Podcasting 101

Podcasting 101

Podcasting is the concept of distributing a media file by paid or free subscription by way of the Internet. Podcasting uses syndicated feeds and the podcast product is played on either personal computers or mobile devices. The term podcasting is a derivative of the media player iPod created and manufactured by Apple.

What makes podcasting different than various other digital audio formats is the fact that it can be automatically downloaded. To do podcasting, therefore, you’ll need software that is capable of reading feed formats such as the most common RSS (really simple syndication) or Atom.

While the ability to offer podcasting has been around for decades in some form or another, it did’t begin to catch on as a public product until 2004. Internet marketing caused a wave of public interest in podcasting about that time and now it’s grown considerably. And just keeps on growing.

Before the World Wide Web came into being in the 1982 Radio Computing Services (RCS) was the source of music and talk software for radio stations. It was in a digital format. Before the digital distribution went online, the midi format and Multicast Network distributed video and audio files. More was a noted network, multicast, over the Web and used mostly by research institutes and school, although there were talk programs by audio. Around 1995 many jukeboxes and Web sites provided a selecting and sorting system for audio and music files, for announcements and for talks – all in digital format though with variations. A few online sites offer subscriptions to audio services.

When Napster launched, downloading music became massive.

Doc Searls, a technology guru, columnist and blogger started to keep track of how popular podcasting was becoming on the Internet. He did this by tracking how many hits Google got for the term “podcast.” That day there were only 526. In October, the first podcasting search engine launched, and this helped podcasts to communicate with each other. In that same month The New York Times ran an article about podcasting that indicated that podcasting was cropping up in the U.S., Canada, Sweden and Australia. USA Today wrote a how-to piece a few months later, giving readers instructions on how to send and receive podcasts, and listed its Top Ten podcasting directories.

At the same time podcasting networks started to appear, putting podcasters and their Internet offerings together with each other, offer huge marketing possibilities. Now there are podmercials, which allow vendors to market their wares through podcasting. At least one podcasting production company now produces podcasts for its business clients. Podcasting has come into being for those who want to make a buck from audio products sold to the public or want to market their own products through podcasts.