What are Podcasts ?
A series of audio or video content which can be downloaded and listened to/viewed offline (or an episode in that series. A podcast is essentially an asynchronous Internet version of a “broadcast,” but to a very specific audience of willing subscribers. Podcasts are sometimes created to provide stand-alone copies of existing radio or television programming (such as daily/weekly shows), but they may also consist of entirely unique content intended for devoted Web-based subscribers
Although podcasting first found popularity within the techie set, it has since caught on with the general public. Log on to one of several podcast sites on the Web, and you can download content ranging from music to philosophy to sports. Podcasting combines the freedom of blogging with digital audio technology to create an almost endless supply of content. Some say this new technology is democratizing the once corporate-run world of radio.
Does it Cost Me?
Podcasting is a free service that allows Internet users to pull audio files (typically MP3s) from a podcasting Web site to listen to on their computers or personal digital audio players. The term comes from a combination of the words iPod (a personal digital audio player made by Apple) and broadcasting. Even though the term is derived from the iPod, you don’t need an iPod to listen to a them. You can use virtually any portable media player or your computer.
How Do Podcasts Work?
Unlike Internet radio, users don’t have to ‘tune in’ to a particular broadcast. Instead, they download the podcast on demand or subscribe via an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed, which automatically downloads the podcast to their computers. The technology is similar to that used by TiVo, a personal video recorder that lets users set which programs they’d like to record and then automatically records those programs for later viewing.
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