Friday, December 25, 2009

TV Podcasts

The word podcasting was coined to describe a method of providing the audio version of a broadcast for downloading and later listening. Although podcasting was initially associated with audio programs, it has never really been limited to audio. So the term TV podcasts is just as valid a way to describe podcasting a TV program as are the terms �vodcasting� or �vidcasting�. TV podcasting is just a method of podcasting video data.

TV podcasts provide a multimedia files containing a TV show for watching on your computer or handheld device. Podcasting is a term that was coined when the use of RSS and other syndication technologies became popular for distributing audio content for mobile devices. As people begin to use the podcasting technology for files containing more than just audio, podcasting is becoming a generic term for any downloadable multimedia file.

A TV podcast is generally analogous to a recorded television series. The program provider creates a multimedia file such as an MPEG, AVI or RM encoded file containing an episode of the program they want to podcast. . The only requirement for podcasting is that the file be accessible through some known URL. Typically only one episode of the show is included in a single file. Most podcast content is published in RSS format for use in an RSS feed although that is not required. Most podcasts use RSS so their audience doesn�t miss any episodes. The viewer uses software called a podcatcher or aggregator to collect the file for later viewing. A podcatcher usually runs in the background on your computer and monitors the RSS feed and will automatically download any new episodes for the subscribed programs.

Once downloaded, the TV podcast episodes can then be played, replayed, or archived just like with any other computer file. Here are some samples of the programs available through TV podcasts:
� Tiki Bar TV - This low budget, but well-produced series has quickly become one of the most popular video podcasts.
� University of Chicago lectures � poetry lectures are available at http://poempresent.uchicago.edu/poempresent.rss and interviews with researchers are available at http://research.uchicago.edu/highlights/research.rss .
� Elizabeth Gunness - Eric Maconaghie Rogers is distributing small pieces of his latest film via TV podcast.

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