Subscribing to Podcasts

iPod NanoYou can automatically download podcast audio files using iTunes software, which is available free at http://www.apple.com/itunes/ for Macintosh and PC computers. Once the audio files are downloaded, you can move them to an mp3 player or listen to them on a computer.

How podcast subscriptions work

When you subscribe to a podcast, you are subscribing to an RSS feed. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, which is a way to make Web feeds available to the public.

An RSS aggregator is a tool (such as iTunes and Thunderbird) that periodically checks a specific file to see if it contains any new information. If the file has changed since the last time it was checked, the program downloads the new content.

How to subscribe to a podcast

  1. Get the address of the XML file
    The creators need to publicize their original XML document so you and other users know where it’s located. Example: http://web.stcloudstate.edu/mamonn/smallbytes/smallbytes.xml
  2. Open iTunes or another RSS aggregator
    If you don’t already have iTunes on your computer, you can download it free at http://www.apple.com/itunes/. It’s available for Macs and PCs.

    iTunesiTunes Instructions
    • Copy the address
    • Open iTunes
    • Go to the "Advanced" menu
    • Choose "Subscribe to Podcast..."
    • Paste the address in the text field provided
    • Click "OK"

    Generic RSS Instructions
    Copy the XML address and paste it into the address area of your RSS aggregator.
  3. Download Content
    Click “Update” in your RSS aggregator to check for new content.