I never really started listening to podcasts until this year. I falsely believed that they wouldn’t be interesting or entertaining. I don’t know why, much like I don’t know why I naturally avoid pickles and mustard. It just happens.
Luckily, podcasts became the pickle and mustard sandwich that recently got me through my first five mile training run. Even the most terrible activities, like running, are more enjoyable with a podcast by your side (or, rather, in your ears).
The term “podcast” came from combining the words “iPod” and “broadcasting”.
Podcasting was developed in 2004 by former MTV video jockey Adam Curry and software developer Dave Winer. Curry wrote a program, called iPodder,that enabled him to automatically download Internet radio broadcasts to his iPod. Several developers improved upon his idea, and podcasting was officially born. Curry now hosts a show called The Daily Source Code, one of the most popular podcasts on the Internet.
Right now, podcasting is free from government regulation. Podcasters don’t need to buy a license to broadcast their programming, as radio stations do, and they don’t need to conform to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) broadcast decency regulations. That means anything goes — from four-letter words to sexually explicit content. Copyright law does apply to podcasting, though. Podcasters can copyright or license their work — Creative Commons is just one online resource for copyrights and licenses.
Podcasts have continued to grow in popularity and become more mainstream. The growth of this communication medium has threatened the more traditional radio broadcasts, especially radio that has been streamed online. Even though a 2010 study reported that only 16% of people listen to podcasts, whereas 32% listen to radio, podcasting is still a growing media source that is not only a force to be reckoned with, but is also something that’s very entertaining.
Here are some podcasts I enjoy thoroughly:
- Stuff You Should Know
- Stuff You Missed in History Class (can you tell I’m obsessed with HowStuffWorks.com yet? Here are all the HSW Podcasts on one page.)
- Stuff Your Mom Never Told You (sometimes NSFW due to topics)
- Work Awesome
- Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me
- How to Make Money on the Internet
- Brain Stuff
Here’s another article on podcasting’s effect on radio: Podcasting’s Affect on Radio
What podcasts do you listen to? Let us know in the comments.
Graphic courtesy of http://mediahistory101.pbworks.com/w/page/21438921/PODCASTING