Podcasting Information
Conserving the Nature of America
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podcasting icon Background Information on Podcasting

What is podcasting?
How do I subscribe?
How do I save a podcast to my computer?
How do I listen to podcast feeds on my computer?
I've subscribed, but I don't hear anything?
The benefits of subscribing to a podcast.

Minimum system requirements.
Technical support for podcasting.


What is podcasting?

Podcasting is a digital recording of a radio broadcast, interview or feature story, with or without video, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player or a computer. Once a provider (Fish and Wildlife Service) serves the data as a podcast feed, users can listen to it on their PC or Mac. Since podcasts are MP3 files, you can transfer feeds to your MP3 player/portable listening device. Though the same content may also be made available by direct download or streaming, a podcast is distinguished from other digital-media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added.

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How do I subscribe?

1. Go to the link containing the podcasts
2. Subscribe to the service - Push the RSS button rss logo button or rss button(this is subscribing) Newer versions of all major browsers have built-in aggregators, so there is no need for a third party version. These free third party versions usually have more features though. If you use only one browser this will work fine. However, if you use several browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Flock, Safari or Internet Explorer or when you click on the RSS button you get code, you must either use a third party agreggator or upgrade your browser.
3. If using a third party aggregator, first copy the address from the browser; it ends with .XML . For the Fish and Wildlife Service's podcasts, the Web address ends with the file name: multimedia.xml
4. Paste the address into the third party agreggator in the area where addresses are saved (the feed list).
5. "Subscribing" saves you the hassle of having to manually check for new podcasts. If you are a "subscriber," the new content is automatically downloaded to the podcasting software on your computer.

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How do I save a podcast to my computer?

To save a podcast to your compute you will have to right click on the icon and select "Save As Target" and that should do it.

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How do I listen to FWS podcast feeds on my computer?

To listen to the feeds on your computer, you need to download podcasting software. There are many free or commercial podcasting applications available for download. Fish and Wildlife Service does not endorse any particular RSS reader or application. Here are a select few:

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I've subscribed to the FWS podcast but don't hear anything. What do I do?

First, be sure that you have audio player software. Then check that the correct audio file was downloaded to your computer. You may need to modify the update settings in your podcasting software to ensure that this process occurs automatically.

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The benefits of subscribing to a podcast.

  • Allows you to time-shift and place-shift media consumption.
  • 100% efficiency, since episodes are only downloaded by listeners on an opt-in basis.
  • Easily accessible to a global audience that is not defined by geographic boundaries.
  • Ability to leverage electronic programming without an outside news media filter.
  • Most cost effective electronic media distribution channel available.
  • Gives you the ability to view or listen to information while increaseing mutli-tasking options.

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Minimum System Requirements

If you want to listen to the Fish and Wildlfie Service podcasts on your computer, please ensure that your system meets the following minimum requirements:

  • Processor: 266 MHz Intel Pentium II processor or equivalent
  • Memory (RAM): 64 MB of RAM
  • Internet Connection: Broadband (DSL, cable, wireless, satellite or powerline high-speed internet connections)
  • Sound Card: 16-bit sound card and speakers
  • Digital Media Player: Windows Media Player® 6.4 or RealPlayer® 10, Quicktime®
  • Operating System: Windows® XP, 2000, 98, NT 4.0, or Mac OS

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Technical Support for Podcasting Applications

Fish and Wildlfie Service podcasts arrive at your computer (once subscribed) free of charge and without technical support. The Fish and Wildlife Service is unable to provide support for podcasting software or to test our feeds with a specific podcasting application. Users interested in using this technology or who need technical support should enlist the help of various computer support staff. They can be found in dedicated technical support businesses, computer big box stores, the library and the Internet. Many work environments also have computer support personnel.

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Last updated: December 7, 2009

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