Podcast is defined as “a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player.” The concept became so popular that the New Oxford American Dictionary declared “Podcast” as Word of the Year 2005.
Though the term Podcast is coined using a combination of iPod and Broadcast, you do not require an Apple iPod to listen or subscribe to Podcasts. Any device that can play MP3 files, like cell phones or portable MP3 players or even your computer, can be used for downloading and listening to Podcasts. They are no different from MP3 songs.
The podcast directory available inside Apple iTunes player (itunes.com) is a great place to discover interesting podcasts. You will find podcast shows on literally every subject – whether you want to learn Yoga or Digital Photography or a new language like Mandarin Chinese, instructors and experts are delivering free lectures and advice via podcasting.
News websites like CNN, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and ABC News also deliver daily news and commentary using Podcasts.
To create your own podcast show, all you need is a decent microphone, a computer and some interesting story to share with your audience. You can then record and edit your podcast using Audacity, an open-source sound recording software.
If you like to interview someone located in another city or country for your podcasts; it can easily be done using Skype, a free voice chatting client that can also record your conversations in digital format through free plug-ins like Pamela.
Once your podcast (MP3 file) is ready of sharing, you need a web space to host your file from where subscribers can download them to their hard drives or portable players.
Libsyn is a popular hosting service specifically designed for podcasters. Alternatively, you can use the free hosting platform of Internet Archive (archive.org) that will host and stream your MP3 files for free.
The podcasting space is India is growing, albeit slowly. Some of the most popular podcast shows produced in India are Kamla Bhatt Show (kamlabhattshow.com), Kiruba Show (kirubashow.com), Indicast (theindicast.com) and Prime Point (primepointfoundation.org).