Web Design & Development Guide
Video podcast (sometimes shortened to vidcast or
vodcast) is a term used for the online delivery of
video on demand video clip content via
RSS enclosures. The term is an evolution specialized for video,
coming from the generally audio-based
and referring to the distribution of video where the
RSS feed is used as a non-linear TV channel to which consumers can
subscribe using a PC, TV,
set-top box, media center or mobile multimedia device.
Technology and History
web server, a video podcast can be distributed as a file or as a stream.
Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Downloading complete video
podcasts in advance gives the user the ability to play the video podcasts
offline on, for example, a portable media player. A downloaded version can be watched many times with
only one download, reducing bandwidth costs in this case. Streaming allows
seeking (skipping portions of the file) without downloading the full video podcast, better statistics and lower bandwidth costs for the servers; however,
users may have to face pauses in playback caused by slow transfer speeds.
client may work with a separate, or integrated player. One such example of the
latter is iTunes,
which is an unusual case of a
aggregator being added to a media player rather than vice versa.
Channeling of on-demand content has major benefits for both publishers and
subscribers. Publishers can still bundle content for their audience. Subscribers
can consume content on-demand and don't need keyboard or mouse interfaces to
choose channels and items, much similar to zapping through regular TV stations,
and new episodes show up automatically, so the technology is ideal for on-the-go
(portable media players and mobile phones) and living room mass media
Uses in Education
Video podcasts enable students and teachers to share information with anyone
anytime. If a student is absent, they can download the podcast of the recorded
lesson. It can be a tool for teachers or administrators to communicate
curriculum, assignments and other information with parents and the community.
Teachers can record book talks,
vocabulary or foreign language lessons, international pen pal letters (podcast
pals!), music performance, interviews, debates. Video podcasting can be a
publishing tool for student oral presentations. Audio podcasts can be used in
all these ways as well. It also allows people to leave a journal.
- On 31 October 2003
 Canadian film collective Rocket Ace Moving Pictures launches the
serialized web-based video
zombie comedy project Dead End Days at
DeadEndDays.com while referred to by its creators as a "web-serial"
throughout 2003 and 2004, it is adopted by the podcast community as a
 . The creators retroactively add RSS features to the site.
- On 1 January 2004
Steve Garfield launches
his video blog and declares that 2004 would be the year of the video
- On October 1st 2005
Terra: The Nature of Our World launched making it the first Natural History
video podcast. It is produced in conjunction with the MFA program in Science
& Natural History Filmmaking at Montana State University, Filmmakers for
Conservation, and PBS.
- On the 8 June 2006, the
chancellor Angela Merkel, launch her video podcast via the bundeskanzlerin
website, making her the first head of government to launch a regular video podcast.
- On December 16, 2006,
Time magazine named its Person of the Year as "You", referring to
independent content creators on the web and video podcasters in particular.
Crash Test Kitchen, a video podcast begun in April 2005 by home cooks
Waz and Lenny, was featured in the magazine as an example of this
phenomenon. The magazine itself was a distinctive issue that featured a
flexible mirror on the cover.
- On April 13, 2007, the
British panel game Have I Got News for You started to broadcast a vodcast
called Have I Got News for You: The Inevitable Internet Spin-off. The first
HIGNFY vodcast was presented by Jeremy Clarkson.
- On 25 May, 2007, another British panel game,
announced that it would create a vodcast, starting in Series E.
Lists of video podcast directories: (not individual directories)