Apple has introduced the new iTunes 4.9, which takes Podcasting mainstream by building everything users need to discover, subscribe, manage and listen to Podcasts right into the software. iTunes users can subscribe to over 3,000 free Podcasts and have each new episode automatically delivered over the Internet to their computer and iPod.
“Apple is taking Podcasting mainstream by building it right into iTunes,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Podcasting is the next generation of radio, and users can now subscribe to over 3,000 free Podcasts and have each new episode automatically delivered over the Internet to their computer and iPod.”
Podcast is a method of publishing files to the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed and receive new files automatically by subscription, usually at no cost. It first became popular in late 2004, used largely for audio files. Podcasting is distinct from other types of audio content delivery because many people use a subscription model which uses the RSS 2.0 file format and a special software that understands this format and download the files when they are available.
The new Podcast Directory in iTunes 4.9 features over 3,000 free audio programs, making it one of the largest Podcast directories in the world, with favorites such as ABC News, Adam Curry, BBC, Clear Channel, The Dawn and Drew Show, Disney, Engadget, ESPN, Newsweek and NPR member stations such as KCRW in Los Angeles and WGBH in Boston.
iTunes enables anyone to quickly and easily find and subscribe to their favorite Podcasts so that every time there’s a new episode, it’s automatically downloaded to their Mac or PC and Auto-Synced to their iPod. iTunes also makes it easy to manage multiple Podcast subscriptions with simple organization and display by episode and date. Apple iPods will offer an easy to use Podcast menu, including bookmarking within a Podcast and the ability to display color Podcast artwork.
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