A podcast is a series of digital media files (either audio or video) that are released episodically and downloaded through web syndication. The mode of delivery is what differentiates podcasts from other ways of accessing media files over the Internet, such as simple download or streamed webcasts: special client software applications known as podcatchers (like iTunes, Zune, Juice, and Winamp) are used to automatically identify and download new files in the series when they are released by accessing a centrally-maintained web feed that lists all files associated with the series. New files can thus be downloaded automatically by the podcatcher and stored locally on the user's computer or other device for offline use, giving simpler access to episodic content.
Most dictionary definitions of a podcast fall into one of two camps as of September 2009. One set focuses on the "on-demand" nature of podcasts. Another set requires the automatic or syndication posting. There are problems with both definitions. The first is too open. Under such a definition, a paid music download could technically be a podcast. Most audiences would disagree. The second is too limiting. It does not allow for manual downloads. Researchers at the Center for Journalism and Mass Communication Research at the University of Texas at Austin are proposing a three-part definition of a podcast: first, that it is episodic; second, that it is downloadable; and third, that it is program-driven, mainly with a host and/or theme.Podcasting benefits
Tutorials for customers to listen to (and watch) podcasts about your products and services. Customer support podcast available for customers to listen to, in which frequently asked questions about a certain service or product are asked and answered are very helpful.
Press releases contain new information about a happening, a product design podcast or a new business situation that the world needs to know about, as quickly as possible. Publicity is the key to the success of many business ventures and spreading the word in as many ways as possible is all important. Podcasting has now been discovered as one of the ways with which a press release can be spread successfully. A feed for a press release can be added to an online directory, included with news feeds and can be put up on a business website for interested customers.
Product Development and Launch
In this case news and knowledge about a new product that is released on to the market is given in a podcast. This feed could be listed in a special podcasting directory for new products or can be passed on to users in shows. Emails with a link to a podcasting feed about a new product can be sent out to magazines and newspapers and will be put up in a special section of a business website to focus the users' attention on the new release.
Industry News and Updates
Industry professionals and customers like to be kept informed. With podcasting there is a possibility to be kept informed with automatically refreshing news feeds.
Branding a podcast is one of the most important things to do before a podcasting show can be marketed and promoted on the Internet. Effectively branding a podcast will help establish a brand and its image and purpose.
Other benefits of Podcasting.
Podcasting is Asynchronous
Unlike normal radio, with which you have to tune in at a specific time to hear a show, you can listen to a podcast whenever it's convenient for you.
People are Tired of Existing Options
Especially when it comes to commercials and branding of products people tend to switch off when a promotion is broadcasted on the radio or television.
Podcasting Requires Little Effort
There is no need to check your favorite sites each day to see if they've posted a new MP3. Pocasting technology allows you to automatically find your favorite sites, and tools allow you to automate the process of downloading the MP3s. You just hook up a MP3 player and load it with the most recent downloads.
How to sound like a pro
Have a script
Planning topics to discuss, possible guest interviews, and your show's length in advance will go a long way when producing a professional sounding podcast.
Editing your podcast
Your finished podcast should flow seamlessly from one sentence to the next. If your editing has caused abrupt interruptions, or simply doesn’t make sense, then perhaps you should reconsider your editing style or seek help from a professional to fine tune your production.
Room Tone - Natural Sound Temperature
A location’s room tone is its auditory fingerprint. These are non-specific sounds generated by the natural acoustics of the room. Editing may also be required when sounds overlap. If they occur while you or another individual in your podcast are speaking your editing can be more challenging. To preserve the original performance, try to find another take of the word(s) in
question and edit or splice the word in to replace the unusable take.
Production Techniques - Mixing in your show intro, imaging, and musical transitions. Then announce the name of your podcast and the episode number. It is most effective if this is the voice of an announcer, distinct from your own. Try fading your background music in when a new segment beings. Lower the volume level of the music when you are speaking so that your listeners can hear every work you say. At the end of the segment, fade your background music out. Use musical transitions between the various segments of your podcast. These musical transitions are known as bumpers, stages or sweepers.
Key Points About Mixing
Balance the volume levels of the voice-over, music and sound effects. You are now ready to export your podcast recording into an MP3.
List of sites that accept podcast submissions.
Podbean - submit podcasts
iTunes - submit your iTune podcasts
PodSubmitter - submit podcasts
Dailysplice - submit podcasts
Podcastalley - submit podcasts
Podanza - Submit a audio or video podcast feed
Podcastblaster - A searchable podcast and video podcast directory
After you have added your podcast
Just like having your videos on YouTube, when you have your podcast, you want to drive traffic to your podcast by telling your friends on Facebook, Twitter and adding links from your blog.
You will frequently receive comments about your podcasts. Reply to the comments respectfully. Except for the comment spam that you will inevitable receive, almost all of the comments you receive will be useful to you.
Plan your next podcast, have a feel of what works and what doesn’t and make your podcast a regular one for your audience!
-- Robin Low