The truth about Podcasting

When you first hear of the word “podcast”, what comes into your mind? Surely something with the “i” and the “pod”? Well, Podcast is a portmandeau of 2 words, iPod and broadcast. Wait a minute… So the concept of Podcast derived from Apple’s iconic music device? 

Initially I thought so, and certainly for a long while, until I began my mini-research to find out the truth…

According to Jason Van Orden (2005), a podcasting consultant, the concept of podcasting originated not long after blogs took to the Internet. Instead of recording their thoughts in words, bloggers began to search for an alternative; that is to record their thoughts in audio.

So they recorded their voices in mp3 files and uploaded them to their blogs. End of story? Not so! The same problems with regular blogs, readers (or should I say listeners) have to constantly check out the website for the latest mp3 recording. Which can be tedious and time-wasting. A solution to this problem for regular blogs was the RSS. However, there wasn’t such technology available for the audio blogs.

Then comes the hero… Adam Curry (ex-MTV VJ from the 80s) decided that audio blogging needed to be simple to upload and and download. So, he worked with Dave Winer (creator of RSS) to come up with a software that collects and informs of new mp3 updates. The magic of the software lies in it being able to find the link to download the audio file directly to your music device. Which music device is no longer a surprise; the iPod!

The marriage of iPod and broadcasting

In 2004, Ben Hammerslay of the Guardian created the portmandeau “podcasting” to describe the phenomenon of online radio broadcasting. The term has thus stuck for good…

Here’s a simple explanation from Common Craft:



Radio to the MP3 degree: Podcasting,, 2 August 2005

Audible revolution, Ben Hammersley (The Guardian), 12 February 2004

History of Podcasting, Jason Van Orden (How To Podcast Tutorial), 2005

Podcasting in Plain English, Common Craft (via Youtube), 2008


One response to “The truth about Podcasting

  1. You can also podcast videos, or pdf files.

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