From the Wikipedia description:
"Podcasting, created by former MTV VJ Adam Curry, is a term that was devised as a crisp way to describe 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 other audio player that supports mp3 at their convenience. The term podcasting is meant to rhyme with broadcasting and is a derivative of the iPod platform. While not directly associated with Apples iPod device or iTunes music service, the company did contribute both the desire and the technology for this capability. Podcasting is not unlike 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 (podcast) radioshows, 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" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting)
Podcasting described, by the Washington Post
" The word "podcasting" is a mash-up, a contraction of broadcasting and iPod, the popular music player from Apple Computer. The big idea is to let people save Internet audio so they can listen whenever they want from a computer or handheld device. Receiving software lets people pick podcasts from online directories, clicking a button to tell their computers to find and download new versions of those selected programs. Files automatically get copied to iPods. " (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20235-2005Mar9.html?)
iPodder, podcasting 'receiver software', at http://ipodder.sourceforge.net/faq/index.php
“is technically a "Media Aggregator," a program that allows you to select and download audio files from anywhere on the Internet to your desktop." ; Radio2MP3, at http://www.radio2mp3.com, “records internet radio stations, burns music files to a CD, converts media to different format and splits songs into individual MP3s. The software also tags each file with the artist, title, genre and album."
The Podcasting guide by Business Week at http://www.businessweek.com/technology/tc_special/tc_05podcasting.htm? ; and here a how-to-guide for the beginner as well, at http://ipodlounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/beginners-guide-to-podcast-creation/
Odeo, http://www.odeo.com/, is a private enabler of podcasting: "What would happen if you combined a TiVo, with your MP3 player, with the web—so, you could listen to a selection of content as varied as the web, whenever, and wherever you want. Odeo makes all of the above easy, so you don’t have to know how it works. More specifically, Odeo consists of three major parts: A catalog of audio content, of all types, which is constantly being added to. The Odeo Syncr, which let’s you download anything in the catalog (and, optionally, put it on your MP3 player). And creation tools, including the Odeo Studio, which let you publish your own audio content, which will then show up in the catalog."
Compiled by Valentin Spirik:
PodSafe Audio http://www.podsafeaudio.com/ "aims to provide a location where musicians can upload music under the Creative Commons License for use in Podcasts, Mashups, Shoutcasts, Webcasts and every other kind of 'casting' that exists on the 'net...
podsafe music network http://www.podsafemusicnetwork.com/ in their FAQ: "All works contain no recordings, lyrics, copyrights, or other elements that are the copyright of any other artist, except under the limited provisions of the Creative Commons License Agreement."
Odeo http://www.odeo.com/ has "over one million audio files—from podcasts and all over the web. Listen, download, subscribe..." About themselves: "As a company, we believe strongly in the democratization of media. We think that giving more people powerful tools for the creation and distribution of media will result in more knowledge, ideas, art, truth, and amusement available to all."
Apple's iTunes http://www.apple.com/itunes/music/ software also features a useful - but by Apple edited - podcast directory as well as many free radio stations via webstream. Most of these stations are compatible with the open-source Streamripper http://streamripper.sourceforge.net/ that lets users record the music as .mp3 files. Note: while this is - to the best of knowledge to this Wiki's editor - perfectly legal in e.g. Europe, it may be either illegal in certain parts of the United States or laws are being discussed to make this practice illegal.
Global Voices Online http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/ is "a non-profit global citizens’ media project, sponsored by and launched from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School. (...) Global Voices is your guide to the most interesting conversations, information, and ideas appearing around the world on various forms of participatory media such as blogs, podcasts, photo sharing sites, and videoblogs." Their FAQ.
Pandora Internet Radio http://www.pandora.com/ lets users "find New Music, Listen to Free Web Radio". It is based on the company's Music Genome Project and tries to answer the question "Can you help me discover more music that I'll like?" This site is - in its free version - supported with advertising. See also the related online articles Pandora and Last.fm: Nature vs. Nurture in Music Recommenders (www.stevekrause.org, 30.01.06) and Pandora to block international listeners from May 3rd.. ("Due to international licensing constraints, we are deeply, deeply sorry to say..." - photosandponders.blogspot.com, 02.05.07)