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What is an RSS feed

Depending upon which browser you use, if you click on an RSS symbol you will most probably get a list of file names with links to click on in order to hear/view or watch them them.
(Unfortunately, you may also get a whole load of fairly incomprehensible text in some browsers)
If you are lucky then you may get something like this :-

RSS description 1

You can click on any of the links and your computer will open the file (or invite you to download an application to do this).

This may seem pretty normal for a web page, but RSS is designed for more than this. The advantage of RSS is that rather than periodically going back to the page yourself to check if a new file has been added, you use  software that does this for you. You may have seen this already if you use (say) iTunes to subscribe to Podcasts.  Whichever software you use however the result is always something like a list of files in the same way as you might see a list of emails.

In fact you can see how this might be achieved for Microsoft’s Outlook from looking at the top of the picture above.  Where it says “Subscribe to this feed using Microsoft Office Outlook” click on subscribe. Now when you go into Outlook, all the files will appear in a list rather as if they had been emails to you. i.e.

RSS description 1

To use Itunes you can subscribe to our RSS feed by adding it manually.
To do this is very simple and you only need to do it once, (its the same for Macs although the following is a description for a PC).

  • Click on ‘Advanced’ at the top of Itunes
  • Select ‘subscribe to Podcast…’ this will bring up the window shown below entitled ‘Subscribe to Podcast’
  • In the window paste the address of the RSS feed. You can find this by clicking on the browsers address window where it says something like
  • Click OK. The Podcast will now appear in your Itunes list

RSS description 3


The people at have written a usefull summary of RSS feeds from which this is taken. (it is here)