What is a Podcast?

Dictionary.com describes a podcast as: “A Web-based audio broadcast via an RSS feed, accessed by subscription over the Internet.” Stuffy! And, besides, that just doesn’t begin to cover it. Podcasts are audio or video shows using software and apps such as iTunes, Juice Receiver and others to automatically download to a computer, cell phones, Internet connected TVs, and more. The podcast can seamlessly be placed (synced) onto a portable media device, such as your iPod.

Now, let’s be clear, uploading your audio or video online is not podcasting. In order to make posted audio and video files a podcast, the right technology needs to be in place to allow automated content downloading and syndication.

With the ability to download new content to your phone or computer, say, while you sleep then by simply syncing it to your phone or media player in the morning, you have fresh content to check out whenever and wherever you are. This is the power of walk-away content: The ability to feed your brain with audio and video content that interests you.

Podcasting uses a process called Really Simple Syndication (RSS). A format or specification of XML used to create feeds for consumption by users. This is also the technology used in subscribing to blogs. RSS is familiar by the orange icon found in web browsers, blog and news sites.

Lots of podcast sites let you to listen or watch right from the website without having to subscribe, download or sync anything. Consuming a few podcasts will help you understand the heart, soul, breadth and depth of podcasting. Blubrry.com is a great place to find, host and maintain podcasts too.

Next: Learn how podcasting works