How Podcasting Works

It has been said that in October of 2004 a Google search
returned less than 6,000 results for the term “podcasting”.
Today, a similar search yields more than 857,000 results.
Like the blogging phenomenon, podcasting has come out of
nowhere and attracted an enthusiastic following.

While some traditional radio talk shows have begun providing
podcasts of their regularly-scheduled broadcasts, the bulk
of the podcasts that have cropped up tend to be independent
broadcasters who have a fascination with technology. As a
result, some podcasts are a little rough around the edges.
Nonetheless, it is clear that the technology provides a
significant opportunity and potential. Even nay-sayers
believe that podcasting is more than a passing fad.

Podcasting is RSS that is used to syndicate and distribute
audio files. Podcasting contains an audio file in the RSS
feed’s enclosure tag. An enclosure tag is used in RSS feeds
to include certain types of files. The file contained in an
enclosure tag can be: an image, a data file, a video file,
or an audio file. Podcasting specifically refers to RSS
feeds that contain audio files in their enclosure tag. The
RSS version that currently supports enclosure tags is RSS
version 2.0. All podcasts are currently created using this

The benefit to podcasting is the fact that users can sync
content with their media player and listen at a time and a
place of their choosing: radio on demand. And while this
technology is not limited to music, it seems to be the area
that has received the most attention.

Podcasting is generally inexpensive to implement. Investment
in a good quality microphone will ensure that the recording
is audible. Depending on knowledge and experience, some
podcasters invest in audio conversion, compression and audio
editing software applications. Also, web space bandwith and
software to create the feed for the podcast is needed. All
in all, the initial expense is relatively small.

Publishing Podcasts

In three simple steps, independent broadcasters can have
their voice heard:

1. Publishers create audio content, posting it on a website
for listeners.

2. Create or edit an existing RSS feed including a link to
the audio file in the “enclosure” field of an RSS 2.0 feed,
uploading it to a website.

3. Tell the world that a podcast is available.

Listen to Podcasts

In three simple steps web surfers can listen to podcasts:

1. Download a news aggregator or RSS reader that supports
podcasting or sync a wireless device like an iPod with your

2. Enter the URL of the podcast feed into the news
aggregator or podcast management software.

3. As new items appear in the aggregator, review the
podcast’s description and listen to those that are of

As popularity increases it is likely many voices will be
drowned out, but for now, an independent broadcaster with a
microphone and unlimited bandwith can make a name, create an
image and change the world.

Useful Tools for Podcasting:

Create podcast feed –

News aggregator supporting podcasts – or

See also Podcasting Tools –

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage a wireless text messaging software company.