Podcast RSS Feeds

A Podcast RSS feed is what allows the entire system to
function. To begin at the beginning, a podcast is a
regular distribution of audio or visual files, called
episodes, to a users podcast client. The people who use
a podcast are called subscribers, and the podcast client
is what allows them to subscribe to a feed. The podcast
client is a program that connects to the internet, looking
for a specific file the user has subscribed to, or told it to
look for. That file is an RSS feed, a machine readable
piece of coding that sends information back to the
podcast client. RSS feeds can be used to distribute
many kinds of information, and were originally used for
blogging and distributing blog posts to subscribers. As
time went on, however, a few people had the idea of
enclosing information about media files within the RSS
feed so that software could be written to find that
information and download the files described.

The Podcast RSS feeds became a hit, and podcast
clients were quickly written to allow people to use the
new encoding. Podcasting became a means of quickly
and cheaply sharing episodes with subscribers. Rather
than requiring subscribers to visit the site that hosted
the files everytime they wanted to know if a new
episode was released, users could rely on the podcast
client to do the work for them, keeping track of
numerous podcast rss feeds that interested them and
downloading the files to be viewed when they wished.

Podcast RSS feeds are now used to distribute a number
of different types of podcasts. Some producers use it as
way to share a comedy or news program that they
produce, others podcast in order to share music files
they create, and some podcast to share video files they
have created and to showcase their work. Podcasting
allows the producers to become radio or television stars
without the large investment in time and money that
wuld be required to do that. Because podcasting has
such a low entry cost, requiring little more than a server
and a domain to host the site and a way to record the
media, thousands of people who otherwise would not
have a chance to work in a media environment have a
chance to do so through their podcast rss feeds.

In this way, podcast RSS feeds allow media publishing
over the internet at a fraction of the cost of other forms
of media distribution, permitting people with much
smaller budgets to compete in some way. However,
podcast rss feeds are also attracting more established
companies and groups as well, bringing people from
NPR radio stations and news organizations like CNN
who use podcasting as yet another means to distribute
their product to end users.