Academic Technology Center
Teaching with Technology Collaboratory

Podcasting Demystified

April 3, 2006

One of the newest technology buzzwords is "Podcasting," which may sound strange or expensive, but what it's really all about is sharing audio and video content. Sharing this type of content is not new, but what's new about podcasting is the delivery method, and its popularity. Podcast authors create audio or video files and then post their links to the iTunes Music Store. Though it is a "store" and a place where many people buy electronic music files, most podcasts can be downloaded for free. Podcasts are available on a wide variety of topics ranging from news podcasts from the BBC or NPR to special-interest podcasts created by individuals. The podcast can then be viewed or listened to on a computer or downloaded to an iPod.

A common misconception is that an Apple iPod device is required to listen to or view podcasts. While you do need an iPod to take your podcasts with you, you can listen to or watch most podcasts for free on your computer using the free iTunes software. The iTunes software can also be used to listen to or convert music files.

Podcasts are catching on in university settings as well. Some professors record podcast lectures and broadcast them to their students. Creating a podcast involves a few more steps beyond posting video or audio files to the web, though it is also possible to create traditional audio or video files for the web without going through the Apple website.

If you are interested in incorporating existing podcasts into your course, or creating audio files, contact atc-ttc@wpi.edu. To download the iTunes software, visit: www.apple.com/itunes. To search for podcasts, go to the "Music Store" in iTunes after installing it, then go to "Podcasts" from "Inside the Music Store." You can browse the listings or search for a specific topic. Or, start with our own Gordon Library podcast from www.wpi.edu/+Library/Borrowing/eaudiotogo.html.

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Last modified: Mar 31, 2006, 09:44 EST
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