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Podcast FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)   Print  E-mail 
Written by Fotomall Staff  
Thursday, 20 October 2005

Podcasting Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is exactly is Podcasting?

A: "Podcasting" combines the words "broadcasting" and "iPod." The term can be misleading since neither podcasting nor listening to podcasts requires an iPod or any portable player. Also podcasting does not involve broadcasting or sending out of audio, since all people need to do is point software to an XML-tagged file to pull it down to their computer or portable device.

Podcasting is a method of publishing audio and video programs via the Internet that lets users subscribe to a feed of new files (usually MP3s).

Q: How does Podcasting work?

A: "Podcasting" refers to audio files that are available online in a format that allows software to automatically detect new files and download them. Technically, this is accomplished using RSS 2.0 news feeds to provide information about a collection of audio files in MP3 format. In common use, podcasting is often used to refer to independent audio shows that can be downloaded from the Internet.

Q: What is so exciting about podcasting?

A: Podcasting allows anyone with a microphone, a computer and an Internet connection publish audio shows that can be listened to by people all over the world. If you have a great idea for a Podcast, you can probably do it. Podcasting is rapidly becoming the most popular way for people share audio shows because it is relatively simple to do. Podcasts are free and can be automatically downloaded to portable media players, so you can listen to them any time you want.

Q: What kinds of shows are available as podcasts?

A: News, sports, photography, audio books, politics, pretty much any subject you can think of. Podcasts are available in many languages as well.

Q: Do I need to have an iPod to listen to podcasts?

A: No. The first podcast clients were designed to subscribe to audio shows, automatically download them and sync them to iPods. As podcasting has evolved, podcast clients have become available that work with most portable digital audio players. Many podcast sites support downloading shows directly from the site, and many directories support playing podcasts directly.

Q: Do I need special software to listen to podcasts?

A: No. Many podcasters and directories let you listen to podcasts as streaming media, directly from the site. Podcasting clients are used to streamline downloading podcasts and copying them to portable media players.

Q: What is RSS?

A: RSS files are text files that contain information about things available on the Internet. For podcasting, RSS files are used to syndicate information about a podcast "channel" (the show as a whole), and also individual podcast episodes. The article Understanding RSS News Feeds discusses how to use them for podcasting.

Q: What can you do with a podcast?

A: A browse through a podcast directory shows the variety of podcasts that are available. Here are just a few things podcasting can be used for:

On-demand versions of radio shows
Personal audio blogs
Audio books
Music shows
Audio tour guides
Educational content that depends on audio (language, music, etc)
Marketing for musicians
Distributing sermons and other religious content
Sports coverage
Distributing/synchronizing audio and video files for business.

Q:  I want to listen to Shutterbug Magazine Radio as a Podcast. How do I do this?

A: Please visit our Podcast page.

Click here to learn how to record internet audio

Last Updated ( Friday, 04 November 2005 )

Fotomall Magazine is a division of Photography for Fun. 2004 All rights reserved.
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