Script for Sample Audio

Podcasting is a method of publishing audio and video programs via the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed of new files (usually MP3s). It became popular in late 2004, largely due to automatic downloading of audio on to portable players or personal computers.

Podcasting enables independent producers to create self–published, syndicated “radio shows”, and gives broadcast radio programs a new distribution method. Listeners may subscribe to feeds using “podcatching” software (a type of aggregator), which periodically checks for and downloads new content automatically.

However, since computer jargon is frequently misused, the word “Podcast” is frequently used to describe the posting of any link to a media–player–compatible audio file (typically MP3) on a website. Some radio personalities post MP3 versions of their shows daily, and even though these are simple download links, they are nonetheless typically referred to as “Podcasts”.

Most podcatching software enables the user to copy podcasts to portable music players. Any digital audio player or computer with audio–playing software can play podcasts. From the earliest RSS–enclosure tests, feeds have been used to deliver video files as well as audio. By 2005 some aggregators and mobile devices could receive and play video, but the “podcast” name remained most associated with audio.

“Podcasting” combines the words “broadcasting” and “iPod”. The term can be misleading since neither podcasting nor listening to podcasts requires an iPod or any portable player. Also podcasting does not involve broadcasting or sending out of audio, since citizens need to point software to XML–tagged file to pull it down to their computer or portable device.

Aware of that misleading association from the beginning, some writers have suggested alternative names or reinterpretations of the letters “p-o-d”, without winning much of a following. One little–used alternative is “blogcasting”, which implies content based on, or similar in format to, blogs. Another is “audioblogging”.