to tell -- and maybe we'll be doing that more frequently than of yore.

In the meantime -- rather than miss out on the goodies you should think about subscribing to LeftClick.

You can get LeftClick in email format just like this or you can subscribe using a feed reader or Bookmark subscription by harnessing the feed for the site.

Of course neither of these subscription options will entail the automatic downloading of multimedia files. To watch and listen to those you need to manually click on the media link which will likely present as an icon like this:
You can also subscribe to the audio shared on this site as a podcast . By using this address
-- an RSS feed -- you can import it into a podcatcher to download the site's audio wares. A podcatcher aggregates and downloads web audio (and video in some instances) as a podcast.


If you haven't been exposed to podcasting, maybe you should give it a try. I recommend that you use Juice.

Juice will allow you to capture and listen to podcasts anytime, anywhere. And it's a free program!

With Juice you can also subscribe to thousands of other podcasts including other channels on the Ratbag Radio Network --such as LatinRadical, LeftCast and The Blather (and the resources offered through Education For Socialists).

I like Juice --which is the original podcatcher program -- because I can manually decide which episodes of which programs I want to download. But there are other podcatchers -- like iTunes and Podcastready, etc.

Once you have downloaded the podcast you can either listen to it on your desktop or send it -- "sync it"-- to a portable mp3 player such as those made by iPod, iRiver, etc -- which you plug into your computer's usb port so it can load up with media.

Most mp3 players today will also give you FM radio.

I listen to a lot of podcasts each week and I mainly do my listening with earphones while commuting, shopping or walking the dogs. When I'm at home about the house I can still use the earphones but I find it easier to plug the mp3 player into a cheap pair of portable speakers -- so the player acts like a radio. You can also purchase an inexpensive mp3 adaptor to plug the player into your car radio so you can listen to podcasts while you drive.


Another easy way to read and listen to or watch the material posted to LeftClick is to utilize the excellent attributes of Google Reader . Google Reader delivers the lot -- such that to watch or listen you can easily select to stream the media -- just like you can with the many flash players on the web, such as on YouTube. Google Reader will also allow you to manually select to download source media files.

On Google Reader to download media you need to click on the link which says :Original audio source.

The advantage with Google Reader is that if you click on media to watch or listen -- if you decide it's not worth while persevering with -- it's easy to turn off the streaming by closing the item.

So here at LeftClick preference rules. There are many ways to partake.

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