RSS News Feeds and Podcasts

What is RSS?

In a world heaving under the weight of billions of web pages, keeping up to date with the information you want can be a challenge.

Wouldn't it be better to have the latest information delivered directly to you, rather than clicking from site to site? Well now you can, thanks to a very clever service, RSS.

There is some discussion as to what RSS stands for, but most agree it means 'Really Simple Syndication'. Put plainly, it allows you to identify the content you like and have it delivered directly to you.

It takes the hassle out of staying up-to-date, by showing you the very latest information that you are interested in.

Not all websites currently provide RSS, but it is growing rapidly in popularity and many sites provide it.

How do I start using RSS feeds?

In general, the first thing you need is something called a News Reader. There are many different versions, some of which are accessed using a browser, and some of which are downloadable applications. All allow you to display and subscribe to the RSS feeds you want.

Some news readers to explore include:

www.bloglines.com
blogspace.com/rss/readers

Once you have chosen a News Reader, all you have to do is to decide what content you want. For example, if you would like the latest Luther Seminary daily chapel podcasts or God Pause daily devotions, visit:

www.luthersem.edu/chapel or
www.luthersem.edu/godpause

You will notice the orange buttons on these pages.

If you click on the button you can subscribe to the feed in various ways, including by dragging the URL of the RSS feed into your News Reader or by cutting and pasting the same URL into a new feed in your News Reader.

Some browsers, including Firefox, Opera and Safari, have functionality which automatically pick up RSS feeds for you. For more details on these, please check their websites.

What is podcasting?

Podcasting is a means of distributing audio programs via the Internet that lets you subscribe to a number of files, also known as feeds.

Each feed consists of a series of audio files which are typically downloaded to your computer while it is idle. You can then listen to these audio files at any time you choose, either on your computer or on an MP3 player.

What is vodcasting?

A vodcast is just another word for video podcast. It is simply a podcast which includes both video and audio.

We offer two versions of video podcasts for our daily chapel services: one tailored for iPod and iTunes users and one for users of other players.

How do I start listening to podcasts or vodcasts?

You do not need an iPod or MP3 player to listen to podcasts, you can listen and view right from your computer!

In general, the first thing you need is a podcast application, usually some software that you install on your computer. There are many different versions, but all allow you to display and subscribe to the podcast feeds you want.

Some podcast applications to explore include:

http://juicereceiver.sourceforge.net (formerly ipodder)
www.apple.com/itunes

Once you have installed your podcast software, all you have to do is to decide what content you want. For example, if you would like the latest Luther Seminary daily chapel podcasts, visit:

www.luthersem.edu/chapel

You will notice the orange buttons on this page.

If you click on the button you can subscribe to the feed in various ways, including by dragging the URL of the podcast feed into your podcast software or by cutting and pasting the same URL into your podcast software.