Han Li wrote:
The best way to learn a language is to live in a country where they speak it for 6 months or a year. Unfortunately, that's not always practical. You can actually make considerable progress in language learning by yourself. The modern technology might help those of you who have been planning on learning a language some day.
Getting some good software is a helpful tactic you can try. With software, it's usually easy to set your own pace. The iTunes software is the best choice to learn a language freely; you can subscribe many Podcast language programmes to learn.
What is a Podcast?
A podcast is a multimedia file distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. The term, as originally coined by Ben Hammersley in an article in The Guardian February 12, 2004 , was meant as a portmanteau of "broadcasting" and "iPod". Like 'radio', it can mean both the content and the method of delivery; the latter may also be termed podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster.
Download and install the iTunes
iTunes is a Podcast enabled program, it can be free downloaded at http://www.apple.com/itunes/download.
With iTunes installed you can start listening to Podcasts. We highly recommend having high-speed Internet access before subscribing to your podcasts.
Browsing and downloading podcasts
Podcasts are downloadable radio-style audio shows. Podcasts with a display icon next to them also show video. You also can download podcasts using the iTunes Store. The iTunes Store can be seen on the left side of the window when you open the software. Unless marked otherwise, podcasts are free.
• To browse for podcasts at the iTunes Store, click iTunes Store in the Source list, then click the Podcasts link on the left side of the main page and then click Education in the Categories. Click a language podcast to see a list of recent episodes. There are many language podcasts in the main window, such as English, French, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese etc.
• To download a single podcast episode, click the Get Episode button next to the episode.
• To subscribe to a podcast, click the Subscribe button next to the podcast graphic. iTunes downloads the most recent episode. As new episodes become available, they are automatically downloaded to iTunes (when you are connected to the Internet).
• If you know the Internet address of a podcast feed, you can subscribe to it without using the Music Store. Choose Advanced > "Subscribe to Podcast" and enter the URL. You can usually find the URL of a podcast on that podcast's webpage.
• To set the frequency iTunes checks for new subscription podcast episodes, choose Edit > Preferences and click Podcasts. Then choose an option from the "Check for new episodes" pop-up menu.
• To set the number of subscription podcast episodes iTunes automatically downloads, choose Edit > Preferences and click Podcasts. Then choose an option from the "When new episodes are available" pop-up menu. If you choose "Do nothing," new episodes appear dimmed in the Podcasts playlist. You must click the Get button next to the episode to download it.
Now you can playback the multimedia files on mobile devices (eg. portable mp3/mp4 player) and personal computers.