Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT) has begun providing original multimedia content to the University community–and beyond–via a new and increasingly popular method of online content distribution.
A variety of educational and cultural content from Northwestern University Advanced Media Production Studio (NUAMPS), a division of NUIT Academic Technologies, is now being offered via an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. RSS is a growing content distribution method structured to provide users with regularly updated news and media.
Users subscribe to the feed through RSS Reader programs or RSS-compatible Web browsers. This subscription can alert the user when a new item has been added to the feed and then show a description of the item, direct the user to the relevant Web location, or download an enclosed file.
While the NUAMPS Web site allows visitors to explore projects and information in an experiential way, the RSS feed offers a direct and simple method of accessing recently added media and news. NUAMPS plans to serve all media and news items through the RSS feed to provide a more direct link to the educational and cultural content they produce.
As companies such as The New York Times and Apple begin to utilize RSS, the format’s popularity is growing, a trend that has been helped by the adoption of RSS as the primary method of delivery for podcasts.
Currently, Apple’s iTunes, Apple’s browser Safari, and the browser Opera offer native support of RSS. Mozilla Firefox has recently incorporated limited RSS support, and numerous specialized RSS Reader programs exist as well. Microsoft’s Windows Vista, the soon-to-be-released new version of Windows, will feature native RSS support, opening this technology to a much wider audience.
The NUAMPS RSS feed can be accessed through the group’s Web site at numediadesign.it.northwestern.edu/screenroom/rss.html or by searching for “NUAMPS” on Apple’s iTunes Music Store.