Tuesday, April 11, 2006

PODCasting: When iPOd met Broadcasting

Before we even contemplate reading on about podcasting, we need to define several terms that we need to be aware of because we won’t be able to comprehend what podcasting is all about without the basic understanding of these basic terminologies used.

Let us first define what broadcasting is all about. Or what an iPod is. We also need to know what a digital audio player is and what it does. Or what are digital music files. We also need to know what the different audio file formats are.

Read on to find all about these and more.

The distribution of video and/or audio signals that are received or listened to by a large group that is either the whole public or a larger audience of the listening public is better known as broadcasting. And the internet is one medium of how to broadcast music around the world. It can be narrow (narrowcasting) or broad, traditional like those in radio and television via antenna or cable or modern via the World Wide Web (webcasting) and now podcasting.

But what is the iPod? Is this something new? Can this deliver what people want? Does everybody need an iPod? How come some just cannot live without their iPod stuck between their ears all the time?

iPod is a 21st century gadget developed by the same type of people who made the processors smaller and smaller. iPod used to be what the Generation Xers or Baby Boomers would generally call the walkman or the boom box. Imagine jogging without a walkman? Then came the CD players for sports enthusiasts, those CD players that played the songs even if it was running at the speed of the wearer. Then more developments and evolution came and so we have the iPod from Apple Computer.

It is an innovative digital audio player produced and marketed by the Apple Computer. And what is its purpose? It enables music files in digital format to be played. Then again, what is a digital audio player? And what are digital music files? A gadget that can store, play, and organize digital music files. If you think iPod is the only digital audio player available in the market, then you’re in for a surprise because there are three kinds of digital audio players and iPod is just one of them. The other two are: the MP3 CD players and flash-based players. iPod belong to those hard-drive based players or more linguistically known as digital jukeboxes. MP3 CD players are your ordinary, run-of-the-mill players that can play audio CDs and other home-made data CDs that have digital audio files or MP3s. Flash-based players use memory cards that are plugged into USB ports that can hold internal or external media audio files. The memory cards can be extended and upgraded with additional memory as card memory ranges from 128MB (megabyte) to 1GB (gigabyte). iPod is a digital jukebox as it is capable of accessing and reading digital audio files contained in a hard drive. It is an improvement from the flash-players as it has a higher memory capacity that ranges from 1.5 gigabyte to 100 gigabyte. With that capacity, even your entire song collection can fit in just one player.

Digital music files are under the audio file format division. To be able to store audio data in a computer, the audio data need to be in a file format that is compatible with WAV, FLAC, PCM, AU, TTM, Ogg Vorbis (OGG), MP3, Advanced Audio Codec (AAC) or the Windows Media Audio (WMA). So what are all these 2-4letter extensions? There are two kinds of audio file formats that you can use, if you were to create your own audio files. The first type is the lossless format which includes the first five extensions: WAV, FLAC, PCM, AU, and TTM. The other format has a lossy compression, of which the last four extensions belong: Ogg Vorbis (OGG), MP3, AAC or the WMA.

Now that we have established what the different terms mean, we come to podcasting.

Portmanteau words such as podcasting evolved due to the internet revolution. It has combined the words "iPod" and "broadcasting" and came up with podcasting. Due to its evolution, it can be deceptive as it does not require that you have an iPod or other types of players.

Podcasting has evolved to mean the transmission of audio broadcasts through the internet. It allows users to avail of files that are usually in MP3 format to be fed onto their portable digital audio players or onto their desktop computers. It is different from the other form of internet medium as it is of the model of subscription type. The file that is enclosed is fed via Atom or RSS. Nowadays, podcasting makes it possible for private individuals and producers to create their own “radio shows.” And so what podcasting is all about is the newest way of bringing the world closer to home.

About the author:

Peter Dobler is a 20+ year veteran in the IT business. He is an active Real Estate Investor and a successful Internet business owner. Collect more free software and bonus content for your own web site at http://www.online-business-idea.com

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