What exactly is a podcast?

People have been producing audio and video and posting it online for the past many years and many have mistaken this for podcasting. However, one very important element is missing. In order to make posted audio and video files a true podcast, the proper technology needs to be in place to allow automated content downloading, playing, streaming, and syndication.

Podcasts utilize software such as the Apple Podcast App, Google Podcasts, and others to automatically download or stream to a mobile phone.

So what is a podcast? Essentially, a podcast is downloadable or streamed content that can be consumed at any time originating from a podcast RSS feed.

Podcasting uses a process called Really Simple Syndication (RSS). A format or specification of XML is used to create feeds that are used to syndicate media across the many distribution channels.  RSS is familiar with the orange icon found in web browsers, blogs, and news sites.

While podcasting has changed a lot since its inception in 2004, podcasts today can be consumed on almost any device imaginable. But the high majority of podcasts in the modern era are consumed on network-connected mobile phones.