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Monday, March 3, 2008

Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

Everywhere you turn online these days you hear the word "podcast"
or "podcasting." No, it's not some broadcasting method used by
Martians, even though it might sound like it. A Podcast is just
an audio file that is syndicated via an RSS feed, that you
download and listen to with your computer or a portable device
such as an iPod.

What makes it different from an ordinary RSS feed is the audio
component included in the "enclosure field." Think of it as a
feed that talks to you.

Podcasting is increasing in popularity. According to Forrester
Research, by 2010 podcasting should have about 12.3 million
listeners. That's a pretty big audience.

Similar to a talk radio show, podcasts can also take the format
of an interview. Topics range from business to hobbies; even
rants and obsessions. Lengths vary, but a typical podcast will
run anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, but I have seen some longer.
So far, there are not many music podcasts due to the red tape
and cost of music licensing -- although musicians and/or small
record labels bypass that issue by utilizing their own

Before you think you need some special device to listen to a
podcast, let me assure you that you don't. Most RSS readers
have the capability built in to play podcasts. Any software that
can play a sound file can play a podcast. If you want to take
them with you to listen to while on the road you'll want to
invest in a portable MP3 device like an iPod.

Like other RSS feeds, you decide which ones you want to
subscribe to and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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