What is Podcasting?   



What is Podcasting?   method of publishing audio files


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 Odds are you’ve heard the term “podcasting.” It was even selected by the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary as the Word of the Year for 2005. But what exactly is it?


In its simplest terms, podcasting is a method of publishing audio files to the Internet, which can then be automatically downloaded to a computer,


iPod, MP3 player or other portable media device.

For anyone who loves listening to the wide variety of internet audio programming, but can’t always find the time to listen to their favorite shows when they’re scheduled or take the time to download them manually, podcasting is the solution


It allows you to listen to your favorite content, at your convenience.

According to research from The Diffusion Group, 11.4 million listeners are expected to download a podcast this year, climbing to almost 75 million by 2010.


Apple’s iTunes already offers 15,000 podcasts

and listeners have signed up for more than 7 million subscriptions. So what’s the reason for this rapid adoption?


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Because podcasting gives people more control over what they listen to, when they want to and the freedom to take their programs out and about with them.


But podcasting is more than just TiVo for Internet Radio.

Individuals are taking an increasingly active role in creating their online lives and, as a result, generate the majority of content found on the Internet. Combined with human nature to form groups,


share information and advance personal agendas through interaction with others, podcasting represents a significant shift in the way we communicate, receive and discover information.


 Anyone can create a podcast ,

regardless of the topic, find an online audience that shares the same interest and will subscribe to the feed, or “show,”

to automatically receive new episodes. But podcasting is more than having this 15 minutes of fame.


Educators are using podcasts to interact with their students.

Terrestrial radio is using it to regain listeners. It’s even changing the way media covers and distributes news and entertainment,


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advertisers target pitches at consumers and companies design and sell their products and services.


For a technology that’s been around less than two years,

the future certainly looks bright for podcasting. It has already evolved beyond simple time-shifting of Internet audio into the new medium for creating,


finding and sharing content created by individuals for individuals sharing similar interests. In other words, podcasting is connecting people to people, in the growing content-on-demand World.


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What is Podcast Video?

A growing trend online is podcast video. While  podcasting was originally only for audio files, more people are beginning to send video, especially with  broadband connections more accessible. To podcast video, content distributors enclose it in a web syndication file that users can download and view when   they want. Users subscribe to the different files, checking them for updates regularly, and download the new offers when they become available. Each file is  often referred to as an episode, and may be part of a video blog, or vlog.


Podcast video,

and other types of podcasting are thus part of the blogging revolution. Individuals and groups around the world, with a small investment in equipment and time, can become content producers. Because it is so simple to use and cheap to set up, many people are  getting involved. They can podcast video around the world, becoming producers and directors for any small niche they want to exploit.


Many of these podcasters have small audiences

that  download their podcast video, but larger groups are  getting involved. News organizations and websites that serve massive audiences are discovering that podcasting and podcast video can distribute their content to millions of people easily. These groups have found that podcasting video is yet another way to distribute their news and information. Since podcasting is so easy to use, it’s likely that even more people will start using  podcast video.


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What is a Podcast Feed?


A podcast feed is a way of sharing files over the internet. It involves the use of a small, machine  readable file that is regularly updated to reflect changes in the files available for downloading. The internet addresses of these files are embedded into the feed file and can be automatically downloaded when wished.


At  this time, podcasting tends to refer to the use of feeds to share only media files. Podcasting originally occurred as a way to share audio mp3 files, and has only recently begun incorporating video into podcasts. However, the technology that allows the files to be shared is not limited to such media files and there is not reason that other files may be shared via podcast in the future.


Today, however

a podcast feed tends to refer to the use of a feed to share media files. Most podcasts are done with audio files, and the individual files that are created   and shared are called episodes. These audio files may contain a variety of things; there are music, comedy, news, technology, even podcasts about wine. Podcasting, because of the low entry cost,


especially for audio podcasting allows nearly anyone who believes they have something to say to broadcast it over the internet. Even more established groups have found that audio podcasting works well. Some radio stations podcast portions of their content, sharing it over the internet to allow listeners who missed a specific show to catch up on it later. NPR now does this with its news breaks, and the NPR show “This American Life” offers a podcast of its shows to subscribers who pay a  small   fee.


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One of the newer innovations in podcast

feeds is the  vlog, or videoblog. These blogs usually contain a feed that distributes a video, rather than an audio file to feed  subscribers. Although that would not have been feasible a few years ago, growing numbers of broadband internet subscribers has meant that most users are able to download large files, even video files, relatively quickly.


These video podcasts have been readily  accepted by mainstream news organizations. They have found that podcasting portions of their content is a way to share their tape and reach a wider audience. The BBC  currently does this with parts of its news content. Pieces  of the news show that is played over the airwaves is taken and placed online, along with a link to the content   placed inside the RSS feed. Those who subscribe to the BBC feed can download the news clip and watch in from the comfort of their home computer.


In the future podcast feeds may be used

for a number of  purposes besides simply sharing media files. Some analysts predict that the feed system could also be used  to share software updates, or any of a myriad of other   file types. For now, however, podcasting is dominated  by small audio and video files.




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