Introduction to podcasting
"Podcasting" (a contraction of the words "iPod" and "broadcasting") is a technology for distributing multimedia (audio or video) using an RSS or Atom feed.
What is podcasting?
Unlike traditional methods of sending out audio or video, where the distributor sends streaming data to multiple listeners, the concept of podcasting involves subscribing to a podcast which points to one or several multimedia files and then downloading those files. The user must therefore synchronize his or her podcast player on a regular basis in order to get the newest content. Thus, the distributing site no longer pushes content on users; rather, the users come get the multimedia content when they synchronize their players. This distinction is sometimes constrasted as "pushing" content vs. "pulling" it.
Advantages of podcasting
With podcasting, artists or news providers, whether they are professionals or amateurs, have an easy way of distributing their creations by allowing their site to be placed on a podcast feed. For the podcaster (the podcast user), it is possible to easily subscribe to several multimedia sources and save them offline so that they may be played later, such as while riding a bus or train. Furthermore, podcast players sometimes allow files from different podcasts to be synchronized with their MP3 player. That way, the podcast reader automatically receives all new content distributed on the podcasts which the user subscribes to and transfers it to the MP3 player so that it can be enjoyed offline.
- Juice, a podcast and RSS reader for Windows