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Lawyers are like opera singers � sometimes they can be just a little too fond of their own voices. So it’s not surprising that a novel technology known as “podcasting” has caught the imagination of a few lawyers who are particularly fond of their vox advocatus. Some of these folks are even worth listening to. Podcasts are on-demand radio-type programs in the form of MP3 audio files that are downloaded from the Internet and then loaded onto MP3 players. The term “podcast” is derived from Apple Computer, Inc.’s iconic iPod portable musical player. Podcasts have given the opportunity to thousands of people, from ranting amateurs to polished radio personalities, to come up with their own virtual radio show. These podcasts are an outgrowth of the blogging phenomenon of the past couple of years; enterprising programmers discovered that they could transmit audio files as easily as photos and text, using the same technology that powers blogs. Using RSS, or “really simple syndication,” subscribers can automatically receive “feeds” of new audio files as they become available. There are podcasts on everything from anarchist politics to legal affairs. Attorney-podcasters are creating programming like “The Supreme Court Watch Podcast” and “The Legal Underground.” In fact, the breadth of legal podcasting’s subject matter seems limitless. In recent weeks lawyer-podcasters have weighed in on everything from lawyers who sleep with their clients (Australia’s “The Law Report”) to Minnesota’s solicitor general’s take on corporate responsibility (“Conversations in Law”). Even famed trial lawyer F. Lee Bailey is podcasting (“Legal Talk Network”). Conspicuously absent is the in-house community, which isn’t surprising given the corporate strictures on out-of-school commentary. But a lot of the lawyer podcasts, or “blawgcasts,” are of interest to the corporate counsel. And they’re free to download. What’s in it for listeners? For one thing, convenience. Subscribing to a podcast means being able to listen to commentary anywhere, anytime, on a MP3 player hooked up to a car’s stereo or through headphones. The shows can be played � as well as fast-forwarded and rewound � at any moment. To get in on this latest technofad, listeners need to do two things. First, find a podcasting client, a software program that points the computer in the direction of the podcasts and “catches” them. Then subscribe to an RSS feed, so that there will be something to listen to. And at some point, listeners need to transfer the audio files to a listening device, such as an iPod or Creative’s Nomad. There are a number of free podcast clients available for download. The two most popular are iPodderX (available for free at ipodder.org) and Apple Computer’s latest version of iTunes (5; also a free download). Both work with newer Windows PCs (using Windows XP) and Macintoshes (with OS X). Each includes large directories of podcasts that can be navigated by topic areas or searched by keywords. Most clients allow users to either hit a “subscribe” tab to a particular podcast or enter the podcast’s Web address. Once subscribed, shows will be automatically downloaded every time a new one is broadcast (although users can adjust the settings). Here are a few blawgcasts that are heating up the pod dial. The plaintiffs bar was an early champion of podcasting. Two shows, in particular, are worthy of in-house attorney attention:

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