Podcasting will become an everyday activity for iPod users, as Apple has built the ability to manage and listen to podcasts
into iTunes 4.9 (Windows
), the latest version of its digital music software and online music store. Podcasting involves making audio files (most commonly in MP3 format) available online in a way that allows software to automatically download the files for listening at the user's convenience. The practice is now officially supported by Apple.
"Apple is taking podcasting mainstream by building it right into iTunes," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Podcasting is the next generation of radio, and users can now subscribe to over 3,000 free Podcasts and have each new episode automatically delivered over the Internet to their computer and iPod."
As from iTunes 4.9, users will have access to over 3,000 free audio programs, making it one of the largest podcast directories in the world. ABC News, Adam Curry, BBC, Clear Channel, The Dawn and Drew Show, Disney, Engadget, ESPN, Newsweek and many others will be involved.