Is Podcasting for You?

You’ve likely heard of them; internet radio stations you can download and listen to at your leisure instead of making sure to clear your schedule and tune in on the right day at the right time. Podcasts are a great invention that came alongside the internet, and they’ve allowed for huge amounts of niche radio stations to pop up and spout all kinds of knowledge and opinions. Here’s a little info on where podcasts came from and how you can start your own.

podcast broThe first podcast ever was created in 2004 by MTV video jockey Adam Curry and a software develeoper named Dave Winer. Curry had written a program called iPodder that allowed him to automatically download Internet radio broadcasts to his iPod, and then other software developers saw what he was going and improved on his idea, eventually creating the format for podcasting. Curry’s The Daily Source Code is now one of the most popular podcasts on the internet.

What’s great about podcasting is that it’s totally free from government regulation (unlike radio broadcasting, which requires that you purchase a license and comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s broadcast decency regulations). If you enjoy a good four-letter word now and then, chances this is good news. Despite this lack of regulation, copyright law still does apply to podcasters, so the government protects podcasters’ intellectual property without regulating it.

Podcasters are anything from highly paid employees of major corporations to people podcasting from home studios. They don’t rely on ratings or money, so people are free to talk about anything they want regardless of it being popular, allowing for there to be a podcast for every niche subject, from people just shooting the s*** to people totally committed to discovering UFOs and paranormal activity.

Some companies are actively trying to find a way to make money with podcasting. There are websites like podcastalley.com and podcast.net that act as a source for podcasts and now feature advertisements. Popular podcasts hosted by Tom Segura as well as the Stuff You Should Know podcast have their hosts present commercials for Me Undies and other random products.

podcast sisIf you’d like to start listening to a podcast, just choose a podcasting site and click on the hyperlink for whatever podcast sounds good to you. You could check out the iTunes store, The Podcast Network or The Podcast Directory if you want to browse for possible podcasts that suit your fancy. There are also apps on your mobile phone that you can download.

Audio files made for different sizes and capacities of audio streaming have been invented to compete with the standard MP3; there’s AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) and WMA (Windows Media Audio) for example. These advancements are so prevalent that no matter what you want, you can be sure that there’s a free version out there.

Maybe you’d like to create a podcast. Don’t even hesitate! It’s super easy. Just plug a microphone into your computer, install an audio recorder for Windows, Mac or Linux, create an audio file by making a recording of whatever you want on your podcast, and upload that audio file to one of the podcasting sites. If you want anyone to listen to it ever, you’re going to have to promote it pretty heavily.

You can also opt into videocasts if you’re interested in making more of a TV show type thing.

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