The generator of a podcast maintains a central list of the files on a server as a web feed that one can access through the Internet. The listener or viewer uses special client application software on a computer or media player, known as a podcatcher, which accesses this web feed, checks it for updates, and downloads any new files in the series. This process can be automated to download new files automatically; thus, it may seem to subscribers as though podcasters broadcast or "push" new episodes to them. Files are stored locally on the user's device, ready for offline use. Many different mobile applications allow people to subscribe and to listen to podcasts. Many of these applications allow users to download podcasts or to stream them on demand as an alternative to downloading. Many podcast players (applications as well as dedicated devices) allow listeners to skip around the podcast and to control the playback speed.
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