In short, podcasting lets everyday users distribute audio files over the Internet for playback any time on computers or digital music players. It is the process of creating an audio show of some sort available in MP3 format via an RSS feed that supports enclosures. Podcasts are designed to include talk shows, tutorials, music, or other audio content.

Hey, give a geek an iPod and what's he going to do? Write a script to automatically fill it with interesting content. Let's say you have a downloadable audio show that you're interested in listening to on a regular basis because it has something with new material each time. In the past you would have to go to the Web site and locate the new download where you'd manually grab the MP3 file and listen to it.

With podcasting, online publishers put together RSS feeds that announce when the file is available. With the right kind of feedreader, you can have the file automatically downloaded as soon as it is released. This way there is only one step: "automatic downloading" in which the software takes the download and copies it into your digital music player (such as an iPod, hence its name "podcasting"). The idea is that if you go to sleep with zero music on your iPod, you can wake up and the new audio files will be waiting for you to listen to them.

Some netizens believe podcasting will revitalize the art of radio. All you need are rudimentary recording tools, free software, and a speedy Internet connection. Like the bloggers before them, podcasters are changing the nature of the medium.

Even some big companies, such as Oracle and IBM, are already using podcasting as a means of disseminating company information, there are questions about the effectiveness of audio-only presentations (especially for selling purposes). Still, as a technology, podcasting is inexpensive and awaits creative niche uses.

For those of you who still don't quite get it, think of it like the desktop aggregator: You can subscribe to a set of feeds, and easily view the new stuff from all of the feeds together, or view each feed separately. Podcasting works the same way, with this exception: Instead of reading the new content on a computer screen, you listen to the new content on an iPod or digital music player.

See also : iPod  Net radio  
NetLingo Classification: Net Technology