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Podcasting: an introduction.

Because most people I talk to have relatively no knowledge of what podcasting is, let alone have actually used it, I feel it is pertinent to start by defining what podcasting is.  Wikipedia describes podcasting as “the method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio programs or music videos over the Internet for playback on mobile devices and personal computers.” 

This is done through either RSS or Atom syndication formats.  For the podcasting I do, I use both RSS and ATOM feeds.  They are small files that reference video or audio files on a server.   The great thing about podcasts is that certain programs can read these RSS/ATOM feeds and will automatically download the files to a users computer or portable device.

For instance, I subscribe to Rocketboom, a daily show on “internet news”.  Every morning, the new episode is downloaded to my computer, which is then downloaded to my video IPOD.  I don’t even have to think about it.  It’s there for me to turn on and watch at my convenience.  In that respect it is selective video on demand – even better than TV. 

Podcasting became popular in late 2004, and video podcasting became popular in late 2005, when the Fifth Generation Video iPODs came out. Since then podcasting has become more mainstream.


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