A LITTLE BACKGROUND
You might have heard about podcasts or received a suggestion by someone to watch a specific podcast and you weren’t quite sure what they were talking about or you’ve heard about tons of people starting podcasts and you want to know if that’s something that you’d be into. Whatever your reason is, welcome to this article. We’d discuss the background, introduction, what is a podcast and how they work in this article.
In this era of digital revolution where everyday we get to hear the news about new technologies and advancements in the digital and information technology realm, podcasts have surged in popularity too and become a vital part of the digital media landscape. Whether you’re a seasoned podcaster or podcast enthusiast, a newcomer to the field or intermediate podcaster, understanding what a podcast is and how it works is essential to fully appreciate this new engaging and versatile medium to connect with your audience and educate them on various topics of your choice.
WHAT IS A PODCAST
A podcast is a digital playlist of audio and video files that are easily available over the internet, typically in the form of a series or collection. The name “Podcast” is derived from a fusion of “iPod”, Apple’s portable media player, and “broadcast”.
It could be a listening app or any other video or audio streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube, Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts etc.
Each individual audio or video file that is uploaded would be considered a “podcast episode”.
Podcasts are typically hosted by a person that leads a conversation and ask the other person to share their real life experiences or talk about subject matter he/she is expert of. The person who hosts the podcast is called, “Podcaster” or “Podcast Host”. The best way to think of podcasting is kind of like Netflix. You know how you can pick a show on Netflix and just watch the whole show or just watch a few episodes.
Podcasting is similar, you can pick a show and decide whether you want to listen to all the episodes available or you can just listen to one or two of the episodes of your choice. The freedom to choose topics and time to listen to podcasts is what makes it more important these days as we all have been so much busy and we rarely find time to sit with people and learn things, so podcasts play a vital role in our lives.
BENEFITS OF PODCASTS BEING ON THE INTERNET
The best thing about podcasts is that they can be accessed and played on various devices like smartphones, tablets, computers and dedicated podcasting tools and apps. Another advantage of podcasts being on the internet is that you can listen to your favorite podcast and utilize your time efficiently while traveling or waiting for someone at a restaurant or maybe in a hospital or bank where you had to wait for your turn for hours.
Podcasts come in various formats, each catering to diverse interests and topics. Some common formats include:
These involve two or more hosts engaging in casual discussions, often exploring a specific theme, sharing personal experiences, or interviewing guests.
Similar to storytelling, these podcasts are more structured and follow a scripted format. They often include sound effects and music to enhance the narrative.
These podcasts focus on providing valuable information and insights on a particular subject or industry. They may take the form of interviews with experts, lectures, or in-depth analysis.
News and Current Affairs
As the name suggests, these podcasts deliver news updates and analysis on current events, politics, or specific topics.
This genre delves into real-life criminal cases, exploring the details of mysteries, investigations, and trials.
Designed to entertain, comedy podcasts feature comedians sharing humorous anecdotes, sketches, and jokes.
Also known as audio dramas, these podcasts present fictional stories with voice actors and immersive soundscapes.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
Podcasts are made available through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. A podcast creator (also known as a podcaster) records and produces audio episodes, which are then uploaded to a hosting platform. The hosting platform generates an RSS feed that contains information about each episode, such as the title, description, and audio file URL.
Listeners can subscribe to a podcast by using a podcast app or software. When a new episode is published, the app automatically checks the RSS feed and downloads the new content to the listener’s device. Subscribers can then listen to the podcast at their convenience, even offline, once the episode is downloaded.
WHY PODCASTS ARE POPULAR MEDIUM OF LEARNING
The rising popularity of podcasts can be attributed to several factors
Podcasts are accessible to anyone with an internet connection and a device, making them a versatile medium for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Listeners can choose from a vast array of topics, allowing them to find content that aligns with their interests and preferences.
Podcasts can be consumed on-the-go, making them a perfect companion during commutes, workouts, or while performing everyday tasks.
The audio format fosters a sense of intimacy between hosts and listeners, creating a strong bond and a personal connection.
Podcasting allows individuals from various backgrounds to share their stories, expertise, and perspectives, promoting inclusivity and diversity.
Minimal Barrier to Entry
Starting a podcast requires relatively minimal equipment and technical know-how, allowing creators to enter the podcasting space with ease.
WHERE CAN YOU LISTEN OR WATCH?
So where can you listen to these things, podcasts. You can listen to podcasts in a couple of different places as we call them Podcasting listening apps. Spotify has made podcasts available in their app, amazon, stitcher is a podcast specific app that you can listen to podcasts on. Some people even have their podcasts embedded on their website so there are embedded players where you can listen to podcasts that aren’t necessarily in a directory and if you are a traveler and you love listening to podcasts a lot, you will be able to listen to your podcasts from your own hosted website and the amazing thing about this is that people will also be able to listen and provide feedback about your podcasts.
MERITS AND DEMERITS OF PODCASTS
Podcasts have numerous merits that contribute to their popularity, such as accessibility, engaging content, and inclusivity. However, they also have some drawbacks, including the lack of visual elements and the overwhelming volume of available content. Despite the demerits, podcasts remain a valuable and enjoyable medium for both creators and audiences alike, with the potential to continue shaping the future of digital media consumption.
Podcasts have revolutionized the way we consume information and entertainment. As a versatile and accessible medium, they continue to attract an ever-growing audience. Whether you’re into storytelling, education, news, or simply looking for a good laugh, the world of podcasts has something to offer for everyone. So, grab your headphones and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of digital audio storytelling!