As RSS and feeds started to become more accepted into mainstream use (with still a while to go) the techie types needed a new media format to chaw on. And we got podcasting!
Let’s say you love listening to BBC World News online. You listen to it every morning and again at night to get the updates before you go to bed at night. But each time, you have to go out to the BBC website and click to download the latest audio file.
- What if your computer could always have the most recent broadcast on your computer at any time?
- What if it periodically checked to see if there was a new audio file and then quietly downloaded it until you were ready to read it?
- What if it even put the most recent audio file on your iPod or other MP3 player?
Podcasting takes the ‘customized newspaper’ idea that got everyone excited about RSS and feeds and transfers it to radio – your own customized radio channel. Along with the customization comes the ‘anyone anywhere’ element. Like blog publishing, podcasting allows you to easily distribute audio content easily and instantly.
The pod part is what makes everybody drool but you really don’t have to have an iPod to listen to a podcast. Here’s a diagram I cooked up – blow holes in it so I can spice it up: