Podcasting is a method of publishing audio and video broadcasts via the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed of new files (usually MP3s). Many content providers offer podcast feeds at no cost. These feeds deliver broadcasts to your desktop. You can listen to these files on your computer or load them on to your portable digital player and take them with you.
The word "podcasting" combines the words "broadcasting" and "iPod." The term can be misleading since neither podcasting nor listening to podcasts requires an iPod or any portable music player.
Podcasting is distinct from other types of online media delivery because of its subscription model, which uses a feed (such as RSS or Atom) to deliver an enclosed file. Podcasting enables independent producers to create self-published, syndicated "radio shows," and gives broadcast programs a new distribution method. Listeners can subscribe to feeds using "podcatching" software (a type of aggregator), which periodically checks for and downloads new content automatically. Any digital audio player or computer with audio-playing software can play podcasts.