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Podcasting can be used in a number of different ways, including:

  • A way for people and organizations to avoid regulatory bodies, such as the British Ofcom, that would not allow a program to be broadcast in traditional media.
  • A way for news organizations to distribute audio or video as an addition to their existing text (or mostly text) news products. For example, Wikinews began to podcast its News Briefs in 2005. Companies are also using podcasts as a way to distribute their multimedia news to journalists and consumers through companies like MultiVu.
  • Education. In 2004 Musselburgh Grammar School pioneered podcast lessons with foreign language audio revision and homework,[1] other pioneers include The Room 208 Podcast, Radio WillowWeb, and Room 613 Talk. In the second half of 2005, a Communication Studies course at the University of Western Australia (iGeneration: Digital Communication and Participatory Culture) used student-created podcasts as the main assessment item. Podcasts have proven beneficial in early elementary education as well. In 2005 Students in the Write was created for second grade students at Morse Elementary School in Tarrytown, NY. By providing students with an authentic audience, teachers noticed significantly increased motivation to write. Students were also found to improve fluency and listening skills. On the 21st February 2006 Lance Anderson, Dr. Chris Smith (the Naked Scientist), Nigel Paice and Debbie McGowan took part in the first podcast forum at Cambridge University. The event was hosted by the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies[1].
  • Politics. In the U.S., both major political parties have various podcasts, as do numerous politicians.
  • Religion. Godcasting has been used by many religious groups.[2] Many churches produce podcasts of talks and sermons. Disciples with Microphones provides podcasts relating to the Catholic Church.[3]
  • Pornography. Porncasting and podnography are sometimes used to refer to pornography in podcasts.
  • Unofficial audio tours of museums (musecast).[4]
  • Official cultural or historic audio tours of cities Soundtrek
  • Communication from space. On 7 August, 2005. American astronaut Steve Robinson claimed the first podcast from space during the Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-114 - although there was no subscription feed, merely an audio file that required manual downloading. (transcript & audio).
  • Television commentary. Battlestar Galactica writer and executive producer Ronald D. Moore creates commentary podcasts for each new episode of Battlestar Galactica (download audio commentary). Other television shows such as Doctor Who have since followed suit.
  • Sports. In 2005, unofficial podcasts for major sports teams launched, providing fans both in and outside of the teams' direct broadcast areas with on-demand commentary. Pioneers include Cubscast. The Cubscast founders also formed the first city-specific sports podcast network, hosting one podcast for each major Chicago team at
  • Conference and meeting alerts. Podcasts can be packaged to alert attendees to agendas, hosted roundtables and daily feedback.
  • Advocacy. The 5,500 locked out staff (editors, journalists, technicians, hosts, etc.) of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation were podcasting news and other programming during August and September of 2005.
  • Youth media. Podcasting has become a way for youth media organizations, such as Youth Radio (Youth Radio site), to bring youth perspectives to a wider audience.
  • Newspapers. Newspapers use podcasts to broadcast audio content from print interviews and drive traffic to their websites. The San Francisco Chronicle is believed to be the first major daily newspaper to start podcasting using an external website,[5] in Feb 2005. Hong Kong's South China Morning Post was the first to use its own website and the first in Asia, having launched on April 19, 2005[6]
  • Academic journal digests: The Society of Critical Care Medicine has a podcast used to update clinicians with summaries of important articles, as well as interviews.[7]
  • Public libraries can podcast local publications free of Copyright, offering spoken word alternatives to the visually impaired. Non-profit organizations like Assistive Media podcast readings of short-format magazine articles for visually impaired readers.
  • Law enforcement. The Chicago Police Department has a free video podcast of its half-hour weekly news magazine called "CrimeWatch," which airs on local TV. It documents community policing (CAPS) success stories.
  • Replacement for live music audio streams. Whereas streaming a performance live over the Internet requires careful coordination of man and machine, podcasting offers the ability to do slight time-shifting of performances and greatly reduces the complexity of the effort. The quality of the program is often higher as post-production adjustments can be made prior to release. For example, programs such as the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour provide a live stream of their program, but most listeners don't hear it until weeks later on NPR. Podcasted versions of the programs split the difference, usually coming out a few days after the live program, but well before the traditional broadcast.
  • As a platform for alternate DVD commentary tracks (Audio commentary). Enables fans to add their own comments and thoughts to any of their favourite films.
  • As a way to teach how to use a computer. Through screencasting, many video podcasts, such as ScreenCastsOnline, demonstrate how to use software and operating systems.

See alsoEdit

  • Autocasting (the automatic generation of podcasts from text-only sources)
  • Blogcasting (the blogging Podcast)
  • Mediacasting (any distribution of audio/video media files utilizing RSS)
  • Mobilecast (podcasting to mobile phones)
  • Vodcasting (video podcasting)
  • Narrowcasting (podcasting is a form of narrowcasting)
  • Peercasting (peercasting allows live streams to be redistributed by the viewers/listener, greatly reducing bandwidth needs for the originating broadcaster)
  • Podstreaming (podstreaming is the process of converting streaming audio to a podcast)

Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. Musselburgh Grammar School Podcast
  2. Heinen, Tom. 2005. "Podcasting becomes another pulpit." In JS Online, 2005-06-11.
  3. Disciples with Microphones
  4. Kennedy, Randy. 2005. "With Irreverence and an iPod, Recreating the Museum Tour." In The New York Times, 2005-05-28.
  5. San Francisco Chronicle Podcast.
  6. South China Morning Post Podcast.
  7. Society of Critical Care Medicine Podcasts
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