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What is a Podcast?

A podcast is an edited piece of radio content that you can download for free on the BBC iPlayer Radio app or on your computer. It might be a whole programme, an excerpt from a programme or the edited highlights of a programme. Currently not every radio programme will be available as a podcast.

On your computer, podcasts are downloaded as MP3 files. MP3 is a popular digital music format for sound files that are small in size but still reasonably high quality. This makes it a very suitable format for downloading from the web. On the BBC iPlayer Radio app, podcasts are downloaded directly onto the app.

If you are using the website you can subscribe to receive a podcast, rather like you might subscribe to a magazine and get it delivered each week. This way you will automatically receive the latest episode of your chosen podcast as soon as it's available. It's not currently possible to subscribe to podcasts on the BBC iPlayer Radio app but you can still subscribe to BBC podcasts on your mobile or tablet by using a third-party podcast subscription app.

You can then listen to downloaded podcast episodes on the move or on your computer. You can even transfer the MP3 files from your computer to a portable device, such as an MP3 player, to enjoy at your leisure. Once you download a podcast, you can listen to it indefinitely but if you're listening to the podcast online, some may only be available for a limited period after broadcast due to rights and other restrictions.

There's more information about podcasts on the following FAQs:


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