A podcast is a type of digital media, usually audio, that is available in a series of episodes or parts and is streamed or downloaded by the end user over the Internet. Podcasts can be made available via a release schedule or uploaded to the Web randomly.

The podcast was initially conceived by Apple for delivering musical/audio-based content for the iPod. A podcast can be played from the website directly, or downloaded as an MP3 or similar format to be played on a computer or compatible mobile device. Typically, podcasts are distributed directly by the producer or podcaster, or are syndicated via a content delivery platform. Besides audio, podcasts can now deliver other digital media such as video, e-books and radio broadcasting. Podcasts are used for everything from news and entertainment to education.

What is Podcasting?

  • A form of rich media authoring using audio or video
    • often released episodically and
    • often delivered to subscribers using RSS
  • MP3 format is common for use on mobile devices
  • Like a radio broadcast that is prerecorded and distributed online
  • Like blogging with audio rather than text

The Power of Podcasting

  • Deliver content to any MP3 player, laptop, or desktop computer
    • common players: Windows Media Player, Apple iTunes, RealOne Player
  • Subscriptions allow automatic retrieval of new episodes
  • No FCC regulations like traditional broadcasts
  • Wide variety of content available
  • Low cost and effort required to produce
  • No advertisements

Video:- Podcasting in Plain English: http://www.teachertube.com/video/podcasting-in-plain-english-111958

Delivery methods

  • An audio podcast downloads digital media files to the subscriber’s computer
    • differs from streaming media where content is transmitted in real time to the user
    • podcasts or vodcasts can be distributed using either method
  • Downloads allow users to access content offline, but consume hard drive space
  • Streaming requires reliable transfer speeds


  • A podcatcher, or podcast client, is software that downloads media via an RSS or XML feed
  • Able to download several media types, including MP3.
  • Automatically check podcast feeds and download new items
  • RSS links are commonly offered by authors and can be added to podcatching software

Podcasting software

  • Podomatic
  • Easypodcast
  • Audacity
  • FeedForAll
  • WebPod Studio
  • ePodcast Creator
  • Feeder
  • Podcaster
  • ProfCast
  • iTunes
  • PodBean
  • Hipcast

Podcast tools

  • A computer or mobile device with an internet connection
  • A microphone (external is best) and headset
  • Audio recording and editing software
    • Examples: Audacity and Windows Movie Maker
  • MP3 is the standard podcast file format
  • All-in-one podcasting software also exists

Creating a podcast

  • Set up the hardware equipment
  • Record and edit the podcast
  • Upload the podcast (to a server)
  • Syndicate the podcast (RSS)
  • Validate the podcast feed (test it)
  • Many major blogging platforms allow you to create and distribute your podcasts.

Free Editing software

  • Audacity
  • Garage Band
  • Wavosaur
  • WavePad
  • DJ Audio Editor
  • Power Sound Editor
  • DarkWave Studios
  • Mp3DirectCut
  • Taverso DAW
  • Ardour
  • Quick Time Pro

Planning a podcast

Before creating your podcast, consider the following:

  • Consider the audience are you trying to communicate with as well as their needs and interests.
  • Determine how often you will publish new episodes.
  • Define and develop subject matter content as well as determining its ideal length.
  • Determine ideal media software according to the requirements of the podcast.
  • If using music consider Podsafe music which has been cleared for use in podcasts with no legal problems.

Educational Uses

  • A number of higher educational institutions use podcasts as primary instruction
    • Duke, Michigan, Purdue, Stanford, ASU and UC Berkeley have podcasts available for students
  • Podcasts provide students with flexibility and choice in terms of time and place
  • Students have immediate and permanent access to content

Business Uses

  • Fast and easy marketing to specific audiences.
  • Target new customers, promote products and services, and develop relationships with customers
  • Potential for revenue through advertising/sponsors
  • Facilitate internal communication with employees
  • Can increase business visibility and customer loyalty