15 March 2013
The History of Podcasting
As a host of a weekly podcast, The Agreeable brains, I was unaware of the early history and development of this form of internet communication. From early technology, to the want and need to be sole owner of one’s own opinion, to the creative release that podcasting provides. I will discuss what a podcast is, the beginnings of podcasting and the tech behind it.
Podcasting barrows its name from the now iconic MP3 player known as the Ipod, Adam Curry, former MTV VJ loved an early audio blog so much that he wanted to listen to it on the go using his Ipod. So he wrote a program to aggregate the audio blogs he wanted and download them directly to his Ipod. (The First Podcast, Bob Doyle) The show that Curry wanted to listen to the most was by Christopher Lydon, a popular Boston area TV and Radio host in the early 2000’s. Lydon, after a legal battle with his radio station over who owned the content of his show decided to take control and use an up and coming medium on the internet called Blogs to publish both video and audio content under his own terms. Lydon’s audio blog, later called a podcast, was called
After being taught how to use all the new tech, Lydon created what we now know as a podcast. Bob Doyle, who wrote “The First Podcast” stated:
After 25 years of being surrounded by the cream of the crop sound engineers in state-of-the-art studios, Lydon was alone with his recorder, a laptop editor and tools to upload audio to a media server…
Lydon was now in complete control and ownership (good and bad) of his content that he now self-published to the internet. Removing the middleman from the equation gave Lydon the freedom to cover what he wanted and the listener a direct source into one of their favorite talk show host.
A podcast is a streaming or downloadable MP3 file that someone has placed onto the internet, stating a passion, a gripe or anything else someone might want to hear. If you have an opinion then you have a show! It’s just that simple. The tech behind most podcast is a home computer, a mic plus freeware software found on the internet. The computer can be an old desktop or laptop that maybe has lost its usefulness over time. All it needs to be able to do is run an audio editor, record sound and upload to the internet. “There are multiple advantages to recording and editing your podcast using your personal computer. The ability to record long uninterrupted podcast, digital editing – quickly and easily remove unwanted background noises or embellish the audio track with music and sound effects and digital processing – add effects to your voice, such as reverb, or echo, and master your entire podcast for sonic clarity”. (Podcast Tec, www.voices.com)
There are a wide variety of podcast available to listen to and many places to find them. The most popular and widely known podcast service is ITunes. ITunes gathers, distributes your podcast to the masses at no cost to you. They will however place advertisements onto the webpage that host your show to help fund the servers. This is a minor nuisance and the ads aren’t very invasive so it is easy to ignore. Stitcher.com is another services that will host your podcast at no cost to you. What makes Stitcher different from ITunes is that they offer your show as a stream and as downloadable. Streaming your show is an easy way for someone to listen without downloading it and taking room on their hard drive. Streaming is relatively new as technology, data speeds and data caps are raised or lifted off of our mobile cellular devices.
In conclusion, podcasting is cheap, easy and fun! It allows for a creative release for content creator. Podcasting cuts out the middleman that might interfere with the structure of your show. Your show is directly available to your audience and they alone are the judge and jury. There are hundreds of podcasting services to make your show available to or you can go for complete control and publish it to a home server. Find a topic, record your opinion and make your voice heard!
Doyle, Bob. The First Podcast. Information Today Inc., 2005.
Logsdon, Ian. “Why Podcast.” Ezine @rticle 2013: 1.
Hammersley, Ben. “Audible Revolution.” The Gaurdian (2004): 4. March 2013 <http://www.gaurdian.co.uk/media/2004.feb/12/broadcasting.digitalmedia/print>.
“Podcast tech” Www.voices.com. Web: Interactive Voices Inc., 2013.