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Podcasting: The New Killer Application?
New technology allows people to receive audio on demand 24/7
Roberto Spiezio (seong)     Print Article 
Published 2005-06-15 09:58 (KST)   
iPodder, one of the many podcast aggregators
©2005 R. Spiezio

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For audio technology, the 1990s were years of great innovation and excitement. They were the years of the creation and widespread dissemination of the MP3 audio format, a compression system that allows people to enjoy their favorite music in a remarkably small space on their devices -- therefore giving them the opportunity of including more audio files in their playlists, and without a noticeable loss of quality.

It was said that MP3s would change the way of conceiving music distribution, and at the same time threaten the music industry and its survival. The former has surely happened: Millions of people every day load onto their MP3 players -- whether in their cars or at home, or onto their smartphones -- dozens and dozens of songs, making MP3 a de facto standard in the music industry.

Taiwan's electronic industry, for example, shipped 40 million portable MP3 players last year alone, while this year an increase of 10 million units is predicted. (Source: Computex)

At the dawn of the 21st century, new technologies are trying to make their way through the preferences of consumers and the general public: Podcasting is one of them.

Resources For Podcasters



Everything About Podcasting

Podcasting News


Radio Stations with Podcasts
Podcasting is a method of publishing audio files over the Internet, habitually using the MP3 audio format and allowing users to receive new files automatically on their computers as soon as they are released by a certain source.

Users can get these audio files using so-called "aggregators," such as the famous Doppler and iPodder, software that periodically checks for and downloads onto the computer new content that can then be synchronized to the user's portable media player.

This way, whether you are stuck in the office while your boss is telling you off, or are climbing up Mount Mudeung with a crowd of overenthusiastic tourists, you won't miss your favorite show anymore.

Normally, the podcasting service is offered for free by several radio stations all over the world, and the perception that it's a growing phenomenon is given by the larger and larger number of such services springing up nowadays, for example, Podcast.net, which offers a searchable podcast directory sorted by topic.

In the United States, Lafayette College, National Public Radio and some of its associate stations offer shows delivered via podcasting. In the United Kingdom, both the BBC and Virgin Radio provide such a service, as well as some Canadian and Australian broadcasters, among others.

Even politics has discovered the marvel and potential of podcasting, which can reach countless people -- and electors -- via their computers and portable media players, if California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been releasing podcasts of his weekly radio addresses since June 4. (Source: California Office of the Governor)

I have tried the BBC podcasting service -- currently still under testing -- over the past few weeks, and the overall impression is good. There is not a large choice of audio files yet, but I could receive the latest content related to the program of my choice and listen at a later time without the interruptions due to the high traffic over the Internet at certain hours of the day.

Will podcasting be the new killer application after the MP3 audio format? I don't have a definitive answer, but the attention the new and old media are paying to it is a clear signal of the growing importance of this service.

Did You Know...?

Origin of the Word Podcasting

One of the first uses of the term "podcasting" was in an article in The Guardian on Feb. 12, 2004. In September of that year, Dannie Gregoire used the term to describe the automatic download and synchronization idea that Adam Curry had developed. Gregoire had also registered multiple domain names associated with podcasting. That usage was discovered and reported on by Curry and Dave Slusher of the Evil Genius Chronicles website.


MP3 is a popular digital audio encoding and lossy compression format. It was designed to greatly reduce the amount of data (10:1 compression is common) required to represent audio, yet still sound like a faithful reproduction of the original uncompressed audio to most listeners. In popular usage, MP3 also refers to files of sound or music recordings stored in the MP3 format on computers. / Wikipedia
Schwarzenegger's Podcast

©2005 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Roberto Spiezio

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