The difference between having a podcast and having an audio file plunked out on a Web server somewhere is that a podcast is syndicated. What that means is that the audio file is accompanied by a syndication file that allows listeners to sign up for a podcast and then receive it as an automatic download whenever the creators of the podcast release a new episode.
Many podcasters use Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, to distribute their podcasts. RSS was written in Extensible Markup Language, or XML. When viewing a website or other source advertising podcasts, you may see a file with a .rss or a .xml extension. This is the address you need to be able to subscribe to that podcast. For example, if you want to subscribe to MOREnetworking: Podcast, the RSS file is located at http://members.more.net/files/mnwpc.rss.
Specifically how you subscribe to a podcast depends on the podcast client software you want to use to manage your subscriptions. For example, if you’re using iTunes, you can subscribe to a podcast by going to Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast and inserting the address of the podcast’s RSS file into the textbox. iTunes will then download any available episodes of that podcast, or give you the option of downloading them. Once your subscription is entered, everytime iTunes is opened, it will check to determine if there is a new episode of the podcasts available. You never have to check the podcast’s website again.
To determine how the podcast client you want to use subscribes to podcast, check the software’s documentation, or the help menu.
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