Academic Technology  |  PODCASTING - introduction














Podcasting - Introduction

            An Introduction to Podcasting 







Podcasting has become a popular way to distribute digital media to a large audience. Utilizing subscription feeds and portable media players, podcasting uses many different technologies in a variety of ways. This workshop will explain the different technologies commonly involved with podcasting, and prepare users to upload their media files to their own podcasts.  










What is Podcasting

A podcast is a digital media file or series of files. The term generally refers to an audio file though video is becoming more popular every day, and any type of digital media could be considered a podcast.


What usually defines a file as a podcast is the way it is distributed, using subscribed “feeds” which download new information automatically and often the type of media player or computer the file can be played back on.


The term podcast comes from the Apple iPod, the first extremely popular portable media player which helped industries find new ways to use existing technology to “broadcast” these files. While there are many different types of files, feeds, and portable players, the term podcast stuck and generally refers to all of these collectively.


What Podcasting is Not





One major thing that podcasting is not, is private. Publishing a podcast means the entire world can see it, download it, and share it; not just ETSU.



  1. Record or acquire the audio/video/text files that you wish to distribute.
  2. Request the creation of an empty podcast on the ETSU iTunes University site. (Requests go to the Office of eLearning).
  3. Upload the files to the podcast by logging into iTunes University through the administrator page. (
  4. Share the podcast address with your audience



RSS Feeds

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and Podcasting use a publisher/subscriber method for distributing information.  This means that an individual or institution creates content along with an RSS feed.


Individuals can then use software (a newsreader or podcatcher) to subscribe to the RSS feed and have new content automatically downloaded to their computer. 


Publisher/Subscriber Advantages

The publisher/subscriber method offers several advantages over other forms of communication such as email.


Streaming Servers


The difference between a standard server that contains media files and a streaming media server is that with a standard server, when media files are accessed, they’re downloaded. You can’t listen to or watch the content until the download is complete, and that can take a long time depending on the speed of your internet connection. In contrast, with streaming media, playback of the file happens as the file is being transferred, so wait time is drastically reduced, almost nonexistent.


Streaming media servers can also sense the speed of the client computer’s internet connection and adjust the rate at which the file is being sent to the client, so that computers with dial-up connections can still access their media files. In practice, we’ve found that audio files work a lot better than video files for dial-up connections, since video files require much more bandwidth.


Podcasting at ETSU iTunes University

Browsing ETSU Podcasts

Browsing and downloading podcasts from ETSU is accomplished using the 'iTunes U' section of the Apple iTunes Store.



  1. Go to the ETSU iTunes University webpage by typing the URL



  1. Click on ‘Open the New ETSU Site in iTunes-U.’ This will launch the iTunes software and direct you to the ETSU section of Apple’s iTunes Store.

Apple's iTunes software is a free application which can play, sort and download media files. The iTunes Store works similar to a website where you can browse for material and purchase or download free files. However, it can only be accessed through the iTunes software, not a standard browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox. It can be confusing at first to "surf" the iTunes Store through iTunes, without confusing it with an internet browser.


Apple's iTunes software is required to access the ETSU iTunes-U sites. Learn more about iTunes here.



  1. Explore the ETSU iTunes site for a few minutes.


  1. Download episodes by clicking the ‘Get’ button on the right-hand side. Subscribe to entire podcasts with the ‘Subscribe’ button located at the top.



Upload Media to Your Podcast

Uploading content to ETSU iTunes University is as simple as logging in, navigating to a podcast in which you have authority to contribute, and selecting the file to upload.


  1. In order to upload media to a podcast, you have to be logged in through the ETSU webpage. In your web browser, return to


  1. Click on Upload to iTunes-U located in the left-side navigation. 


  1. Enter your username and password. These will be the same as your standard ETSU username and password. The iTunes software will once again open.


  1. Navigate to a podcast where you have authority to upload content. For this workshop, choose ‘Something for Everyone’ in the left-side ‘Subject Areas’ section.


If you are using this guide online, you may not have access to the iTunes Workshops podcast and won't be able to upload to it. If you would like to create your own podcast, contact ATS at 439-8611 or at


  1. At the bottom of this page, choose the iTunes Workshops podcast.


  1. This podcast page will look exactly like it would if you entered it without logging in except that with administrator access it gives you a number of options in yellow in the upper right. Edit Page allows you to change the description, tabs, and image associated with the page.




When uploading or changing the page icon, please make sure the image is 300x300 pixels.



  1. The Upload and Manage Files option will open an internet browser which will allow you to upload files by clicking on Add New File. The page reminds you that only .m4a and .mp3 files will be allowed for audio tracks and video is limited to .mp4, .m4v, or .mov files. Once these files are uploaded, users will be able to see them, download them, and subscribers will download them automatically.





Related Guides

Audacity Guide - Introduction

Audacity is a free audio recording and editing software that is great for making recordings for your podcast episodes.

Apple iTunes Guide - Introduction

iTunes is a digital media player and organization application used to play audio and video files, as well as manage and sync the contents of the popular iPod portable media players. iTunes is required to browse the Apple iTunes Store. 


Additional Resources

What is a podcast? (by Podgrunt)
















Instructor: Anthony Kiech  |  423.439.8565  |  |