- What is this for?
The AMP lets you quickly watch or listen to a variety of astronomy podcasts. It was set up by Stuart for himself but he decided to let other people use it too. Suggestions for improvements are welcome.
- Why does a particular podcast sound like a chipmunk?
Although it sounds rather amusing, it can be quite annoying. The reason is that the podcast has been saved in a particular way that the player finds difficult to play back. In technical terms, the bitrate for the MP3 file is not compatible with Flash.
- What is the row of little pictures for?
These are links to a bunch of social networking websites. Clicking on them gives you a quick way to add the information from a particular pocast to them. Social networking sites will let you vote (Digg), bookmark (del.icio.us), comment upon (Blogger) or spread the word (Slashdot) about your favourite podcasts. If you don't recognise any of the logos, don't worry about them.
- What does the "Rate it" mean?
Google Video and Amazon both let you rate things. If they can, so can we. This is a bit of an experiment to add a star rating to astronomy podcasts. Each episode has its own rating and this will be displayed under it with the option to rate it yourself by clicking on the rating you think is suitable. For now, many episodes are unrated so they have no stars.
- Why has my rating not shown up?
Hold your horses! The rating for each episode will only be updated when the AMP checks for new podcasts (this happens a few times per day). So wait a few hours and check again.
- How do I link to the AMP?
Use the following code and feel free to change the image or replace it with a text link:
- Can I link to a particular channel?
Yes. In the code above, add the name of the channel into the link e.g. index.html?channel=agogo.
- Can I link to a particular episode?
Yes. Each podcast episode now provides the code necessary to link directly to that episode - just click "more info" and then "link to this" to see it.
- How is the top X calculated?
Every time a podcast is played, this is recorded (no personally identifying information is recorded because that wouldn't be nice). The Top of the Pods calculator counts up all the times a podcast has been played with weighting by time. (Just in case you are interested, the weighting function is a Gaussian function so that recent plays are given more value than things people were listening to a month ago.) This ensures that the list of popular episodes reflects what is currently popular.