What Is Podcasting?

I was talking to a follow programmer at work yesterday when the topic of the [http://abc.go.com/primetime/lost/index.html TV show “Lost”] came up. He asked if I had seen the first season, and I told him that I actually [http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=as2&path=ASIN/B00005JNOG&tag=zillablog-20&camp=1789&creative=9325 own it on DVD]. He was somewhat impressed by this, since he also owned it, but I could see that a disclaimer was called for. Namely that I don’t spend time crusing the [http://www.losttv-forum.com/forum/ message boards] cooking up [http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2004-11-16-lost-mysteries_x.htm Lost conspiracy theories] are anything… I’m more of a casual watcher. However I did have to admit that I do listen to the [http://abc.go.com/primetime/lost/podcasts/104146.html Lost podcast], so I guess that made me a bit more than a casual fan. To this he took interest;
There’s a Lost Podcast? Cool! Now, do you need an IPod to listen to that? Or you can just get it from iTunes I suppose?
Akk! I’ve never had that conversation before. Normally when I mention podcasts, I am met with a blank stare, but here was a person who had heard of them but apparently only in the post iTunes world. I went on to explain that I wasn’t sure if it was on itunes, and that I just used a simple shell script (actually [http://linc.homeunix.org:8080/scripts/bashpodder/ bashpodder]) to grab the podcast feed and download the shows that way, so I could play them on my “[http://www.xmms.org/ winamp]” mp3 player on computer. Luckily this guy was technical, so this didn’t throw him too much. The funny thing was that if you’ve been into podcasting for awhile, you’ll have heard the talk that it should really be renamed because it makes people think you need to have an ipod to get into it, which is completly untrue. The funny thing is that when I got into podcasting, it was like a month or so before I ever made any connection with podcasts and ipods. I first got into podcasts looking for online streaming radio stations. They are pretty hard to find, especially where I work, cause they block a number of ports that are common for that type of software. What I ended up stumbling across was the [http://daveramsey.com/etc/cms/index.cfm?intContentID=3236 Dave Ramsey show podcast], which was a podcast based on a radio show that I had heard a few times on the radio. So I went about setting up a podcatcher and downloading feeds and the rest was history… except for that name. My take was that it was called podcasting because it was broadcasting to pod farms all over the country. I didn’t have an ipod, so that just made a lot more sense. Even more so, a lot of these shows are well over thirty minutes and even an hour in length… who is really going to listen to that on a mobile mp3 player. I mean who has commutes that long? Anyway that was my thinking, podcasting is broadcasting for podfarms. forget the ipod, you don’t need it. You just need a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcatcher podcatcher] and an mp3 player on your computer and your in. Got it?