In simple terms, a Podcast is a computer file that contains sound such as speech. Once the file has been created and made available to other users they may download the file and play it on their computers or portable music players.
The most common file format for podcasts is MP3. Other formats are available but only the MP3 format is compatible with the majority of computers and portable music players.
If a special RSS feed file has been created, listeners may use software to subscribe to the podcast, receiving new editions automatically.
Podcasts could be used in an educational setting in many ways, for example:
- Recording a lecture
- Recording your notes for a lecture
- Recording an interview with a subject specialist / guest lecturer
- Recording a commentary to your PowerPoint slides
- Recording seminar discussions
Whilst some professionally produced podcasts are created using expensive equipment found in sound studios, it is possible to “do it yourself” using a basic microphone, open source software, and a computer.
Following our own experiments with producing podcasts we are providing some guidance based on our own experiences. The documentation on this web site is simply a guide, if you seek more detailed tutorials and help there is plenty available on other web sites.