The word podcast is used to refer to a non-musical audio or video broadcast that is distributed over the Internet. What differentiates a podcast from regular streaming audio or video is that the delivery method for podcasts is often done automatically through RSS.
In 2005, "podcast" was named the "word of the year" by New Oxford American Dictionary and with the growth of podcasting over the last few years, it's easy to see why.
Podcasts take many forms, from short 1-10 minutes commentaries to much longer in person interviews or panel group discussions. There’s a podcast out there for just about every interest area and the best part about this technology is that you don’t have to have an iPod or a MP3 player to access them. Since podcasts use the MP3 file format, you really just need a PC with headphones or a speaker.
iTunes, the free downloadable application created by Apple is the directory finding service most associated with podcasts, but if you don’t have iTunes installed there are still plenty of options.
For this discovery exercise participants are asked to take a look at some popular podcast directory tools. Do some exploring on your own and locate a podcast that is of interest to you. Once found, you can easily pull the RSS feed into your Bloglines account as well, so that when new casts become available you’ll be automatically notified of their existence.
Video: Podcasting in Plain English
There are many, many podcast directories and finding tools out there. Some require you to download software in order to use. Here is a brief list:
- You often must sign up or download an aggregator in order to view podcasts. However, you can find podcasts all over the Internet. Take a look around for a podcast that interests you. See if you can find some interesting library related podcasts like book review podcasts or library news.
- Add the RSS feed for a podcast to your Bloglines account
- Create a blog post about your discovery process. Did you find anything useful here?
Optional Resource: Creating a podcast with Blogger