The Centre for New Media
  Podcasting in an Educational Context   Section 1  




What does podcasting mean?
The word 'podcasting' is a combination of the words 'broadcasting' and 'iPod'. Podcasting is a means by which audio and video programs can be distributed via the internet by allowing users to subscribe to 'feeds'. These feeds contain details and descriptions of the programs, which are logically displayed for the user, and provide an easy way to download the associated files for users to listen to at their leisure. By using a subscription model the user can regularly check for new content to download to a computer and subsequently upload on to an iPod.

Podcasting has its origins in 2001 when David Winer responded to requests for a way to deliver audio and video using RSS feeds (Really Simple Syndication - explained in 'Example'). This he achieved by expanding the specification of RSS.

The idea of aggregating and syndicating audio files using RSS exploded on to the mass market with the advent of the iPod (popular, portable, audio player manufactured by Apple Computer) and this led to the creation of the terms 'podcast' and 'podcasting'. However, the term podcasting now has a broader meaning as it does not have to involve an iPod.

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