October 12, 2004


Podcasting is an emergent phenomenon in the blogosphere. Springboarding from RSS, MP3 and Apple’s iPod, podcasting is blogging in talk radio format. One need not own an iPod to participate, however.

So what’s a Podcast? To put it simply, a Podcast is an audio file, a MP3, most likely, in talk show format, along with a way to subscribe to the show and have it automatically delivered to your iPod when you plug in to iTunes. The show isn’t live, so you can listen to it whenever you want.
Doc Searls is credited with coining the term, or at least formalizing it.
The key virtue of traditional radio is its immediacy: the fact that it’s live. They key virtue of this new breed of radio is that it’s Net-native. That is, it’s archived in a way that can be listened to at the convenience of the listener, and (this is key) that it can be linked to by others, and enclosed in an RSS feed.

… .

What matters is that all the standards we’re working with here are open. They’re the new and growing infrastructure for a new class of ‘casting. It won’t replace old-fashioned broadcasting, just as FM didn’t replace AM, and TV didn’t replace radio. And it’s not narrowcasting, which is conceived as broadcasting for fewer people. It’s podcasting. I’ll create an acronym for it: Personal Option Digital ‘casting.

Engadget has a great HOWTO for would-be podcasters or listeners.