NOTE: You can listen to an audio (podcast) version of this article by clicking on the PLAY icon on the left of the "Podcasts Explained" link just above this line.
Podcasting is the ability to listen to audio files on the Internet. You can listen on your Windows computer, a Macintosh, an MP3 player (such as the Apple iPod), an iPhone, or most any other device capable of listening to audio files. In most cases, listening to a podcast is similar to listening to a radio program: a podcast might be all music or it may be a talk show or even a mixture of both.
The term podcasting comes from the word "iPod" and "broadcasting."
Podcasting has several unique features:
- Podcasts are not plagued by static or other atmospheric noises in the manner of radio broadcasts.
- Podcasts are stored online, and you can listen to them whenever you want. Unlike radio, you do not need to check a “station schedule” and be prepared at a certain date or time. Podcasts are available whenever YOU want them.
- By creating podcasts, one can reach listeners all over the world. Unlike radio stations that typically cover a limited geographic area, anyone can create podcasts that will attract listeners worldwide. For instance, I live in the northeastern part of the United States, and I have created podcasts. I later received comments from listeners in Australia, New Zealand, England, Germany, Sweden, Hong Kong, and Saudi Arabia.