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What Makes Podcasting Different

Written By: Mahmood Bashaash

When the signs of a new technology for developing web content appeared, nobody was aware about its growth speed. Now, after months, the podcasting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting) is going to be more and more popular and new publishers are developing content, based on this technology. They have found this method intuitive and attractive to clients. But regardless of the fascinating aspects of multimedia content, what other options make the podcasting different than other methods of providing and publishing content? Here, I have listed five major differences. Perhaps, at the time that you read this article, as this technology is going to be more mature day by day, new reasons could be added to my list. I leave it to the readers interests to search for new options.

  1. In spite of other known methods of delivering content which are mostly based on Push technology, the podcasting is based on pull technology. In push technology, the content is delivered, directed from the source to the consumer. The consumer has no control over it. For example, when a radio channel starts at a specific time, follows based on a predefined and fixed program and ends at a specific time, the consumer has no chance or permission to alter any part of it. If you lose a part of the program, you wont be able to re-listen to it. You can not rewind it, stop it and think a while about the subject then re-play it. This is push technology. But, if you could have control of the flow of the content, it would be pull. The consumer selects the content and controls it. Podcasting is a kind of pull technology. You download selected content and use it based on your own desire and full control over the flow of content.
  2. However there are many notifying and automatic content syndication utilities, but you should always surf different websites for different content. This is your responsibility, as the consumer of the content, to go and visit the source of the content, on a website. But podcasting removes this step. Just one time, for ever, you choose your desire radio channel, news feed, poet channel or else. Then the aggregation software would be responsible to deliver the most recent casts right in your mobile MP3 player. After a while, you would even forget the address of websites and just listening to the downloaded up to date content would be your daily fashion.
  3. Internet connection is not that much easy to be available every time and every where. So, using web contents would be impossible in many cases. When you are driving, climbing, resting and walking in the morning, you would be deprived of having access to web content. No web log, no web surfing, no radio channel and else. But, the downloaded podcasts are available in the MP3 player which could be accessible to you in different occasions and places, making casts ready to use. No laptop and phone line to connect to the Internet is needed. No clean place to sit and use your PC for surfing the web sites is required. Everything is loaded in your tiny MP3 player which is able to play hours without any need to electricity plugged.
  4. The device for using podcasts is a tiny, every time and everywhere available MP3 player. The iPod is a brand which is owned by Apple company. It is why this technology is called Podcasting. The Pod is derived from iPod and cast from Broadcast. The iPod is not the only MP3 device that could be used. There are numerous providers of MP3 player devices that the consumer could use for listening to podcasts. These small devices are mobile. Consume very low energy to work. They are light and small. They are not expensive and are available with different capacities. MP3 players are very popular and you can see many people in the street that have hung them over their neck and are listening to the music. They are now part of the daily life. It makes the penetration ratio of the podcasts deeper than other type of contents that are basically dependant of having a PC, or laptop and Internet connection.
  5. Possibility of developing podcasts is high. It is cheap and easy to develop. From very professional radio channel owners to amateur poets who have little audiences among their school friends would be able to easily develop podcasts. Just a personal computer with very basic multimedia capabilities, like, microphone input, audio output and software to record voice, combine with background music and convert to low quality and small size MP3 format. Then you need just a FTP account for uploading the MP3s. A very basic knowledge about RSS 2.0 standards is also required. For this last option, you can use current available feeds and alter them for your own needs. I just started using this method, as learning RSS 2.0 needs times. I copied an already created RSS file and edited it based on my own needs and it worked without having enough knowledge. To download your podcasts, the consumer should install very basic aggregator software, one like iPodder (http://ipodder.sourceforge.net) which is free. And finally a MP3 player software like iTune (http://www.itune.com) or Microsoft Media Player which is already installed on Windows operating systems.

Podcasting, like web logging, is rapidly growing and every day, new podcasts in different fields, from poetry to technology, from training to radio channels are being created and published on the Internet. There are special directories and websites that index podcasts and podcasting websites. You can start from one of these directories and reach hundreds and thousands available and known podcasts on the Internet. One of these directories is http://www.podcast.net which has categorized podcasts in a directory structure. It could be a good start point for your adventure.

About The Author

Mahmood Bashaash is the owner of SGNetway (http://www.sgnetway.com) company which is focused on developing web sites and web applications. SGNetway is specialized on managing outsourced projects and uses Microsoft .Net platform with C# to develop complicated web applications and web services. Mahmood Bashaash is the author of www.MahmoodB.com and www.appliedmarketingtips.com websites focused on Internet marketing tips and tricks. To access his articles, visit: http://www.mahmoodb.com. His native language is Persian and his web site is totally in Persian language.

mahmoodb@sgnetway.com

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