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Introduction

Introduction

In late 2004, the combination of the RSS 2.0 specification and audio blogging came together to create what is now known as podcasting. Podcasting is the broadcast of radio shows and other audio content over the Internet via compressed audio files such as MP3s. RSS technology makes it possible for these files to be syndicated on the World Wide Web so that anyone can access them easily with one of many simple programs called podcast aggregators (or podcatchers). The result is a revolution in radio whereby every day, people can create audio shows that are listened to by thousands or tens of thousands of people all over the world.

This book examines the phenomenon of podcasting and its short history, and demonstrates in detail how you, too, can get started enjoying podcast content. I also supply detailed instructions on how to create and publish your very own podcast. From finding the equipment to setting up the software on your home computer, it's all here.

Podcasting has emerged from the fertile soil of Web logs, and in less than a year it has grown from a small curiosity to a major force, altering the media landscape as it continues to grow and change. Indeed, many radio stations now offer podcast content, and one station in particular (in San Francisco) recently announced a move to an all-podcast format.

Where podcasting will ultimately end up is the subject of speculation, but with the proliferation and ubiquity of iPods and other digital media players, it is clear that podcasting is here to stay. This book is a complete beginner's guide to podcasting that includes interviews with software creators, educators, industry experts, and even the hosts of some of North America's most popular podcasts. I know you'll enjoy learning about this fascinating and entertaining new medium.

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