What Is Podcasting And Rss Files
One of the best ways to share files that you've found online is to download a podcast. A podcast is a way that the creators and/or distributors of content can send their online materials directly to the computer of a subscriber. The subscriber can then view or listen to the content whenever they want to.
Podcasting works because of small files called RSS files, which are located somewhere on a web page. This RSS file is regularly updated, usually through an automatic update, with text and links to new media files that are available to be downloaded.
A podcast client accesses the RSS file from the subscriber's computer. Podcast clients are programs that go online to find RSS files for data that the subscriber has chosen to view. Most podcast clients are available for free, and many different ones are available to suit any unique need.
A download happens when the client downloads and views the file that is being offered at the feed's web site. The client finds links to media files that are included in the RSS file, and then it downloads those files, storing them on a subscriber's computer until the user wants to see them. Podcast files can be comedy shows, music mixes, or radio shows. Subscribers are often able to download parts of regular shows and play them on a home computer.
Downloads can be applied to any kind of file. The RSS file that allows generally audio and video files to be downloaded can also be tailored to apply to any data file. Some experts believe that podcasting may be used to distribute software updates, as well as demonstration programs, and go beyond simply sharing media files. Users would just have to subscribe to a feed with a podcast client. This could be a way to update users about anything.
Many possibilities for file distribution are provided with podcast downloads. This represents a different way of using the Internet by allowing information to come to users, instead of having users actively go out and visit each site. Podcasting could ultimately change how the Internet works. With broadband access becoming faster and more available, content will have a good chance of being delivered directly to a consumer more easily and more quickly than ever before. This approach could mean major changes for the Internet and make the Web even more integrated with the personal lives of its users.
Vox Populi Popular Podcasts On The Net
The overwhelming popularity of portable MP3 players has brought with it all new innovations in using this new technology. The most popular application that has come out recently are podcasts.
Podcasts are the automatic distribution of MP3 files via RSS or XML. With podcasts, a user downloads software and installs it in order to receive their favorite podcasts automatically from the podcast's website. Apple iTunes is an example of a podcast software that can deliver podcasts to your personal computer. The files that are downloaded come in an mp3 format and you can then listen to them in your personal computer or better yet, on your portable MP3 player so you can bring your podcast episodes wherever you go.
Podcasts are like radio programs with one big difference. Anyone can make and distribute their podcasts. This makes it a true populist initiative. Podcasters can rant about their favorite political issue, talk about their CD collections, discuss plot twists in their favorite comic book titles or even advise people about how to make podcasts. The subjects and topics that can be discussed in podcasts are only limited by your imagination.
Just like popular TV or radio shows, there are already podcasts that can be considered as widely popular. Below are some popular podcasts that you should try:
The Onion Radio News - This is a daily podcast that features short news clips from The Onion's 24 hour radio news network. For those who still don't know The Onion, it is an online "news network" that puts a satirical spin on the latest news and political issues.
New York Times Front Page - This is a daily summary of the top headlines of every weekday morning.
X-Play Daily Videogame Podcast - This is another daily podcast that offers gamers the latest gaming news, tips, tricks as well as previews of upcoming games.
Meditation Station - This podcast is aimed at people who are stressed and are seeking to achieve a little focus on their hectic lives. The regular meditations can help you de-stress.
This Week in Tech - This award-winning podcast finds Leo Laporte and other well-known tech luminaries discussing the latest tech trends.
Science Friday - Making Science Radioactive - this weekly podcast discusses the latest news and trends in science, technology, health and the environment.
Ebert & Roeper - Popular film critics Ebert & Roeper review and discuss the merits (or demerits) of the latest movies showing in Hollywood.
Indiefeed: Alternative/Modern Rock - This is a great way of getting great songs from the alternative/modern rock genre. Everyday the podcast features one song that includes information about the artist as well as where to buy the album. This podcast is redefining how music is being delivered to people.
The Catalyst Podcast - This is a community that aims to raise the next generation of leaders and teaches them about the church and culture.
Penn Jillette - The popular and edgy magician airs excerpts of his popular satellite radio show to his fans.
Travel with Rick Steves - This is a weekly hour-long conversation with experts and callers about travel, culture, people and the kind of stories that you only get when you travel.
Podcasting Software 10 Essential Tips
Podcasting has come a long way from its birth in 2003. In a little less than a year after that, Podcasting had become very popular around the world, with more and more information available to everyone. Now, you can hardly find a single person who hasn't at least heard of the word podcast.
More than just looking for podcasts and listening to them, the interesting thing to do for many is to create their own podcasts. There is definitely no lack for information on how to make your own podcast. Podcasting is really quite simple - all you need is you and your material and the right podcasting software. There is a plethora of podcasting software to be found on the internet. Here are some important tips to remember when choosing the one for you.
First you have to get an audio recorder. There are a lot of audio recorders out there. What you need to look for is software that records quality audio. Of course, you have to make sure it runs with your operating system.
Then find a good audio editor. Recordings always need to be edited in order to present the best quality podcast. Some software combine recording and editing features. These kinds of software will make it easier for you.
In choosing your recording and editing software, take note of its output format. Generally, the MP3 format gives you the best compatibility for audio while MPEG is best for video. If the software you choose does not create these types of files, you can make use of conversion software. It is important for your conversion software to be able to compress your file to a manageable size. Smaller file sizes are easier to upload and download.
Before you publish your podcast, make use of playback software. You will be able to listen to your podcast just as subscribers will. This will ensure the quality of your final product.
In choosing podcasting software, you should also check if it creates RSS feeds. Podcasts are found and downloaded by users through RSS feeds. Without this capability, you would have to find your own RSS feed creator.
Perhaps one of the best ways to promote your podcast would be through iTunes. Thus it would be a great plus if your podcasting software created valid iTunes feeds. This way, your podcast would have maximum exposure. More listeners will be able to access your podcast. More potential listeners will find out about your podcast.
In order to upload your podcast, you need a file transfer program. There are certain podcasting software that automatically include this feature. It is beneficial for you to use software offering such functionality.
Without promotion, you might as well publish your podcast. Software that allows listing in podcast directories gives you an edge. Most podcast listeners look for new podcasts in the numerous directories online. Do not allow your podcast to remain unnoticed by missing out on the directories.
The idea of podcasts is to create a series. Updates to your series are part of podcasting. Choose software that will alert multiple directories for updates. This way, you won't have to manually alert each directory you are listed in.
What Are Podcasts And How Can They Help Your Business
So what exactly is a Podcast?
The word Podcast gets thrown around a lot these days but what exactly is a Podcast? Think of a podcast as a radio show that you can subscribe to or download at any time. It may help to think of it kind of like TIVO for audio programs. In fact, a podcast is a web feed of audio or video files placed on the Internet for anyone to subscribe to, or download. Search online and you'll find a range of Podcasts available on nearly every topic imaginable. They range from entertainment focused to educational to business oriented and everywhere in between.
A podcast differs from a simple download in that new content may be automatically delivered. Users need not click into your website for important specials since all of this information may be automatically downloaded. A podcast show consists of a series of individual episodes that you can listen to and view on-line or offline whenever and wherever you want.
While podcasting has been around for about five years now remarkably, the term itself, has only been around since 2004. It's a contraction of IPod (The most popular MP3 player) and broadcasting. However, you don't even have to have an MP3 player to listen to programs. You can 'subscribe' to an entire podcast series using software on your PC or listen to a single episode at a time by using a web browser. Subscribing to a podcast ensures that all new shows are automatically downloaded to your computer as they are published, and even better subscribing is generally free.
If you do happen to have an MP3 player, the next time you sync your device, your podcasts will be downloaded for listening on the go. If you don't want to subscribe, but rather just want a copy of a particular episode, you can just click the "Download" button to save to your hard disk. Once downloaded you can then manage it and play it like you would any other audio file. What distinguishes podcasts from other audio or video media is that the content is accessible to its audience(s) whenever, wherever, and however they want.
What are the business applications of Podcasting?
The podcast is a real advantage for business travelers and salespeople who are constantly on the go. Since they are frequently in transit they can learn about what a company is offering while they travel. They're able to stay in the loop about changes that are occurring in the industry or a particular company while on the way to their next meeting.
Whenever a business wants to change its marketing emphasis, their podcast will change with them. Podcasts enable potential customers to find out more about a particular company and its range of products and service without feeling pressured by a salesperson. Rather, a friendly voice explaining what makes the company unique will better serve to convert a potential client into a customer.
Podcasts also save on manpower. An extensive sales force is typically required to detail a company's newest offers and innovations. With a podcast, visitors click in and are directed to any new information the company wants to present.
The other really great thing about podcasts is that they have an incredibly wide reach. Clients from across the world can access information on companies or products and learn about them in a simple, direct manner at any time, and without having to be tied to a computer.
Especially important is the utilization of pod cast directories which list podcast shows along with the links to their original websites. These directories publicize the available podcasts. Among the more popular of the podcast directories are Yahoo Podcasts, Odeo, Podcast Alley and Podcasting News. When using directories it's important to select genre and content categories that make it easier for listeners to find your podcast. Once you are listed with a directory, you will begin to get visitors from these directories to your website.
In order to encourage visitors to listen your podcast you'll need to start by creating an enticing title that tells them just enough about your product to intrigue them.
More important than having a great title though is having even better content. An outline for your podcast will enable you to be sure you don't lose your audience, and cover all the points you want to hit. How long your podcast will be is directly related to how much news you have to share and the extent to which you can keep that news fresh and exciting. Frequency of updates is also an important issue to address. This will likely depend on the nature of what you're discussing and how quickly things change in that industry.
So to sum up: Podcasts are basically like online radio shows that can be downloaded, or subscribed to. When used effectively they can be a powerful marketing tool for any sort of business.
The History Of Podcasting
What we know as a podcast had its beginnings in the creation of MP3 files that could be downloaded and played on the iPod device developed by Apple Computer. The release of the iPod encouraged people to share their music with others. They then realized that they could create, upload, and download information other than music. Some iPod users reverse engineered the device and loaded various types of firmware or operating system software. Other users decided that they would share sound files to be played on the iPod, since the technology for distributing such files already existed. RSS feeds provide a way to generate machine-readable files, which could then share data between servers and users. Many blogs used RSS to keep their readers up to date on blog posts. Some visionary podcasters realized that they could enclose links to sound files inside the RSS feed and download these files to a computer.
The iPod podcast became increasingly popular as this change in RSS feeds was implemented. Podcasting became a common way to share files, and users began to view podcasting as a way to become, essentially, radio-show hosts or DJs. Then software was developed that would automatically check the RSS feeds, extract links to podcast episodes, and download the files. This software is called a podcast client.
By the time all this was happening, podcasting had expanded far beyond Apple's iPod device. Developers had even discovered ways to use PlayStation Portable gaming systems as a podcast player. While this was more difficult than downloading a podcast to an iPod because of PSP's different file format, more PSP podcasts began appearing on the Internet. Podcasting also expanded into use by individuals who didn't have iPods, but who viewed podcasting as a very convenient technology for receiving news, music, and entertainment over the Internet.
Now, iPod podcasting remains in use, but fewer people subscribe to podcasts in order to get portable media files. This still represents an attractive feature of podcasting, but it is overshadowed by the use of podcasting as a content delivery system. Podcasting is currently associated with a large and growing number of audio and video blogs, for example. With these offerings, content is not delivered via posting, but through media files that are uploaded to the blog. These types of blogs, and podcasting in general, benefit from the constantly decreasing cost of broadband Internet connections and the growing number of people who have high-speed access to rich online content that includes multimedia files.
Podcasting Let The Experiments Begin
As you know podcasting is simply an audio file that is placed on a website. If it is combined with an RSS file - people can subscribe to your feed, and listen to your words of wisdom at their leisure. This is a good thing, it is getting your words - your voice - your identity to the masses.
Podcasting - Getting Started
Publishing your podcast is simple as well - look to Blogger, TypePad, and then use Feedburner to convert your podcast into a feed.
Simple Way to Make A Podcast
The simpliest way to get setup and to start experimenting with your own podcasting- is to simply get a microphone and of course, free software from Audacity.
Okay, as we all know, not many are comfortable with hearing their own voice - but hey, it's your voice - and the voice allows your listeners to know that, yes, I am a real human, and not a machine.
Once done, you will need to upload your podcast onto your server. The only limitations I see would be how much, or little space, you have on your server- as well as the bandwidth usage.
Submitting your Podcast to Feeds
To get your podcast out to the masses, you will need to hit the directories that cater to podcasting. Well, one of the quickest way to get this done, is through Feedburner. Just check the "Podcasting button" and you will be directed to a page with all the information you need. In fact, they have a site called "PingShot" that will automatically notify the directories and web-based aggregators when you publish new content - I mention this one, because it is free. No sense, paying for something if you are in the experimental mode, right? But . . .
There is still a learning curve here, and you will need to take a little time to devour some of the info on the different sites to get the information you want, as well as, how to use it. But it looks like podcasting is now the in thing. Will it last? I think it may. But it looks like the next, new and great thing coming to the Internet is the Video Casts. The only thing I see that may keep some from partaking in this media is the bandwidth and storage. But we will see.
Business Resource Business Related Podcasts
Among the many genres or types of podcasts there are some that are have moved beyond the entertainment or plain informational aspect of podcasting (which was very prevalent during its very early years). These new genres have a far more loftier aim - to inform AND help people. There is a whole new wave of podcasts that have adopted this goal and they run the gamut of topics from technology, science, economics, even home improvement. But by far, the podcast type that is seems to be experiencing a massive push in popularity among podcast fans are business podcasts.
Business podcasts are still in its infancy but when it comes to popularity it is considered as one of the most popular on the internet. There may be many reasons why business podcasts have achieved such a high level of popularity in such a short time. One very important reason is that most people (be it "casual" podcast listeners or more experienced businessmen) have a fascination on how to handle a business correctly. Most people have a belief that operating a business is a very hard task and they need all the help they can get in order to make their business run smoothly and successfully. And if they can get that information from business experts then all the better.
Another reason why business podcasts are quite popular is because of the need for self-improvement. There are people who think that since they will be investing some time listening to podcasts then it may as well be about something that will improve themselves personally or professionally.
Business podcasts are also entering the marketing mix of most companies and online businesses. Business owners and marketing professionals have realized that business podcasts are a great way to drum up attention for a business. A podcast about a business' core market gives the impression that the business is a prime mover in the industry and a source of credible information. This will definitely increase the corporate equity of the business.
Some of the most popular business related podcasts on the internet right now include:
B-EYE-Network - Solution Spotlights - This podcast are all about one on one interviews conducted with some of the top software company executives in different sectors of the industry. The interviews usually revolve around the insights these executives give with regards to products, business and industry trends. The interviewees are considered as some of the most recognized experts and leaders in the industry.
Knowledge@Wharton - this podcast is actually the online research and business analysis journal of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. This program was launched in order to help bring out the knowledge and information that the school possesses to a wider audience.
Manager Tool - this is a very helpful weekly podcast that aims to give listeners the information, tips and advice in order for them to become more effective leaders and managers. Every week, a new tool or technique is discussed in depth so that listeners can be aided in achieving their management objectives.
A Brief History Of Podcasting
Ever wonder about the evolution of the podcast? While podcasting is a comparatively young technology it still has a rather fascinating albeit brief history. The background of the word, "podcast" is quite fascinating and is reflective of the dynamic nature of the Internet community.
Podcasting is a term that was only coined in 2004, combining two words: iPod and broadcasting. Ironically, this definition is somewhat of a misnomer since neither component is completely accurate. Neither podcasting nor listening to podcasts requires an iPod or other portable player. In fact, podcasts can be listened to on any mp3 enabled device including a desktop computer. The name association came about simply because Apple Computer's iPod was the best-selling portable digital audio player when podcasting began. What's more, no over-the-air broadcasting is required either.
Even the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary jumped on the podcasting bandwagon by declaring "podcasting" word of the year for 2005. The term was defined as "a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player." The word will be added to the online version of the dictionary during their next update.
The term, podcasting was coined by journalist, Ben Hammersley, and then popularized by former MTV VJ and media entrepreneur, Adam Curry. Mr. Curry created an Applescript application that automated the process of downloading and syncing audio files to iPods.
Other names or alternative interpretations of the letters, "P-O-D" were proposed, the most popular of which was "Personal On Demand". Technology writer, Doc Searls came up with this phrase back in September, 2004. Terms such as "audio-blogging", audio magazines" and "web-casting" have also been offered to describe this unique form of media distribution.
Other "pod"-derived phrases include "podcasters" (those who create podcasts) and "podcatchers" - the special RSS aggregators which periodically check for and download new content automatically. Podcatching software enables the user to copy podcasts to portable music & video players.
The popularity of podcasting is spreading like wildfire because of the rapid adoption of MP3 players and the desire of consumers to have fresh content. Podcasting has flourished because it gives people more control over what they listen to, and the freedom to take their programs with them with them.
Not since blogging has a technology seemed so unexpected and been so quickly and widely adopted as podcasting. Growth in this nascent industry is expected to accelerate quickly due to the rapid acceptance of the technology by the radio broadcast industry in 2005 and Apple's iTunes distribution. The rising popularity of podcasts is challenging conventional radio's broadcasting model.
While iTunes is less than two years old, roughly 4.8 million people downloaded a podcast in 2005, as compared with just over 800,000 in 2004. And 11.4 million listeners are expected this year, according to research from The Diffusion Group. Already the Apple iTunes service offers 15,000 podcasts and listeners have signed up for more than 7 million subscriptions.
A study by Bridge Ratings in November 2005 with radio listeners in ten national markets showed that approximately 20% of users who have ever downloaded and listened to a podcast do soon a weekly basis. This group downloads an average of six podcasts per week and spends approximately four hours a month listening to the podcasts they download.
This study projected even more dramatic growth in the industry in the future. According to Bridge Ratings, by 2010, podcast audience growth is expected to reach a conservative 45 million users who will have ever listened to a podcast. Aggressive estimates place this number closer to 75 million by this date.
How does this affect you?
With podcast listening rising exponentially, podcasts offer you a very powerful tool for promoting your products or services. The great thing about podcasts is that they are relatively easy and inexpensive to create. Podcasting can help ensure a closer relationship with your target audiences by providing them with engaging, informative and frequent updates about the goings on in your industry. If you have a website then there's no reason you shouldn't have a podcast available as it's not difficult to set up and can bring a significant increase in traffic to your site. So in short podcasting should be a vital component of any online marketing campaign.
Is Your Business Ready For Podcasting
Everyone seems to be making and listening to podcasts nowadays. At the beginning, podcasting seemed to be associated with the so called computer geeks. These days however, it is not uncommon to see podcasts from businesses and corporations trying to widen their horizons and get a hold of a larger market. As podcasts inherently surpasses the limits of traditional broadcasting and advertising, they present a feasible alternative to businesses as a means of making their presence felt all over the world.
Could podcasts possibly be what your business needs? In order to help you answer that question, it may be helpful to first understand what a podcast can do for your business. The most obvious thing would be promotion. A podcast can serve to promote your business just like advertisements do. This application in itself covers a wide range of possibilities. You can do virtually anything on a podcast to promote your business. Diverting from the usual advertisements, you can use most any content and format to promote your business. One such example would be to offer in-depth information to your customers. They need not be overtly self-promoting but the whole effect would be to make the consumers aware of your business. If you are an educational institution for example, you may give weekly tips to students or to parents. For medical-related business, podcasts may focus on different health issues. In this way, you not only promote your business but you also provide a service to your customers. What better way to advertise your services?
An internal application of podcasting is for training. Podcasts are fast becoming a viable alternative for companies to provide training and information to their employees. Business executives often have a huge amount of work to be done at such a short period of time. With podcasts, they have a more portable way of perusing information. All you need to provide is an MP3 player (a laptop would work just as well) and anyone in your company can have access to training materials and other documents anywhere, anytime.
Of course, as with most any other commercial endeavour, using podcasts for your business will cost you some money. You need people to create podcasts on a regular basis. These people would have to know some of the technical aspects of recording and podcasting. Then you need your talents - people who would actually be recorded for the podcasts. You will have to analyze the cost benefit relationship before deciding to start a podcast for your business.
There are some ways to offset the cost of creating a podcast. If you are making podcasts for your customers, you may opt to charge a small fee for each download. You can also choose to provide a subscription service wherein the listener will receive the podcasts in their emails regularly for a fee. Of course, this might be not be the best option as people prefer not having to pay for podcasts.
Whatever you decide to do, the bottom line is to create podcasts that will serve their purpose. Be it for consumer awareness, added customer service, or employee training, your podcasts should have relevant content packaged in an appropriate manner. Even if you shell out money for this project, the returns may be more than what you expect!
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