Podcast Episode 3 – What is Podcasting
I’m Bily Foster and I’m “That iPad Guy” called that because I almost always have an iPad and in some cases two.
Today I answer the question, what is podcasting?
So people ask me all the time, what is podcasting? Isn’t it just streaming something from the internet?
Well yes and no. Technically no. But I can understand your confusion. Podcasting consists of actually downloading of a file and then playing it after the file has been downloaded. The file can be audio or video and is typically downloaded into a ‘catcher’. The most popular of these is iTunes and part of where the term became ‘podcasting’ comes from, because it was most often heard on iPods.
Another feature of podcasting is the ability to subscribe to the podcast so when you open up your ‘catching’ software it will check to see if there is a new episode. If there is the software will automatically download it. The catching software will also let you see a list of the past episodes and let you download those so you can catchup. The key part of podcasting is that you are getting a file that you could go then go find to edit, redistribute or do with it what you will. Most commonly it’s then loaded onto a portable media player. This is main difference between streaming and podcasting as podcasting lets your take the content with you off line.
Streaming while still technically downloading a file from the internet requires different tools to provide that stream to the end user. You need server tweaked to provide that data at a much faster rate than your typical webhosting provides. Because what happens is the file starts to download after a certain amount of data has been downloaded the player starts and the download continues to pull the data a little before you see it. Kind of like laying the tracks down while your on the train as it’s rolling forward! So if you don’t have a server providing the file fast enough you get stuttering and skipping. Generally you want to find a service to handle the streaming such as YouTube, Viemo, uStream, LiveStream or something of the sort. I use Viemo to provide the streaming version you see on ThatiPadGuy.com while my hosting provides the podcast file for people who choose to consume the show that way.
A perk to Streaming is the ability to do things LIVE on the internet. Where Podcasts are generally edited and produced into a show. Sometimes you see a hybrid of both for example Twit.TV and GoHarrison both do a show live on the radio, and stream it live on the internet and that also recorded and turned into a podcast.
Podcasts are still mostly audio but more and more people are moving towards doing video podcasting as the tools are getting better and better and make it easier than ever to produce a video podcast. Much like my own.
There are podcasting services such as Podomatic, Blog Talk Radio, and SoundCloud to name a few that offer easy solutions to start a podcast. But I personally like holding onto my content so I’m using WordPress with the PowerPress plugin to help with the podcasting features.
There is just about a podcast for anything you can think of, from the Cat Lovers Podcast, to The all things Medievall Podcast. In my experience most podcasts have been education and informative, others have even been fun, witty and entertaining. There are no limits or real restrictions since this IS the internet but of course you are for the most part putting this out there for the cost of your time and effort.
There are some paid to access podcasts but those are typically shows that already have a following, in general most podcasts are free to download and either have sponsors or a donate option to keep the podcast going.
I firmly believe that in the next few years you’ll see more and more people using podcasts to distribute video content. While there are the outlets like YouTube and Vimeo, I think those are places where people will discover you (as long of course that you post it there) and if they like your stuff they will subscribe to the podcast. Of course in order for that to happen you have to remind people to subscribe!
So on that note, if you’ve just discover “That iPad Guy” be sure to visit “That iPad Guy . Com ” and subscribe!
I have links in the footer that you can click on to subscribe via iTunes, Google Reader or there is the option to grab the RSS feed to load into your favorite catcher. RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication and is the key piece of the puzzle in the art of podcasting. Because it’s that RSS feed that will tell the catching software where to go to get the files. The nice thing about this is that once someone subscribes if you have control over the RSS feed you don’t have to worry about if you change where the files are hosted. So if you’ve been using your own RSS feed and you need to move from one server to another you can just start using the new server or update your feed so that the past files are also pointing to the new server.
I know I’m starting to get a little heady here and that information is more for people interested in creating podcasts, but I feel at least understanding how it works is always good even just as a viewer/listener of podcasts.
Just know that podcasting grows day by day and if there isn’t a podcast on something you are intersted in, you should think about starting one! You never know what might be come of it.
Thanks for watching, and don’t forget to Like or Share this episode on YouTube, Viemo, Facebook or Twitter. And I’ll see ya next week!