Perform a search on Google for “podcasts” and you will find the following definition — Podcasts are digital audio files that can be downloaded over the internet.
The definition isn’t wrong, but it lacks the breadth of what a podcast truly is. While it’s true that podcasts are digital audio files, they are also episodic, can be subscribed to freely, and are educational, entertaining and emotive. Podcasts follow specific topics or themes, are usually intended for specific audiences and can be consumed in many different environments.
Video can also be downloaded over the Internet as a digital file, but a video isn’t necessarily a movie or television show, is it? Defining a movie or television show as just being a digital file provides an incomplete picture of all their wonderful qualities. We all know that movies and television shows have plots, characters, a story arc and typically appeal to certain audiences. Podcasts are really no different in this respect. In fact, there are such a thing as video podcasts, although for the purposes of this guide we’re referring to the audio variety. Given all the things podcasts are, its difficult to provide you a universal definition but here is how I like to think about podcasts:
Podcasts are episodic audio programs that can be broadcast to the world by any person, from any place and at any time, for any audience, and can cover any topic.
Podcasts can do all of that? Yes, and thats not all because podcasts can also be consumed pretty much anywhere too — from your pocket to your home stereo system. Want to learn something new while going on a walk? How about be entertained on the morning commute to work? Podcasts are the ultimate in portable, personal content. Take them anywhere you go and become immersed in the conversation. Need to take a break and come back to your podcast later? Just press pause and pick up where you left off. There are a ridiculous amount of uses for podcasts, and we intend to cover them all in our guide. But let’s start at the beginning.
To understand where podcasts came from and how they’ve evolved over time, we’re going to kick off our Beginners Guide to Podcasting with:
- The origin of podcasts
- Types of podcasts available
- Ways you can find podcasts
- How to listen to podcasts