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A podcast is simply a series of audio files, almost like episodes of a radio programme. What makes them special is that listeners can subscribe and receive new episodes automatically.
The reason they are called podcasts is because people often listen to them on their Apple iPod, but in fact you can listen to a podcast on any MP3 player, or even on your computer if you have the right software.
No. Although you can 'subscribe' to a podcast, you do not have to pay or give out any personal information to do so.
If you want to receive new episodes of a podcast automatically, you can subscribe to it. This ensures that you will never miss an episode and saves you the trouble of returning to our website every time a new episode is published.
Subscribing is free and does not require you to enter any personal information. To subscribe, you will need podcast software on your computer or an RSS feed reader (see below). Once you have this software, you can either use one of our subscription buttons (iTunes, My Yahoo! or Google Reader) to subscribe in one click or copy and paste the Feed URL into the software by hand.
If you want to download previous episodes of a podcast, you can do this by subscribing to it. The software you use (see below) will automatically notify you that there are old episodes waiting to be downloaded.
The feed is a web page in a special format called RSS that contains information about the podcast. It is updated every time a new episode is published and your reader software will detect the update and notify you that a new episode is ready to download.
All RSPB podcast episodes are in MP3 format.
To subscribe to a podcast you will need podcast software or an RSS feed reader. Some of the most popular pieces of software are iTunes and Juice (although there are many).
To download the latest episode of a podcast without subscribing, you will need software that can play MP3 audio files. iTunes is an MP3 player too.