What is podcast and how does it work?

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what is podcast

I am sure most of you must have come across the word “podcast” but many of us still does not know what is podcast. In this article I will discuss what is podcast and how does it work.

Technical Definition: In technical word a podcast is a digital audio file made available for download through RSS 2.0 feed. The web address of the media file is included in the RSS 2.0 feed within the enclosure tag in the XML file. The media file can be of any type. But most of the aggregator recognize only some of the media files. Mostly podcast is either of audio or video type or both audio and video type. Podcast are of non-streamed video or audio.

With the podcast you can get variety of music songs videos and can fill your mp3 player for free. You can subscribe to a podcast service and can listen to or watch what you want. Podcast are generally made in a series wise or episode wise but you can still download the old series or episode of a podcast even if the episode is over. You can imagine podcast as a very stylish and advanced radio on your mp3 player or mobile device. It is like you wake up from your sleep and your news podcast is available to you for watching or listening. Any one who wants to say something can create their podcast and publish to the internet world and within minutes it will be available to the world. You can listen to any podcast with your normal mp3 player which support mp3 file format, once the podcast is downloaded it will be available as mp3 file.

How podcast is different than other services

I am sure you are still thinking that already available sites are there from where you can download videos and mp3 songs so where is the difference between this podcast and other services. Yes same question I was also having when first I heard about podcast. Lets see how is it different.

Podcasts are automatically delivered to the targeted device or computer, you need not do anything to download a podcast. Podcast are automatically downloaded to your computer and if your mobile device or mp3 player is synced with your computer it will be loaded to your device. This automatic delivery makes podcast different than other services and hence podcast become so popular.

Podcast automatically updates the content of your mp3 player with new podcasts. Once you synced with the podcasting service you need not do anything even you need not check for the latest updates, all that happens is automatically. 

How does podcasting work?

Podcasts are fed through RSS 2.0 feed. Video or audio files are embedded into the RSS 2.0 feed and uploaded to the podcasting web site.This RSS feed contains the web address of the media file(mp3 or video file). Whenever any user subscribes to the podcasting service they automatically gets the latest podcasts from the website its like you subscribe to a RSS feed and automatically get the latest contents from a news website. To subscribe to a podcast service you need a software called podcast aggregator or podcatcher. Using this software you subscribe to a podcast service. This software regularly checks for the new feeds just like an RSS reader. Podcasting was made so popular by popular iTunes.

In my upcoming articles I will discuss about How you can setup your own podcasting service easily. So stay tuned for the latest updates about podcast.


+Ayodhyanath Guru holds a B.Tech degree in Electrical Engineering and has worked with various prestigious clients in the IT industry and presently working as a Software Engineer. He is a part time blogger and presently authors the Jafaloo.Com blog. Being a tech enthusiast Guru likes to surf the web and blogs about interesting technical topics like How-To guides, freewares, Tutorials, Software, Gadgets, web applications etc. Apart from blogging he likes coding in Java/J2EE and PHP.

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