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Culture

Audible to offer New York Times podcasts via RSS

Other content to be delivered includes The Wall Street Journal and the NPR program "This American Life."

Digital audio publisher Audible plans to release podcasts of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the company's other periodic content via syndicated feeds.

The podcasts--audio recordings that can be uploaded to an MP3 player--will be delivered through the Web publishing standard Really Simple Syndication, or RSS. The technology, which is still emerging, is used by publishers and bloggers, as well as podcasters, to deliver alerts about new content as it becomes available, the full text of items or multimedia files. The company announced its plans Friday.

Audible customers will be able to automatically schedule delivery of programming to their computers or to compatible handheld devices, the company said. Initially, the tool will be available only to Audible customers and content partners, the company said.

RSS got a boost on Friday when Microsoft confirmed its support of the technology. Microsoft says it will build support for RSS into the next version of Internet Explorer, as well as into Longhorn, the Windows update scheduled to arrive next year.

The software giant is also proposing extensions to the RSS specification that will add support for ordered lists. Currently, RSS feeds are ordered according to the time individual items were sent. By allowing publishers to specify a different order for information, the technology could become more e-commerce-friendly.

Other content in Audible's catalog includes the "BBC News Hour," "The Charlie Rose Show" and National Public Radio's "This American Life."