Podcast. According to wikipedia.org the word 'Podcasting' is a portmanteau that combines two words: 'iPod' and 'broadcasting.' But really, you don't need an iPod to listen to a podcast, nor do you need any broadcasting capabilities to create one.
In its most common form, a podcast is some sort of audio recording that is uploaded on the internet in order to share it with the world. It could be a talk show. It could be a music broadcast, a church sermon, a poetry reading—anything at all.
Podcasts are something you subscribe to for FREE ( more on that in a moment ) and you can find them all over the internet, covering thousands of subjects. Compared to radio, which is broadcasted in real-time, a podcast isn't live. It's a pre-recorded file waiting somewhere for you to come along and download it.
So how do you get one? Well, you only really need a computer with an internet connection and a program to play the podcast. It's that easy. Do a bit of searching on google.com and you're bound to find a podcast you like. If you have an mp3 playing program ( Winamp is good ) , you're all set.
But what happens if you like two or three podcasts? Or maybe there are a dozen or so you enjoy. That's where a program called an aggregator or podcatcher comes in. The latest version of iTunes supports Podcasts. There's also a free program called iPodder that was created to manage your podcasts. The key to making it all work is in how the podcast is published—via RSS.
RSS stands for 'Really Simple Syndication.' Now stick with me, I promise this won't be too hard to understand. Basically, whenever anyone uploads a podcast, they update their RSS message ( sometimes called RSS feed ) . All you need to do is 'subscribe' to the RSS message by telling iTunes or iPodder to look for them. The aggregator will watch for new messages, and if they see a new episode, they will start downloading it for you automatically.
That's really all there is to it. If you have a portable mp3 player, iPod or otherwise, you can copy the podcast episode to it and take your podcast to go.
Making your own podcast is a little more complicated, but still much easier than you think. There are dozens of websites that will guide you through the process, but it boils down to: 1 ) having a program to record sound and make an mp3, and 2 ) having a place to upload your podcast that is RSS enabled.
So where to start? I highly suggest you begin with podshow.com . There is much content and lots of legal music you can download. indiepodder.org also has some helpful guides to getting started as a consumer or producer of podcasts.
Catch this wave folks. Podcasting really is the next big thing. And for all of you who received mp3 players over the holidays, podcasts are the perfect for filling them.
With you in 4/4,