Sunday, March 20, 2005


The confluence of MP3 audio files, RSS newsfeeds, and portable MP3 players has resulted in something called podcasting.

Any audio content can be recorded in MP3 format, not just commerical songs from CD's. With the spread of portable MP3 music players, there is now a critical mass for distribution of content to people owning such players. I should hasten to add that podcasting does not require an iPod - these are just MP3 files that can be played on your computer or any MP3 player.

The final piece is the use of RSS to distribute the files. Instead of having to troll for files through peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa with all the attendant issues regarding legality and spyware, there is a new class of software that looks like an RSS reader, but which knows about audio.

An excellent example of a podcasting client is iPodder, available here. Just like RSS, you add URL's for the sites that you want to receive content from. iPodder has a list of sites that will get you started. You can schedule iPodder to download on a regular basis, and then transfer the files to your player.

The CBC has already made two radio shows available as podcasts - Quirks and Quarks, the long running science show, and /Nerd, a technology show.

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