Back To Basics : What Is A Podcast?

Online Audio Broadcasting

SB-Podcast-Page-BannerIn a fast-paced world and radical transformations in the work-place driven by technology, its important for you to have a concrete understanding of certain technical words that get thrown around, so that you can be ahead of the curve. Podcast & podcasting are new terms used in everyday life, in the workplace, on radio and in online learning arenas, but what does the word really mean?

The word “podcasting” is a word combining the words “broadcasting” and “iPod.” An iPod is essentially  a portable music player produced by Apple Computers If you have not seen one yet, you can look up here. Apple was lucky enough that their brand was wrapped into a term for a new technology much like the Sony Walkman becoming the popular name for a portable radio/cassette player.

Nowadays, podcasting has become a generic word used to define a form of audio broadcasting on the Internet. The reason it became linked with the iPod in name was because people download the broadcasts (audio shows) typically on iTunes to listen to on their iPods. However nowadays you don’t have to listen to podcasts only on iPods; you can use your computer with some music software such as Windows built-in Media Player or iTunes for mac (which has a podcast library), or your smartphone, or even in your car. It really doesn’t matter, as long as you have some way to play music on your computer you will be able to listen to podcasts.

You subscribe to podcasts much like you subscribe to blogs. In fact often podcasts are distributed through a blog and provided your feed reading software handles podcasts you should be able to either instruct your reader to download new podcasts whenever they become available or manually choose which podcasts you want to download by clicking a link to the audio file.

One last thing to know is that podcasts are now mostly used as  a medium for online talk radio or training rather than music. This is mainly because of copyright law. If you broadcast music you don’t have the rights to use then you are taking a risk.

There you have it. So this is a quick definition of podcasts and podcasting. Next time when you come through for training at LGIT and we ask you to subscribe to our podcast then you should know what we will be talking about!

 

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