On my way to a podcasting seminar at American University this weekend - so thot I would brush up on the true banality of associated terms.
Podcasting is the method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio programs or music videos, over the Internet using either the RSS or Atom syndication formats, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers.
The term podcast, like 'radio', can mean both the content and the method of delivery. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster. Podcasters' web sites may also offer direct download or streaming of their files; a podcast however is distinguished by its ability to be downloaded automatically using software capable of reading RSS or Atom feeds.
Usually a podcast features one type of 'show', with new episodes released either sporadically or at planned intervals such as daily or weekly. In addition, there are podcast networks that feature multiple shows on the same feed.
The publish/subscribe model of podcasting is a version of push technology, in that the information provider chooses which files to offer in a feed and the subscriber chooses among available feed channels. While the user is not "pulling" individual files from the Web, there is a strong "pull" aspect in that the receiver is free to subscribe to (or unsubscribe from) a vast array of channels. Earlier Internet "push" services (e.g., PointCast) allowed a much more limited selection of content.
Podcasting is an automatic mechanism by which multimedia computer files are transferred from a server to a client, which pulls down XML files containing the Internet addresses of the media files. In general, these files contain audio or video, but also could be images, text, PDF, or any file type.
A podcast is generally analogous to a recorded television or radio series.
BTW: the photo posted of Serena Williams in chaps has nothing to do with the content, but this stuff is so boring, I thought I should throw it in for fun.