What is podcasting?
When we are talking about Podcasting we are using a name that comes from Apple's iPod, a device that plays MP3 and AAC (Apple iTunes audio files).
The iPod bit explains the Pod in Podcasting, so what does the casting bit refer to? It refers to the idea that Podcasts are like broadcasting a show to an audience, like on the radio or TV.
The power of Podcasts though is that pretty much anyone with a PC and a microphone can create one, and because podcasts are now a fundamental part of the iTunes service they have become exceptionally popular.
Although the initial popularity of Podcasting was that it allowed people to distribute radio shows it became so popular that a whole bundle of other uses came about, including school lessons and audio tours of museums.
In practical terms, Podcasts distribute multimedia files like audio programs and music videos over the Internet using either the RSS or Atom syndication formats and these are then played back on mobile devices like iPod MP3 players and on personal computers.