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Podcasting - Frequently Asked Questions
What is a podcast?
A podcast is an audio file created along with some computer code that enables the file to be downloaded to your computer.
Why are podcasts so popular?
The unique qualities of podcasting are the automatic subscription format and, should you own a digital audio player, the convenience of portability.
Do I need an iPod?
No. Podcasting borrows its name from the popular Apple digital audio player, but you can subscribe and listen to podcasts without any such device.
How does a podcast differ from streaming audio?
Because streaming audio files are listened to as they are being fed to your computer, you need a live internet connection. Podcasts differ in that they may be downloaded to your computer and listened to later offline or transfered to a digitial audio player.
What makes a podcast different than a radio program?
For the most part, radio programs are the products of media conglomerates. Due to the relative ease with which podcasts can be created and distributed, podcasts can be made by anyone. Butlike any form of democratized publication, this is a plus and a minus: critical experience will weigh in on both the production and consumption sides of the equation.
How can I listen to podcasts?
You need two things to listen to a podcast, some kind of podcast receiving software (sometimes called a "podcatcher") and a link to the podcast. OHSU's current podcasting solution requires Apple's free iTunes software and iTunes can grab external podcasts too. Once you have the software, you only need to tell the software where to find the podcast on the internet. Many podcast web sites will include the url or a direct link to the podcast to load it into your podcast receiving software.
Where can I find podcasts?
You can find podcasts on almost any subject just by typing "podcast" into your favorite search engine. There's also a podcast directory built right into iTunes.