What’s the fuss about Podcasts?

I don’t understand why these files, referred to in a posting from the International Telecommunications Union, titled “Podcasts from ITU WSIS forum in Seoul”, are referred to as Podcasts:

Opening remarks from Jun-Hyong Rho, Korean Vice Minister for Information and Communication, and Tim Kelly of the ITU’s strategy and policy unit:

      1. http://www.andycarvin.com/podcasts/roh-kelly.mp3

Presentation by Rita Tsering, UN Volunteers UNITeS program:

      2. http://www.andycarvin.com/podcasts/unites.mp3

Amongst many there seems to be a kind of confusion. Some believe MP3s are Podcasts in themselves. This isn’t quite accurate.


A Podcast is generally an MP3. It could be an OGG, .AVI, .MOV… in fact any media file type, but the most popular format is the near ubiqutious MP3.

What makes a Podcast different to a straight MP3 download are the RSS tweaks that automate these
downloads direct to your computer and/or portable media device.

On BBS World Service last night they were referring to Podcasts as “Radio Me”, or “personal broadcasting”. A Podcast isn’t a broadcast. It’s a conduit. There hasn’t been anything to stop anyone from producing their own audio based programs and popping them onto a website. In fact, people have been doing this for years, but not necessarly on-demand, they were streaming with their archives generally available on-demand.

What’s made it much more worthwhile is the means with which people can choose what they want to listen to and have it sitting in their portable media device first thing in the morning. It’s convenient, it’s simple to use and for producers, you’re online when ever you can be bothered to produce and where ever you are.

There are all sorts of incredible possibilities now that there is greater transparency between these technologies… I’m planning to conduct a workshop on “Creative Application of Podcasting, Mobile and Locative Media for Civil Society” in Korea 1st week of August. They’ve got cheap technologies and lots of it.

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2 thoughts on “What’s the fuss about Podcasts?”

  1. that’s a title i can see “on broadway”, the lights and everything
    i’m booking you in for the peacock theatre, salamanca, hobart, one-night only

  2. i can do my gene kelly routine! or throw in a dark and sombre version of “love me tender”. book it, dano!

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