What is a Podcast

what is a podcast and why it's becoming such a popular media?
This is an easy to understand podcast definition in everyday terms.

Imagine getting new “radio”-style talk and music shows to listen to on your iPod or other MP3 player every day. You wake up and automatically have new shows ready to listen to each day. This is the podcast listening experience.

Not only that, but anyone can create his or her own “radio”-style show and broadcast it to the world in very little time and at very little cost. All you need is a computer, a mic and the internet.

Break Free from the Same Old Stale Radio Content
and Choose to Listen to What Interests You

Broadcast Corporate radio is getting old. The same songs get played over and over until you're sick of them. A few large companies have control of the formats and what gets played. There is no variety.

With podcasts you don’t have to wait to hear something that interests you. You choose what you want to listen to. There are now thousands of podcasts and the number is growing rapidly.

Podcasting has leveled the playing field. Anyone with something to say and a desire to say it can create a podcast and publish it to the world.

Podcasters (as they are called) are not restricted by the traditional broadcast formats and regulations. This allows for numerous subjects and formats.

Podcasting is an escape from the same old, corporate conglomerate, worn-out, pre-programmed, blah blah blah radio. Podcasting has personality and variety that run-of-the-mill radio does not.

What is a Podcast?

The word podcast is a play on the word broadcast combined with the word Pod (Point of Delivery). Any mp3 player is a point of delivery for media content. The iPod is most popular because Apple Inc. were the first company to create legal music downloads and make it easy to transfer this music to portable devices (through the iTunes service)

You do not have to have an iPod to listen to a podcast. You can listen to podcasts on anything that plays MP3s. Once the podcast is downloaded, it's just an MP3.

The Podcast Revolution:
You Can Create or Listen to Whatever
Kind of Audio Content You Can Imagine.

Anyone can create a podcast. All over the world, people are creating podcasts on subjects ranging from movies, to technology, to music, to politics and whatever else you can think of. This is new original content made by passionate people who want to share their creativity with the world.

The cost to start podcasting is so low that anyone can do it. Most podcasters are everyday people. They could be talking to you driving in their car, sitting in their living room or speaking at a conference. You get to glimpse into their life and into their interests.

Podcasters are creating very raw and real content and listeners are responding.

Some podcasts are “talk show” style. Others introduce you to the latest bands and music. With podcasts you can stay current on the news, get a glimpse into someone’s life, listen to move reviews etc etc.

Most podcasts are made by people who are very passionate about their subject.

In addition, many major media outlets are also now offering podcasts. Large corporate companies and networks are now offering their own form of podcasts, to entice an audience back to their content or service.

What Makes Podcasts Different
and So Popular to Listen to?

What sets podcasts apart is that they can be automatically downloaded to your computer and synced to your MP3 player without you lifting a finger. You can wake up each morning with new shows on your MP3 player ready to listen to.

At the core a podcast is an audio file that is automatically received from the internet and then synced to your MP3 player. The files are received by subscribing to what's called a podcast feed. Sometimes you also hear this called an RSS feed.

The same kind of feed is used to deliver podcast shows to your computer. You don’t need to know how the feed works to subscribe. You just need to know that you can subscribe to a podcast feed to get the latest shows when they are released.

You don’t have to remember to check for new shows. You don’t have to download it. It's done for you.

You can think of a podcast as being like a magazine because you subscribe to it and receive new content regularly.

How do you subscribe to a podcast?

Using iTunes, you can search for podcasts on any topic, and click the ‘subscribe’ button. The content then, will be regularly downloaded to your computer.

You Can Subscribe to as Many as You Want.
Just because podcasts are free does not mean that they are not quality. Granted, there are some podcasts that will make you cringe because the content and audio stink. But there are a lot of podcasters out there who are passionate about what they do and make quality shows even though they are free to listen to.

Podcasting has become a big buzz word on the web and in the media. New services for listening to and creating podcasts are constantly popping up. This industry is seeing very exciting growth.

There are three main types of podcasts:

1. AUDIO PODCAST – these consist of AUDIO ONLY content, usually an mp3 file that can be quickly downloaded to your itunes library

2. ENHANCED AUDIO PODCAST – These consist of AUDIO content, with screen shot slides attached to the audio, to add a visual element. Similar to a powerpoint slideshow, that follows the audio.

3. VIDEO PODCAST – (vidcast) – These consist of VIDEO footage mixed with audio to complete a small movie, that presents the topic of interest in exciting and creative ways. They could be animations, documentary style videos, or mini movies. Anything goes.