Podcasting and more

The world is catching up to the idea of RSS feeds. Apple just released it's new iPod which has support for video, and the idea of "videocasting" or "vlogcasting" is being supported. However, it's come to my attention that perhaps many don't understand this new trend in technology. Here are some FAQ:

1) What is an RSS feed?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS feeds allows websites, computers and other devices to transmit information across the internet in a standardized fashion. You don't usually read RSS feeds directly. This is what a raw RSS feed looks like. Pretty boring.

2)How do I subscribe to a feed?
You need something to translate all that gobbledy-gook in the feed. You can download a news reader to read news feeds, or use iPod to listen to music feeds (Podcasts), or use DTV to watch video feeds (and now the new iPod). Generally, once you have a news reader or iPod, you can then start subscribing to feeds.

3) How do I find feeds?
A lot of the devices that translate feeds also have directories of feeds. I think iTunes has a directory of podcasts. A podcast is an RSS music feed. There are also websites with directories of podcasts, such as iPodder.

4)How do I make feeds?
You may already have one. Currently, if you use livejournal or myspace, you may have noticed an RSS or XML link on your blog. Guess what that is! A feed of your blog. To make audio, video, or image feeds, it's a bit trickier. You'll need a bit of software such as Broadcast Machine or Drupal to generate the feeds for you. If you use Flickr it creates image feeds automatically. Anybody can make or subscribe to feeds; they are completely free.

5) This is so stupid. Why is this important?
RSS is important because it allows people to SUBSCRIBE to audio, video, blogs, pictures, events, and news from different sites. It's similar to subscribing to a magazine. You could go to the bookstore to get the newest magazine issue, OR you could subscribe to the magazine and have it show up at your home. One obviously takes more effort. Instead of checking your favorite websites constantly, simply subscribe to them and they will let YOU know when something new is posted, rather than you incessantly checking. (like my FEED ME! link at the top) ;)

6) So this saves me time. What else?
It turns the internet into a broadcast medium, like television or radio. The only difference is, ANYONE can make a radio or tv channel for free by using RSS. This puts the power of broadcasting media into the hands of individuals, rather than media conglomerates. The end result is that a wider range of channels and content will be offered, and the price of broadcasting will go down to virtually nothing. Imagine if you could turn on the television and you had a million channels to choose from. But instead of flipping channels, you subscribe to only the shows you want to watch. And if you wanted, you could create your own tv channel for free. Once you wrap your head around the potential uses for this stuff, it's kind of mind blowing - and nobody knows how it will all pan out.

Finally:

It is pomegranate season. Please eat as many as you can because they only come around once a year and around for 2 months or so. I could list the reasons why pomegranates are amazing but you should already know why.



beethoven says:

it's okay to eat the seeds, right? ....RIGHT???

3leet says:

yes, as long as you swallow them whole without smashing them with your teeth.