What is Podcasting?

Watch or listen to this short presentation on podcasting by Pwop CEO Carl Franklin:


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The word Podcasting describes the technology used to push audio content from websites down to consumers, who then listen on their iPod (hence the "pod") or other mp3 player. Also see the Wikipedia Definition of Podcasting.


Podcasting is not unlike time-shifted video software and devices like TiVo, which let you watch what you want when you want by recording and storing video, except that podcasting is used for audio. I should note, however, that the technology can be used to push any kind of file including software updates, pictures, videos, etc.


Podcasting uses an XML-based technology called RSS, or Real Simple Syndication. Content publishers describe new content in an XML RSS file which includes dates, titles, descriptions, and links to MP3 files. This auto-generated file is called an RSS feed. RSS was invented by Dave Winer, a pioneer in the world of applied XML. The key to making podcasting work with RSS is enclosures, a feature supported by RSS 2.0.


As a consumer, you run an aggregator program on your computer, which lets you subscribe to RSS feeds. These programs will periodically download the RSS files, and check to see if new content is available. If so, the audio files are automatically downloaded to a folder on your hard disk or directly to your mp3 player.


Pwop CEO, Carl Franklin has been publishing .NET Rocks! , an Internet audio talk-show since August 2002, and immediately got on the podcasting bandwagon .NET Rocks! is listed in Adam Curry's list of podcasting pioneers. Read this story from Wired Magazine in which Franklin was quoted about the future of podcasting. You can also read about Pwop in the Wikipedia History of Podcasting.

More links to Pwop in the media here

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