Podcast

A podcast is a pre-recorded audio program that's posted to a website and is made available for download so people can listen to them on personal computers or mobile devices.[1] Named after Apple's iPod series of MP3 players, podcasts are audio or video files that come out on a regular basis, downloadable, and with a host or theme.

According to the Harvard Multimedia Lab Knowledge Center[2], the basic steps to create podcasts include:

  1. the creation of an audio file (usually in mp3 format)
  2. the association of this file with a piece of xml code, known as an RSS feed. This code enables specially designed software to locate and track new versions or episodes of a particular podcast and therefore keep the user up to date.

History of Podcasting

Podcasting is only possible with the internet, and since the late 90s the internet has progressed rapidly. After the internet was introduced blogging was introduced and it became the latest new thing. Anyone and everyone could write their comments and opinions on every subject from sports, politics and personal entries. Soon after Audio blogging a.k.a Podcasting was introduced and many people started to record themselves speaking and put them up on their blogs as Mp3 files.

However, finding these Mp3 files became difficult, so a "file enclosure" was added to the feed technology by Dave Winer, to help computers locate where to download these Mp3 files. Then Adam Curry created the first 'podcatcher' software, a program that would collect podcasts, it would search for updates, read the file enclosure set up by Dave Winer and go and download these audio files. However without the spread of Mp3 players and files podcasting would have not been so popular. Mp3s allowed audio to be contained in small files then transferred to the internet and saved in tiny devices.

Pros and Cons of Podcasting

Pros

  • Podcasting is convenient especially for those who are very busy. People that are very busy usually miss their favorite shows on television, or on the radio, because their schedules won't allow them to watch or listen to it as they wish. Therefore with podcasting, they can download the files and enjoy it when they have free time.
  • Podcasts can be easily distributed and are easily playable on almost any audio or video tools, for example: ipod. And because of the advance technology we have nowadays, it's an exception if anyone does not have any audio or video technology on them.

Cons

  • Podcasts files can't be easily found. Although there are some search engines online, it's not easy to find a specific program.
  • Podcast programs need a transportation tool, while a lot of people do have mobile devices, not everyone does. Podcasting may not be able to take care of this part of the market, and leading them to look elsewhere to fulfill their entertainment and information needs. It might also cause the problem of copyright, because media transferring through the internet is hard to trace for their origin.
  • Podcast to some people may just be a form of entertainment tool, they may question the credibility of the information they get from there.

Conclusion

Time will tell whether these advantages and disadvantages of this technology will still hold true. As technology and trends shift from one generation to another, the pros and cons of podcasting could increase or lessen.

Examples of Podcasts

This Week in Tech with Leo Laporte
Onion News Network
Ask A Ninja

Philip C., Jonathan Lim, Pui Yu Ng, Roji S.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License