SCRIPTING -- Dave Winer questions the origins of podcasting by pointing to comments and discussion related to himself and Adam Curry. His concerns also point to the way history is made and revised at internet speed. Let the record show that Harold Gilchrist was audioblogging well before "podcasting" was coined. And Audible enjoyed a brisk trade in downloadable audiobooks that I first saw in use on Amtrak in 2001. One thing for certain, podcasting did not start at BoingBoing because anyone searching that gigormously popular site will discover that its search engine knows "nothing of this 'podcasting' of which you speak. Despite the enormous breadth, depth and obscurity of the Boing Boing posts over the years, your oddball query has us stumped. Have you considered the possibility that 'podcasting' is a nonsense phrase that is the product of your fevered imagination? Cos that's my bet."
Podcasting starts with an aggregator, like Radio UserLand that handles RSS 2.0 enclosures. Winer invented that. You subscribe to a set of audio feeds and then you listen to the new content on an iPod, Sony Clie, or MP3 player. Curry wrote a script that does that.
Wikipedia has the right take.
The term podcasting was coined by former MTV VJ Adam Curry to describe succinctly the technology used to push audio content from websites down to consumers of that content, who typically listen to it on their iPod (hence the "pod"), or another audio player that supports the MP3 format, at their convenience.
The term podcasting is meant to rhyme with broadcasting and is a derived from the name of the iPod portable music player. While not directly associated with Apple's iPod device or iTunes music service, the company did contribute both the desire and the technology for this capability. Podcasting is similar to time-shifted video software and devices like TiVo, which let you watch what you want when you want by recording and storing video, except that podcasting is used for audio and is currently free of charge. Note, however, that this technology can be used to push any kind of file, including software updates, pictures, and videos.
Podcasting uses an XML-based technology called RSS, or Really Simple Syndication. Content publishers describe new content in an XML RSS file which includes dates, titles, descriptions, and links to MP3 files. This auto-generated file is called an RSS feed. The key to making podcasting work with RSS is enclosures, a feature supported by RSS 2.0.
What makes podcasting special is that it allows individuals to publish (or "podcast") radio shows, that interested listeners can subscribe to. Before podcasting you could, of course, record a radio show and put it on your website, but now people can automatically receive new shows, without having to go to a specific site and download it from there.
Doug Kaye says that Dave Winer and Christopher Lydon created the first podcasts. Then came IT Conversations which I use instead of drivetime news on many occasions. Kaye says that "podcasting has been great for IT Conversations, possibly the cause of 2x in listenership."
Ask Google who invented podcasting and you will find Doc Searls at the top of the pyramid of information.
Wikipedia -- "Podcasting"
Harold Gilchrist -- "The Audioblogging Revolution"
Doug Kaye -- "Who invented podcasting?"
iPodder.org -- the high altar of podcasting.
For a quick sample of the latest podcasts, check out http://audio.weblogs.com/.