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Newsweek, Paris Hilton and Peterson's educational service are among the most recent converts to podcasting -- audio programs that can be downloaded and played on portable media devices like an iPod.

Some 6 million U.S. adults have downloaded podcasts, according to a study released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Research found that 29 percent of the owners of portable MP3 players have subscribed to the shows.

Men are more likely to have the devices; 13 percent of U.S. men do, while 9 percent of women own one. Minorities are also more likely to own players, and almost 20 percent of 18- to 28-year-olds own them.

The podcast directory maintained by Adam Curry at now lists 4,493 podcasts. Among the newest programming:

Newsweek On Air, a podcast of the magazine's weekly hour-long program broadcast nationwide on radio, is being posted Mondays at It's available now at

The Paris Hilton Podcast will begin April 29 as a promotional device for the socialite-actress's new film, "House of Wax." She will talk about her shopping trips and press events leading up to the premiere of the horror film May 6, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It will be available soon at

Tips on acing the college entrance exams and navigating the admissions process are subjects of podcasts offered from the Web page of Peterson's. The education and test preparation service, part of Thomson Corp. (TOC), has produced four programs for students. They can be downloaded here.

-- MarketWatch

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