Almost overnight, a new technology has had a tremendous impact in the world of mass media: podcasting. What is podcasting? Podcasting is built on the same technology as blogs. Essentially, a podcast is a radio or video file that can be syndicated easily over the Internet. Think of it as TiVo for radio.
Podcasting moved from the hobbyist sector to mainstream when Apple released iTunes 4.9. iTunes now has the capability to receive podcast syndications. In the first 48 hours, over one million podcasts were downloaded to iTunes customers.
Steve Jobs appears to recognize the importance of podcasting, calling it "[a] revolution for radio." He also went a step further than any other podcasting company: The podcast-enabled iTunes now supports a feature that allows you to add chapters to your podcast in much the same way you'd add chapters to a DVD movie. This is certainly setting the stage for video-enhanced iTunes.
In this article, you'll learn about the advanced podcasting features available to you in Apple's iTunes 4.9.
What's All the Fuss About?
Podcasting really began when former MTV VJ Adam Curry launched his podcast back in September 2004. In only a few months, the technology went from anonymous to boasting more than 7,000 syndicated shows.
A podcast is basically a radio show, which can be created by either a hobbyist or professional. For instance, Newsweek puts together a free, weekly one-hour show broadcasting interviews and other news that's syndicated over the radio and now the Internet, using a technology called Really Simple Syndication (RSS). RSS is what drives a podcast, and anyone who is subscribing to the show can download and listen to it.
One reason that podcasting has become so successful is that you can download shows to your MP3 player. Most podcasting software integrates with Apple's iPod—hence the name podcasting. iTunes 4.9 makes receiving and synching podcasts with your iPod very easy.