Sunday, April 09, 2006
Podcasters, or people who create podcasts, have Web sites where their content is available for downloading. Can any old Joe start his own podcast? For better or worse, the answer is yes. All a would-be podcaster has to do is put his files on a webserver thats accessible to the public. The file should have a an internet address (URI). Podcast files can be any kind of files, from a PDF to a text file. The files can contain audio or video content. The would-be podcaster begins to create a series of files, creating a feed or list of URIs, so the entries in the series can be easily found and downloaded. Each entry is usually accompanied by a date, a title and some kind of content overview. The podcaster links the file to an identifiable place on the webserver. This place is usually permanent, and its called the feed URI.
The popularity of these informational feeds has grown astronomically since 2004, when podcasting first became popular among bloggers and software developers. Podcasts cover all sorts of subjects, from technology to politics, to art and literature. Apple made podcasting part of its iTunes package in 2005, and last year, Sony Entertainment released a statement saying that its Playstation Portable would be compatible with podcasts.
Now, podcasting has become a part of conventional media. The technology is being used by news stations and newspapers around the world, including The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, the BBC, ABC in Australia, and Sirius satellite radio. The popularity of podcasting is expected to continue to grow, as print media becomes a less vital part of day-to-day communication.