Although the word "podcast" is derived from Apple Computer's portable music player, the iPod, you do not need an iPod to listen and/or watch podcasts. There are many different feed readers available, most of which are free of charge. Learn more »
A podcast is an audio or video file that can be downloaded automatically to your computer using a Web feed (RSS). Many Web sites, including www.umm.edu, offer free Web feeds to which you can subscribe. Every time a new podcast (audio/video file) is added to the Web feed, people who have subscribed receive the file automatically.
When you subscribe to a magazine, each new issue is delivered to your mailbox. In the case of podcasting/Web feeds -- every time a new "issue" is available, it is delivered electronically to your computer.
Our "Medically Speaking" podcasts are comprised of weekly informative discussions with medical experts from the University of Maryland Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Each weekly installment (think magazine issue) of Medically Speaking is an audio file, usually around 10 minutes in length, that covers a different health topic.
Every Monday, a new installment is added to the Web feed. Everyone who subscribed to Medically Speaking receives the new program automatically to their computer, iPod, or other Feed Reader. See How Do I Listen/Watch Podcasts for more information on receiving new installments.
On our Medically Speaking podcast page, and throughout www.umm.edu, you will see the buttons below. The following explains what happens when each button is selected;
|Takes you to the Medically Speaking Podcast page of FeedBurner.com, the organization we use to create our Web feed. From here, you can subscribe to Medically Speaking using a variety of Feed Readers.|
|Allows you to listen to the specific program immediately without subscribing.|
Subscribes you to Medically Speaking using iTunes. When this button is clicked, the iTunes software opens on your computer. If you have installed this free software from Apple's Web site, you will see the Medically Speaking podcast when the software opens on your computer. If not, you will see a message from Apple asking if you'd like to install iTunes. Click here to download iTunes for free from Apple's Web site.
To receive podcasts, you need a special reader that displays content. These readers are often called "podcatchers." There are many different readers available, many of which are free of charge. Most are available as desktop software that you download and install on your computer (like iTunes). Several Web-based news readers are available as well (such as My Yahoo! or Google).
Here are a few ways you can obtain a reader:
Once you have set up your news reader, you simply subscribe to the podcasts/Web feeds you want.
The following Web sites contain detailed information about podcasting and Web feeds: