What is Podcasting?
by S. Housley
Podcasting is quickly becoming a buzz word among the techie
crowd. So what is podcasting, anyway? Podcasting is online audio
content that is delivered via an RSS feed. Many people liken
podcasting to radio on demand. However, in reality, podcasting
gives far more options in terms of content and programming than
radio does. In addition, with Podcasting, listeners can determine
the time and the place, meaning they decide what programming
they want to receive and when they want to listen to it.
Listeners can retain audio archives to listen to at their leisure.
While blogs have turned many bloggers into journalists, podcasting
has the potential to turn podcasters into radio personalities.
Podcasting can be used for:
1. Self-Guided Walking Tours - Informational content.
2. Music - Band promotional clips and interviews.
3. Talk Shows - Industry or organizational news, investor news,
sportscasts, news coverage and commentaries.
4. Training - Instructional informational materials.
5. Story - Story telling for children or the visually-impaired.
Podcasting is the syndication of audio files using RSS. Podcasting
works the same as a standard RSS feed reader or news aggregator,
the only difference is that the feed you subscribe to contains
an audio file in it. Instead of reading content in your RSS
feed reader or aggregator, you can listen to the contents of
your feed using a reader or aggregator that supports podcasting,
or you can listen to them on an iPod or similar device. While
podcasting was named for the iPod, you do not have to have an
iPod to listen to a podcast. Podcasts can be displayed on websites
with clickable links to audio files and many of the standard
RSS readers, like FeedDemon's latest beta, have begun supporting
The audio file that makes the feed a podcast rather than a standard
RSS feed is contained in the 'enclosure' tag. The easiest way
to think of this is as an e-mail attachment.
Although the "enclosure" tag is not new to RSS feeds
and has been included in the RSS v2.0 specification for about
four years, podcasting has only really been around since August
Webmasters are finding creative ways to provide media-rich content.
The syndication aspect and potential increase in audience size
are an attractive lure. Listeners benefit from podcasting because,
like RSS, podcasting is a means to publish content that ultimately
gives the recipient the control over the information they want
to see or hear.
Podcasting Resources -
Podcasting Tools - http://www.podcasting-tools.com
Podcast Alley - http://www.podcastalley.com
PodcastBunker - http://www.podcastbunker.com
Podcasting News - http://www.podcastingnews.com
It will be interesting to see how this publishing medium develops.
Currently, only the technical crowd has endorsed podcasting
as a new audio medium, but the potential is real and the process
is not overly complex. With a little time I think this field
will develop and prosper.
About the Author
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts.
In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net
a wireless text messaging software company.