What is podcasting?

Pocasting may be to radio what Tivo is to television - a way to timeshift your listening. If you are familiar with email, then think of podcasting as an audio file attachment to a message. Add RSS (Really Simple Syndication), the equivalence of pushing news feeds you choose to your computer, and you have true podcasting. Originally utilized by bloggers as an "audio blog," it has evolved into a phenomenon that allows users to downloaded news and programming onto their portable devices. It is a content delivery method that anyone with an internet connection and a PC or portable media player can experience.
What kind of content? Specifically audio only content, such as
  • news
  • talk
  • dramas
  • comedy
  • company meetings and announcements
  • education, documentaries, and how-to programs
  • marketing
  • religious programs
  • political commentary
Listen to some examples of podcasts that Dynamix has produced:
Corner Booth Radio Series
Tom Martin’s business podcasts with the Herald-Leader

What are some benefits of podcasting?

If you have a message to get out, this is the most cost-effective and least restricting method. There are no rules, official or otherwise, that restrict or guide your podcast. You aren't restricted by FCC regulations, and you're not restricted by time (like broadcast is). Your audience is interested in your topic, unlike broadcast (radio or TV) that tries to deliver content to a broad range of interests and tastes. If your podcast is listened to by thousands (or millions if you're lucky), you can approach advertisers about your niche audience that might use their niche product. If you're a company, you can produce a podcast that provides how-to information, and at the same time feature your products.

What are some downsides of podcasting?

Getting your audience to find your podcast is still difficult. Finding the right podcast directory that your intended audience visits is still difficult because there isn't just one directory. When you create a new podcast, you must submit it to every podcast directory that you think will benefit you, and there are new ones popping up all the time. Fortunately, Apple's iTunes provides one of the largest repository of podcasts because of the podcast downloading feature built into iTunes. Other downsides are music copyright infringement issues. If you use popular music without permission in your podcast, you face severe criminal and letigical nightmares. The copyright laws dealing with podcasting are still in the gray area and are best avoided altogether.

How do I create a podcast?

The content is essentially the same as any audio program. Any message (or music) that you would deliver via radio, internet, CD, cassette, or any other audio-only method will work. Once complete, it's simply a matter of putting the program into a format that can be delivered via the internet and RSS. We can help you organize and produce your content that is podcast friendly. Most of the same rules of radio programs apply, but since there are no real time or content constraints, many have found this the ideal way to get a message out.

What are some guidelines?

Remember that podcasts will be downloaded over the internet. So, any program that is lengthy must be compressed into smaller sound files. Quality suffers from this, especially with music content. Voice only programs can be compressed even smaller before audio quality begins to suffer. Stereo files (such as music) will be twice as big as mono files (voice only) and will take longer to download.
If your podcast will be a continuing series of programs, consider making them short segments that can be delivered more frequently, therefore keeping your audience interested for a longer period of time. This will help keep your material fresh. If your program is lengthy, then consider breaking it up into segments that can be downloaded at will. Your listeners will appreciate this.

How is my podcast delivered?

We will encode the finished file into the appropriate format, or give it to your webmaster to encode. Most podcasts are delivered in mp3 format because of its universal acceptance (some podcasters that have tried to deliver their podcasts with a better-quality format such as Windows Media have seen dramatic drops in the number of listeners. It's best to avoid these other formats for now).
Your webmaster can then insert the file into the appropriate XML coding on your website, and get it listed with a variety of appropriate podcast directories.

Where can I get podcasts?

Here are a few links that will let you explore podcasting on your own:
Apple iTunes
iPodderx (Macs)
iPodder.net (PCs)
Engadget (how to podcast, plus lots of links)
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