What is Podcasting - Introduction
An article defining podcasting, explaining how to obtain podcasts, and resources for further exploration.
Why are podcasts so popular?
Do I need an iPod?
How does a podcast differ from streaming audio?
What makes a podcast different than a radio program?
How can I listen to podcasts?
Where can I find podcasts?
How do I create a podcast?
These are some of the questions you might be asking if, like many people, you are confused about podcasting.
To boil it down, a podcast is simply an audio file created along with some computer code that enables the file to be downloaded to your computer.Introduction
That’s it. At its core, a podcast is just a computer audio file.
2005 may well be known as the Year of the Podcast. In a surprisingly short amount of time, the terms “podcast” and “podcasting” have burst upon our media landscape with remarkable intensity. It seems everywhere you turn these days, whether it is the website of the local newspaper, national public radio stations, or your next-door neighbor, everybody seems to be offering podcasts.
It helps to think of a podcast as a radio show delivered to your computer. Like a radio show, podcasts often consist of episodes released on a regular, periodic basis or can be special, one-time events. Unlike radio, where you are limited to what the broadcaster is providing in your reception area, podcasts enable you to reach out across the geographic-boundlessness of the Internet and choose what you want to listen to, when you want to listen to it, and how you want to listen to it. Also unlike broadcast radio, podcasting can use a subscription model, enabling you to have your favorite shows automatically delivered to your computer. In this manner, podcasting has been likened to TiVo for the Internet.
As websites seemed to blossom everywhere overnight, in much the same way so have podcasts. Because the technology behind podcasting is relatively simple, distribution of podcasts has become a sensation. Podcasts provide traditional media another outlet for distribution and, like blogs, have also posed a populist alternative to corporate-controlled content.
This article will provide an introduction to podcasting, offer some ways to get you started, give you a look into the Next Big Thing (“vodcasting,” or “screencasting”), and point you to resources for further exploration.
A follow-up seminar presentation entitled, "If You Can Teach, You Can Podcast," explores implications for instruction and creating podcasts for your own distribution.