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What is a Podcast?

A podcast is a collection of audio and video files residing at a unique web address.   Unlike videocasts, which must be viewed over the internet, podcasts can be downloaded to your computer using aggregator software, such as iTunes, or a feed reader capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom. The downloaded episodes can then be played, replayed, or archived like any other computer file. Many applications also allow you to subscribe to favorite podcasts and automatically download new episodes as they are posted. Podcasts can also be transfered to a portable media player by connecting it to the PC running the aggregator.

CTIVS Podcasting Services

The Center for Information Technology (CIT) can record a live presentation in podcast format, or convert an existing video or audio recording into podcast format.  A variety of NIH sponsored presentations into enhanced video and audio Podcast files available for download so you can access the content whenever you want from your computer or portable media player. To learn more about podcasting contact the CTIVS Video Services Branch.

What NIH Podcasts are available?

You will find a directory of all available NIH podcasts on the CTIVS Podcasting Page.  NIH also has a page on Apple iTunes which which can be located by entering "National Institutes of Health" into the iTunes Store search box, then selecting "National Institutes of Health" from the Publishers box. All NIH podcasts are offered as free downloads.

In addition, NIH Radio, a 24-hour audio service designed to provide radio stations with the latest information about NIH research findings, highlights of press conferences, and health campaigns, hosts a number of NIH Radio programs as podcasts. For more information Go to NIH Radio.

How do I listen to/watch a podcast on my computer?

The podcasts can be downloaded directly from our website and viewed in QuickTime. To listen to the feeds on your computer, you need to download podcasting software. We recommend using iTunes to subscribe to the podcasts, view the files, and organize them on your media device. However, there are many other podcasting applications available for download, such as: iTunes, Juice, Doppler, Playpod, NewsFire, Smartfeed, Odeo, and jpodder.

Minimum System Requirements

If you want to listen to the NIH Radio audio reports and/or Podcasts on your computer please ensure that your system meets the following minimum requirements:

  • Processor: 266 MHz Intel Pentium II processor or equivalent
  • Operating System: Windows® XP, 2000, 98, NT 4.0, or Mac OS
  • Memory (RAM): 64 MB of RAM
  • Internet Connection: Broadband (DSL, cable, wireless, satellite or powerline high-speed internet connections)
  • Sound Card: 16-bit sound card and speakers
  • Digital Media Player: Windows Media Player® 6.4 or RealPlayer® 10

Technical Support for Podcasting Applications

NIH is unable to provide support for Podcasting software or to test our feeds with a specific Podcasting application. Users interested in using this technology or who need technical support should enlist the help of their computer support staff or refer to the information provided with their podcast software.


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This page last reviewed: November 09, 2011