Media Tips, Tricks, and Hints
Top Question for July 2006:
What's the Difference between On-Demand Streaming and PodCasting?
Both On-Demand Streaming and Podcasting involve the serving of content (encoded files) via a link. However, PodCasting offers a more flexable and automated distribution and content syndication methods such as RSS. Itís all about having the files come to you through syndication instead of you going to the files directly and downloading them.
What is RSS and XML?
In a nutshell, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is used to syndicate or subscribe to a feed of a website, or almost any media content online (such as music, video or other digital media). By syndicating, you subscribe to the feed of the site. This means you do not have to go visit the website to access the latest content. Instead you use feed reading software or a website to access the latest content. Instead of going to each of your favourite sites individually you can collect all the feeds of the sites (provided they make them available) in one place. The purpose of syndication is to make it more efficient for you to access your favourite content. So, what XML? It’s basically the formatting language that software and websites use to distribute the content to your feed reader. If you know nothing about HTML then you probably don’t really need to know much about XML either. Just understand that behind all RSS feeds is the XML scripting language.
Can anyone PodCast?
One of the big hurdles facing podcasting at the moment is the difficulty for non savy Internet users to create a podcast. Recording, uploading, hosting and distributing podcasts require some level of technical proficiency that presently is beyond the average web surfer. Going beyond just the basics, to produce a podcast show of radio style quality with music, samples and effects is a daunting task for even experienced Internet users. However, new companies working to simplify the podcasting process are popping up everyday which means that things will become simpler over time.