What is a podcast

What is a podcast

What is a podcast? Tea-lover Becklebert explains their ineffable nature, and next week she will, in fact, become the anointed Queen of our very own Mookychick Podcast. Pencil wed Oct 21st into your diaries!

Digital Radio and Podcasts…Explained Over a Cup of Tea

When it comes to downloading music it’s easy: Search for a title on google and click ‘download’. Voila. However, when the word ‘podcast’ is mentioned, people tend to understand the meaning no further than the recognisable letters of the alphabet, and dare not delve into the modern wonders of podcasts. Even though they probably should.

Podcasts come in a huge variety of topics and genres. Normally they’re very safe, eclectic and wonderful, although – as is the way on the internet – I once was looking for a yoga videocast (like a podcast but in video format instead of audio) and I resulted in subscribing to something that was a bit more flashdance, a bit more zoom in on the cleavage and crotch, a bit more Eric Prydz ‘call on me’. Needless to say, I didn’t continue to subscribe to that after such an experience.

Not all podcasts or videocasts bring such unnerving results. Often podcasts are results of individuals discussing their personal interests on a given topic such as graphic novels and comic books. Others are directly related to radio stations such as radio 1/2/3/4/ and Kiss Radio. The definitions below aim to give a clearer idea of what a podcast is and how it differs to listening to the radio.

What is internet radio (WEBCASTING)?

Internet radio stations tend to be played online only, which makes these stations independent of associations such as mainstream radio – which has both live radio and podcasts of the previous shows.

What is streaming?

Streaming means taking something from the internet and playing it from the source onto your computer, such as a podcast.

What is a podcast?

A podcast is a series of digital media files the are released in an episodical format, much like a TV or radio series is played at the same time each week but in a different format (online).

Podcasts are FREE to download and stream, you just need to download the application, also known as the podcatcher.

What is a podcatcher?

podcatchers are applications used to search, store and download podcasts. iTunes and windows media player are examples of popular podcatchers, and are also free to download. podcatchers can be used both online and offline too. New episodes can be downloaded automatically by the podcatcher and are stored on your computer, USB stick, iPod or any other mp3 player.

Introducing mp3 players with podcasts on!

So there you have it – these definitions should hopefully give you a better idea of what a podcast is, but now I see you asking your mooky selves ‘oh, but what sort of podcasts are out there?’ Fear not mooks, as there is definitely something out there for everyone. Podcasts can come in the form of live comedy, yoga, drama, theatre, audio books, brain teasers and music podcasts worldwide, based on genre of music.

There are plenty of meditation and relaxation podcasts out there, as well as news around the world and free language learning courses. A particular favourite of mine is a collection of 1930’s horror stories recorded when radio was first invented. About a third of these stories are read by the famous Edgar Allan Poe, which is definitely a first hand experience to his story telling style, to hear his voice instead of just reading his literature and imagining who this amazing horror story writer is.

Stephen Fry also has a couple of different podcasts; he’s a very interesting bloke with a very relaxing voice, almost ideal for nap time or a Sunday afternoon in the garden with a cup of tea. Mmm.

Podcasts are the new radio but better! You can subscribe to a podcast which enables your podcatcher to check the podcast every day for new episodes, and even if there is a huge list of episodes you can download the first couple to see if you like the podcast or not. Podcasts don’t have to be played or downloaded in the order they were recorded at all so there’s a lot of flexibility there if you have favourite or preferred episodes.

I would recommend the iTunes podcatcher to download as it has a huge archive of really interesting stuff to listen to. You do need to be online to search and download podcasts, but once you have them you can listen to them offline.

Oh, if only there were a Mookychick podcast

There is one problem with podcasts… So far, a Mookychick podcast doesn’t exist. Fear not readers! For I am going to be the progenitor of the Mookychick podcasts. You will be able to download the Mookychick podcast from iTunes and you can also access on the Mookychick website every Wednesday, the same day when Mooky Towers updates the mookychick website with new articles (although sharp-eyed Mooks will notice that they’ve been updating somewhat more frequently than that of late).

Happy Wednesdays all around!

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