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Podcasting 101

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The World Wide Web is chock full of interesting and unique technological advancements that make life a bit easier. Podcasting is a new technical advancement that has recently become all the rage with computer users. Mixing the words "iPod" and "broadcast" to give this new method of sound file publication a name, podcasting has become exceedingly popular since Apple's iPod and other mp3 players have come onto the scene and worked their way into the pockets of tech savvy individuals. The idea of a podcast may be difficult to grasp, but think of it in terms of a radio program or a magazine subscription for audio purposes. Instead of reading your subscription, you listen to it using specific software.

The technology behinds podcasting is phenomenal and complicated, but can be broken into easy to understand bits so even the most non technical minds can marvel at the process. Audio files must be published to a website in order for individuals to access the files in order to download them on a computer or mp3 player. These devices have a program that can read these files and allow the individual to listen to the files. The same way digital video recorders (such as the ultra popular Tivo) records, transmits, and plays video images, podcasts players record and play audio transmissions. Podcasts are not just songs, they can be any type of audio recordings an individual wishes to hear. There are a great deal of podcasts available for interested individuals to subscribe just as there are a multitude radio stations that broadcast over the airwaves. Countries all over the world actively have podcasts started and are expanding their content. Popular Canadian broadcast show, "Quirks and Quarks" is currently podcast in addition to traditional radio broadcast. Similarly, programs in the United States and the United Kingdom are podcast to a number of happy subscribers.

One of the drawbacks of podcasts is the element of time. Whereas traditional broadcasts take place real time, thus allowing them listener interaction, podcasts are time shifted. Again, like Tivo, individuals can stop, pause, rewind, and fast forward through podcasts; whereas listeners to traditional broadcasts do not have this luxury. Podcasts in general should not be used as a method to contact or provide warning to listeners, as the receiving individual may fast forward over the message or pause the podcast before ever hearing the warning. Additionally, podcasts do not have the luxury of listener interaction since the concept of time does not apply. Even with these downfalls, podcasting is an excellent choice for individuals who wish to use their iPod, computer, or mp3 player to listen to an audio program. Podcasts will become more widespread as the technology and audience advances, so listeners will have greater opportunity to hear whatever it is they desire!

Copyright 2005 by D. L. Randolph. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Looking for information about podcasting? Go to http://www.apodcasting.com. About Podcasting is a Podcast Information Directory and Resource Site which provides a consolidated listing of the best Podcasting sites in one easy to navigate location.



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