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noun [uncountable]

the creation of Internet-based audio programmes which can be automatically downloaded from the Internet onto a device such as an iPod or MP3 player


verb [intransitive/transitive] noun [countable]




noun [countable]

'Podcasting will shift much of our time away from an old medium where we wait for what we might want to hear to a new medium where we choose what we want to hear, when we want to hear it …'

CRM Daily 4th April 2005

'Podcasts have caught on like wildfire since they first emerged only nine months ago. Listeners can pick from roughly 10,000 shows on topics ranging from religion to wine to technology …'

The New Zealand Herald 11th April 2005

'Podcasters create radio-like programs of commentary, music or humor, which are saved in MP3 audio format and posted online.'

Reuters 3rd April 2005

'Grand Forks City Attorney Howard Swanson has determined that Mayor Mike Brown's "podcasted" radio shows are not an illegal use of city funds for political purposes …'

Grandforks Herald 17th March 2005

As millions of mourners streamed into Rome to witness the funeral of Pope John Paul II on 8th April, Dutch priest Father Roderick Vonhogen used cutting edge technology to give an intimate audio tour to interested listeners throughout the world. The priest's Catholic Insider programme, featuring interviews with students on St Peter's Square and descriptions of the Pope lying in state in the basilica, exploited a new technique called podcasting.

Podcasting involves the creation of radio-style programmes on a wide range of topics, including music and audio commentary, which are posted on the Internet for downloading to a listener's own iPod or MP3 player. The basic idea is that instead of listening to radio shows over the airwaves, a listener can download the shows that they are really interested in, and listen to them when they want.

recent research in the US suggests that over 6 million people are already regularly tuning in to podcasts

The noun podcast has already been coined to refer to such downloadable broadcasts, with websites like podcast.com offering access to hundreds of podcasts covering a wide range of topics and interests. Anyone who owns a microphone, and has access to the Internet and some simple software can also produce their own podcasts. Such DIY radio enthusiasts have been described as podcasters, and amateur podcasts are often alternatively referred to as audioblogs, a new take on the now extremely popular activity of blogging (writing online journals). Podcast is also used as both an intransitive and transitive verb on the model of the verb broadcast, with some evidence for structures such as podcast about something. Podcasted is a participle adjective in regular use, as in podcasted audio/content/shows.

Aficionados of this emerging technology predict that podcasting will revolutionize the world of radio. Recent research in the US suggests that over 6 million people are already regularly tuning in to podcasts, and the number is rising daily.

Background – podcasting

The noun podcasting and its derivatives are formed from a blend of the term iPod (a portable digital audio player manufactured by Apple Computers) and the verb broadcast.

The new technology of podcasting first came into the public eye in August 2004, its development and promotion mainly associated with Adam Curry, a former presenter on the music video channel MTV. The first recorded use of the term podcasting occurred earlier in the same year however, when along with audioblogging it was aired in a Guardian newspaper article discussing the growing popularity of amateur online radio.

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

This article was first published on 16th May 2005.

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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