The technology of podcasting allows you to publish media (audio or video) that people can consume on the Web and subscribe to to get automatic updates. Think of podcasting as a digital video recorder for the Web. As a podcaster, you make content available that people can get how they want, when they want. All anyone really needs to consume podcasts are a computer and an Internet (preferably high speed) connection.
This is what I tell my parents. If podcasting existed before the Internet, you would have to subscribe to a podcast the same way you would subscribe to a magazine. Now imagine not having to check the mailbox for today’s issue. With the Internet, your subscription to a podcast is instant, and the delivery of new audio/video episodes occurs as soon as it is available. All you have to do is go to your computer and the latest audio/video recordings you’re subscribed to are sitting right there ready to be played. And if you have a portable media player connected to your computer, the audio/video would be automatically copied to it as well. You could play the audio/video sitting at your computer or take your portable media player and listen/watch on your way to work or the store. This whole automated process is what we call podcasting.
Why the name podcast?
The word podcast derives its name from the iPod manufactured by Apple Incorporated. Podcasts and podcasting did not originate from Apple and does not require owning an iPod to listen/view podcasts. Apple added podcasting support to their iTunes software in the summer of 2005, which then allowed iPod users to consume podcasts as easily, if not easier, than other mp3 players at the time.