is a series of digital-media files which are distributed over the
Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable
media players and computers. The term podcast, like broadcast,
can refer either to the series of content itself or to the method by
which it is syndicated; the latter is also called podcasting. The
host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster.
The term is a portmanteau of the words "iPod" and "broadcast" the Apple iPod being the brand of portable media player for which the first podcasting scripts were developed. These scripts allowed podcasts to be automatically transferred to a mobile device after they are downloaded.
Though podcaster's web sites may also offer direct download or streaming of their content, a podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added, using an aggregator or feed reader capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom.
PUBLISHED BY KEN DUNN - DUNWAY ENTERPRISES
Podcast downloads are a wonderful new online way to share files. A podcast is a way to send files from a distributor's online site directly to the subscribers computer, where they can view them whenever they wish.
A podcast works by having a small file called an RSS file placed somewhere on the podcaster's web page. This RSS file is updated regularily, usually automatically with text and links to new media files available for downloading. The RSS file is then accessed by the podcast client of the subscriber's computer.
A podcast client is a small program that goes online to look for the RSS files that the feed subscribers wish to view. There are many podcast clients available for every conceivable need, and most are free to download and use.
The podcast download will be done when the podcast client downloads and views the file from the feed's website. After finding the links to the media files embedded in the RSS file, it will download those files and store them on the computer, allowing the user to view them whenever and as many times as they wish.
The podcast files may be of many things. There are comedy shows done by people who enjoy creating and writing a regular show, but aren't able to do it as a business. Some podcasts are music mixes, an mp3 file that subscribers can play.
Even some radio shows are getting into podcasting, allowing subscribers to download portions of their shows from the internet in podcast form and play them on their home computer.
Podcast downloads could conceiveably be applied to any type of file. The RSS files that allow the mainly audio and video files now used in podcasting to be downloaded can be customized to enclose almost any type of file.
This has led some analysts to believe that podcasting could eventually be used to distribute software updates, demonstration programs, and many other types of files, moving beyond the simple use of podcasting to share media files. All that would be neccessary would be for the users to subscribe to the feed with their podcast client. They could then stay regularily updated for nearly anything.
Podcast downloads offer many different possibilities for distribution of files across the internet. Because it is a different mode of using the internet, allowing the data to come to the user rather than the user having to visit each site they enjoy, podcasting has the possibility of changing the way the internet works.
Content can be given directly to the individual, easily and ever more quickly as broadband use spreads. This means that what the internet is will change drastically. The web changes from something connected to in order to be used to something that is integrated and connected with our personal life.
Podcasting Articles: Index
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