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Podcasts: What Are They And How Do They Work?

Aug 18, 2007
The new age of technology in which we live, makes it possible for many inventions and discoveries to develop, and one such discovery is Podcasting. Podcasts are files that can be downloaded directly from the internet or that can be accessed via streaming feeds like RSS feeds. The name suggests that you need an iPod to create and receive Podcasts, but you can in actual fact use any device like an MP3 player, or a normal PC. Podcasts were invented so that anyone could create radio broadcasts or video broadcasts. These broadcasts may cover vast categories like comedy, politics, and entertainment, which make the Podcasts great ways to market oneself.

All that people need to do is subscribe to a Podcast feed that you have and they can get regular updates, scenarios, and download every episode that is broadcast. If you want to attract people to your Podcast, you should offer a preview of what the Podcast is about. They can then decide if they enjoy it or not and will subscribe to receive your feeds. The term Podcast was derived from the iPod and broadcast. The name was to show that television and radio shows can be broadcast over a portable device and downloaded whenever you like.

The person who invented and trademarked the Podcasts is an ex MTV employee Adam Curry, but it is not exactly clear as to who came up with idea originally. Podcast can be used for so many important broadcasts now days, and even teachers can send Podcasts to absent students so that they can catch up on any missed lessons. This will help children to grasp certain concepts that might be missed if not present at school. It also saves the teachers from having to teach the lesson all over again for one student.

A Podcast is created when an MP3 file is made and sent to a client or server which can be then converted into an XML format. The Podcast is published through common internet servers and can be uploaded to various blog sites and community areas for people to see. It costs nothing to make or receive Podcasts and can also be described as a visual text message that you receive daily or hourly.

If you are looking to find out any information or enjoy a certain comedian, then you can find them on the various Podcast websites. You can find plenty of downloads on the iTunes website as well as Podcast and Podalley. You can search for many more using a search engine. The Podcasts were created to be educational as well as for pure entertainment value and you can listen to them just like you would listen to music in the car, when going for a jog, or just while relaxing. You can get information on diet tips, healthy ways to exercise, current news, astrology news, independent comedy shows, radio plays, and much more.

In order to receive the Podcast feeds you need to have a type of software on your PC like iTunes for Apple Macintosh and iPodder for Windows XP and 2000. These run in the background whenever you switch your computer on and will continuously update and manage your Podcast downloads and feeds at specified intervals that you set, such as every two hours. You can subscribe to standard feeds that originate from one author, or you can subscribe to receive social feeds which can have multiple Podcasters using them. This will mean that you need to sift through all of the downloaded files to see which ones you like and will want to keep. The best ones can be then stored on your PC or transferred to your portable device to listen to later on.

Podcasting began in late 2000 by Curry and the author of RSS feeds, Dave Winer, and has taken off by storm. People realize that this is the perfect way to become well known and break into the industry of music, comedy, acting, and radio broadcasting. This is all at virtually no cost to people. The world of broadcasting has opened up and talented individuals and groups that have not had the resources or finances to produce their own shows can use this method to reach the masses.

Podcasts will continue to grow as more and more people realize the significance of free broadcasts to just about anything that they want to listen to or watch. The formats that are used are MP3, MP4, text and PDF, and you can use any portable handheld device or your PC to receive the various Podcasts that you subscribe to.
About the Author
Duane Shinn is the author of the popular free 101-week online e-mail newsletter titled "Amazing Secrets Of Exciting Piano Chords & Sizzling Chord Progressions- Intelligent Piano Lessons For Adults Only! " with over 84,400 current subscribers.
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