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FDA Drug Safety Podcasts
RSS for Podcasts

What Is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It's an easy way for you to keep up with new safety information that's important to you, and helps you avoid the conventional methods of browsing or searching for information on the Web. Now the content you want can be delivered directly to you without cluttering your inbox with E-mail messages. This content is called a "feed."

RSS is written in the Internet coding language known as XML (eXtensible Markup Language), which is why you see RSS buttons commonly labeled with this icon:  XML/RSS Feed Icon

What Is an RSS Reader?

An RSS reader is a small software program that collects and displays RSS feeds. It allows you to scan headlines from a number of news sources in a central location.

How Do I Use RSS Feeds?

The first step is to choose an RSS reader. Each reader has a slightly different way of adding a new feed, also called a "channel." Follow the directions for your reader. Some Web browsers with built-in News Readers are "aware" of an available RSS feed; they make it easy for you to subscribe by providing a subscribe button. To add an RSS feed manually:

  • Click on the link or small XML button near the feed you want.  XML/RSS Feed
  • From your web browser's address bar, copy the URL (Web address). For example, the URL you would copy for the FDA Drug Safety Podcasts Podcast feed is: http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/podcast/rss_podcast.xml.
  • Paste that URL into the "Add New Channel" section of the reader. The RSS feed will start to display and regularly update the headlines for you.

I clicked on an RSS link and just saw a bunch of code. What is that?

The code you see is the XML code used by your news reader to get the content you want. The RSS link is for your RSS reader to gather the content. To add the FDA Drug Safety Podcasts Podcast RSS feed to your news reader, you can copy the address of the XML page and paste into your news reader, as described above.

Where Can I Get an RSS Reader?

Some browsers -- such as the current versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari -- have built-in RSS readers. If you're using a browser that doesn't currently support RSS, there are a variety of RSS readers available on the web. Some are free to download and others are available for purchase. For more information, try the USA.gov "What Is RSS?" Web page -- look for the "Where Can I Get an RSS Reader?" section.


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Date created: February 6, 2007