What Is Podcasting: Interesting Facts That You May Not Know
A podcast is one of the many types of digital media, which consists of a series of audio files. These files are available for online streaming or downloading through web syndication. The term “podcast” derived from the combination of the words “pod” and “broadcast”, since portable media players are used in listening to podcasts.
Series of audio or video files are maintained on a distributor’s server. Those who wish to obtain these files utilize a type of application software or a podcatcher. The software allows them to access the web feed, check for updates, and download any files found in the series. Then, the files may be stored on a device or computer for offline use. Users find the convenience in listening to podcasts because there is no need for them to have access to the internet, unlike with webcasting.
Podcasting is a converged digital medium that includes the use of the web, portable media player, and audio. Anyone has the freedom to listen or create content, and no one owns the technology. This feature gives podcasting a distinction from the traditional form of production tools or gate-kept media. Users can consume, produce, and distribute content whenever they want.
How Podcasting Got Its Name
Ben Hammersley first mentioned the term “podcasting” in the February 2004 article, in The Guardian newspaper. While there were other proposed names for this new digital medium, “podcast” has become the popular choice. It was a portmanteau of “broadcasting” and “pod”, which is derived from iPod. The content may be obtained by using either a portable media player or a computer that can play media files.
Some people prefer to call this medium “netcast”, to avoid using a term that is suggestive of iPod. Nevertheless, the more popular term was used in the broader meaning of any real-time media transmission delivered through the internet.
Different Types Of Podcasts
Podcasts come in several variants. For instance, a video podcast or vodcast includes numerous video clips. Television series found in the web are distributed as video podcasts, and users can download these files conveniently.
An enhanced podcast is another variant that can simultaneously display images with audio. It may contain artwork, hyperlinks, and chapter markers. These components are synched to a particular device or program. When this type of podcast is played within a device, it is necessary to display all the appropriate information at the same time in one window. Most schools and business use this form of digital media because of convenience in presenting video clips, slideshows, and lectures.
Podcast novels or serialized audiobooks have a literary format, which combine the concept of an audiobook and podcast. As with a conventional novel, this digital medium is the product of a lengthy literary fiction. The main difference, though, is that the episodes are delivered online. Moreover, the complete novel is available for download. The recorded episodes may be obtained through a blog, website, syndication method, or RSS.
The different types of podcast novels may contain works of new authors that were never printed, as well as seasoned authors that have been creating exemplary narratives for years. There are also classic literary works that users can download anytime they prefer. Just as with audiobooks, a podcast novel may be narrated with different voice actors for each story character. It may also come with sound effects, although some forms may only use a single narrator for the entire story with no special effects.
Reasons For Making Podcasts
Podcasting is a powerful and engaging means of communicating messages to a number of audiences. It is easy to reach users who search for podcasts, and those who plan to subscribe to a particular show. Those who make podcasts intend to deliver a particular content in a series. They also wish to stretch out the content over a length of time.
1. Ease in making podcasts
It is simple to make a podcast, as it only requires minimal equipment and start-up cost. A computer is an essential tool that will allow anyone to begin distributing audio content to different people. In fact, they can reach more people, which they cannot accomplish with the use of a radio transmitter. Individuals from any part of the globe can listen or view the content, as long as they have an internet connection. They can also store the files for future use, even when they are offline.
2. Effective tool in building a community online
Podcasters also intend to build an online community, and they solicit feedback and comments on their featured programs. Some people opt to use groups, forums, and web blogs, so they can communicate with the show’s producers and other listeners.
3. Efficient form of advertising
Small and medium enterprises utilize podcasting, as this is a cheap and efficient manner of advertising to their target market. They can reach the public easily, with a focus on groups of people with specific interests. Large companies may also use podcasts to communicate with their employees, business partners, and their clients.
How Podcasting Is Done
Those who wish to publish any kind of audio file may use podcasting. The following are simple steps on how podcasting may be done:
1. Publishers create their audio content and post it to a web feed in MP3 format.
2. They should publish a newsfeed or RSS feed, which contains the RSS news item with reference to the audio content. The RSS item contains a meta information or description about the file, as well as the audio file’s URL.
3. The end-users can get updates for current versions of the newsfeed. They may use an application such as the iPodder to check for new versions. The software reads through the audio file, identifies the URLs, downloads it, and synchs the file to a portable media player.
4. Lastly, the users listen to the downloaded or “podcasted” file conveniently. Unlike with internet streaming, they can access the podcasts even when they are offline.
Podcasting is a new form of broadcasting in this technology-driven world. This interactive form of digital media engages users to express their thoughts on an audio content. Moreover, it is an effective and inexpensive communication tool, whether it is for entertainment, personal, or business purposes.