Podcast is the term used to describe digital media that is usually presented as an episodic series of audio/radio, and/or video files. Users subscribe to and download these files through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. The term is derived from the combination of “pod” and “broadcast” and capitalizes on the popularity of Apple’s iPod.

Podcasts are stored and downloaded from a distributor’s server and accessed by users through a client application known as a podcaster. The interface, when accessed, checks for updates and downloads new files. These are normally managed and distributed though a subscription for a nominal monthly or yearly fee charged to the user’s credit card or other means of payment.

This process can be automated so that new files are downloaded automatically and stored locally on the user’s computer or other device ready for offline use and convenient access to the content. Despite the term and connection with Apple and its iPod, the content can be accessed using any computer that can play media files. The use of the term “podcast” predates the addition of native support for podcasting to the iPod, or to Apple’s iTunes software.

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