What is podcasting?
What is RSS?
What makes podcasting unique?
The podcasting process - a scenario
How do I subscribe?
How do I listen to podcast feeds on my computer?
I've subscribed, but I don't hear anything?
Minimum system requirements
Technical support for 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 (Southeast Region) 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.
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Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a service to provide content feeds from websites that contain article headlines, summaries, links back to the full article from that website and podcasts. RSS is an easy way for you to be alerted when content that interests you appears on your favorite websites. Instead of visiting a website to browse for new articles and features, RSS automatically notifies you when something new is posted online, all through your downloaded news reader.
Posting digital audio and video files to a website is not new. However, in order for a visitor to access the files, they would have to go to the web page and download or view each file. Nowadays with a syndication service or web feed service, content distributors/providers (like the FWS Southeast Region) can easily inform subscribers that files (known as feeds) and other frequently updated content have been posted.
FWS Southeast Region publishes a feed link on our Podcasting Center site which the visitor can register to, using an aggregator program (also known as a feed reader or news reader or podcasting software) that is running on their own computer. By dragging and dropping or copying and pasting the web link containing the files from their browser to the aggregator, the program begins creating a feed list. Note: Newer browsers usually have a very basic built-in aggregator, so dragging and dropping is not necessary. This process is usually initiated by locating the RSS (Really Simple Syndication) button( or ) and clicking on it. This initiates a subscription process, so the a link is created between the subscription service at the FWS Southeast Region site and the visitor's aggregator program setting on their computer. An agreggator, does just that; it agregates or collects the end users selected website links into a single collection which is called the feed list. The beauty of the aggregator is it can be scheduled to check for new content periodically, by asking all servers in its feed list if there is new content. If there is, the aggregator either makes note of the new content or downloads it automatically.
1. Go to the link containing the podcasts
2. Subscribe to the service - Push the RSS button or (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 Southeast Region'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.
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. FWS does not endorse any particular RSS reader or application. Here are a select few:
- Here is Google's directory of RSS readers.
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.
If you want to listen to the FWS 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
- Operating System: Windows® XP, 2000, 98, NT 4.0, or Mac OS
FWS podcasts arrive at your computer (once subscribed) free of charge and without technical support. The Southeast Region Web Group 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.