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Podcasting

Wikipedia, on Podcasting

Podcasting is a method of publishing files via the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed and receive new files automatically. It became popular in late 2004, intended largely for downloading audio files onto a portable MP3 player. However, listening to podcasts does not require a portable player and it is not traditional "broadcasting" to a mass audience at a fixed time.

Podcasting is a portmanteau word, combing "broadcasting" with the name of Apple Computer's iPod audio player (although podcasting was not invented by Apple, nor do podcasts require a portable player or Apple software).

View the full Wikipedia entry

A podcast is much like an audio magazine subscription: a subscriber receives regular audio programs delivered via the internet, and she or he can listen to them at her or his leisure.

Podcasts differ from traditional internet audio in two important ways. In the past, listeners have had to either tune in to web radio on a schedule, or they have had to actively download individual files from webpages. Podcasts are more flexible and much easier to get. They can be listened to at any time because a copy is on the listener's computer or portable music player, and they are automatically delivered to subscribers, so no active downloading is required.

How to Produce a Podcast

You have several options when creating a podcast. Your choice should be based upon your production budget, time and experience.

Low cost

Sign up with Audioblogger. It's free, and the easiest choice in terms of podcast production.

Medium cost

STEP 1: Create a Podcast Recording
Create content (speech, music, etc.) using your favorite sound editing program. GarageBand and Audacity are popular options. Save the file as an MP3 and set the ID tag information; this can be done with iTunes (Artist, Genre, Date, Comments, etc.).

STEP 2: Upload your Podcast
You need to be able to upload (sometimes using FTP) your .mp3 file to a host somewhere that will allow downloading of the file using HTTP protocol.
For example: http://www.asu.edu/public/mypodcast.mp3

STEP 3: Post a blog entry or web link that references your Podcast file in an RSS2 enclosure tag
Add a tag that looks like this to your RSS feed:

<enclosure url="http://www.asu.edu/public/mypodcast.mp3" length="5221964" type="audio/mpeg"/>

(length is the size of the file in bytes)

High cost

The high cost option involves the same steps as the medium cost option, but requires more sophisticated equipment. The Digital Media and Instruction Technologies department has used the following equipment in a production environment: