A podcast is either an audio or a video file that you can listen to or watch on the internet or download to a portable player such as an iPod.

The name comes from the 'pod' of iPod, which itself was named for 'portable' and 'on demand', and 'cast' from 'broadcast'.

Features of a podcast

  • Can be played using a computer or an MP3 player such as an iPod.
  • Podcasts are made by professional organisations such as the BBC and by broadcasting enthusiasts and bloggers.
  • Podcasts can be downloaded individually or subscribed to so that each new episode of the podcast is automatically downloaded to the subscriber's computer.

History of podcasting

  • The growth of the movement was first recognised in a mainstream way in 2004, and dubbed 'podcasting' in a Guardian article.
  • Bloggers wanted to be able to 'speak' to their audience, rather than just write for them.
  • Podcasting was a natural result of the need for audio-bloggers to make their output easily available.

Benefits of podcasting

  • Allows listeners to keep up with news and developments.
  • Allows bloggers to reach new audiences.
  • Gives bloggers a relationship with their audience.
  • Podcasts are generally free.

Chris Quartermaine is a Digital Unite tutor for Chester, South Wirral and north-east Wales.


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