The University of Southampton

All the news that's fit to download

Published: 
28 March 2006
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The University of Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) has launched the first video podcast news service from a UK university.

The School, which carries out world-leading research in multimedia and mobile communications, unveiled the first editions of ECS News this month. The programme is available on the School's web site (www.ecs.soton.ac.uk), and can be downloaded either to be viewed on a portable device (such as an i-Pod video or PSP), or a laptop or desktop screen, or to be listened to as a conventional audio podcast for MP3 players, or i-Pods.

ECS News will provide coverage of research, people, and events in the School. The first editions feature interviews with Professor Michael Luck on agent-based computing, with Professor Neil White on intelligent sensors, and with Dr Les Carr on this May's World Wide Web conference in Edinburgh.

The technology was developed by David Tarrant, Project Manager of ECS TV. 'Video podcasting involves some of the latest video compression streaming techniques,' he said. 'Through using advanced encoding algorithms we can produce a greatly compressed high quality video. The service developed here in ECS is not just being used for news broadcasts. We can take video from any source and enable lecturers and students alike to create a video, either of a lecture, a seminar, or to record an experiment or presentation.

'The great benefit is that this can be downloaded to be watched or listened to at any time and in any place.'

ECS News is presented by Joyce Lewis, Communications Manager for the School. 'Once it was apparent that the technology was available, it seemed obvious to create our own news programme,' she said. 'As a School we have so much happening and so many stories to tell, and ECS News takes us way beyond the conventional newsletter, or even web interview. It's also a wonderfully dynamic feature to have on our web pages, both for our students, who are already using this technology to get news and information from other sources, and for potential students, alumni, the media, and indeed anyone wanting to find out more about what's happening in ECS.

'People can subscribe to the service and the content is then delivered to them automatically. This gives us a great way of keeping in touch and letting people know about new developments in the School,' she added.

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