History of Podcasting:
Podcasting’s origins are firmly rooted in webradio. A combination of factors and technologies contributed to its eventual birth in 2003.
Among the pioneers of podcasting are Adam Curry, Tristan Louis and Dave Winer. Back in 2001, the three collaborated in using RSS technology and their media content to provide the first, albeit, prototype podcasts.
Subsequent improvements to the RSS-delivered content system swiftly followed over the following years. In 2003, Stephen Downes used RSS to demonstrate audio file aggregation and syndication in his Ed Radio application. It was also during this year when Christopher Lydon, an NPR radio talk show host, started linking MP3 files of his interviews to his Berkman weblog – a website that focused on blogging and the 2004 US Presidential campaign coverage. Lydon’s innovative use for RSS and MP3 files, in turn, inspired Curry to develop his iPodder script – the precursor of the popular iPodder software that became the first aggregator for downloading media files.
By the late 2004, detailed articles on podcasts became available online. In less than year, the podcasting phenomenon exploded with more than 2 million hits generated for a “podcasting” Google search. Podcasts originating not only from the US, but also from Canada, Sweden and Australia were reported. These podcasts even dealt with a disparate number of topics like veganism, politics and entertainment news.
By 2005, the popularity of podcasts has spilled over to the mainstream. Apple Computers, Inc. integrated podcasts in its iTunes software. Even Pres. George W. Bush became a podcaster when his weekly radio addresses became downloadable audio files at the White House website.
Traditional broadcasters, seeing the vast potential of podcasting, also joined the bandwagon. The BBC started trials for different “radio” programs. The US National Public Radio also adopted the format for some of its programming. And in a move that in turn legitimized podcast content, popular podcasts became a source of content for traditional radio programs. A California-based radio station even began to base its programming on broadcasting podcasts.
Because of the huge number of amateur podcasts floating around the net, sites that list podcast feeds became a vital resource in finding the kind of content that would interest different individuals. Sites like podcasters.org, podcast.net and ipodder.org became a vital service for a growing number of listeners.