Like the blogging phenomenon, podcasting is now growing in popularity. It is a new twist and an exciting innovation of the digital media. So, what is podcasting? Podcasting is a method of publishing sound files such as audio programs or music video over the Internet for playback on personal computer, mobile devices or via an MP3 player. It is similar to broadcasting where the radio hosts or deejay create the files and publish them to the web and users will be able to download the file to the computer by using a special software. Podcasting is distributed by using RSS protocol.
The term podcasting is derived from a combination of two words, 'iPod' and 'broadcasting'. However, to create and listen to a podcast, an Ipod is not needed, whereas it can be listened to on any device capable of playing the media files.
Podcasting allows users to catch up on audio content online or offline collected from a variety of sources. With podcasting, users can decide what program they want to receive and when they want to listen to it. In contrast, broadcasting only uses one source of a time and the time of broadcasting needed to be specified. Streaming files do not need time restriction but the user needs to be connected to the internet while playing the files whereas podcasting has the ability to aggregate program from a variety of sources and can be used for offline listening.
Steps to make and receive podcasts:
Create audio content
This can be any kind of audio content, like spoken commentary, news, presentations, music or language lessons and others. The content is then saved in the digital audio file and the file format should be able to be read by any of the popular portable digital audio devices, for example MP3 player.
Post and announce audio content online
In this part, websites or blog can help to access to a server where the audio files can be stored. After the audio file has been compressed, the file can be uploaded to the server and attached it to a weblog posting.
Download and listen to the audio file
Through a podcast directory or blog, users will get to know a new audio file which have been posted and that file can be downloaded by the user and store it on their MP3 player.