What is a podcast?

A podcast is a series of digital audio or video recordings based around a common theme and delivered in an episodic format. Podcasts can be created by individuals, by organisations and by companies.

Some of the support departments at Sheffield Hallam University offer podcasts. You may also see podcasts in some of your Blackboard sites. If you need help listening to these podcasts please go to one of the learning centre helpdesks.

Do I need an iPod?
You don’t need an iPod to listen to podcasts. Many MP3 players, smartphones and PDAs are capable of playing podcasts. You can also listen to podcasts on your computer. In most cases you can download episodes of a podcast and listen to them at your convenience.

Do I have to check for new episodes?
Subscribing to a podcast allows you to receive notifications whenever a new episode is available. Some podcasts allow you subscribe directly from the authors website and others will have something called a ‘feed’.

What are feeds and podcatchers?
A feed is a list of episodes which is updated whenever a new episode is produced. You can use a ‘podcatcher’ to automatically check this feed and notify you when episodes are available. Some podcatchers will automatically download the latest episode of a podcast to your mobile device.

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