A podcast is a media file such as audio distributed over the Internet. It can be done either through being downloaded like any other file, or to people subscribed to the podcast’s feed.
These files are similar to other media file, and can be played back on portable media players and personal computers. It can mean both the content and the method of syndication like ‘radio’.The method of syndication may also be termed podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster. The term “podcast” is derived from Apple’s portable music player, the iPod.
There are facilities of direct downloading or streaming of the content on podcasters’ web sites but a podcast is distinguished from other digital audio formats. It allows people to choose to subscribe to them, using software capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom.
Video podcast is a term used for the online delivery of video on demand video clip content via Atom or RSS enclosures. The term is an evolution specialized for video. It comes from the generally audio-based podcast and refers to the distribution of video where the RSS feed is used as a non-linear TV channel to which consumers can subscribe using a PC, TV, set-top box, media center or mobile multimedia device.
Technology and History
A video podcast can be distributed as a file or as a stream from a web server. There are advantages and disadvantages of both methods. The user can play the video podcasts offline on, for example, a portable media player by downloading complete video podcasts in advance. With only one download, it can be watched many times. It helps in reducing the bandwidth costs. Streaming allows seeking (skipping portions of the file) without downloading the full video podcast, better statistics and lower bandwidth costs for the servers. however, in case of slow transfer speeds, the users may have to face pauses in playback.
A podcasting client may work with a separate, or integrated player. iTunes is one such example of the latter. It is an unusual case of a web feed aggregator being added to a media player rather than vice versa.
Both publishers and subscribers can be benefited with the channeling of on-demand content. Publishers can still pack up content for their audience. Subscribers can consume content on-demand. No keyboard or mouse interfaces are required to choose channels and items. New episodes show up automatically. For on-the-go (portable media players and mobile phones) and living room mass media consumption, the technology is considered to be ideal.
Uses of podcasting:
Podcasting is a way for news organizations to distribute audio or video as an addition to their existing text news products. For example, Wikinews began to podcast its News Briefs in 2005.
Companies are also using podcasts as a way to distribute their multimedia news to journalists and consumers through companies like MultiVu. In 2006, the online magazine Slate began textcasting articles to their readers, by attaching a written article to a blank audio file and delivering the content to readers through their regular podcasting mechanism.
Podcasting has become a way for youth media organizations, such as Youth Radio. It successfully brings youth perspectives to a wider audience.
Public libraries can podcast local publications free of Copyright, offering spoken word alternatives to the visually impaired. Non-profit organizations like Assistive Media podcast readings of short-format magazine articles for visually impaired readers. Podcasting has also proved very beneficial for law enforcement. The Chicago Police Department has a free video podcast of its half-hour weekly news magazine called “CrimeWatch,” which airs on local TV. It documents community policing (CAPS) success stories.
Podcasting can be categorised as m-learning strategy for teaching and learning. Musselburgh Grammar School pioneered podcast lessons with foreign language audio revision and homework in 2004.The Room 208 Podcast, Radio WillowWeb, and Room 613 Talk are among the other pioneers.
Podcasts have proven beneficial in early elementary education as well. Students in the Write was created for second grade students at Morse Elementary School in Tarrytown, NY in 2005. Teachers noticed significantly increased motivation to write by providing students with an authentic audience. Students’s fluency and listening skills were also found to improve.
Podcasts are also used in academic journal digests.The Society of Critical Care Medicine has a podcast used to update clinicians with summaries of important articles, as well as interviews.
In the U.S., both major political parties make use of various podcasts.
Many religious groups have used podcasting. Many churches produce podcasts of talks and sermons.
Podcasting is also used for computer education.Many video podcasts, such as ScreenCastsOnline, demonstrate how to use software and operating systems.