In a very short space of time since the iPod was first launched, Podcasting [quick definition, Wikipedia article] has taken off at Web-speed. According to this Reuters story, nearly half of digital-music player owners younger than 29 years old have tried out podcasts and more than 6 million people are listening to a form of communication that emerged only last year. If you think that there’s a magazine for practically every topic and hobby due to the ease and relatively low-cost of publishing, just imagine the number of subjects that can be covered and broadcast via the Web when all that’s needed is an Internet connection, a microphone and some software [HowTo’s].
Podcasting is also noteworthy in that it’s not just about syncing an audio broadcast to your MP3 player, but it utilizes RSS (Real Simple Syndication) so that listeners can automatically keep up with the latest updates.
Normally large corporate entity are not quick to react or embrace emerging technologies, but Infinity Broadcasting has gone out on a limb and is testing out an all-Podcasting radio format. You can find this first-of-its-kind radio station’s Web presence at http://www.kyouradio.com/.
So how do you find a Podcast that you may be interested in? Easy. There are numerous directories that help you do just that. iPodder, Podcast Alley and Podcast.net are just a few. Or perhaps, do a search using the Podscope Podcast search engine, which actually runs a speech-to-text algorithm on the podcasts it finds.
Some of the pioneers of AM & FM radio as well as Television had envisioned their technologies being used as new forms of communications between people instead of the few-to-many broadcast form that they [the technologies] took. I imagine they would be thrilled with the rise of blogs and podcasts. Welcome… to the next generation of communication.