The following is a concise description of the term “podcasting”, where it came from, and other variants of the name (some of which took hold, many which didn’t).

  1. "Podcasting" is a compound word coined in 2004, that combined two words: "iPod" and "broadcasting."
  2. Even though the name is a misnomer, in that podcasting doesn't require an iPod and no over-the-air broadcasting is required, it has maintained its prominence in the face of numerous alternatives.
  3. The use of "podcast" to describe both audio and video feeds seemed natural to some users, while others prefer to reserve the word for audio and coin new terms for video subscriptions. Other "pod-" derived neologisms include "podcasters" for individuals or organizations offering feeds and "podcatchers" for special RSS aggregators with the ability to transfer the files to media player software or hardware.
  4. The "pod" name association came about because Apple Computer's iPod digital audio player was popular when podcasting began. The use of "pod" in 2004 probably played a part in Apple's development of podcasting products and services in 2005, further linking the device and the activity in the news media.
  5. The editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary declared "podcasting" the 2005 word of the year, defining the term as "a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player
  6. Other terms have been suggested, but had shortcomings — "audioblogging", "audio magazines" and "webcasting" could describe other forms of media distribution, and "rsscasting" would be difficult to pronounce.
  7. As use of RSS enclosures for video spread in 2005, podcasting of video data was called, among other things, "video blogging", "video podcasting", "vidcasting", "vlogging", "vodcasting", "vicasting", and "videocasting".