What Are Podcasts?
A screenshot of iTunes & a series of podcast subscriptions + downloaded podcasts.
Though there is no doubt that the prevelence of Apple’s iPods has increased the awareness, creation, distribution, popularity of podcasts, it is important to say that there are many other podcasting softwares and devices.
Where ever you see this symbol…
…a podcast is availiable for download!
Portmanteau: iPod + Broadcast = Podcast
Definition 1 –
“A digital file (audio/video/texts) distributed (downloaded) via the internet for playback on computers or portable media devices (iPods/MP3 Players) at any time. ” – Zero Strategist
Definition 2 –
“An audio programme in a compressed digital format, delivered via an RSS feed over the Internet to a subscriber and designed for playback on computers or portable digital audio players, such as the iPod.” source
Definition 3 –
“A “podcast” is a buzzword to describe a very simple concept: an audio or video file available on the Internet for you to listen to and/or watch. A podcast can also refer to a series of these audio or video files (similar to how a TV or radio “show” can be a series of shows or just one show). When using the word “podcast”, most people refer to the entire series and not just one audio or video file.” source
Definition 4 –
“Podcasting lets you automatically receive the latest episode of your chosen programme as soon as it’s available…you can take your favourite radio programmes with you on the move and listen wherever and whenever you like. You can “subscribe” to receive a podcast, rather like you might subscribe to a magazine and get it delivered each week….you can stop receiving the files at any time. If you’d rather not subscribe, you can download episodes of a podcast series individually. In order to subscribe for a podcast, you need an internet connection and a piece of podcast software which is usually available free of charge. You can then listen to podcast episodes on your computer, or transfer them to a portable device, such as an mp3 player.” source
Definition 5 –
“A podcast is a free video or audio series — like a TV or radio show — that you download from the Internet and play on your computer, mobile device or MP3 Player. Search the web for podcasts that pique your interest. Thousands of podcasts in dozens of categories make for a smorgasbord of entertainment. And most of them are free. Simply find the podcasts you want, click a single button to subscribe, and voilà! You get the most recent episode — and all future episodes — delivered directly to your device.” source (Apple) mashed to be non-proprietary by Zero Strategist
Definition 6 –
“A podcast is a digital audio file (usually MP3 or AAC) made available for download on the internet through an RSS 2.0 feed. The web address of the media file is contained in the enclosure tag of an item in the XML file. The enclosure tag was added to the RSS 2.0 standard in 2004 making podcasting possible. A podcast’s RSS feed is updated each time a new media file is published. An aggregator for podcasts (such as iTunes or iPodder) is used to subscribe to the RSS feed. The software automatically checks for and downloads new audio files. The file can then be synced to a digital audio player.It is the convenience of this subscription model that sets podcasting apart from other audio available on the internet such as streaming and audioblogging. Podcasting makes it easy to create and disseminate digital audio content across the web. The enclosure tag can be used to any type of digital file, but not all aggregators recognize and download all file types. Vidcasts have started to emerge on the internet distributing digital video files. Podcasting offers a variety of content for listeners to consume how they want, when they want and where they want.” source
Definition 7 –
“(iPOD broadCAST) An audio broadcast that has been converted to an MP3 file or other audio file format for playback in a digital music player. Although many podcasts are played in a regular computer, the original idea was to listen on a portable device; hence, the “pod” name from “iPod.” Although podcasts are mostly audio, they may contain music, images and video. Just like news feeds, podcasts are made available to people via a syndication format. Users install a media aggregator program in their computers such as iTunes or Juice. Also called a “podcatcher,” the application captures the audio feeds from the Internet for downloading to the music player. Originally conceived as a way to listen to audio broadcasts, podcasting evolved to include any kind of audio as well as images and video (see photofeed and vidcast). Electronic slide shows are created as podcasts (see enhanced podcast), and “sound seeing” is the audio recording of a person’s experiences when traveling. Some museums make audio tours available as podcasts, and art students and professors create their own unauthorized and often controversial narrations of famous works.” source
Definition 8 -
“A Pocast is an audio file you create in .mp3 format…Which contains your own radio show or any audio you wish others to have…that you upload along with an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) file to a server (your website for instance)…that your intended listeners download using one of several programs that have been created to retrieve your audio file automatically…so they can listen to it at their convenience on their own iPod or .mp3 player.” source
What Practical Problems Do Podcasts Solve?
Traditional T.V. broadcasts & radio shows exist at only one point in time. Many people want to listen to certain shows but have really busy schedules and cannot always be in front of a T.V. or have access to a radio at the times the shows come on. In the past costs of equipment and broadcasting gear were so expensive that very few individuals were able to participate in media. Only a handful of corporations & networks controled the airwaves frequently blocking competition to independent media or individuals who had something worth saying. The costs were to high and the competition to big for any one individual with limited resources to enter into the conversation.
Podcasts. Avaliable via the internet mostly free to download & pretty darn cheap to make. Computer + Software + Microphone is all you need. You can collect them, listen to them when you want, where you want.
Types of Podcasts
- Audio Podcast - Like a radioshow except you can listen to it where ever & whenever you want for free.
- Video Podcast = Vodcast / Vidcast; Like a TV show but you can watch it anytime & anywhere.
- Podio Books = Podcast Audio Books; Like books on tape, except they are now MP3s instead.
- Podcaster - one who creates podcasts
- Podcasting – the act & art of creating podcasts
- Podcacher - software that enables you to subscribe to podcasts (iTunes & many others)
- Podosphere - refering collectively to all of the podcasts on the web
Podcasts in Plain English
Is this stuff still not making any sense to you at all, listen to blogs explained in plain english by Common Craft.
- Definitions of Podcasts on the Internet
- EPN – What is A Podcast?
- What is A PodCast & How Can I Use One?
- How to Podcast Tutorial – What is a Podcast?
- Podcasting Scout – Podcast Software
- Site Creations – Podcast Software List by OS
- How to Create You Own Podcast – A Step-by-Step Tutorial
- Podcast Alley – A Podcast Directory
- Podcast Pickle – Podcast / Vidcast Directory & Community
- Wikipedia – Podcast