Princeton Weekly Bulletin   June 2, 2008, Vol. 97, No. 28   prev   next   current

By the numbers

Princeton University podcasts

Princeton NJ — Audio files of hundreds of lectures and other events held at the University are available as free downloads from Princeton’s podcasts website at Since the site’s debut in 2006, hundreds of thousands of people have accessed the podcasts.

• The podcasts feature a dynamic lineup of distinguished guests who visited the University dating back to 1998. Audio of lectures by such notable figures as movie director Martin Scorsese, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert and Afghan President Hamid Karzai — in addition to Princeton professors such as philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, computer security expert Edward Felten, poet Paul Muldoon and mathematician Ingrid Daubechies — can be easily downloaded as MP3 files for audiences on and off campus.

• Those who are interested in receiving the podcasts on their MP3 players can sign up to download every podcast and have new ones sent to them automatically. Between July 1, 2007, and May 1, 2008, more than 100 million podcasts were downloaded.

• Currently there are more than 550 podcasts available. As of the beginning of May, the five most popular were: a symposium called “What Is Prayer?” featuring Sister Mary Margaret Funk of Our Lady of Grace Monastery and scholars David Hall of Harvard Divinity School, Albert Raboteau of Princeton and Carol Zaleski of Smith College; Princeton provost and legal scholar Christopher Eisgruber speaking on “Religious Freedom and the Constitution”; two lectures by Paula Fredriksen of Boston University on “Sin: The Early History of an Idea”; and Princeton’s 2007 Commencement ceremony.

• People from 184 countries have accessed the podcasts. Outside of the United States, the countries where the podcasts are the most popular are Canada, China, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. However, the podcasts have also attracted at least one listener from the following countries: Andorra, Burkina Faso, Cuba, Micronesia, Samoa and Zambia.

Source: The Office of Information Technology’s New Media Center.

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