What is Podcasting?

Podcasting is the dissemination of self-produced audio files (podcasts) via Internet in the format of a weblog with a special RSS feed. Podcasts are mostly private transmissions resembling radio shows dedicated to a particular topic. The term itself is a merger of the word "broadcasting" and the name "iPod," Apple's popular MP3 player. Due to their Web presence in the form of a weblog, most podcasts can also be downloaded by a user with a Web browser like a conventional audio file.

Podcast Software (Podcatcher)

A podcatcher is a so-called newsreader with additional functions. The corresponding feed-URLs (identified by an orange-colored button) are added to the list of addresses to monitor; in the expanded settings, you specify whether new podcasts are to be automatically downloaded while running in the background or even automatically inserted into a particular playlist on your favorite media player.

for Windows:

Apple iTunes iPodder podcatcher on a stick Nimiq

for Mac OS X:

Apple iTunes iPodder podcatcher on a stick iPodder X

for Linux:

amaroK iPodder podcatcher on a stick BashPodder



RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is used to save articles or brief summaries of them to a website and to make them available in machine-readable form. A so-called RSS feed or newsfeed consists of an XML file that only provides content-for example, of a news site-but contains no layout or design. You can use a so-called aggregator program or feed reader to automatically download headlines or brief summaries of stories you're most interested in.


The RSS feed of podcasts contains so-called enclosures that refer to audio files. They make it possible to use special RSS aggregators (podcasting clients) that check at regular intervals a user-compiled list of podcasts, determine what new content is available and automatically download it. The best-known one of these is probably Apple's iTunes (the function is implemented in Version 4.9 and higher). Most of these aggregators automatically set up a playlist in programs like Windows Media Player and Apple iTunes. In the case of synchronization with an MP3 player, the new podcasts are then downloaded to the device.