skip to content or skip to search form

Category: Podcasting

Podcasting PSA

This is an important message for comics bloggers who think they’re doing podcasting. You know who you are.

Read “Podcasting” from Wikipedia. Pay especial attention to the first two paragraphs:

Podcasting is a method of publishing sound files to the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed and receive new audio files automatically. Podcasting is distinct from other types of audio content delivery because it uses the RSS 2.0 file format. This technique has enabled many producers to create self-published, syndicated radio shows.

Users subscribe to podcasts using “podcatching” software (also called “aggregator” software) which periodically checks for and downloads new content

Here’s how it works: You, the podcaster, have a web site with some audio files (like MP3s) and an RSS 2.0 feed that attaches those audio files to it using an RSS feature called “enclosures.” If this is too advanced for you, just think of the RSS feed as a list of audio files that a computer program can read, because that’s pretty much what it is. Somebody who wants to listen to your podcasts subscribes to your podcast feed with “podcatching” software, like iPodder. iPodder checks the feed occasionally and downloads new files it finds on the list. You might wonder this publishing method is called podcasting: it’s named after the iPod, which you can use to listen to the files. You can also, of course, use another kind of digital-audio player or even listen to the files on your computer.

Here’s the important part: If you upload MP3s to your web site and link directly to them on your blog, you are not podcasting. (Unless you use WordPress, which is so clever that it automatically turns your RSS 2.0 feed into a podcast when you link to an audio file in a post.)

Inform yourself! Learn what podcasting is before you hop on the bandwagon—unless you want people to think you’re ignorant and misinformed.