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Everything about Podcasts

written by: Kristina Dems•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/15/2010

Learn everything about podcasts in this article. Podcasting has become a byword among Internet users ever since its advent in 2004.

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    Podcasts

    Learn everything about podcasts with this article. Podcasts are digital media files released periodically and can be accessed for free by downloading from the Internet. The name is a combination of iPod, a popular digital audio player, and broadcasting - although the use of an audio player is not needed in listening to a podcast as any portable media player can play a podcast file. Those who engage in the recording of podcasts are considered as amateur broadcasters who are not subjected to government regulations. The subject of podcasts has great variety; from mundane matters to the extremely silly, given that podcasts are not predicated by ratings.

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    Beginnings

    Dave Winer, a software developer, is credited as the one who began podcasts. His program iPodder allowed him to download radio broadcasts on the Internet to his iPod. The idea was picked up by several other developers, resulting to the immense popularity of podcasts. Today Winer has a show dubbed the Daily Source Code which also happens to be one of the most successful podcasts.

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    Listening

    Everything about podcasts is simple, particularly listening to one. One would have to go to a podcasting website first, click on the link for the podcast, and instantaneously listen right away on the computer. Alternatively, the podcast can be downloaded to the portable media player. Likewise, a person may subscribe to RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds which enable the podcasting software to get updates regularly and pull content automatically that matches the user’s predefined playlist. When the portable media player is docked to the computer, the podcasting software will automatically install updates.

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    Recording

    Those who want to know everything about podcasts should also learn how to record one. First, a person plugs a microphone into a computer and then installs an audio recorder. After creating a recording by talking, singing or recording music, the person saves the audio file to the computer. The file is then uploaded into any podcasting site. Promoting a podcast is also essential for any podcaster so as to get a good number of people to listen to the recording. Several websites like FeedforAll.com can help in advertising a podcast, providing services like eye-catching graphics and even creating of press release to promote the podcast.

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    Audio Formats

    The great thing about podcasts is that it is possible to support various audio files essential for the creation of a podcast. Given the advancements in MP3 technology, many audio files have also been made to support various sizes and streaming audio capabilities. These audio files include Windows Media Audio (WMA), and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC). The wide variety of audio media players like Windows Media Player, Winamp, VLC Media Player and Apple QuickTime also ensure that different audio files are supported and thus can be listened to.

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    Where To Go

    There are many websites which hosts podcasts. The online iTunes Store is one of the more popular purveyors of podcasts. Other online options are The Podcast Directory and The Podcast Network. A simple Google search of a desired podcast and subject matter will result to numerous links to various podcasting sites.