RSS, news feeds and podcasts
What are news feeds?
News feeds (often called RSS feeds) allow you to see when websites have added new content without having to visit the website each time. Generally, users set up a "News reader" (sometimes called News Aggregator, Feed reader, RSS reader) that can pull in feeds from multiple sources all in the one spot so users can see updates to their favourite websites without having to go to visit each of those websites individually.
I don't really see the benefit...can you give an example?
Kate, a reporter with a regional newspaper, likes to be up-to-date with the latest news affecting her readers. The internet is a valuable tool for Kate, providing her access to the media sites of key organisations and government departments. Kate has set her "News reader" to subscribe to dozens of news feeds that are of interest, including the Agriculture news and Fishing and Aquaculture news feeds on the NSW DPI website - as these are feeds that she knows provide stories of interest to her readers.
Mike likes to keep up to date with current news in coal mining. There are 10 websites that he likes to visit that are all great resources. All 10 of these websites provide an RSS Feed for their latest news and Mike uses his "News reader" to subscribe to all those feeds. Each day Mike can have a quick look at his News reader to check if any new news content has been added to any of those 10 sites, rather than visit all 10 sites individually. Mike will see the headline and description of each new news article and will be able to click on a link which will take him to the full story on the appropriate website.
Sounds useful...how can I get started?
To start you'll need some sort of "News reader". This is a piece of software that checks the feeds and lets you read any new articles that have been added. There are many different versions, some of which are accessed using a browser, and some of which are downloadable applications. Some common news readers include:
There are plenty of other readers as well.
All you have to do once you have chosen a reader is to add feeds to it. NSW DPI provides several feeds that you may be interested in. You'll be able to identify RSS feeds on our site by the icon . Clicking on the icon will take you to the feed page, where you can add the feed to your reader.
What are podcasts?
Podcast allow you to access information about a range of topics at a time that suits you. Podcasts are a convenient way to hear or download audio files. You can listen to a podcast straight away online, or download the file to play on your computer at a later time.
You can also transfer the files to a portable MP3 player to play at anytime. This gives you greater control over what you listen to and allows you to choose when and where you listen to it.
When you see this icon next to a linked title it's letting you know that you're about to download an audio file. Your computer settings and the browser you use will determine what happens when you click on the linked title. Some of the things that may ocurr include:
- the audio file will play within your browser,
- an application (like windows media player) will open and begin to play, or
- you may be prompted to save the file.
What about iTunes?
Another way you can access podcasts is via iTunes. Once you have the iTunes software installed on your computer you can automatically download and subscribe to a podcast using iTunes. When you see this icon on pages throughout our website you can click on it to interact with iTunes.