What is Podcasting?A podcast (or non-streamed webcast) is a series of digital media files (either audio or video) that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication. The word replaced webcast in common vernacular due to the fame of the iPod and its role in the rising popularity and innovation of web feeds.
The mode of delivery differentiates podcasting from other means of accessing media files over the Internet, such as direct download, or streamed webcasting. A list of all the audio or video files currently associated with a given series is maintained centrally on the distributor's server as a web feed, and the listener or viewer employs special client application software known as a podcatcher that can access this web feed, check it for updates, and download any new files in the series. This process can be automated so that new files are downloaded automatically. Files are stored locally on the user's computer or other device ready for offline use, giving simple and convenient access to episodic content. Commonly used audio file formats are Ogg Vorbis and MP3. In many respects, this is closer to traditional publishing models associated with books and magazines (as opposed to radio, which uses a live stream).
Academics at the Community, Journalism & Communication Research group at the University of Texas at Austin in the USA are proposing a four-part definition of a podcast: A podcast is a digital audio or video file that is episodic; downloadable; program-driven, mainly with a host and/or theme; and convenient, usually via an automated feed with computer software.
Internet Radio for your Website?So, you want to be a broadcaster? Great! Lucky for you today's technology allows anyone to do what was once limited to a small percentage of people. Now you can become a broadcaster, you can be the deejay, you can be the Program Director who decides your broadcast to the world - thanks to the Internet.
There are several approaches to creating streaming Internet radio and which one you choose depends on your goals. If you are truly inspired to begin a Internet-based Radio station that operates for the purpose of profit and generating revenue, your path will be different than from the person who just wants to set up a broadcast to simply share his or her CD collection with friends.
There are excellent options for the novice which require very little technical knowledge. If you can create or assemble MP3 files, upload them and choose a few options, you can reach a global audience!