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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An RSS feed icon, commonly used to indicate the Web feed for a podcast

A podcast is a series of digital media files (either audio or video) that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication.

The mode of delivery differentiates podcasting from other means of accessing media files over the Internet, such as direct download, or streamed webcasting. A list of all the audio or video files currently associated with a given series is maintained centrally on the distributor's server as a web feed, and the listener or viewer employs special client application software known as a podcatcher that can access this web feed, check it for updates, and download any new files in the series. This process can be automated so that new files are downloaded automatically. Files are stored locally on the user's computer or other device ready for offline use, giving simple and convenient access to episodic content.[1][2] Commonly used audio file formats are Ogg Vorbis and MP3.

Academics at the Community, Journalism & Communication Research group at the University of Texas at Austin in the USA are proposing a four-part definition of a podcast: A podcast is a digital audio or video file that is episodic; downloadable; programme-driven, mainly with a host and/or theme; and convenient, usually via an automated feed with computer software.[3]



The term "podcasting" was first mentioned by Jeff Ben Hammersley in The Guardian newspaper in a February 2004 article, along with other proposed names for the new medium.[4] It is a portmanteau of the words "pod"—derived from iPod, a brand of portable media player produced by Apple Computer (now Apple),—and "broadcasting".[2] The name may be misleading, as despite the etymology it has never been necessary to use an iPod, or, indeed, any other form of portable media player, to use podcasts; the content can be accessed using any computer that can play media files.[5] Use of the term "podcast" predates the addition of native support for podcasting to the iPod, or to Apple's iTunes software.[6] To avoid a term suggestive of "iPod", some use the term netcast instead of podcast, such as the podcaster Leo Laporte.[7] A backronym has been posited where podcast stands for "Personal On Demand broadCAST".[8][9][10]


Podcasting began to catch hold with the public in late 2004, though during the 1998–2001 dot-com era there were multiple "podcasts" done by major companies, such as Real Networks and[citation needed] Many individuals and groups contributed to the emergence and popularity of podcasts.


The logo used by Apple to represent Podcasting

Trademark applications

On February 10, 2005, Shae Spencer Management LLC of Fairport, New York filed a trademark application to register PODCAST for an "online prerecorded radio program over the internet". On September 9, 2005, the United States Patent and Trademark Office rejected the application, citing Wikipedia's podcast entry as describing the history of the term. The company amended their application in March, 2006, but the USPTO rejected the amended application as not sufficiently differentiated from the original. In November, 2006, the application was marked as abandoned. [11]

As of September 20, 2005, known trademarks that attempted to capitalize on podcast include: Podcast Realty, GuidePod, PodGizmo, Pod-Casting, MyPod, Podvertiser, Podango, ePodcast, PodCabin, Podcaster, PodShop, PodKitchen, Podgram, GodPod and Podcast.[12] By February 2007, there had been 24 attempts to register trademarks containing the word "PODCAST" in United States, but only "PODCAST READY" from Podcast Ready, Inc. was approved.[13]

Apple trademark protections

On September 26, 2006, it was reported that Apple Computer started to crack down on businesses using the acronym "POD", in product and company names. Apple sent a cease-and-desist order that week to Podcast Ready, Inc., which markets an application known as "myPodder".[14] Lawyers for Apple contended that the term "pod" has been used by the public to refer to Apple's music player so extensively that it falls under Apple's trademark cover.[15] It was speculated that such activity was part of a bigger campaign for Apple to expand the scope of its existing iPod trademark, which included trademarking "IPODCAST", "IPOD", and "POD".[16] On November 16, 2006, Apple Trademark Department returned a letter claiming Apple does not object to third party usage of "podcast" to refer to podcasting services and that Apple does not license the term(s).[17]

See also


  1. ^ "Podcast Production". President and Fellows of Harvard College. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  2. ^ a b "Oxford University Press | Podcast". Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  3. ^ Gil de Zúñiga, H., Veenstra, A., Vraga, E., and Shah, D. (2010) 'Digital Democracy: Reimagining Pathways to Political Participation', Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 7: 1, 36 - 51
  4. ^ Ben Hammersley: "Audible revolution", The Guardian, 12 February 2004.
  5. ^ "What is PodCasting?". 2005-06-09. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  6. ^ "Apple adds podcasting to iTunes". 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  7. ^ "A Cast By Any Other Name...". 2006-09-22. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  8. ^ "Common Craft's video "Podcasting in Plain English"". 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  9. ^ "Creative's definition of the term podcasting". Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  10. ^ "Podcasting dictionary". Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  11. ^ "Podcast trademark rejection". USPTO. 2006-01-06. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  12. ^ Podcast Trademark Gold {PTG} Rush
  13. ^ "List of US podcast trademarks". Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  14. ^ "Podcast Ready Cease and Desist". Podcast Ready<!. Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  15. ^ Shaun Nichols in California. "Apple cracks down on use of the word 'pod'". Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  16. ^ Podcast Trademark Controversy [Updated]
  17. ^ Apple letter.

External links

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Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From Wikiversity

Figure 1. Steps in podcasting. Digital media files are created and made available to the internet using a file server. Audience members with internet access can find the podcast files using special software for reading podcast feeds and download the desired media files. A popular feature of podcasts is that they can be easily off-loaded from full-sized PCs to portable media players.

Welcome to the Wikiversity learning project for podcasting.

The term Podcast is most often used to refer to audio, but video and other media formats can also be distributed as podcasts. Regardless of the types of media transmitted, the common element of podcasting is use of a Web feed to make a list of digital files available to an audience. Audience members can use specialized software applications, web feed readers, to search for and view podcasts.

This learning project helps participants learn how to access existing podcasts and handle the digital media that you download from podcasts, create digital files that can be included in podcasts and make your own podcasts.


Digital media used in podcasts

There are a few digital media file types that are most commonly used in podcasts. In addition to emphasizing popular file types (such as MP3 audio), the discussion of file types (below) is guided by the biases of the Free Culture movement. Some file types are patented and in the past some patent holders have charged fees for the use of patented file types. In other cases, the details of a file format are kept secret, limiting the availability of software that can use the file format and allowing a company to sell compatible software at monopoly prices.

Some digital media file types are freely available for use without patents or other trade restrictions. Of particular interest are digital video file formats. The only video format allowed for upload to Wikimedia Foundation projects is the Ogg file format which is an Open source format. Software to allow you to play Ogg format audio and video files can be obtained at Xiph.Org Foundation website. Wikipedia maintains Help pages for the Ogg file format.

In addition to audio and video, other media types such as Portable Document Format (PDF) can be delivered by podcasting. For example, Wikinews has offered a PDF podcast.

Making digital media files for podcasts

Creating Ogg videos

To allow as many people to play video content as possible, it should be encoded into the open-source Theora format. The following are instructions on how to do so:

Mac OS X instructions


This will not work on any Intel Mac, because ffmpeg2theora is not available in a Universal Binary (Note: version 17 says it is universal, but I get "Illegal instruction" when trying to use ffmpeg2theora on an Intel iMac). You should either follow these instructions on any G3, G4 or G5-based Macintosh, or use either Boot Camp or Parallels Workstation to convert the video under Microsoft Windows.

  1. Create the video that you would like to put online, using whatever software you would normally use. When you've finished, export the video.
  2. Download the free converter StreamClip, and open the file you wish to convert to Theora. Click the Play button to ensure that it plays correctly.
  3. Select "Export to Quicktime" from the File menu.
  4. In the new window, select "Sorenson Video 3 Compressor" from the Compression drop-down menu, and drag the Quality slider all the way to the right (100%). Ensure that Sound is set to "Uncompressed".
  5. Click "Make movie".
  6. Download ffmpeg2theora universal binary from here. Double click on the .zip file, which will extract the .pkg file. Double click on the .pkg file to install it. This will install a command-line application that can only be invoked from a Terminal window, using parameters. See (note on using the ffmpeg2theora command line application)
  7. Open up the Terminal application, which can be found in the Utilities folder in Applications (you can jump there by typing apple-shift-U from within the Finder). A few lines of text should appear, the last of which should say something like "davids-ibook-g4:~ username$".
  8. To test the installation was succesful, type "/usr/local/bin/ffmpeg2theora" (without quotes) and ENTER. You should see something similar to (this).
  9. Press the up arrow to bring back the last command, and go to the end of the line.
  10. Now, press the spacebar once to add a space, and copy and paste the following text into the Terminal window, without the quotes: "-o outputfilename.ogg -V 512 -K 48 -A 64 -c 2 -H 44100". Note: "-V 512 -K 48 -A 64 -c 2 -H 44100" are specifications for properties of the movie such as video and audio data rates. You do not need to specify these values; the default values are often fine.
  11. Add a space to the end of that line
  12. Finally, drag the video file that you created earlier onto the Terminal window. The text should now look something like this: "davids-ibook-g4:~ username$ /Users/dweeb/Desktop/ffmpeg2theora -o outputfilename.ogg -V 512 -K 48 -A 64 -c 2 -H 44100 /Users/dweeb/Desktop/Editing\"
  13. Press return. The video will now be converted into a file with the name outputfilename.ogg and in the same folder as the original file (not for may have to search for it), but with the .ogg extension. It can be played using either VLC or MPlayer OS X.
  • Tip: If you have problems synchronizing the audio and video try using --sync
  • Note: With version 0.1.7 of the XiphQT QuickTime package, you can use iMovie to make ogg format videos. This may be all you need for some things, but there are very few controls. In iMovie, file menu, share, compress for setting to expert, then click share. If you set the export option to "movie to ogg" then it seems to only make a 720 x 480 pixel movie. I could not get a sharp image for fine text in screencasts. Other types of video and the audio seems good with the default settings.


See also

Tools for creating internet content
See also: Digital media workshop - Related discussion: Free content

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also podcast



  • IPA: /ˈpɔtkaːst/


Podcast m. (genitive Podcasts, plural Podcasts)

  1. podcast

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