What the Heck is a Podcast?

Podcasts: What Are They?

Technology today is on fire, the ideas are burning from the midnight oil. First we had the WWW, of which most could not fathom this concept: “A Global Village.”

Next popular tool came the now infamous Email programs that has connected the world as one place tied together by one click of a button.

Now we have a new program on tap: Podcasting. So, just what is this that some are talking about, and most haven’t a clue what they are saying?

To keep it in the “KISS” form, I will try and keep it simple…Podcasting is a home radio station broadcast. The term comes, in part, from the iPod and the cast from broadcast. The Podcaster downloads a free program from the Internet, possibly one such as “Audacity” whereby they can edit sound clips. All the hardware needed is a microphone, a computer, and a computer recorder…most come equipped with the recorder in Windows. SomePodcasters are also using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), a computer telephone that one can make long distant calls anywhere in the world for free. People call in to the show in a Q & A format. This recording is edited with music and other such feeds and the final product is uploaded to the Internet as an mp3 file. A one hour file in mp3 format will download in minutes and easily fit onto any mp3 player.

Why bother to podcast?

If you have to ask, you have not listened to a podcast. I personally listen to a few technical podcasts to get computer related information. A group of podcasters have formed a podcasting society on the Internet and are growing fast. Check their shows out at http://www.techpodcasts.com and you will be amazed at the variety of compter online radio shows, with excellent quality and great information.

Another area of podcasting is just emerging online and that is business usage. CBC locked out workers are making their own radio shows in the form of podcasts. These shows are very professional, and to some extent, they are superior to those that were aired on the AM/FM band by CBC. These locked out employees are not restricted by corporate and goverment politics. These X-employees are not restricted in content or programming. A breath of fresh air I must say.

I like to download my favourite podcasts to my mp3 player and listen to my shows while working out, driving the hour drive to our hideaway up north, and for long walks with Sam, our chocolate lab.

You do not have to download the podcasts to listen to them, simply click on the mp3 tag on the website with your audio player on and the shows will automatically begin to play.

And one last note: NO COMMERCIALS TO LISTEN TO ANYMORE…

To check out podcasts go to http://www.podcastalley.com and click the button on the drop down box for Genre. There are topics from Business, to Health and Fitness, to Travel, to General topics and of course Technology.

Enjoy….

greg

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