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podcast

Post by dalehileman » Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:31 pm

Need succinct def
...method of publishing files via the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed to receive new files automatically....distinct from other types of online media delivery because of its subscription model, which uses the RSS 2.0 XML (or RDF XML) format...--wikipedia

There are some loose ends; for instance another source says it uses MP3. And the term "subscription" bothers me as I was under the impression that it was free.

Furthermore, what special connection links podcasting to the iPod
Would a PDA not work as well as an iPod for interacting with a podcast

Also ......largely for downloading audio files ..--wikipedia. Does "largely" mean that it also accepts video

In replying consider I'm an old guy and don't instantly pick up on all the new terms--Thanks guys (&gals)
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Post by russcable » Mon Jul 18, 2005 6:16 pm

Remember that Wikipedia is generated "by committee" so occasionally ends up being over-generalized to make the most possible "editors" happy.

IANAL, IMHO, ...

Podcasting is used to "broadcast" audio programming. This programming will usually be in the MP3 format as that is the most popular, widely spread, accepted, etc. format. AFAIK, there's nothing to stop you from creating a podcast using WMA (Microsoft), AC3 (Sony), AAC (Apple), Ogg Vorbis (Open Source), etc. but you would be restricting your audience quite a bit.

A podcast is basically an RSS feed with an audio file linked into it so conceiveably you could subscribe to a podcast and have episodes that consisted of just the RSS feed (text) or something else linked in (video, documents, etc.) although your "podcast" software probably currently wouldn't know what to do with it since the software is designed to play audio or download audio to your iPod or other "personal audio player" (I would say "MP3 player" as a genericization but it may a AAC, AC3, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, etc. player). Now there are several "personal audio players" coming out that are capable of playing some amount of video and/or pictures, but they don't have much market saturation yet and I don't know anything about how "standardized" they are as far as format, etc. Also, video files are much larger than audio files so that's a hurdle to the acceptance of a subscription to such a feed as well (something that automatically downloads a few megabytes a day compared to something that automatically downloads a few hundred megabytes a day).

"Subscription" in this case merely refers to having "signed up" for something, putting your "address" on a list to receive it. It has nothing to do with whether you have paid for anything, which I think is generally the case - I receive several free magazines/newsletters from high school and university alumni societies, the city I live in, etc. which could be be referred to as subscriptions although I have never paid for them. It merely means that when a new "issue" is "published" it automagically comes to you.
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Post by dalehileman » Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:49 pm

Russ thank you very kindly. Just one more thing: As an RSS file is defined as a kind of XML feed, etc, I might as well be reading Sanscrit. Can you provide a really succinct def that non-geeks like myself would immediately comprehend--Again than you profusely
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Post by russcable » Fri Jul 22, 2005 7:05 pm

Hmmm, succinctly? Well,...
The ML in HTML and XML et al. stands for Markup Language and both standards are more or less derived from SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language). An XML file is a text file that contains data and a description of the data and how it should be understood by the program reading it, for example:
<person>
<firstname>Dale</firstname>
<lastname>Hileman</lastname>
</person>
<person>
<firstname>Russ</firstname>
<lastname>Cable</lastname>
</person
defines 2 "person" objects that have firstname and last name fields. Now these descriptors are totally arbitrary in XML. In fact, there should be another file that this file references that just describes what the valid descriptors are in this file and how they can be used and what values are allowed, etc. ... but I'm getting way beyond succinct.
An RSS feed is a service you subscribe to that gives you data in the form of an specifically defined XML file. What RSS stands for is a great controversy and there are several competing, not-quite-compatible versions (and another competing standard called Atom) but basically it's a way to supply shortened or summarized information about a website or web page. This is often used is to supply headlines from one site on another site, e.g. on your My Yahoo! page you can display headlines of the latest breaking stories from SomeMagazine and AnotherMagazine without having to have something that reads the entire page and figures out what are the headlines in the 2 very different magazine layouts. Another use is for devices with limited displays like phones and PDA's. They can just access the RSS feed of a site and not have to worry about there being 1000 word stories or pictures, etc. RSS also provides a "subscription" feature - a way of knowing when there is new stuff.
So... the podcast receiving program is subscribed to a special RSS feed so that when there is new stuff, it retrieves the XML file. The XML file instead of containing a list of headlines and summarized news stories contains an entry that says "here's the new audio file" which it then downloads and either plays or your PC or copies to your iPod, nuVo, etc.
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Post by dalehileman » Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:02 pm

Thank you guys profusely. At this late date I am still trying to digest it all. But if anyone is willing to define "podcast" for me in 25 words or less using no geek terminology nor abbreviations, I should be much obliged and will give full credit if I can use it--Thanks again

Yo--I'm still open to a succinct def
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Post by Bobinwales » Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:06 am

How about a broadcast for iPod users, as opposed to a broadcast for televison users, or a broadcast for radio users?
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Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:23 am

Wow, Bob, even including your name, you did it in just 24 words!

You are now entitled to full credit from an enlightened and grateful Dale...

(And to think the answer was that simple all the time! Shamelessly staring us in the face like that! :-)
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Post by dalehileman » Thu Sep 08, 2005 2:20 pm

....which you have. I am continually impressed by Russ' thoroughness and diligence
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Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Sep 08, 2005 2:24 pm

But what about poor Bob? Is he entitled to nothing for his succinctness?
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Post by dalehileman » Thu Sep 08, 2005 4:39 pm

Oh definitely
Thus Bob is well named

Our No. 1 Son named our cat "Bob" because someone had cut off the end of his tail...
...He had been curtailed

And because he was big as a small bobcat
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Post by Bobinwales » Fri Sep 09, 2005 8:12 am

Thank you Erik for the prompt, and Dale for the acknowledgement. I'm not sure about having the same name as the cat though. I always like to think myself as "sound as a shilling"; I was even in a band once called Florin, because it had two Bobs in it.

Translation: Bob, pre 1971 British slang for a shilling. Florin, old British coin worth two shillings (hence two-bob).
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Post by dalehileman » Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:10 pm

By the way Bob thanks for the def. However, aren't you usiing iPod to mean all PDA's

Otherwise it's getting me onto the track and if anyone cares to dilate upon it I hope he will follow up
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Post by Bobinwales » Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:54 am

Yes Dale, I probably am, but I'm not a "geek" is I think the word you used, so will continue to listen to the radio in my car, and occasionally play a cassette or a CD otherwise I shall pointedly ignore any other methods that are devised of putting music into my ears, as I have no need of them.
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Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:07 am

The one I'd most like to avoid is the muzak that companies with automated switchboards force through your earpiece when you're on hold. They have selection options for routing your call -- why not let you choose the phone tones as well?

(Thus is a new multi-million-dollar industry launched...)
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Post by dalehileman » Tue Sep 13, 2005 3:44 pm

Bob, Erik: I second your motions wholeheartedly

By the way, Bob, "geek" is no longer pejorative but is becoming vaguely complimentary
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