What is a podcast?
A podcast is either an audio or a video file that you can listen to or watch on the internet or download to a portable player such as an iPod.
The name comes from the 'pod' of iPod, which itself was named for 'portable' and 'on demand', and 'cast' from 'broadcast'.
Features of a podcast
- Can be played using a computer or an MP3 player such as an iPod.
- Podcasts are made by professional organisations such as the BBC and by broadcasting enthusiasts and bloggers.
- Podcasts can be downloaded individually or subscribed to so that each new episode of the podcast is automatically downloaded to the subscriber's computer.
History of podcasting
- The growth of the movement was first recognised in a mainstream way in 2004, and dubbed 'podcasting' in a Guardian article.
- Bloggers wanted to be able to 'speak' to their audience, rather than just write for them.
- Podcasting was a natural result of the need for audio-bloggers to make their output easily available.
Benefits of podcasting
- Allows listeners to keep up with news and developments.
- Allows bloggers to reach new audiences.
- Gives bloggers a relationship with their audience.
- Podcasts are generally free.
Chris Quartermaine is a Digital Unite tutor for Chester, South Wirral and north-east Wales.