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What Is Podcasting And RSS Files?

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By Ken Snodin

One of the best ways to share files that you’ve found online is to download a podcast. A podcast is a way that the creators and/or distributors of content can send their online materials directly to the computer of a subscriber. The subscriber can then view or listen to the content whenever they want to.

Podcasting works because of small files called RSS files, which are located somewhere on a web page. This RSS file is regularly updated, usually through an automatic update, with text and links to new media files that are available to be downloaded.

A podcast client accesses the RSS file from the subscriber’s computer. Podcast clients are programs that go online to find RSS files for data that the subscriber has chosen to view. Most podcast clients are available for free, and many different ones are available to suit any unique need.

A download happens when the client downloads and views the file that is being offered at the feed’s web site. The client finds links to media files that are included in the RSS file, and then it downloads those files, storing them on a subscriber’s computer until the user wants to see them. Podcast files can be comedy shows, music mixes, or radio shows. Subscribers are often able to download parts of regular shows and play them on a home computer.

Downloads can be applied to any kind of file. The RSS file that allows generally audio and video files to be downloaded can also be tailored to apply to any data file. Some experts believe that podcasting may be used to distribute software updates, as well as demonstration programs, and go beyond simply sharing media files. Users would just have to subscribe to a feed with a podcast client. This could be a way to update users about anything.

Many possibilities for file distribution are provided with podcast downloads. This represents a different way of using the Internet by allowing information to come to users, instead of having users actively go out and visit each site. Podcasting could ultimately change how the Internet works. With broadband access becoming faster and more available, content will have a good chance of being delivered directly to a consumer more easily and more quickly than ever before. This approach could mean major changes for the Internet and make the Web even more integrated with the personal lives of its users.

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