Podcasting makes an audio file, typically an MP3 file, available online for downloading via an automatic "feed." You can then hear the podcast whenever you want from your computer or a portable media player.
The first thing you need is podcast subscription software. Your options include the latest version of Apple's iTunes (which has the software built in), or other services such as Odeo or iPodder, to manage your podcast subscriptions. At this point, you will already be able to listen to podcast audio from your computer (provided your computer has a sound card and can play MP3 audio files). If you want to make your podcasts portable, you will need to transfer them from your computer to a portable media device.
To subscribe to a podcast listed in the directory, click on its name to view a brief description and subscription instructions.
You may subscribe to many podcasts by clicking the buttons for popular tools like iTunes and My Yahoo!
If you don't see a button for your preferred tool, simply highlight the URL in the box next to the orange [POD] icon. Right-click this link (or Control-click in MacOS) and select "Copy" or "Copy Shortcut." You may then paste the link into your podcasting software. In iTunes you can find this option under the "Advanced" menu as "Subscribe to podcast."
You may also save the latest episode of the podcast by clicking the button "Download MP3", which allows you to save the podcast to any other MP3 device.
First, be sure that you have audio player software; then, verify that the correct audio file was downloaded to your computer. You may need to modify the update settings in your podcasting software to ensure that this process occurs automatically. Next, check the update times in the description and make sure that a new edition should have been posted. If an audio file is not present and the feed time has passed, please contact NPR from our Help Center.
Among other considerations, many NPR stations incorporate local stories as they air nationally produced newsmagazines; we are currently unable to integrate local and national content into a combined podcast, and thus cannot reflect the radio experience listeners enjoy -- and expect -- in their individual markets. Additionally, podcasting full-length daily programs such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered could be extremely expensive, and we are still working out the economic model to support podcasting.
As a first experiment, however, we are now podcasting the weekly news quiz program Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!.
Additionally, the stations that produce several other signature programs for NPR are also podcasting those programs in their entirety; these include On The Media from WNYC, The Diane Rehm Show from WAMU, Latino USA from KUT and Only A Game from WBUR.
If you're looking for a podcast for an NPR program, topic, series or journalist, it may be available: go to the page where it lives. For example, a podcast for Ofeibea Quist-Arcton is available on her bio page.
To build a custom podcast, you can Mix Your Own Podcast or, for technically savvy users, use the API Query Generator.
NPR's podcasts are free for you to use, but expensive to produce and serve. To help support NPR's podcasts, you can become a member of your local NPR station.
Nearly all podcast applications (including iTunes) allow you to share your library by exporting it as an OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) file. In iTunes, right click the podcast button (on the left side, under 'library') and select 'export song list...' Select 'Podcast Subscription files (*.opml)' and click save.
To import someone else's OPML file in iTunes, select 'Import' under the 'File' menu. If you have a high-speed connection, you can even load the latest episodes of all 230+ NPR podcasts into your iTunes library by saving our opml file to your desktop and importing it into iTunes (or some other listening application).
NPR has been experiencing occasional network problems that could disrupt podcast downloads. If your download does not appear complete, try these steps: First, unsubscribe from the podcast. Second, locate your downloaded file, and delete the partial episode. Third, resubscribe to the podcast and try the download again. This will usually result in a complete episode. We are working to fix this issue and we apologize for the inconvenience.
NPR works with the appropriate rights holders (artists, labels, publishers...) to secure the proper permissions to stream and download music. In some cases, we receive rights to stream music, but not to offer it for download/podcast.