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Podcast

What is a podcast?

A podcast is a new way of getting information out over the Internet. It might help to think of it this way. A podcast is like a magazine, and a web site is like a TV channel.

A TV channel is on all the time, but the shows can change at any time, and if you wanted to watch a certain show, you had to watch it when the channel decided to air it, or not at all. A magazine is delivered to you, and you can read it whenever or where ever you'd like.

A web site can change at any time, and there's no way for you to change it back to the way it was before. A podcast gets delivered to your computer so you can listen or watch it whenever you'd like.

Many different types of information are available online through podcasts: sermons, Bible studies, technology updates, fans reactions to their favorite TV shows, movie reviews, the latest headlines, and much more.

How does a podcast work?

There are two main people or groups involved in podcasting - the podcaster and the subscriber. The podcaster is the person or group that creates the podcast. The subscriber is the audience, or the people that listen to or watch the podcast.

The podcaster records the podcast and uploads it to the Internet. He then updates a file, called an XML file, to let the subscribers know that a new podcast episode is ready. The subscribers can then download the file and play it whenever they'd like.

What does one need to listen to a podcast?

The way a subscriber signs up for a podcast is simple. There are programs called podcatchers which keep up with the latest episodes of podcasts. The most popular program is called iTunes, which is free and works on MS Windows or Mac OS X. However any podcatcher will work with any podcast. Here is a list of other podcatchers.

Also, just to be clear, one does not need an iPod or any other mobile mp3 player to listen to a podcast - it can be played on nearly any computer with an internet connection and speakers.

To subscribe to a podcast, the subscriber simply copies and pastes a web address, or URL, into the podcatcher, and he is signed up to receive instant updates.

Whenever a subscriber wants to play the latest episodes of his favorite podcasts, he just opens up his podcatcher, clicks "update" or "check for new episodes." Once the podcasts are downloaded, the subscriber presses "play". He can even leave the podcatcher running, and set it to automatically look for updates.

What podcasts does Jimmy have available?

What is a news feed?

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and Atom feeds are both called news feeds. News feeds send updated headlines to users through programs called feed readers (some people call them news aggregators).

News feeds are very similar to podcasts. Just like a podcast, a news feed is more like a magazine than a TV network. People can subscribe for regular updates, and read the feeds on their own schedule. The main difference between the two is that a podcast is either audio or video, while a news feed is just text.

Many different types of information are available online through news feeds: daily quotes, up-to-the-second headlines, sports scores, word-of-the-day, stock market figures, daily Bible studies, and personal journals.

How does a news feed work?

There are two main people or groups involved in news feeds - the feeder and the subscriber. The feeder is the person or group that creates the news feed. The subscriber is the reader of the feed.

The feeder types up the story and uploads it to the Internet. He then updates a file, called an XML file, to let the subscribers know that a new news story is ready. The subscribers can then download the story and read it whenever they'd like.

What does one need to read a news feed?

A news feed can be subscribed to through a feed reader, (or as some call it, a news aggregator). There are many feed readers available, and almost all of them are free. Some feed readers only read one specific news feed - while others let subscribers sign up to as many news feeds as they want. Here is a list of feed readers.

Once a subscriber has a feed reader, he can simply copy and paste a link into the feed reader, and instantly starts receiving updates from their news feed. Some times the feed reader shows the full content of the article - some times the subscriber clicks on the title to read the full article in his web browser. It depends on how both the news feed and the feed reader are set up.

What news feeds does Jimmy have available?