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Podcasting – What is it?

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Podcasting is one of those catch phrases going around today. It’s one of those tech terms you may have heard but don’t quite understand what it is, but you know it’s something new and exciting. Well podcasting, to put it plainly, is broadcast that can be downloaded and consumed at a later time. The broadcast can be either video or audio. They are a great way to get information out to an audience.

Podcasts can be both video and audio. If you look in the iTunes directory you will see versions of both. Audio podcasts range from rebroadcasts of radio programs to people sharing their lives in a personal journal format. Major companies can do Podcasts as can students in a dorm room. As the media grows more and more individuals will be doing them. They are simple to produce and easy to distribute. The days of getting mass distribution is gone with the help if iTunes. It only takes a few minutes to have the podcast distributed in iTunes. Then you can have the whole world as an audience.

Podcasts can be done fairly easy on both a Windows computer and a Mac. While you can use very expensive equipment, you can do a great sound podcast on a budget. I will go into further detail about how to create a podcast in my next post. For the time being, all you need is an audio mixing program, a UBS headset and a computer connected to the internet. Then you can become a podcaster yourself.

Some of the Podcasts I’m subscribed to are the Today Show First hour, NBC News, Playbill Official Podcast and some personal journal podcasts of friends. If you browse through the iTunes directory you will see thousands of podcasts. They range from news, entertainment, society and culture and comedy. Its safe to say if you like a TV shows there will be one if not more podcasts in the directory about it. They can be official podcasts, like for Ugly Betty Hosted by two actors on the show Michael Urie and Becky Newton, or fan based that fans record. The fan based shows are people who love the show, taking time out to talk about it usually with one or two people who enjoy the show. It’s done in fun and is not part of the Networks media promotion of the show. These can be a lot of fun to listen too, since you hear real people talking about the shows.

Podcasts can help in marketing a product. It’s slowly catching on with industries outside the news and entertainment industries. Mostly the podcasts we have seen from news organizations have been rebroadcasts of news programs/stories. While the ones from entertainment has either been behind the scenes features or actors being interviewed and talking about new plot developments. Podcasting has started to filter out to the general business population. AMA Atlanta has recorded events and posted them as podcast, so people who missed the events can hear them. This is also being shown by the new list of colleges posting lectures on iTunes. The service is called iTunesU, where some very well known colleges have posted lectures on just about any topic you would be interested. The best part is they are all free. iTunes has a policy that it doesn’t charge for podcasts. Your only limitation is the amount of time you have to listen to podcast.

I’ll go into more detail about podcasts soon. Topics will include how to do a basic podcast, some innovative marketing through podcasting and current advances in podcasting.

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