What is Podcasting?
Podcasting is a relatively new form of webcasting that enables users to subscribe to audio or video programs. Once the user subscribes to a program, the latest episodes will automatically be downloaded onto the user’s computer. He or she can then listen offline, either with a personal computer or with a portable player (such as an iPod or other MP3 player). In short, this is the technology that will enable you to listen to RTI newscasts while riding the subway to work!
What Programs Does RTI Offer as Podcasts?
In the preliminary testing phase, RTI is offering three podcasts: the daily English and Japanese newscasts, as well as "Taiwan Perspectives" in Mandarin Chinese.
What Software is Needed to Subscribe to Podcasts?
In order to subscribe to RTI’s podcasts, you will need to first download a software that can enable you to do so. The most popular choices include:
• iTunes (Recommended)
Once you have installed one of the above on your computer, you can begin subscribing.
How Do I Subscribe?
Subscribing to a podcast involves first looking for the "add" or "subscribe" function in your podcast software, and then entering the feed of the podcast. This feed is simply a URL (or web address) of the web page where your software will download the latest editions of the programs to which you subscribe. You can find these feeds, by looking for the orange "*" icons.
Simply click on the icon, and then cut and paste the web address for that page into your podcast software.
1. Click on the "Advanced" tab near the top right.
2. Select "Subscribe to Podcast".
3. Copy and paste one of the URLS below into the box.
4. Click on the large Radio Taiwan International icon and hit play.
Don't worry about the confusing code which appears on the POD web page -- that’s there to communicate with your podcasting software.
The POD links are located below for your convenience:
icon RTI's Daily Newscast in English
icon RTI's Daily Newscast in Japanese
icon "Taiwan Perspectives" (Mandarin Chinese)
Listening to Podcasts
Every time you log on to your podcast software, it will automatically check to see if there are any new episodes of the programs to which you subscribe. It will then download all new episodes directly onto your computer. You can either use the podcast software to listen to these episodes at your leisure, or you can transfer them to a portable player to listen to later.
If you use an iPod and the related iTunes software, these programs will be transferred to your iPod whenever you plug it into your computer. iTunes will save all previous episodes unless told otherwise if you desire to listen to an older episode. Older episodes can also be downloaded by double clicking the RTI icon in the podcast tab and then the GET button next to the episode.
What are the Origins of Podcasting?
The term "podcasting" is a combination of "broadcasting" or "webcasting" and "iPod." The reason why "iPod" became an integral part of "podcasting" is because iPods were one of the earliest types of portable device used to play podcasts. Today, people use all sorts of different devices to listen to podcasts.
What differentiates podcasting from its predecessor – webcasting (which used technology like Shoutcast and Darwin) – is that it enables the user to play programs at times other than the live broadcast time. This technology breakthrough uses RSS 2.0, which enables users to automatically download enclosures and play them at their leisure.
Where Can I Find More Information About Podcasting?
One of the most comprehensive sources of information about podcasting can be found on Wikipedia and also Podcasting Tools. For news and updates about new podcasting software and information try going to Podcasting News.