This is the beginning of a new series for Careers in New Media, “New Media Vocabulary.” Here I will try to make sense of some of the New Media terms that get tossed about, but which might be confusing to those new to the New Media world. — Douglas
New Media Vocabulary: Podcast
Here is my definition of a podcast…
A radio or television-like show, consisting of audio or video, that is delivered directly to a subscribers computer or mobile device over the Internet. While podcasts can be consumed directly from a web browser, podcasting provides a mechanism, the RSS feed, which allows software such as Apple’s iTunes to “subscribe” to a show and download new episodes automatically as soon as they are released. These downloaded media files can then be moved to a mobile player, such as an iPod or iPhone automatically and are available wherever and whenever the subscriber wishes. Despite the name, Podcast, they do not require an Apple device to consume them. While Apple devices make consumption easier, the podcast files can be moved onto and viewed on any number of media players.
It is the subscription and download model which I think makes podcasting so powerful. Once downloaded, subscribers can watch or listen no matter where they are, without an active connection to the Internet. The automatic delivery feature also makes it as easy as possible for the subscriber to receive new shows without any extra effort on their part.
While other New Media services support a subscription model, such as YouTube, viewing video from YouTube requires an active Internet connection of sufficient speed and quality to watch. Users also cannot download shows to create a local archive or listen when “off the Internet Grid.”
For more definitions of podcasting, see…
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