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What is a Podcast?

Podcasting (or podcasts), "enables users to quickly and easily download multimedia files, including audio and video, for playback on mobile devices including iPods and other MP3 players" (Bausch & Han, 2006, p. 1). Individuals subscribe to a podcast and then automatically receive all newly initiated installments. Once a podcast is loaded onto a computer or digital music device it can be accessed and reviewed at the user's leisure, such as during a jog around the gymnasium track, waiting for the campus bus, folding laundry, or commuting to campus (Read, 2005b).

Technically, a podcast works through an RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication) which pulls down an .xml file containing the Internet address of the media source. This is read by a podcast aggregator, commonly referred to as a podcatcher. Apple Computer's iTunes [] is the most popular podcatcher ("Podcasting to Hit Critical Mass," 2005). Another well-known aggregator is Juice [],

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Bausch, S., & Han, L. (2006). Podcasting gains an important foothold among U.S. adult online population. Nielsen/NetRatings, Retrieved July 16, 2006 from

Podcasting to hit critical mass in 2010. (2005). Bridge Ratings. Retrieved July 14, 2006 from

Read, B. (2005b, October 28). Lectures on the go." The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved July 6 from]