FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Podcasting: The Next Big Thing?

Combine blogging, audio and MP3 players, and you have podcasting... a new way to distribute audio files that could become the next wave in Internet-based communication. The term comes from personal option digital 'casting. Podcasts can be used by musicians to distribute their music, by bloggers who want to try their hand at "talk radio," journalists who want to "publish" interviews, or educators who want to distribute their lectures.

Podcasting is currently in its infancy, with only a handful of podcasters. The engadget blog has a detailed overview and how-to guide for receiving and creating podcasts. The instructions are geared for Mac and iPod users, but they at least provide the general idea.

Here's how it works in a nutshell. Any sound file (spoken word, music, etc.) can be shared with others and uploaded to a PC or an MP3 player (iTunes is especially well suited for this). Audio and video files can also be shared through RSS feeds; most RSS newsreaders aren't designed for multimedia, but the files can be opened up in other programs. iPodder is a Windows-friendly newsreader that supports podcasts (.NET framework required).

Wired, as you might expect, has an excellent overview of the podcasting phenomenon.

Source: Smart Mobs